From the Blog

Is working less the key to productivity?

If recent headlines on France’s ‘right to disconnect’, employee burnout and America’s vacation problem make one thing clear it’s that we’re addicted to work.

This month, there’s a surprising new batch of headlines ranging from why you get more done when you work less to why the secret to productivity isn’t longer hours.

Turns out all this buzz around working less comes from Silicon Valley consultant and visiting scholar at Stanford University, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. His latest book, “Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less,” argues in favor of limiting working hours to boost creativity and productivity.

Pang’s inspiration for the book came from his sabbatical. At the start of his time off, he exhibited all signs of burnout, but he emerged less stressed and more productive. And his research on important figures like Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin and Bill Gates revealed that most of them only worked four or five hours a day.

It’s less about how people work that makes them successful, and more about how they rest.

Pang believes in the importance of “deliberate rest,” – which he defines as recharging with exercise or hobbies (not just sitting on the couch). For deliberate rest to help us work, we need to prioritize it. Pang encourages us to stop thinking of rest as a passive activity second to work. According to Pang, when we allow ourselves more time for rest, it’s easier to focus when it really matters.

Inspired yet? Us too. We’ve got your deliberate resting schedule covered:

1. Start your day off right with this quick and rewarding stretch routine

2. Make time for mindfulness with our roundup of the best things to watch, read listen and do for mindfulness. Hint: You won’t want to miss Andy Puddicombe’s TED talk “All it takes is 10 mindful minutes”

3. Get your steps in with our guide to sitting less

4. Read. When’s the last time you read a book cover-to-cover? Kick back with one of our 9 books to help you lead with intention