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Leisure Is Our Killer App

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Leisure Is Our Killer App

MIT Sloan Management Review,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Downtime and relaxation can make you more productive. 

Editorial Rating



  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


To compete with robots, many people feel pressure to diversify their skill set to improve their employability. Social psychologist Adam Waytz recommends doing the opposite: Relax. Waytz isn’t dismissing worker concerns, but he’s convinced that unstructured free time makes you more productive, creative and effective. Though the supporting research is a bit thin, Waytz makes a compelling and succinct argument for this counterintuitive conclusion. Even skeptical managers should read this reassuring take on modernization. 


Rising automation means workers must hone uniquely human skills to stay relevant.

The rise of artificial intelligence, robots, and other forms of automation has caused concern over job losses. No industry seems to be immune. Many workers wonder what they can do to stay relevant and employable, and which skills or traits will prove to be assets in an environment that machines dominate.

Empathy – or the human social capacity to deeply understand the feelings of others – has emerged as a desirable quality for employees to have that robots lack. Many employers are training their workers to be more emotionally sensitive. Variability is also important. Robots are adept at...

About the Author

Adam Waytz is an associate professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the author of The Power of Human. 

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