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Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less
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Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,809 ratings  ·  275 reviews
For most of us, overwork is the new normal. Resting means late-night TV binges or hours spent on social media. We never truly recharge.

In this revelatory book, Silicon Valley consultant Alex Soojung-Kim Pang offers a way for us to be more productive and fulfilled in all areas of our lives. Working better does not mean putting in longer hours: it means working less and rest
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 2nd 2017 by Penguin Life (first published December 6th 2016)
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Polina I am listening to it right now after purchasing on google play books and I also saw it for sale in Audible.
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3.84  · 
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 ·  1,809 ratings  ·  275 reviews

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Leigh Anne
Same stuff, different book.

Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Given that we don't seem to take the kind of advice Pang offers, it should probably be repeated as often as possible. This book is kind of a fleshed-out version of all the clickbait articles you read about getting more R&R: the stuff you already know, but with the science behind it. And the science is very good/interesting.

The problem for a lot of readers is that these strategies assume you're a middle to upper class white coll
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cover is misleading. This is not a book about idleness, but it is also not about how you have to be a mountain climber in your spare time to be successful. It's really a series of examples illustrating Flow.

Flow The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Compared with a book I recently read, "Deep Work", this one is much better:
-It's not just filled with "I'm so great" anecdotes. This author did homework to find stories of people you might have heard of: Darwin, Ike, Stephen King, etc.
-It's not repetitively nagging at you to stop looki
I'm a bit conflicted about this book. It starts out by saying 'don't work all the time - rest is important, too'. But by the end it's mostly a manifesto to not so much *rest* as do hard and challenging stuff (climb mountains, play the violin) *in addition to* working quite a lot.

The most successful scientists, for instance, have very intensive hobbies, while less successful scientists don't.

Which makes me wonder: is that perhaps because the successful people have more energy in the first place?
I was fascinated by so many aspects of this book. First, the basic premise: that in the modern world we've come to wear overwork and multitasking and stress like badges of honor, when in reality these things make us less efficient and less effective. The many studies and scientific explanations throughout the book well support this premise. The many anecdotes pulled from throughout history and across disciplines highlight the science at work in the lives of some of our greatest thinkers, artists ...more
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I want to give this book 10 stars, because our culture needs this message so much. I saw this author keynote at a conference a few years back (wish I could remember which one), his talk at that time was about another of his books, but what I remember is how impressed I was by his presentation and his ideas. So when I saw this book among the new titles at the Mechanics Institute, I had to check it out. Now I will return the library copy and buy one to keep. The message seemed so obvious, I was a ...more
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
practical guide to avoiding burnout by cultivating regular intervals of rest and a full life outside of work, in order to have a longer and more fulfilling work life in the long run.
Wendi Lau
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nutrition
The author says rest is just as important as work because quality rest makes work time more energetic, creative, efficient, and inspired. Rest can mean taking a walk, taking a nap, going on vacation, indulging in a hobby. He has such good examples and writes so clearly, the book's purpose is fulfilled 3/4 of the way through. "Rest " can be read quickly.

Not 5 stars because the book was longer than necessary. And it is not long, less than 300 pages. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is just too efficient. Ma
In Rest Alex Soojung-Kim Pang uses science (mostly psych studies, and a few brain studies) and historical examples to explore the concept of "deliberate rest." He posits that the best way to optimize one's creativity and focus for deep intellectual and creative work is to actually spend less time consciously doing the work itself and more time on various types of deliberate rest. The main point is that deliberate rest (including walks, naps, etc.) allows the brain time to integrate and process, ...more
Karen Ashmore
We should all work less and rest more. Not only will you be more at peace but you will also be more productive and creative. Here's how: work four hours at a time, develop a morning routine, take walks, take cat naps, stop when you are going good so you know exactly where to dive in when you restart work, get plenty of sleep, take vacations, exercise everyday, participate in deep play (sport, hobby, musical instrument, etc), take a sabbatical every few years. And then you will have a restful lif ...more
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The premise of the book is the title. The rest is just detail: summary of research from neuroscience, health, etc.

Surprisingly, for a book about rest, the author overlooks the age-old concept of Sabbath.
There's a lot of great stuff in here about how the overwork, always-on, always-busy mentality is nothing but optics and posturing. Real deep work doesn't happen when you're always working but rather, when you spend more time in rest modes -- think sleeping, napping, walking, playing deeply, being physically active. This book collects the science behind it all and offers more reason why we should spend more time "off" than we spend "on."

My big criticism is this, though: it's almost entirely men
Dec 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junk
You do more if you work less. This is a homeopathic book. Once you won't do a thing your results will reach the infinity. And that is certainly the case as the people who do nothing are next to perfection.

Sarcasm aside, this is a poorly written book about how to work more. Yea, besides the title, nothing is about working less. It is about working more. Which makes much more sense than the catchy and misleading title. Only this time you don't just go to work. You start working at dawn, do some ph
Roni Loren
Really helpful, especially for those in a creative field. As a writer, I'll take a lot of the suggestions from this.
Aceso Under Glass
Aug 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
All "famous person does X" anecdotes. Believes everyone should wake up early.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help, leisure
There's a formula here:

Step 1 - Begin chapter with a bunch of anecdotes and stories about famous scientists, athletes and politicians who found the practice the chapter is about helpful.

Step 2 - Throw in references to a study or two about why the practice the chapter is about is helpful.

Step 3 - Summarize.

This is a pretty good book about why rest is helpful. But after a while, the book becomes redundant. You can skim through the chapters, read the summaries and get it:

*Four hours - For maximum e
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book does a decent job proving its thesis - that rest is vital to the quality of a person's work, health, and life - with studies and anecdotes. It piles on so many studies and anecdotes, though, that the prose often reads more like a laundry list than a narrative. And yet it says little that contemporary books and magazines haven't already said about health, creativity, and productivity. Still, it serves as a useful reminder to take breaks and vacations.

My main gripe: For every female exa
Malcolm Gladwell-esque: focus on a topic that is rather narrow, though not unimportant, using historical and contemporary persons as examples. Because it is written for the general (but well-educated) reader, it seems to me that the author strains to expand the work into book length. Nevertheless, I read the work at an appropriate time--immediately following the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
Oliver Kim
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As far as pop sci/self help books go, this one isn't half bad. It doesn't overstate its recommendations, and it supports them with numerous studies and anecdotes. Rest is important, and that point bears repeated telling.
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book seemed to be geared towards Writers/authors/scientists
It had good information but the author belabored each point with too many examples to pad the book. It was tedious to get through and I fast forwarded the audio at times. The first 1/3 of the book was merely proving how vital rest is by quoting from famous author’s/scientist’s journals and quoting several times from Gladwell’s books (with credit). The book was only loosely about rest but more about how to stay fresh and be creative
I liked the central idea of this book - that being busy doesn't necessarily translate to getting more done (and it is particularly unhelpful to meaningful goals). The author cites research to make his case, but he spends more time recounting anecdotes, and these seem to be disproportionately about Victorian scientists and tech billionaires - could it be that privilege helps one schedule in the walks, naps, and mountain climbing?

Read for Read Harder 2019 task 17: a business book
Eve Dangerfield
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really interesting and I definitely took away some practical tactics and useful information about the value of active rest and active play. I read a lot in this genre and I think this book brought something new to the-lets face it-saturated self-improvement genre. Recommend.
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Alternative title: Cause and Correlation: How confusing the two makes for poor arguments

I really hate to give this such a poor rating, but as a book, that's what it deserves. The underlying theory is solid enough and I actually agree with the conclusions the author makes on the topic of rest, but unfortunately, the way this book went about trying to prove his theory was just awful. Each chapter started off well enough with a description of a rest technique, but then, instead of any sort of compe
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terrific book from a fellow Penn grad on the topic of rest. I found it fascinating. The author makes the case that rest and leisure are not secondary activities to work, but essential partners with work to live a creative, meaningful life. It's chock full of interesting anecdotes and tidbits of historical info.

Some quick takeaways:
-rest is a partner with work
-the best restorative kinds of rest are active
-rest results in a more creative life
-night owls who make it a habit to work in the morning o
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am always looking for books that discuss neglected aspects of the faith and work conversation. Rest is certainly one such aspect and I'm pleased to see an increasing numbers of books (such as Garden City ) discussing it.

Rest is written for a secular audience, but it has lessons for the FAW conversation. The author, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, is the founder of the Restful Company, a senior consultant at Strategic Business Insights, and a visiting scholar at Stanford University. He has a Ph.D. in H
Mikita Cherkasau
Probably one of the most important books in today's world.

In his book Rest, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang argues that we should consider work and rest as allies, not enemies; that rest is a skill that can make us more creative and productive. Here are some tips to help you get that high-quality rest.

4-5 hours of focused work
Charles Dickens, Henri Poincaré, Ingmar Bergman and many other outliers spent only 4-5 hours a day doing the most important work. The rest of the time they were walking, taking naps,
Michele Harrod
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As someone who fought sleep for decades, and who worked themselves to complete burn-out in 2017, this was like finding a treasure. I wish I’d had these ideas (and success stories) drummed into me years ago. This isn’t about doing less, but about working hard in balance with resting hard. That resting may be reading a ton of books, pursuing creative interests, or laying in a hammock and day-dreaming or quality napping (all things I’d also stopped doing over the last few years) or partaking in phy ...more
I have mixed feelings about this book. First, its title is misleading. It's not really about rest, it's about focused recreation, with a couple of quick chapters on sleep and naps. It covers much of the same ground as Cal Newport's terminally shallow book, Deep Work, but more thoroughly, with better examples and analysis. It touches on Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's work as covered in Flow, but more efficiently.

There are a lot of potentially useful insights here, and I enjoyed reading it but found t
Peter Yock
An okay book - but pretty disappointing. I was hoping for something that would both educate me about the value of rest - and how to do it well - plus give me some practical advice. But the book is written in a way that manages to be not quite informative and not quite practical - which in the end means it walks a narrow line that ends up being largely useless. Might sound a bit harsh, but I really did keep listening to the end in the hope it would improve at some point.

If you're after some serio
Yuen Tan
I would have given it a 4 Stars if it stops at half the book. 2 audio book for the year for me while trying to “rest” (my 👀) more but continue reading.

The book documented mostly scientists and some famous artists/politicians/musician ways to relax and implied that these are important to their achievements. Well researched with quotes from the biographies, these are interesting bite size information of the towering figures. I think perhaps the examples are a bit too numerous.

The first part of the
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I write about people, technology, and the worlds they make.
“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. History” 8 likes
“Routinization of work, the researchers concluded, does not have to diminish creativity; if it’s accompanied by freedom, routine can enhance creativity.” 3 likes
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