How to take a break

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These results are not limited to academic research. In his recent book “Richer, wiser, happier”Veteran financial journalist William Greene conducts hours of interviews with highly successful investors, and, as you might expect, a recurring theme is that these people tend to work hard, don’t think, don’t research, and take their time. crowd.

But a paradoxical subtopic also arises: how seriously his subjects tend to take breaks, rest and find a place in their lives to finally distance themselves from the daily work cycle of the 21st century. Many, including Charlie Munger, a longtime associate of Warren Buffett, are trying to carve out time for silence and reflection. For Mr. Munger, this means ignoring the latest market news and crowd noise and being extremely patient instead.

For another interviewee, Mr Green, Laura Geritz, executive director of Rondure Global Advisors, this means it takes time to sit by the broadcast and keep a diary. Mr. Green notes that “the regular practice of meditation has become a critical habit for many successful investors.”

“This is not a side thought, hobby or personal recovery tactic,” Mr. Green said in an interview. It is a reflection of the “ruthless pragmatism” thanks to which his subjects achieved success in the first place – in the eternal hunt for the edge, they found the ethic of relaxation. According to Mr. Green, this is almost a “countercultural” move. “I don’t think you have deep thoughts unless you structure your life that way,” he said at a time when everyone is constantly reacting to short-term stimuli.

Likewise, Mr. Fitch and Mr. Frenzel point out in their book that famous athletes like LeBron James take rest and recovery very seriously, seeing them as part of their regime rather than an escape from it. According to Mr Fitch, the same should apply to many professionals and knowledge workers. Too many managers and workers are stuck in an outdated mindset that puts long hours above everything else. “The amount of resources you put in doesn’t matter,” says Fitch. “It’s product quality.”

The good news is that at least some companies are starting to take interruptions seriously. First, according to Mr Fitch, some admit that unlimited paid leave – a popular gesture among employers who have tried to address the issue – is not really helping. In the end, it may seem like just another responsibility, and no one wants to be the employee who has the most days off.

Recently, companies including LinkedIn as well as Roblox experimented with compulsory spring break periods for all or most employees. Such actions, which emphasize the value of free time, represent a “profound” shift, says Fitch. He and Mr. Frenzel, both technology entrepreneurs, are working on a software tool that would help HR departments push employees towards the weekend.



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