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Why You Get More Done When You Work Less

By Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
  • Read in 13 minutes
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  • Contains 9 key ideas
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Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

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.

Key idea 1 of 9

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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