Deliberate Rest

A blog about getting more done by working less

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Was digital distraction responsible for the Oscar gaffe?

Sounds like it could have been, according to Variety:

Brian Cullinan, one of the two PriceWaterhouseCoopers partners who handled the Oscar envelopes on Sunday night, was tweeting photos from backstage minutes before he handed Warren Beatty the wrong Best Picture envelope.
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On Inside Mastery

I’m a guest on this week’s Inside Mastery podcast, talking with host Martin Soorjoo about REST,  performance, and productivity. You can listen on Soundcloud, or iTunes.

This picture of me on the Inside Mastery Web page is a bit goofy (it’s from an event I did in Los Angeles a few years ago), but the conversation was fun and informative.

And Martin gets some very interesting guests– Two Awesome Hours author Josh Davis, and Sleep author Nick Littlehales, both of whom are really smart, were on earlier episodes– so it’s well worth subscribing to the podcast.

REST in Red Bulletin magazine; or, beaten by Metallica in four languages

Red Bulletin March 2017

Red Bulletin, the magazine published by energy drink company Red Bull, has an interview with me about Rest. The magazine is better-known for running pieces about extreme sports, rock musicians, sports cars, and the like; but I guess they recognize that ice climbing after driving your Aston Martin from the rock concert can get tiring.
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Writing for Thrive Global

I’ve been writing every now and then for Thrive Global, and have a new piece arguing “Work-Life Balance is About Years, Not Hours.” It mainly talks about Inga Clendinnen, one of my intellectual heroes, and how her career as an author followed a pervious life focused on teaching and raising her two boys.
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Embodied cognition and Rest

Recently I talked with Dutch company Made4Motion founder Sanne Clifford about rest, how we think about busyness, and the role that physical movement plays in stimulating creativity.


The latter is a really interesting subject.

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The flat, non-distracting doorways of the new Apple spaceship

Having written so much in REST and on this blog about the creative power of walks, I was struck by this detail in Julia Love’s Reuters article about how “Apple seeks design perfection at new ‘spaceship’ campus:”

One of the most vexing features was the doorways, which Apple wanted to be perfectly flat, with no threshold. The construction team pushed back, but Apple held firm.
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“The writing stuff just has much faster reinforcement rates, and so it’s real addictive”

In REST I talk about how the most restorative forms of rest are active and skilled rather than passive or easy. This seems counterintuitive, but in fact people generally get a lot of satisfaction and psychological benefit from doing things that they can do well, and from activities that let them feel in control of their circumstances.

In many cases, these forms of active, skilled rest turn into substantial investments of time and energy. Scientists who become mountain-climbers, executives who run marathons, surgeons who become serious gardeners or weekend ranchers, all spend what look like inordinate and inefficient amounts of time engaged in “deep play,” in activities that don’t provide any return on investment. These are smart, ambitious, people who don’t have more hours in the day than the rest of us, and have a lot they want to achieve. So why spend time hanging off cliffs?
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“We’re still stuck in this perception of sleep as a luxury”

The BBC has a piece about “How to nap successfully at work.” For a short piece, it ranges pretty widely, talking about the various national approaches to napping at work, and providing some useful specific advice about the practice.

The one thing it seems to me that’s not really mentioned but deserves more attention is the power of making napping a collective phenomenon: when it’s something that everyone in an office does (or is allowed to do), that creates an environment and set of expectations that allows people to rest better.

Because we “treat overwork as a badge of honour… we have forgotten the importance of rest”

When I was in London in November, I had a number of interviews with reporters who had agreed to do magazine pieces about REST. The Evening Standard article was the first to come out, and today I saw that the Express‘ Sunday magazine ran “The best ways of resting:”

If someone sighs and tells you they are far too busy to deal with you at the moment, the chances are they are not so much apologising as quietly boasting about their hectic work schedule.
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“Je brein werkt door als je bewust rust:” I don’t know what it means, but apparently I said it


An article about REST is out in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. It quotes me as saying “Je brein werkt door als je bewust rust.” It might also be a warning. Or a joke.

I can’t tell. I don’t speak Dutch, so I have no idea.
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