Reflect on Your Rest

Could time off and leisure actually be the key to your successes?

Max Frenzel
Jun 28 · 2 min read
Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash

As routine jobs are being increasingly automated, creativity and empathy are becoming more and more central to most of our working lives.

As a result, some people are starting to question whether our currently so prevalent culture (or cult?) of busyness, which is largely based on the idea that more hours put in also equates to more results produced, is actually the way forward.

In other words: Is all this hard work actually working?

One of the people casting doubt on this is Stephan Aarstol, founder and CEO of Tower Paddle Boards which was named fastest growing private company in San Diego in 2014, and author of “The Five-Hour Workday: Live Differently, Unlock Productivity, and Find Happiness”.

Stephan, whose successes speak for themselves, believes that his own achievements were not a result of constant hustle, grinding out long hours, and burning the candle on both ends. Instead, he directly traces them back to the times when he took ample time off, went on adventures, and enjoyed high quality leisure.

The “time-off”, the living and the adventure that most people see as distractions, are really the foundation of success in today’s world, where creativity and knowledge work are so critical. I can point to all my successes and trace them back to an experience that most people would scoff at as non-essential leisure. — Stephan Aarstol

Take 30 minutes for yourself to reflect on your biggest successes and best ideas. How many of them came out of busywork? How many from an experience that seemed like leisure?

Make a list and note the types of time off that particularly helped you make a breakthrough.

Was it a vacation? A thought while walking? An epiphany during a relaxing dinner conversation?

Identifying these experiences is a helpful reminder that we already know the importance of rest and changing things up. So why not do more of it?


This short snippet of calm wisdom and practical advice is one of ten that John Fitch and I put together in our Action Guide on how (and why) to find more time off in your life. You can download it for free from our website:

We hope that you find value and inspiration in these ten quotes from people, both historic and present, who themselves found immense value in time off.

Time Off

Unplugging in today's busy world is both a skill and a competitive advantage. Is it possible to achieve more by working less? We believe so.

Max Frenzel

Written by

Things I’ve read, thoughts I’ve had. AI researcher by day, writer and music producer by night. Writing a book on the importance of Time Off: www.timeoffbook.com

Time Off

Time Off

Unplugging in today's busy world is both a skill and a competitive advantage. Is it possible to achieve more by working less? We believe so.

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