About Alex

I’m the founder of Strategy and Rest, a consultancy devoted to helping companies and individuals harness the power of rest to shorten our workdays, while staying focused and productive.

Books and Media

I’m the author of four books, including SHORTER: WORK BETTER, SMARTER, AND LESS– HERE’S HOW (US | UK); REST: WHY YOU GET MORE DONW WHEN YOU WORK LESS (US | UK); and THE DISTRACTION ADDICTION (US).

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Together, my books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. My work has been written about in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Financial Times, the Guardian, and other venues. I’m also a regular guest on business and wellness podcasts.

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Since turning in the final edits for my book SHORTER, I’ve continued interviewing companies and leaders who’ve moved to 4-day weeks or 6-hour days. This is clearly a movement that’s only gaining steam, and I’m proud to help it take off. I document some of this work, as well my travels and other work, on my blog.

Speaking, Workshops and Consulting

I speak around the world (and also virtually) about the 4-day week and future of work, and how deliberate rest makes creative careers more productive and sustainability. I’ve given talks and led workshops around the world, from California to Korea to Azerbaijan.

I also lead workshops and consult with companies and individuals who want to learn how to over-perform without overworking.

Red Bulletin March 2017

For keynotes and other speaking, I’m represented by BrightSight Speakers (email or 609-924-3060). My literary agent is Zoë Pagnamenta, at the Zoë Pagnamenta Agency (here’s their contact information).

Personal

Me at 8

I was born in California, but grew up all over the world: my father is a professor Latin American history, and so I spent years of my childhood in Brazil, mainly in Salvador, Rio, and various little dusty towns in the interior where Pop chased down notarial records and cacao planters’ correspondence.

Salvador, 1972

After we came back to the States, I lived in Virginia and Tennessee, then went north for college. I received my B.A. and Ph.D. in history of science from the University of Pennsylvania. I also studied corporate planning with Russell Ackoff and the Social Systems Sciences group at the Wharton School. So my current work blends these two worlds.

After finishing my dissertation, I taught history of science at Williams College, UC Berkeley and UC Davis, and worked for several years as managing editor of Encyclopedia Britannica.

Beautiful day at Stanford

Since returning to the Bay Area, I’ve worked as a senior consultant at Strategic Business Insights, a Menlo Park, CA consulting and research firm, and before that I was a research director at Institute for the Future, a think tank in Palo Alto.

My current life as a writer, and my current interest in the role of rest in highly productive and creative lives, started during a sabbatical at Microsoft Research Cambridge in 2011. My time there generated the material for my book THE DISTRACTION ADDICTION, got me thinking about deliberate rest– a project that led naturally to SHORTER.

Cambridge

I’m still a visiting scholar at Stanford University, though essentially that means having a library card and doing the occasional guest lecture. Maintaining an affiliation there is a low-intensity way to keep up on current scholarly and scientific trends.

Contact

My business email is “alex at strategy dot rest”. You can also follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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