Blog Tour: Review of Time Off by John Fitch and Max Frenzel

by - May 27, 2020

Published May 2020

Get your copy here:

About the book:

What do Aristotle, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Lebron James all have in common? Time off in the most creative and nourishing way! Amidst a culture that worships “busyness”, millennials John Fitch and Max Frenzel want us to unlearn workaholism by learning “noble leisure” of the past and developing a quality #RestEthic. The AI researcher (Max) and entrepreneur (John) have collaborated to share the history of how we value time and work, show us that a little time off will go a lot further than we may think, and that it doesn’t have to be a vacation or even a full day. Science supports that time off (whether that be walking on your lunch break or saying no to drinks with friends to work on a passion project) is a critical factor for anyone who wants to achieve a fulfilling life, both personally and professionally. Time Off is intended for knowledge workers, creatives, entrepreneurs and business leaders who feel overwhelmed, giving them the knowledge and tools to hone the essential skill of taking time off work before it’s too late.

Talking Points
  • Work ethic and rest ethic are like inhale and exhale. We require a good balance of both to stay productive and healthy over the long run.
  • Creativity is about connecting the dots, and to really see the interesting connections, we need to get a new perspective and gain some distance. Coming up with big and impactful ideas requires mind wandering, solitude, and ample time for incubation.
  • The World Health Organization recognizes burnout as an “occupational phenomenon”, and in 2021, workplace burnout will hit epidemic proportions. What does that mean for business in general; how can leaders combat this now, and how can we start to change this “busyness” mindset?
  • Solid tips to improve your Rest Ethic that can be small actions you implement into your daily routine. How to start prioritizing and celebrating noble leisure as they did in the days of Aristotle
  • The productivity paradox is that even though we have huge advances in technology, we don’t see the same advances in productivity.
  • We give into a culture of hustle and constant connectivity. We perform visible busyness to feel productive and experience a quick sense of accomplishment without getting much done at all.

My thoughts:

When I received the offer to read Time Off I knew right away that I had to do it! Even when I told one of my best friends what the book was about she just looked at me and said "uh huh... that's a very apt book for you to be reading!" So I guess my friends know that I'm one for pushing myself and sometimes getting very close to burning out. They've seen enough tears and cans of Redbull to know! Luckily they drilled a lot of the work-life balance talk into me last year, and so far this year I have found myself already progressing in a lot of the creative paths I've been wanting to take outside of work. So reading Time Off not only gave me a deeper understanding of the important of the type of time off we take, but I could also feel a sense of it already having a positive affect for the amount of it I'd already been doing this year - in affect, showing that the lessons Frenzel & Fitch are trying to teach do really work! 

I love the historical references to some of the greatest successful people and how adopting this lifestyle helped to influence them and their legacies. It's fascinating and at the same time scary to see how the perception of work being noble has changed over the years to a point where we feel like failures if we are not busy all of the time. This book definitely encourages you to start asking questions about the way you are spending your times and not only recommends the right kind of time off, but actively encourages you to do so even whilst reading the book!

You definitely get a strong sense of the passion the Frenzel and Fitch have for this way of life and how positively it has impacted theirs and the lives of so many others. I feel like the take a very realistic approach to trying to adopt this lifestyle of time off being noble, as they don't expect that you can instantly change completely, but guide you into how to take small steps at a time to getting closer to it. 

The only thing I would say is at times it does feel like you're reading from a text book, which I don't mind at all, but if you aren't keen on that then you may struggle with some parts. 

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who finds they struggle to progress with their projects and dreams, and also to those who don't. Sometimes you don't realise what it is you need in your life until someone offers the opportunity to you. 

About the authors:

Max Frenzel (Tokyo) and John Fitch (Austin) have both spent time working in software startups where many are worshiping the mantras that are so pervasive in our current working culture. Max got his Ph.D. in Quantum Physics and has been an AI researcher. John is an entrepreneur and business coach. At breaking points in both of their work experiences, they realized that many of the commonly held beliefs aren't useful, but destructive. As a result, they decided to be more intentional and deliberate with their approaches to work and time off. Their quality of work and life have improved ever since, and they now want to share that transformation with others.


If you've read Time Off then drop a comment below and let me know what you thought!

Chat soon beautifuls,

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