April 28; Working for Diminishing Returns;
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful


Chapter Four: Relationships; 28 April

For six days work is to be done,

but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest,

holy to the LORD.

Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death.

Exodus 31:15

Working for Diminishing Returns


Work hard, nose to the grindstone, work long hours — and you will succeed.

This is a lie.

Further, Everyone does it. And no one seems to want to stop.

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful,” said Mae West.

Or is it?

An unusual trend among working people is that people love to work and spend a lot of hours at the work they love. Every manager I have ever advised worked non-stop. And perhaps complained. And then would ask me about that work-family balance nonsense. But soon would excuse herself to answer an important cell call. (There are no unimportant cell phone calls.)

Non-stop work is bad for your health and bad for your productivity.

Studies show that working 21 continuous hours has the same effect as being drunk. Yes — working too much is a real high.

Among industrialized nations, few work more hours than the US of A. The two-martini lunch has been replaced with jolts of caffeine; to stay awake. Americans don’t drink to escape from work and sleep; we remain at work awake and become drunk. Intoxicated with labor. Starbucks has replaced Archie’s Bar.

And no one works harder or more hours than the boss. And you, the manager, will openly admit to working harder and more hours than any one.

Your Business Professor would suggest that business productivity and employee health can be improved by working fewer hours.


I know. I wouldn’t want to stop either. But I have a trick. An answer to those 80-hour work weeks.

Put those hours into 6 days; not 7. Take a day off. Yes, yes, one whole day.

Businesses actually have this as policy.

Chick-fil-A, with 1,700 restaurants and sales of some $4.6 billion, takes a day off: closing up on Sundays,

Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, made the decision to close on Sunday in 1946 when he opened his original restaurant…in Hapeville, Georgia. He has often shared that his decision was as much practical as spiritual. Operating a 24-hour a day business left him exhausted. Being closed on Sunday allowed him time to recover physically, emotionally and spiritually…

It doesn’t have to be a Saturday or a Sunday. When I was working restaurants as a teenager I had Tuesdays off. It matters not the day.

But pick a day. Then don’t work it.

Many managers are confused on what is work or not. Because work and play are the same for all North Americans. My only suggestion for your weekly day off:

Be Unproductive.

Leave productivity and production and whatever work is to the other six days. On that one special day: give it a rest.

However, I would suggest no prohibition on exercise. We should sweat on our day of relaxation. (This is America.) Sweating and exercise are acceptable unless your day-job is in the NBA or the Golf Pro Tour.

And to make sure your not working works, find a friend who will hold you accountable. Which you should be doing for business, anyway.

Be accountable to your private board of directors or mentor. Or better: spend the day with kith and kin. You will be more productive — in work and relationships, in your marriage.

Exodus 31:15, For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death.

So. To be more productive: Do nothing, one day a week. It won’t kill you.



You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *