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Book Review – Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung and Kim Pang

Rest Book Review

“Lives rich in both work and rest also show that long hours don’t guarantee higher productivity in creative industries.”

In the book “Rest” scientific evidence, antidotes, and quotes from familiar and successful historical personalities illustrate how rest can be personalized to maximize your efficiency and creativity… flexibility is the key here. The studies and case studies presented show that a combination of routine and rest enhances creativity and quality of life.

Rest Book Summary

Routines Support a State of Flow

Work and rest are subtly related. Working steadily and regularly promotes illumination at rest as you process and put together the pieces. Rising early to work creates space in the day for rest. As you rest, your subconscious is putting together the input. Haven’t you ever heard of famous ideas being struck in the shower, in the car or when simply resting under a tree? Deliberate rest accompanying a dedicated work routine promotes a good and productive life

“If you recognize that work and rest are two sides of the same coin, you can get more from rest by getting better at it. And, that by giving it a place in your life you’ll stand a better chance of living the life that you want. You’ll be able to do your job and your life’s work better.”

Thinking on Your Feet

Taking long walks, a natural activity regularly promotes clearing the mind and having a conversation with oneself. It is part of an essential daily routine… promotes endurance, gets the blood flowing, relaxes the mind, and diverts attention to rest the brain. Walking meetings are used by many progressive CEOs and inventors to allow employees and cohorts to sharpen the brain through physical stimulation that also stimulates the brain. It also limits interruptions by others in the office environment.

“Walking offers a way to clear the mind without completely abandoning the problem.”

Strenuous Exercise and Deep Play

During strenuous exercise, the body delivers more oxygen to your brain and better develops your episodic memory. During an immersive hobby, your head is completely silent providing rest to that all-important muscle… the brain. Rock climbing, a focused time period on the golf course, a rigorous hike, and a hot yoga session all provide deliberate rest and help you maintain fulfilling rest that does not compete with work. Work and leisure are connected but separate. Deliberate rest does not steal from your work but enhances it by providing a boundary and respite.

The cultivation of a hobby and new forms of interest is therefor a policy of first importance to a public man.”

-Winston Churchill


Sabbaticals provide the space to expand and extend your craft. It allows you to push the edge of what is possible… to try and dream of new things. To stay ahead it’s necessary to slow down and recharge your creativity. In the corporate world, Sabbaticals provide a better sense of clarity and provide higher employee retention. Sabbaticals can be short or long.

“Scientists, writers, engineers and even military commanders can benefit from Sabbaticals. What they all teach us is that to stay ahead it’s necessary to step back. To keep up… it’s good sometimes to slow down.”

People in specialized and super busy jobs are at risk of becoming shut away and imprisoned by their careers. Keeping in touch with intellectual pastimes and restoring your energy helps you to have a rewarding work life, career, and home life. Treat rest as a springboard to a more meaningful life.

“It is neither wealth nor splendor but tranquility and occupation which give happiness.”

– Thomas Jefferson


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