Rest Book Summary - Rest Book explained in key points
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Rest summary

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

Why You Get More Done When You Work Less

4.5 (353 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang argues that the key to being productive and creative is not working harder or longer hours, but taking regular breaks and cultivating hobbies and interests that renew our energy and inspire new ideas.

Table of Contents

    Rest
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    What’s in it for you? A Silicon Valley strategist’s guide to beating burnout.

    Overwork is the new work. Today’s world is shaped by near-limitless connectivity. Even when you’re not in the office, you’re never more than a few seconds away from your email account. Then there’s the old dogma that success is all about grinding out long hours at your desk. Combine the two, and you end up with a work culture that encourages burnout.

    That’s something Silicon Valley strategist Alex Soojung-Kim Pang knows all about.

    After years of pushing himself to the limit, he took a sabbatical. Living a life of leisure for a few months wasn’t just a luxury – he quickly realized that he was getting more serious work done than ever before.

    That got him thinking. What would a different, healthier and saner work culture look like?

    After sifting through the latest empirical scientific evidence, he came up with an answer: it’d make much more room for rest, relaxation and recovery.

    As these blinks will show, getting a good night’s sleep, taking a vacation and nurturing your hobbies doesn’t just keep you in top physical and mental health; it also does wonders for creativity, concentration and cognitive performance.

    In these blinks, you’ll learn

    • why your best work often comes when you’re not thinking;
    • how exercise can boost your cognitive prowess; and
    • why Winston Churchill took time out from running the United Kingdom to paint.
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    Key ideas in Rest

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    What is Rest about?

    Rest (2016) takes aim at the common misconception that the longer we work, the more we’re able to get done. Written by a Silicon Valley strategist whose punishing regimen of long office hours brought him perilously close to a burnout, this empirically grounded study turns that idea on its head. Hitting your targets and achieving success isn’t about grinding out endless hours at your desk – it’s about finding the best time to work, getting enough rest and nurturing your creativity.

    Rest Review

    Rest (2016) explores the importance of leisure and deliberate rest in our fast-paced world. Here's why this book is worth picking up:

    • It provides a compelling argument for the value of rest, showing how it enhances creativity, productivity, and overall well-being.
    • Backed by scientific research and real-life examples, the book offers practical strategies for incorporating rest into our lives.
    • With its engaging storytelling, Rest challenges the prevailing notion that busyness equals success, ultimately reshaping our understanding of work and leisure.

    Who should read Rest?

    • Anyone working at a startup
    • Creatives
    • Workaholics

    About the Author

    Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is the founder of the Restful Company, a consultancy firm based in Silicon Valley that teaches organizations how to cultivate a better work-life balance through talks and workshops. A visiting fellow at Stanford University, Pang is the author of The Distraction Addiction. He has also written for Slate, Wired, Atlantic Monthly and Scientific American.

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    Rest FAQs 

    What is the main message of Rest?

    The main message of Rest is that taking time for rest and leisure is crucial for creativity and productivity.

    How long does it take to read Rest?

    The reading time for Rest varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Rest a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Rest is worth reading because it provides insights on the importance of rest in our lives and how it can improve our productivity and well-being.

    Who is the author of Rest?

    The author of Rest is Alex Soojung-Kim Pang.

    What to read after Rest?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Rest, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Pause by Rachael O’Meara
    • Overworked and Overwhelmed by Scott Eblin
    • The Art of Rest by Claudia Hammond
    • Picture Your Prosperity by Ellen Rogin and Lisa Kueng
    • How Not to Worry by Paul McGee
    • Burnout by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski
    • Mind Shift by Erwin Raphael McManus
    • Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0 by Jim Collins and Bill Lazier
    • The Distraction Addiction by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
    • How Big Things Get Done by Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner