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I’ve really enjoyed reading this fascinating new book called Rest, by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. I was intrigued to learn “why you get more done when you work less.” He points out that rest is not the opposite or a competitor to work, but an equal partner. Deliberate rest plays a central role in stimulating our creativity and is the springboard for new ideas.
He talks about the importance of learning to rest deliberately, providing scientific evidence and illustrative examples for the value of:
- Creating opportunities for essential “mind-wandering” which apparently is the secret of creativity.
- Afternoon naps to recharge our mental batteries … even 20 minutes rest can recharge our mental batteries and improve memory.
- Seven hours sleep (to clear out brain toxins, enable cell repair and growth, strengthen our immune systems and process events to consolidate memory).
- Consistent walks – so many times insight comes when walking, as going for a walk offers a way to clear the mind without abandoning a problem.
- Frequent exercise – can increase brain power, boost intelligence and provide stamina. It strengths our cardiovascular system, enabling blood to be pumped to our brain.
- Regular holidays. Studies show that annual holidays apparently reduce heart attacks.
It seems that like breathing, we can all rest naturally; but to perform at our peak, we can all learn to do it better. It turns out that we have to work at taking deliberate rest.
What do you do to rest and recover? How do you detach from your work?