Brad Stulberg is the author of Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success. Here’s a snippet from his recent NYMAG piece, “Sometimes Not Working Is Work, Too“:
“The world’s best musicians, athletes, artists, intellectuals, and entrepreneurs tend to consider rest an essential part of their jobs. They think about rest not as being something that is passive (i.e., nothing is happening, you’re wasting time) but rather as being something that is active (i.e., your brain — or if you’re an athlete, your body — is growing and getting better), and thus, they’re far more liable to respect it. This draws upon something that behavioral economists call the commission bias: an innate human tendency toward action over inaction… This isn’t to say that you should regularly slouch off. But it does mean that even if you’re in the throes of work you love, you should still prioritize eight hours of sleep, some form of regular exercise, and a few short breaks every day. Trust that not working is integral to doing good, sustainable work. Not working is the work.”
Students, while you’re working and learning and applying to college this summer, make sure you also rest, recharge, and have some fun with your friends. It’s not just important for your health and happiness. It’s also part of doing great work.