Fortune magazine last year shared an article written by Liz Wiseman, Latter-day Saint and president of Wiseman Group. In it, she shares why it is so important to take this one day of the week to unwind, shut out the world, and focus on faith. This advice is important to remember, especially considering the Church's new social media campaign, #HisDay, where they've encouraged families to share what unique things they do to celebrate the Lord's holy day.
The French artist Paul Gauguin once said, “I shut my eyes in order to see.” On Sundays, I shut out the world. For me, it’s a Sabbath observance, an opportunity to rest from responsibilities and focus on other purposeful activities, such as devotion and family.
Every Sunday, after going to church (which in my faith literally takes longer than running a marathon), I plop down on my couch and read until it is time to drive to our weekly family dinners—a tradition built over the last 20 years. While my Sunday routine varies somewhat, there is one thing that remains consistent: I don’t work. I’ve come to really appreciate the power of the pause—the virtue of stepping away. Resting from our work offers more than just sanity; pausing sharpens our minds. Research in neuroscience shows that we are more creative after stepping away from a problem. When our pre-frontal cortex is too focused on the task at hand, it can’t combine information about the problem at hand with information stored in our memory. When we take a break, these neural connections occur and lead to new insights. Indeed, all work and no rest makes our minds very dull instruments.
Last year when I was writing my most recent management book, my commitment to the “Sunday pause” was put to the test. Each Saturday I would take inventory of my unfinished work from the previous week and then check next week’s upcoming deliverables. Panic always ensued (and generally was warranted). I inevitably came to the same conclusion each week: I have no choice but to work on Sunday. Yet, every week I decided against it. I stepped away. On Monday, I would resume my work, with a clear head and fresh legs. And everything always got done. This is the power of pausing–letting go, clearing the mind, and trying again. While a Sabbath may feel old-fashion or only for religious types, the practice of pausing is perfect for our modern world. Here are five simple ways you can benefit from the power of pause: