How to Escape Your Packed Schedule and Take a Rest From Work

Those of us obsessed with productivity are missing out on the benefits of doing less

Photo Illustration: Magdaline Davis for The Wall Street Journal

When Ali Kahlert was diagnosed with a kidney infection last month, she gratefully accepted an IV at urgent care and dutifully swallowed antibiotics as prescribed. It was the last bit of the doctor’s orders that threw her for a loop: rest.

“I was starting to climb the walls. I need to do something,” says the 30-year-old graduate student in Minneapolis. After one day on the couch—napping, sewing, watching YouTube videos—she’d had it. She climbed the stairs to her home office and tackled some school work and chores, until a stabbing pain of protest came from her kidney. 

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