Work Less and Get More Done | Alex Pang


September 24th, 2020

1 hr 3 mins 11 secs

Season 5

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

Dr. Alex Pang studies people, technologies, and the worlds they make. Since 2000 he's worked as a technology forecaster and futurist, helping companies understand new technologies and global trends, and their strategic and business implications.


"The challenge is figuring out how it's going to play out in different industries or different parts of the world, thinking about how we can control and shape those technologies and their users so that they give us more flexibility, more autonomy, more freedom, as opposed to just eliminating our jobs or doing other bad things." ] [00:09:11]

"I think that the this is we live in a world that doesn't take work seriously, but we also live in a world that provides us with all the tools necessary to figure out how to harness rest and bring it back on our lives and use it as something that makes our lives better and makes our work better. " [00:16:53]

"One of the other things, though, is that Ericsson found was that not only the top performers practiced differently, they also rested differently. They actually slept more than average performers..." [00:19:52]

"And why that's important is that our creative minds seem to do better when - with these routines. Stephen King has this line about how the muse will descend if it knows that you're working." [00:34:18]

"Basically, intensive periods of focused work be periods of long semi distracted work. Knowledge work is a little bit more like high intensity interval training than like running a marathon. It turns out that intense-ivity turns turns out to be a better route to higher performance and better results than the long, long grind. [00:50:41]" [00:50:16]





[00:02:16] Introduction for our guest

[00:03:16] How Alex got so interested in the role of rest in creative lives

[00:06:36] Where do you see technology headed in the next two to five years?

[00:09:32] Society’s biggest concern with technology in the next 2-5 years.

[00:12:03] What can we do now and perhaps going into the future to mitigate our distraction from technology

[00:14:41] What is rest and what's the problem with it?

[00:17:13] The problem with the “hustle culture”

[00:18:54] Deliberate practice, deliberate rest

[00:20:42] Why is it that rest is important for those of us who don't use our bodies or tactile kind of appendages, we use our brains?

[00:23:02] The default mode network of the brain

[00:27:51] How can we convince our boss that all we need is a solid four hours?

[00:29:11] What are some horrible ways that people are resting and we should probably stop resting that way?

[00:33:42] How does having a daily routine help us be more creative? How does that help us be more productive?

[00:36:44] I talk about my struggles with my morning routine

[00:37:50] What is the design thinking framework?

[00:42:54] How can this framework then help us work better, smarter and less?

[00:49:02] How to work more effectively as a knowledge worker

[00:50:42] Flex time is not really that great

[00:52:44] What's the one thing you want people to learn from your story.

[00:53:36] Lightning round. What is your favorite way to rest?

[00:53:46] If you could put up a billboard anywhere in the world, what would it say and why?

[00:54:00] What something you believe that other people think is crazy.

[00:54:50] What would you say is the most bizarre aspect or quality of the human mind that you've come across?

[00:56:04] An interesting topic you should study

[00:56:25] What's the number one book you'd recommend our audience read and your most impactful takeaway from it?

[00:57:12] If you could somehow get a magic telephone that allows you to to contact 20 year old Alex, what would you tell him?

[00:58:20] What does creativity have to do with being a good scientist?

[00:59:34] What song do you have on repeat right now?

[01:01:02] What's the best advice you've ever received?

[01:01:48] Where to find Alex online

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