• Don't get caught up in the corporate rat race. Slow down and smell the roses. Believe it or not, taking time to relax and unwind could make you more successful in the long run.

    Don't get caught up in the corporate rat race. Slow down and smell the roses. Believe it or not, taking time to relax and unwind could make you more successful in the long run.

  • REST MAKES YOU MORE PRODUCTIVE:  ‘The balance between work and rest tends to be disregarded because of thinking that says the more you work, the more you achieve,’ says business change consultant Chris Pearse. But this clearly isn’t true. Economists have proved that productivity declines after around 20 hours a week.

    REST MAKES YOU MORE PRODUCTIVE: ‘The balance between work and rest tends to be disregarded because of thinking that says the more you work, the more you achieve,’ says business change consultant Chris Pearse. But this clearly isn’t true. Economists have proved that productivity declines after around 20 hours a week.

  • DOWNTIME FORCES YOU TO PRIORITISE:  When you accept that you are going to have evenings and weekends for yourself, it forces you to ditch the low-value stuff and focus on the big-ticket items.

    DOWNTIME FORCES YOU TO PRIORITISE: When you accept that you are going to have evenings and weekends for yourself, it forces you to ditch the low-value stuff and focus on the big-ticket items.

  • REST IMPROVES THE QUALITY OF OUR WORK:  Sleep, for instance, doesn’t just keep you alive. If you needed another reason to get some shuteye, it also prevents the productivity-sapping errors and impaired judgement that tiredness brings.

    REST IMPROVES THE QUALITY OF OUR WORK: Sleep, for instance, doesn’t just keep you alive. If you needed another reason to get some shuteye, it also prevents the productivity-sapping errors and impaired judgement that tiredness brings.

  • REST DRIVES EFFICIENCY:  Have you heard of Parkinson’s Law? This states that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” If you give yourself an hour to complete a task, that's how long it will take. If you allow it to take a whole weekend, it will expand to fill 48 hours. By forcing yourself to clock off, you are making yourself more efficient.

    REST DRIVES EFFICIENCY: Have you heard of Parkinson’s Law? This states that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” If you give yourself an hour to complete a task, that's how long it will take. If you allow it to take a whole weekend, it will expand to fill 48 hours. By forcing yourself to clock off, you are making yourself more efficient.

  • YOUR BODY NEEDS REST:  Studies show a direct correlation between overworking and stress and health problems such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The fact is that we eat badly, sleep less and skip exercise when we're overworked. Getting enough rest could help you longer, healthier life.

    YOUR BODY NEEDS REST: Studies show a direct correlation between overworking and stress and health problems such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The fact is that we eat badly, sleep less and skip exercise when we're overworked. Getting enough rest could help you longer, healthier life.

  • PROTECT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH:  Those long, lazy TV Sundays serve a purpose. They can help you recover from the stress of your job. Your mental health is as important as your physical health; resting your brain can help stave off bouts of depression and anxiety.

    PROTECT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH: Those long, lazy TV Sundays serve a purpose. They can help you recover from the stress of your job. Your mental health is as important as your physical health; resting your brain can help stave off bouts of depression and anxiety.

  • 'CONSCIOUS REST' CAN BE AS GOOD AS SLEEP:  Conscious rest - that is, the form of rest that involves focusing on undemanding, repetitive tasks - can be extremely powerful for some people. It can reduce the amount of sleep they need, and it helps the focus and efficiency of their work phase. Mindfulness, meditation, prayer, cooking and actively listening to music all fall into this category.

    'CONSCIOUS REST' CAN BE AS GOOD AS SLEEP: Conscious rest - that is, the form of rest that involves focusing on undemanding, repetitive tasks - can be extremely powerful for some people. It can reduce the amount of sleep they need, and it helps the focus and efficiency of their work phase. Mindfulness, meditation, prayer, cooking and actively listening to music all fall into this category.

  • REST MAKES YOU MORE CREATIVE:  Have you ever worked at a problem, toiling away for days to no avail, only for the solution to drop into your lap while you’re in the shower or staring out of the train window? Or ever sat down and tried to have a great idea, only for it to emerge fully formed while you’re cleaning the sink?

    REST MAKES YOU MORE CREATIVE: Have you ever worked at a problem, toiling away for days to no avail, only for the solution to drop into your lap while you’re in the shower or staring out of the train window? Or ever sat down and tried to have a great idea, only for it to emerge fully formed while you’re cleaning the sink?

  • YOU'RE NEVER TRULY RESTING:  Neuroscientists now know that the resting brain is not inactive. Instead, when you stop focusing on a conscious task, it merely activates a different part of the brain, the Default Mode Network (DMN), which is heavily associated with creativity, making sense of memories and preparing for future problems.

    YOU'RE NEVER TRULY RESTING: Neuroscientists now know that the resting brain is not inactive. Instead, when you stop focusing on a conscious task, it merely activates a different part of the brain, the Default Mode Network (DMN), which is heavily associated with creativity, making sense of memories and preparing for future problems.

  • REST MAKES LIFE MORE MEANINGFUL:  If work generates achievement, it's rest that's responsible for life's meaning. If nothing else, rest gives you the time and context to make sense of your work. Climbing a mountain is a great, meaningful achievement, but few would labour to reach the summit and then not allow themselves a few moments to enjoy the view.

    REST MAKES LIFE MORE MEANINGFUL: If work generates achievement, it's rest that's responsible for life's meaning. If nothing else, rest gives you the time and context to make sense of your work. Climbing a mountain is a great, meaningful achievement, but few would labour to reach the summit and then not allow themselves a few moments to enjoy the view.

  • SPENDING DOWNTIME WITH COLLEAGUES CREATES A BOND:  Having a few 5pm drinks down the bar or cafe with your colleagues may seem like knocking off early but it will help you build the relationships that make organisations run smoothly.

    SPENDING DOWNTIME WITH COLLEAGUES CREATES A BOND: Having a few 5pm drinks down the bar or cafe with your colleagues may seem like knocking off early but it will help you build the relationships that make organisations run smoothly.

  • HAVE BETTER IDEAS:  There’s a long history of associating rest with deep thinking: consider Newton in his orchard to Crick and Watson figuring out DNA in a Cambridge pub, and you’ll find less is often more when it comes to great ideas.

    HAVE BETTER IDEAS: There’s a long history of associating rest with deep thinking: consider Newton in his orchard to Crick and Watson figuring out DNA in a Cambridge pub, and you’ll find less is often more when it comes to great ideas.

  • TAKE A WALK:  Studies have shown that taking a walk - even if it's on a treadmill at the gym - boosts creativity. Walking helps you think laterally, because your conscious mind is focused on moving your body. Plus, it's a good way to keep fit while taking a break.

    TAKE A WALK: Studies have shown that taking a walk - even if it's on a treadmill at the gym - boosts creativity. Walking helps you think laterally, because your conscious mind is focused on moving your body. Plus, it's a good way to keep fit while taking a break.

  • SET AN EXAMPLE:  If you take time for yourself and remember to rest, that will help inspire others to do the same. Presenteeism is a toxic office culture that can be prevented when staff are empowered to have a good work/life balance.

    SET AN EXAMPLE: If you take time for yourself and remember to rest, that will help inspire others to do the same. Presenteeism is a toxic office culture that can be prevented when staff are empowered to have a good work/life balance.

  • A GOOD EXCUSE FOR TAKING REGULAR BREAKS:  Human beings go from energised to physiologically drained in between 90 and 120 minutes. These are known as ultradian rhythms (if you want to pass on this explanation to your boss). This is why we perform better when we work in intervals and take regular, restorative breaks.

    A GOOD EXCUSE FOR TAKING REGULAR BREAKS: Human beings go from energised to physiologically drained in between 90 and 120 minutes. These are known as ultradian rhythms (if you want to pass on this explanation to your boss). This is why we perform better when we work in intervals and take regular, restorative breaks.

  • YOU'LL GET DUMPED:  Don't just think about your career, what about your relationships? Working long hours can make us short-tempered and difficult to live with. At work, your emails get snitty and you stop taking your turn on the tea round. Remember that much of our happiness at work and at home depends on our relationships. Workaholics often lose more than they bargained for when they fail to rest.

    YOU'LL GET DUMPED: Don't just think about your career, what about your relationships? Working long hours can make us short-tempered and difficult to live with. At work, your emails get snitty and you stop taking your turn on the tea round. Remember that much of our happiness at work and at home depends on our relationships. Workaholics often lose more than they bargained for when they fail to rest.

  • RETIRE LATER AND LIVE LONGER:  Research shows that people who take regular holidays are happier at work, more resilient, and live longer. You don't have to beg your boss for a month off; shorter vacations at regular intervals will provide a better recharge than one long vacation.

    RETIRE LATER AND LIVE LONGER: Research shows that people who take regular holidays are happier at work, more resilient, and live longer. You don't have to beg your boss for a month off; shorter vacations at regular intervals will provide a better recharge than one long vacation.

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17 reasons relaxing and working less could make you more successful

by Adam Gale and Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 16 Mar 2018

Images: Shutterstock

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