Rest: An Architect's Secret To Growth

December 24, 2023

Tyler Suomala

Founder of Growthitect

With the holiday season here, it seems appropriate to talk about a growth tactic that we all like to pretend doesn’t exist.

It’s so hard to accept. And sometimes even harder to implement. But it’s certainly easy to forget.

Can you guess what it is?

Here’s what you’re facing:

  • Goals

  • Deadlines

  • Agreements

  • Expectations

It’s like a never-ending task list. And it feels as though there’s never enough time in the day, right?

For me, this feeling is a good indication that I might be reaching diminishing returns with my time. Meaning that I’ve spent so much time working on something that I am no longer progressing efficiently.

So what should you do in this scenario?

Rest. Yes, rest is a growth hack!

How do I know it’s a growth hack? Because people much smarter than me have published research that supports the benefits of rest relative to work - and even creative work specifically.

Rest up!

So if you’re like me and you struggle to justify your decisions without the proper evidence, then I have a holiday gift for you 🙂

Here are 4 scientifically proven benefits of rest to justify some time away from work this holiday season:

01 // Improved cognitive function

Research shows that taking breaks can significantly improve cognitive function and creativity. A study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one's ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods (Lleras, 2011). For architects, whose work relies heavily on creativity and problem-solving, regular breaks can refresh the mind and enhance creative thinking.

02 // Enhanced problem-solving abilities

A study published in the journal 'Cognition' illustrates how taking breaks helps the brain process complex information, often leading to ‘Eureka’ moments (Baird et al., 2012). When architects step away from their work, it allows the subconscious mind to mull over design problems, often leading to innovative solutions upon return. Speaking from personal experience, I’ve definitely found the majority of my ‘Eureka’ moments occur when I’m not actually working.

03 // Stress reduction and mental health

Continuous work without breaks contributes to stress and burnout, which can be detrimental to mental health. According to a report by the American Psychological Association, vacations reduce stress by removing people from activities and environments that they associate with stress and anxiety (APA, 2018). As an architect, taking time off to relax can help you return to work with a clearer, more focused mindset.

04 // Boost in productivity

Contrary to popular belief, working longer hours doesn't equate to higher productivity. A study by Stanford University found that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and working 70 hours didn’t produce more than 55 hours’ worth of work (Pencavel, 2014). A well-rested architect is more likely to be productive and efficient.


Rest is beneficial. And there’s no better time to rest than with friends and family during the holidays.

  • Unplug from all your work platforms and notifications

  • Engage in non-work activities and hobbies

  • Spend some time outside in nature

  • Allow yourself to reflect on all that you’ve accomplished this year

Happy Holidays, friend! I’m so thankful that you let me grace your inbox each week 🙂

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