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Maniac Book Club: Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

Maniac Book Club: Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is a reminder of all of the things that we already know we could be doing. It is backed up by a tremendous amount of research and science.

“Only in recent history has ‘working hard’ signaled pride rather than shame.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

In Rest, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang explains that rest is the most important action we can take to open our minds to our own creativity. Deliberate rest is physically and psychologically restorative, but it is also mentally
productive and active. Rest is not about laying on the couch, and watching hours of television. Rest is not what we do on the weekends in between all of our
running around. Rest is about spending deliberate time in nature, with family, doing the things we love, deep play, sleeping, and being mindful of what we are doing with our time.

Resting can be summarized by 9 components according to Pang:

  1. Morning Routine – Even if you are not a morning person, you should have a morning routine that is deliberate and planned will make your day more productive.
  2. Walking – Letting your brain wonder
  3. Nap – Stop feeling guilty about our need to nap!
  4. Stop – Stop before you are completely done. Getting started tomorrow will be a lot easier, as
    your brain knows where you stopped.
  5. Deep play – Have a hobby that is not related to your work
  6. Recovery – Long breaks like vacation are the best form of recovery. Research shows that our recovery peaks at around day 5 of our vacations. You don’t need 2 weeks off to recover.
  7. Exercise
  8. Sleep
  9. Sabbaticals

Maniac Takeaway

In a previous book club – The Power of When, I talked about the importance of understanding your circadian rhythm to be more productive. Pang bring this subject up and a step further in his book Rest by explaining that your best
breakthroughs will happen outside of your peak productive time. For example: I am a morning riser, and I am most productive before lunch time. The opposite of that would be early evenings, when I feel like my brain is winding
down. He suggested that at the moments of winding down, my brain would be more likely to wonder and find answers to questions that I could not figure out during my productive hours. My takeaway was to exercise or walk during those winding down hours, and let my brain wonder.

Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is available on Amazon.

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