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Doing Nothing May Be the Greatest Something

“For the brain to thrive, you can’t spend all your time working,” writes Jay Dixit of the NeuroLeadership Institute. “Human beings aren’t robots, and overwork leads to burnout, disengagement, and resignations.”

More than that, he says, “the brain [requires] “downtime”—unstructured time with no goal in mind and no targeted focus of attention.”

That last part is important. To relax, many of us turn to screens, like our phones or Netflix, but these are all “task-positive” activities: they require the brain to focus even on irrelevant things. 

By contrast, Dixit explains, an important half of our brain lights up and makes new connections when we’re actually at rest, which helps foster innovation and creativity. 

Because so many distractions preoccupy the modern world, we have to be intentional to have what previous generations did. 

Perhaps it’s because God knew this quirk of human psychology that He gave the world the Sabbath and a command to rest. He knows what we need because He made us.

Publication date: January 13, 2022

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Ridofranz 

John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.

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