Alex Soojung-Kim Pang bearbetar frågeställningar om hur vi organiserar vårt arbete, utbrändhet, fysisk ansträngning och kreativitet under paraplyet The Rest Project. Han använder ofta exempel från vetenskapshistorien, nu senast Charles Darwin i en intervju i Washington Post.
They might spend, another 10 hours writing letters, applying for grants and other things. But their really critical work occupied only about four or five hours.
The other interesting thing I realized is that there were pretty consistent patterns in how they rested, or what they did with the rest of the day. An awful lot of them were more physically active than you might have imagined writers or scientists of being.
Charles Dickens walked about 10 miles a day. Scientists I looked at turned out to be avid, sailors, hikers, skiers.
We think if eight hours of work a day is good, ten must be better, 12 must be awesome and 16 even better. We live in an era in which overwork is rather literally like a drug. All the cool kids, the really successful people, all seem to be doing it. So there’s both some peer pressure and the sense that, in order to be successful, you’ve got to do it, too.
It feels good at first. You get a kind of high. But it starts to taper and wear off. You’ve got to do more and more to get that same initial buzz. And while it may seem to work for a little while, in the long run – and it’s not going to be that long – it’s probably going to kill you.
Inga jämförelser i övrigt, men jag tror också på det där med regelbundna fysiska aktiviteter. Därför är jag glad över att min granne i korridoren på jobbet, en doktorand i bok- och bibliotekshistoria, nyligen utmanade mig: vem går oftast på Gerdahallens gym?
Jag leder med 3-1 än så länge.