How Planned Down Time Leads To Peak Productivity and Startup Growth

Rest isn’t just good for you, it’s also good for your business

Joe Procopio
4 min readApr 21, 2022


Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash

How busy are you these days?

As a startup founder, employee, and advisor, my life usually seems like one new problem to solve after another. This is not an issue. I love solving problems. I love coming up with the answers. I’m a business nerd at boss level.

I code for fun. Don’t be me.

But it was only after I stacked up a few career successes that I began to understand the sneaky value of doing nothing at all.

A fellow startup CEO friend of mine once said to me: “I’d rather have one of my key employees focused an hour a day on the right goals than 12 hours a day on the wrong goals.”

Recently, this concept reintroduced itself in my personal life. Once I applied the same personal life lesson to my work life, I noticed a huge uptick in productivity.

I mean, I’m not the first to tell you to rest every once in a while. But maybe I’ll be the first to give you justification for why it makes great business sense.

Life Is a Series of Boot Camps

The personal anecdote starts with my body deciding it was time to finally and completely let go of all my remaining post-lockdown lazy habits.

Actually, it was my doctor’s idea. Once I finally turned up in his office for a long-overdue full checkup, he didn’t so much give me an ultimatum as he asked pointed questions implying that if I kept up my new unhealthy habits, I’d likely stay that way.

Much like a parent trying to get a kid to stop making faces, it worked.

So in true form with my entrepreneur type-A personality, it was boot camp time. I gave myself 40 days to go from terrible shape to the best shape of my life. Maybe the best shape anyone my age has ever achieved.

And again, any entrepreneur would hear that last part and think, “Seems reasonable.”

Hopping back on the physical train wasn’t about reinventing my lifestyle. It was more about reintroducing myself to older, better habits. And, after a couple days of pain…



Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building & GROWERS. Write at and More at