Get Your Best from Rest

There’s increasing recognition that success doesn’t demand longer, harder hours – rather, it demands that you work less. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, based in California’s Silicon Valley, provides pointers to appropriate strategy in his recently published book, Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less.
For most of us, he says, overwork is the new normal and rest is an afterthought. In our busy lives, rest is defined as the absence of work: late-night TV binges, hours spent trawling the internet, something to do once we’ve finished everything else on our to-do lists. But dismissing rest stifles our ability to think creatively and truly recharge.
In his book, Pang argues that we can be more successful in all areas of our lives by recognising the importance of rest: working better does not mean working more, it means working less and resting better. Treating rest as a passive activity secondary to work undermines our chances for a rewarding and meaningful life. Whether by making space for daily naps, as Winston Churchill did during World War II; going on hours-long strolls like Charles Darwin; or spending a week alone in a cabin like Bill Gates, pursuing what Pang calls “deliberate rest” is the true key to fulfilment and creative success. Drawing on rigorous scientific evidence and revelatory historical examples, Pang’s book overturns everything that most cultures in the East and West have taught us about work and shows that only by resting better can we start living better.
The voices and findings are growing in support of Pang’s arguments.

Contributed by Dave Hornblow, July 2017