• Rest and work complements each other.
    • Rest is an essential component of good work as world-class people alternate daily periods of intense work and concentration with long breaks.
    • Rest is active since the brain doesn’t switch off when we go to sleep but get busy doing work such as consolidating memories, reviewing the day.
    • Rest is a skill. People don’t just become world class only by deliberate practice. They also practice deliberate rest.
    • Deliberate rest stimulates and sustain creativity.
      • Many notable creatives do their most intense work in the morning, go on walks, takes nap during the days, allow their subconscious mind to wander and explore.
      • Other shows consistency in habits and hobbies.
  • People don’t view rest properly.
    • Science is now full of political power and competition. One has to go fast so there is no time to concentrate for a long period of time.
    • Most scientists assume that long hours are required to produce great work.
    • We treat modern workaholic as heroes.
  • Mind wandering is necessary for creativity.
    • A long break after hours of intense focus can help one see the problem better.
    • 4 stages of a thought:
      • Preparation: immerse in the problem, get familiar with all its parts, examine from every angle, must be so fluent with the work that subconscious can play with it
      • Incubation: let the mind wander, do not force it, trust that your unconscious will drive you to the next phase
      • Illumination: aha moment, the answer bursts into consciousness, suddenly, like an inspiration
      • Verification: set the solution on a logical foundation, fill in the details or fit it into a bigger project
  • To treat incubation and illumination like skill every day, develop and refine daily routines and practice that preserve time for mind-wandering.
    • Get up to 4 hours of really focused, serious work everyday.
      • Practice hardest and longest in the morning.
      • Take a nap/walk/break in the afternoon to stretch out the day (increase alertness, decrease fatigue, improve memory).
      • Have a second practice in the late afternoon or evening.
      • Try to work at the exact same time and make it a routine.
    • Stop working at the right point, just to see the next move but leave it until tomorrow.
      • Give subconscious free time to work to provide time for incubation and illumination.
      • Provide a chain for the brain to recover some of the energy it had previously expended.
      • Make it easier to get back into the rhythm when you resume the next day.
  • Other than taking breaks during the day, the ability to put work completely out of your mind and attend other things is just as important.
    • A number of scientists have been noted athletes, competed in several competitions and won many medals. Essentially, not only they’re world-class at their jobs, they’re also killing the sport game.
      • Not only exercising makes the brain healthier by reducing cholesterol and improving cardiovascular capacity, it introduces profound structural brain plasticity.
      • It stimulates neurogenesis.
      • Has indirect but positive effects on creativity.
    • Some scientists are also avid musicians, practice different art forms such as performing, dancing, poetry and so on.
  • Participate in deep play.
    • It’s an activity that rewarding on its own, but take on additional layers of meaning and personal significance.
      • It’s mentally absorbing by offering player challenges to solve.
      • Offers players a new context in which to use some of the same skill that they use in their work.
      • Offers the same satisfaction as work and also clearer rewards.
      • Provides a living connection to the player’s past.
    • Popular forms of deep play:
      • Albert Michelson, first American to win a Nobel Prize (in Physics in 1907), took up tennis, becoming one of the first Americans to master a topspin stroke. He also played violin every morning, took up painting and sailing in the summer and later billiards.
      • Winston Churchill, pained and wrote about painting.
      • Sailing.
      • Hiking, climbing.
      • Crafting.
      • Building robots, engineering side projects.

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