015: Why You’re More Inspired After You Rest with Dr. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

with host artist Miriam Schulman

Why do restorative naps, long walks, vigorous exercise and lengthy vacation all help creative people do great work? Dr. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is an expert on how rest plays a key role in creativity. He is the author of Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less. He is the founder of The Restful Company and a visiting scholar at Stanford University. Drawing on neuroscience, psychology and history his research demonstrates that many accomplished people use rest in ways that help them be more creative. In this episode he talks about how to make rest work for you.


In this podcast, you will discover…

  • (01:40) How Alex’s book reaffirmed my parenting ideas
  • (03:34) What deliberate rest is and what it’s benefits are
  • (06:07) Is stopping work to check Instagram restful?
  • (07:09) That there is a limit to the amount of focused work we can do
  • (09:30) How rest is a partner to the work
  • (11:57) The role of routines in organizing your time and setting priorities
  • (15:12) Strategies to keep your inner critic at bay when doing creative work
  • (17:02) Does listening to podcasts while you walk limit the potential for creative ideas?
  • (18:48) How music can help recovery
  • (20:20) A discussion on whether sexuality has an impact on creativity
  • (23:24) How Alex is researching companies have put some of ideas about rest into practice
  • (24:56) How more hours doesn’t necessarily mean more productivity

Links Mentioned



About Alex

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is a futurist and author. His latest book, REST: WHY YOU GET MORE DONE WHEN YOU WORK LESS, explores the hidden role rest plays in the success of super-creative and -productive people, explains how findings in neuroscience and psychology explain why leisure stimulates novel thinking, and shows how we can apply these lessons in our own creative lives. His previous book, THE DISTRACTION ADDICTION, dealt with technology, addiction, and distraction. Together, they have been translated into 14 languages. His latest project shows how companies can move to 30- or 32-hour weeks without sacrificing productivity or profitability. He has a Ph.D. in the history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a visiting scholar at Stanford University.

About the host, Miriam Schulman

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m an artist and founder of The Inspiration Place, where I help other artists learn how to profit from their passion. Through online classes, business coaching programs, and a top-ranked podcast, I’ve helped thousands of artists around the world develop their skill sets and create more time and freedom to do what they love. My signature coaching program, The Artist Incubator, helps artists go from so-so sales to sold-out collections.

A graduate of Dartmouth College and M.I.T, I initially pursued finance but after witnessing 9/11, I abandoned a lucrative hedge fund job to work on my art full time. Since then, my art and my story have been featured in major publications including Forbes, The New York Times, Art of Man, Art Journaling magazine as well as featured on NBC’s “Parenthood” and the Amazon series “Hunters” with Al Pacino. My forthcoming book with HarperCollins Leadership on how to make it as an artist is scheduled to be released January 31, 2023. When I’m not in the studio, you can find me hanging out with my husband, adult kids, and a tuxedo cat named Ebony. I’d love to invite you to check out one of my free resources for art lovers (of every passion level) at schulmanart.com/freebies



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Listener shout out of the week!

“This podcast has become such a great resource for me as an artist. Miriam and her guests are always helpful, engaging, relevant and entertaining! I’d recommend it to anyone working in an art or design related business. Grateful for this community!”

~ audie-rose

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2 thoughts on “015: Why You’re More Inspired After You Rest with Dr. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang”

  1. Hi Miriam,

    Thank you very much for creating this podcast. Very helpful and great talks by yourself and great people.

    I have a one feedback, sometimes it is organic that you talk and add to what they are saying but sometimes you interrupt the speaker before they conclude what they are saying and they move on to responding to the new thing you just said, without completing what they were on. Sometimes it’s a loss for your listener. This is not to critic, only if it helps plz consider giving few seconds before you progress the conversation to new directions.

  2. I have tried to catch up and listen to all your podcasts. Most have been informative. All have been enjoyable. Thank you so much for all that you share. What a wonderful resource for so many of us that have other jobs outside of their art work or can’t afford to take workshops and classes that often. Thanks for all you do.


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I’m Miriam Schulman, your curator of inspiration.

I inspire art-lovers to reconnect with their creativity and profit from their art. Whether you paint simply for the joy of it or you’re serious about selling your work, and you’re ready to stop putting yourself on the back burner...You're in the right place. I've done it and I can inspire YOU how to do it too.

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