Rest

Copies of the UK paperback edition.

Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less is about the hidden role that rest plays in the lives of creative, prolific people. Drawing on neuroscience, psychology, and history, it shows that many accomplished people used rest in ways that helped them be more creative,  that we can understand why their practices worked, and adapt them to our own busy lives. REST is published in the US by Basic Books, and in the UK by Penguin.

In her review of REST in the New York Times, Arianna Huffington said, “If work is our national religion, Pang is the philosopher reintegrating our bifurcated selves. As he adeptly shows, not only are work and rest not in opposition, they’re inextricably bound, each enhancing the other.” She continues:

The path of least resistance — accepting the habits of our current busyness culture and the technology that envelops us and keeps us perpetually connected — won’t make us more productive or more fulfilled. Instead of searching life hacks to make us more efficient and creative, we can avail ourselves of the life hack that’s been around as long as we have: rest. But we have to be as deliberate about it as we are about work. “Rest is not something that the world gives us,” Pang writes. “It’s never been a gift. It’s never been something you do when you’ve finished everything else. If you want rest, you have to take it. You have to resist the lure of busyness, make time for rest, take it seriously, and protect it from a world that is intent on stealing it.”

And you can start by putting down your phone — better yet, put it in another room — and picking up this much-needed book.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

It’s good news week for workaholics. It’s OK to chill, relax, or have a game of golf; in fact, the more time we spend resting, the more productive we become. A resident of Silicon Valley, scholar and futurist Alex Soojung-Kim Pang uses historical case studies as well as current research to validate what he calls this “intimate connection” between work and rest.

From Success Magazine’s 2016 list of best business books:

The most creative people of history—from Charles Darwin to Stephen King—knew how to do it. They harness daydreaming to free the unconscious mind to find new ideas. They plan rest into every day. They know that the right kind of rest prolongs creative life. This is a book of deep wisdom and human insight.

From the Englewood Review of Books:

Part self-help, part scientific findings, part biographical anecdotes, Rest is an engaging, well written and researched read for white collar workers interested in improving their productivity.

Lots of other people have reviewed REST.

REST has been translated into a number of languages, from Dutch and German, to Japanese and Korean, to Portuguese and Spanish.

Copies of REST sighted in Óbidos.

I speak about REST and its ideas around the world: I’ve given keynotes and facilitated workshops about deliberate rest in Amsterdam, Baku, Copenhagen, Geneva, London, Luxembourg, Montreal, Osaka, Palm Springs, Tokyo, and elsewhere. I also talk about REST on the radio and podcasts.

I’ve continued following the scientific literature and movement of the idea of deliberate rest into popular culture. You can follow my thinking about deliberate rest, creativity, and productivity on the Deliberate Rest blog.

And my work on the role of rest in creative lives and business now continues with my new book, SHORTER.

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