I write about people, technology, and the worlds they make.

I’m founder of The Restful Company, a consultancy devoted to helping people and organizations use deliberate rest to become more focused, productive, and happier.

I’m a visiting scholar at Stanford University. Essentially, I have a library card, and very occasionally am found by students.

I’ve worked as a senior consultant at Strategic Business Insights, a Menlo Park, CA consulting and research firm, and before that I was a research director at Institute of the Future, a think tank in Palo Alto. (I also have profiles on Linked In, Google Scholar and Academia.edu.)

I also wrote an article on post-academic careers that lots of people have read.

My Books

Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less

REST book cover draft

Rest 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.

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.

Lots of other people have written about the book, too. I also talk about Rest on the radio. You can follow my thinking about deliberate rest, creativity, and productivity on the Deliberate Rest blog.

The Distraction Addiction

The Distraction Addiction was published by Little, Brown and Co. It’s was widely reviewed and garnered lots of good press. You can find your own copy at your local bookstore, or order it through Barnes & Noble, Amazon (check B&N first, as it’s usually cheaper there), orIndieBound.

The Spanish edition

The Dutch edition

Cover of Chinese edition of THE DISTRACTION ADDICTION
The Chinese edition

The Italian edition

The Korean edition

Empire and the Sun

My first book, Empire and the Sun: Victorian Solar Eclipse Expeditions,was published with Stanford University Press in 2002 (order via Amazon).

Here’s my Amazon author page.


I’m on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

My literary agent is Zoë Pagnamenta, at the Zoë Pagnamenta Agency. Their contact information is here.

For speaking, contact the Hachette Speakers Bureau.