“The best rest for doing one thing is doing another thing […]. It is the vigorous use of idle time that will broaden your education, make you a more efficient specialist, a happier man, a more useful citizen. It will help you to understand the rest of the world and will make you more resourceful.” — Wilder Penfield (“The Use of Idleness”)
Spending more time resting and less time actively engaged in work not only boosts creativity and happiness, but also makes the time spent on work more efficient. We have already encountered Parkinson’s Law previously, and this can be seen here again. Web development company Basecamp (formerly 37 Signals) experimented with shorter work weeks, adding an additional day to the weekend, and
“Restorative daytime naps, insight-generating long walks, vigorous exercise, and lengthy vacations aren’t unproductive distractions, they help creative people do their work. […] Rest is not work’s adversary. Rest is work’s partner. They complement and complete each other.” — Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
muses Nicolas Carr in the introduction to his Pulitzer Prize nominated book “The Shallows — What the internet is doing to our brains”. I too have experienced this feeling many times, and more and more in recent years, as probably have most of you reading this.
“If you seek tranquility, do less. Or (more accurately) do what’s essential. Do less, better. Because most of what we do or say is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more tranquility. Ask yourself every moment ‘Is this necessary?’ But we need to eliminate unnecessary assumptions as well, to eliminate the unnecessary actions that follow.” — Marcus Aurelius
“Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is NOT laziness. This is hard for most people to accept, because our culture tends to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity.” — Tim Ferriss