If you want to become a sharper, happier, more productive person, you can actually learn a lot from Chick-fil-A. How so? It starts with learning a rhythm of rest.
Trust me, I learned the hard way which I explain in my new book, Rest Assured. Not only have I become sharper, happier and more productive, but learning to rest has freed me from the “God syndrome.” What is the God syndrome?
The God syndrome is the illusion that I am in control.
Most of us in the West think if we rest we are going to lose time, money, and become less productive, when in fact, the opposite is actually true.
Consider this recent article in Entrepreneur about Chick-fil-A:
Believe it or not, Chick-fil-A makes nearly double the amount of money per restaurant as McDonald’s! It is a well known fact that Chick-fil-A is Christian owned and operated on Christian principles – including being closed on Sundays.
Of course secular onlookers aren’t sure what to make of this success, especially considering Chick-fil-A is open less than these other leading brands. That is reflected in the article. But followers of Christ know why they can be open less and make nearly double the money per restaurant. It’s a simple principle.
I will honor those who honor me…(1 Sam. 2:30 NLT)
When we honor God, He honors us. God was the One who instituted the Sabbath when after creating the world, He stopped, enjoyed and rested. Maybe Chick-fil-A’s success is due to more than taking a Sabbath day, but it’s hard to argue that Sabbath is not a part of it.
We have a problem in America…
According to the International Labor Organization, “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers (3.5 weeks), 260 more hours per year than British workers (6.5 weeks), and 499 more hours per year than French workers (12 weeks)..”
It makes you wonder, do the French work at all? I’m kidding of course but the numbers are striking.
I know what some of you are thinking. I can’t possibly take a day of rest every week. Here are some common excuses why we can’t rest:
- I will lose money (How do you know if you’ve never tried it?)
- My job makes me work 7 days a week (I would suggest finding a new job)
- How will I ever get everything done (Don’t worry, it will be there when you get back)
- I won’t know what to do with myself (Good, that’s the point! Try to find something you enjoy!)
I get it. Changing your rhythm is tough, but think baby steps. Can you start with a half day off and do something replenishing? Or how about some smaller steps like having a definitive stop time for your work each day, turning off email alerts after 8pm, or putting your phone on do not disturb so you can get a full nights sleep without distraction?
For some of you the problem isn’t taking a day off from. Your problem is you fill it with something else that’s not refreshing or life-giving. Brace yourself, this may be radical to some: we actually probably need one and one-half to two days off, not just one.
That way, we can use one day to run errands and the other day to rest and replenish.
Maybe you’re saying, “Ya Kent, but I’m not a Christian. I don’t do Sabbath.” Rest isn’t just for Christians, it’s for everyone! Sure, part of a Sabbath day involves worshiping God, but whether you follow Christ or not, you need at least one day per week to replenish.
If you don’t believe me, check out this interview on CNN with Dr. Matthew Sleeth. There is plenty of well documented scientific research that says we need a day of rest.
A Free E-book for You
Luckily, I have a free resource that’s going to help you. For my non-Christian readers, this e-book is written from a Christian perspective, but I think you will find it helpful regardless. It’s called,
Rest Is a Weapon: 6 Secrets to Living a Life of Peace and Contentment
Finally, here is some comic relief about Chick-fil-A. They are both hysterical!