2 min read

The Olympians 1-2-3 rule for rest (that's also good for burnout)

You can live fully without overextending yourself
The Olympians 1-2-3 rule for rest (that's also good for burnout)
Photo by Dan Burton / Unsplash

Sustain issue #22 (Get Sustain in your inbox next Thursday)

Last week, we talked about a local saying of ‘live like the mountain’s out.’ In a land of many overcast Pacific Northwest days, when we’re lucky enough to see Mt. Rainier we should take full advantage.

It’s a great mantra in mindset, but sometimes it can feel daunting in execution, especially this time of year. If you’re like me, as we near the end of summer, you’re tired.  

So today, I wanted to build on that mantra with Olympic psychologist Dr. Greg Wells One-Two-Three Principle for Rest and Recovery.

He suggests approaching rest in the following way:

One - Seek one hour of rest per day (Try the Three Good Pockets method)

Two - Take two consecutive days a month to recharge

Three - Take three consecutive weeks off once per year

In our culture of hustle, rest has been demonized. But in reality, rest is one of the most important long-term success strategies.

If having a framework to use is helpful, this one feels really approachable. I like how it spreads out rest nicely over time. It also doesn’t suggest overengineering rest with hours-long meditation and green juice breaks.

Recharge and find leisure in your own way. It could be watching Netflix, it could be a walk, it could be a game night with family.

We’re naturally going to ebb and flow between busy times and taking intentional rest. My takeaway here is ultimately that living like the mountain’s out doesn’t have to be at odds with taking regular down periods.

You can live fully without overextending yourself.

At a sustainable pace,


Ready to downsize your relationship with work and quit burnout?

Hi, I'm Grant Gurewitz. I'm on a mission to end burnout at work. I've been in tech for 10 years (ex-Zillow, current: Qualtrics) who suffered deep burnout and came back from it with no help of the hacky advice out there.

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