Christian Healthy Lifestyle 

Age gracefully | Live abundantly | Thoroughly equipped for every good work

by David Sandstrom 

October 11, 2021

This episode is part 13 in our series on the spiritual component of health. We're talking with productivity coach Joe Sanok about his new book Thursday is the New Friday. I start the show off talking about what The Bible has to say about taking one day off in seven or observing the Sabbath day. 

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Show Notes


Today's Guest...

  • Joe Sanok

Topics Discussed...w / Time Stamps

  • 00:58 - Introduction
  • 03:26 - What we can learn from Centenarians 
  • 04:50 - Chick Fil-As success in the marketplace
  • 09:14 - God designed us to take regular breaks from our work
  • 11:35 - Welcome Joe Sanok
  • 14:12 - Joe talks about his inspiration for his new book
  • 17:44 - Joe talks about our internal inclinations
  • 20:46 - Joe talks about slowing down to be more productive
  • 21:43 - The neuroscience behind productivity
  • 23:56 - Wrap up


Scroll through the text below to read the full transcript.

David Sandstrom 0:00
Here's a sample of what you'll hear on this episode of Natural Health Matters. Okay? all that to say this, yes, the fourth commandment is part of the Old Testament law given to the ancient Jewish nation. And we don't live by the law anymore, because Jesus fulfilled the law. But there are principles we can learn from it. And one of those health building principles is to take one day a week, and abstain from work, rest and recharge our batteries, worship God, and connect with friends and family. If we do, it sure will be beneficial to our health and well being. Welcome to the Natural Health Matters podcast where it's all about maximizing your health potential, so that you can pursue the abundant life more effectively. I'm your host, David Sandstrom, Naturopathic Doctor, and Biblical Health Coach. And this is episode number 67.

David Sandstrom 0:58
This episode is part 13. In our series on a spiritual component of health. Today, we're going to be talking about obeying the biblical command to take one day off in seven, or observe the Sabbath day, and keeping it holy. We're going to change things up a little bit with this episode I'm bringing a guest on his name is Joe Sanok. And he's got a new book out, it's called Thursday is the new Friday. And in just a bit, we're going to be talking with Joe about his new book. But first I'd like to talk a little bit about what the Bible has to say about allowing ourselves the freedom to take one day off, and seven. The fourth commandment says, Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. That's Exodus chapter 20, verses eight and nine. If you've been listening to this podcast for any length of time, especially this series on the spiritual component of health, then, you know, it's my contention, that when God tells us to do something, it's for our benefit. And when he tells us to avoid something, it's for our protection. This command to observe the Sabbath day is no exception.

David Sandstrom 2:14
I think it's interesting to note that most of the 10 commandments are presented in the negative sense or as a prohibition, do not steal, do not lie, do not murder do not commit adultery. Most of the 10 commandments are presented in that type of a negative fashion. You know, having too many restrictions is one of the criticisms we often hear toward Christianity or Judaism, and that there are too many restrictions on our personal freedoms, which of course is untrue, but a criticism nonetheless. But this commandment to observe the Sabbath is mostly presented in a positive fashion or an affirmative sense. We're admonished to Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy, and do all our work in six days. This command is not a don't or do not. It's mostly about doing. I often say we maximize our health potential by aligning our lives more fully with God's natural design for spirit, mind and body. When we're living our lives in harmony with that natural design, we increase our chances of experiencing more positive health outcomes.

David Sandstrom 3:26
We can learn something by looking to centenarians, people that live to over 100 years old. There are five Blue Zones throughout the world where people quite frequently live to 100 years old or more. A researcher by the name of Dan Buettner found these areas when he searched for where people live the longest. Five zones are Okinawa, Japan, Kria, Greece, Sardinia, Italy Nicoya, Costa Rica, and one location in the United States, which is Loma Linda, California. Loma Linda is about an hour east of Los Angeles and they have about a quarter million people living there. The reason why Loma Linda is of special interest to our conversation today is they have a high concentration of Seventh Day Adventists living there. And what the research shows is that Seventh Day Adventists live on average 10 years longer than the general population. That's pretty significant. Some people say that the explanation for their longer lifespans is because there's a lot of vegetarians on the Seventh Day Adventists but I would suggest that that's not the real reason because many Seventh Day Adventists do eat meat. The thing that they all have in common is they're very committed to observing the Sabbath day, where they refrain from work, attend worship services, and connect with friends and family.

David Sandstrom 4:50
Part of aligning our lives more fully with God's natural design is observing the Sabbath day and keeping it holy. God has designed our spirits to connect intimately with him. He's designed our minds to enjoy our work, or occupation, but to take regular time off from that work to be refreshed and recharge our batteries, and he's, of course designed our bodies to rest periodically. He's also designed us to connect with other human beings on a regular basis. All of those things are health promoting. And it just so happens that all of those needs are addressed through the fourth commandment to observe the Sabbath day, once a week and keep it holy. When I was a kid growing up in Massachusetts, I would mold my grandparents lawn, and they would pay me but they wouldn't let me mow the lawn on Sundays the day they observed the Sabbath. For me as a kid, I knew nothing about biblical principles, and I thought that not being able to mow the lawn in Sundays was a restriction in an unnecessary burden. Now that I'm an adult with a career and a family of my own, I know quite well, taking a day of rest once a week is not a burden; It's a blessing. I now know that my grandparents were simply taking the fourth commandment, or rather the principle we learned from the fourth commandment to heart. I'm old enough to remember a time in this nation where we had blue laws in effect, where most businesses were closed on Sundays. One of the more recent examples of that was Publix supermarkets. They're based in Florida, and they're very big in the southeast. And when I was a teenager, Publix supermarkets were closed on Sundays. Many of the stores had a sign up front on Sundays In the window that said, See when church. In 1983, Publix as a corporation, caved into economic pressure and began opening stores on Sundays. Nowadays, the only big retail business I can point to that's closed on Sundays is Chick Fil-A. Now, a Harvard MBA would say, Chick Fil-A's is move to refrain from closing on Sundays is a poor economic decision because they're forfeiting 14% of their revenue. Once again, God's wisdom is superior to man's. First Corinthians 1:25 says, the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. That same truth is also expressed in the other direction. First Corinthians chapter three verse 19 says, For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. Chick Fil-A is rocking the restaurant world with their success. Even though chick fil a is closed one day in seven, the average chick fil a store takes in more annual revenue than the average McDonald's, Starbucks and Taco Bell combined. A Chick Fil-A store on average grosses about four and a half million dollars a year. The average McDonald's around 2 million, so a Chick Fil-A store grosses more than double the revenue than a McDonald's. So although it doesn't make economic sense to be closed on Sundays, Chick Fil-A is shattering all those economic models with the wisdom of God. What at first glance seems like a burden ends up being a blessing. That's why Jesus said my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:30. We also see in first John chapter five, verse three, "

David Sandstrom 8:29
for this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments and his commandments are not burdensome." In fact, God's word says that by keeping the commitment to observe the Sabbath day, there are blessings that will flow into our lives as a result. Isaiah chapter 58, verses 13. And 14 says this. "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath, and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight in not doing as you please, then you will find your joy in the Lord and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land, and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob, the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

David Sandstrom 9:14
One of the reasons for Chick Fil-A's success is that when people can't buy a Chick Fil-A meal on a Sunday, they have a stronger desire for it on the other six days of the week. In other words, people are more ready to shell out some money and buy a Chick Fil-A meal when they've fasted from it one day a week. In the same fashion, we have a stronger desire to be more energetic, enthusiastic and productive with our work if we've taken a break from our work one day a week. This is part of God's design and what we call natural law. Another example of this principle at work is our evening fast. Our bodies are designed to take a break from food each day unless you're getting up the middle of the night and for a midnight snack most have us abstain completely from food in the evening when we're sleeping. This gives our systems arrest and allows our digestive system to do some housecleaning and detoxification. And that allows us to be better prepared for the morning meal. That's why we call our first meal of the day break fast. We're supposed to be breaking our fast with our first meal of the day. Okay, all that to say this. Yes, the fourth commandment is part of the Old Testament law given to the ancient Jewish nation. And we don't live by the law anymore, because Jesus fulfilled the law. But there are principles we can learn from it. And one of those health building principles is to take one day a week, and abstain from work, rest and recharge our batteries, worship God, and connect with friends and family. If we do, it sure will be beneficial to our health and well being. Okay, that brings us to today's guest, Joe Sanok. Joe is an author. He's published five books. His latest book is called "Thursday is the new Friday." He's a productivity researcher. He's a keynote and TEDx speaker. His podcast is called The Practice of the Practice, which is one of the top 50 most listened to podcasts worldwide. Joe is a business consultant. He writes for Psych Central. And he's been featured in Huffington Post, Forbes, Reader's Digest, Yahoo News, and he's a regular guest on Entrepreneurs on Fire, one of the most popular business podcasts on the internet.

David Sandstrom 11:35
Joe, welcome to Natural Health Matters.

Joe Sanok 11:38
I am so excited to be here. Thanks so much.

David Sandstrom 11:40
Well, I really appreciate you taking the time. I know you're a busy guy. Well, you've got a new book coming out. It's called "Thursday is the new Friday." And I want to expand upon this concept a little bit. The Bible says that we should take one day off in seven to rest and you've expanded upon this very good concept. And I want to talk about how that can help us in how it connects to our overall health and well being if we could.

Joe Sanok 12:03
Yeah, absolutely. You know, if we go back to 1926, when Henry Ford started the 40 Hour Workweek, that was a huge step forward for the evolution of humans, you know, people working 10 to 16 hours a day, six or seven days a week. So, you know, at that point, that was a big step. But in a lot of ways we've outgrown that. We end up spending our weekends, even if we do take them off, running to soccer practice getting groceries mowing the lawn, and is it even a day of rest right now. And so, you know, that idea of, hey, maybe our best and most creative work could actually come if we genuinely slowed down, like even this past weekend, my six, almost seven year old, she slept until 10:30, which blew my mind. Usually she's a springs out of bed, and I gave myself permission to just sleep until she slept. So I slept until 10:30. And so it was it was amazing to just have the slow paced day, we went to the beach with friends. And you know, how much more ready Am I on Monday morning when I had a weekend where I can just take some deep breaths can enjoy nature, spend time with friends and family? And then I can do the work that I'm called to do throughout the week, instead of just entering that work week feeling burned out for the rest of the week.

David Sandstrom 13:10
Absolutely. No, I remember Lee Iacocca, the CEO of Chrysler, he you might know this quote, he was saying that one of his VP's was bragging about how he never took any vacations. And he said, that's really poor time management, you will be far more productive if you take some time off. So go take your vacation, get out of here right now. Yeah,

Joe Sanok 13:30
yeah, I love that commercial where the kids are chanting like one more day. And it's like this credit card commercial. But it's like getting their parents to just have one more vacation day, even though we have all these vacation days we don't use in the year. It's like, Well, why your employer's given it to you. We need to set these boundaries so that we can be present for our families and present for the important work that we're doing.

David Sandstrom 13:50
Absolutely. If we never reboot our computers, they wouldn't work so good, right? They need a little fresh start. And human beings are like that. We need a little refreshment. We've got to charge our batteries now and then. And when we do we're healthier and more productive for it. I would like to just ask you what caused you to probe this subject more? Was there an event in your life that triggered that?

Joe Sanok 14:12
Yeah, you know, in 2012, that was a really rough year for my family. My oldest daughter, right before her first birthday, had open heart surgery. And I was working full time at a community college 40 hours a week, had a side counseling practice, and then also had a podcast I was launching, and everything's fine with my daughter. Now. You know, she has no health concerns or limitations. But about two weeks after the doctors had said, you know, the surgery was great, she's healthy, she's going to be fine. And that sense of relief comes I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. And so I'm back into the medical system and have you know, radioactive iodine treatment and all this treatment, get my thyroid removed and a bunch of glands and now I'm almost 10 years past that, but 2012 really represented this big question of do I want to continue at this pace and what was tough As I loved my job at community college, it wasn't like this corporate job where I would just love to drop the mic and walk away from it. I had a lot of autonomy, I had a wonderful supervisor, it was less about leaving something that was bad and more about pursuing something that was good and to say, when I rather stay here and never know if I have something in me to do something bigger. or would I rather go out into the world and try to do a counseling practice, try to do this podcast, try to launch big things that impact the world, and potentially fail. And to me, I really realized that taking that risk to try to jump into the world to create the schedule that I wanted to do what felt healthier for me personally, but also with my family, with my friends with just the pace that to me felt sustainable over a lifetime, to not burn out. That's where it really started. And I started to really dig into the research, dig into how other people were doing things. You know, one of the things I started doing was these time experiments for one summer after I left my full time job, I took Friday's off for that summer as just an experiment in the fall, I can look at it, I can add it back in if I want to. But financially, every single month was better than the month before, when I took Friday's off. And so then I kept doing these time experiments and learning what the research said. And even looking at some experiments that the University of Illinois did, they found that if you just take a one minute break every 20 minutes, that you can completely eliminate vigilance decrement. So vigilance how well you pay attention to something decrement meaning breaking down over time. Basically, if you're doing a boring task, you can pay attention as well, at the end of that task. If you just take one minute breaks, and so over an hour period of time, we see that even just these micro breaks can really make an impact. And so it's not always just a three day weekend, it can just be a one minute break every 20 minutes over the period of an hour. And then you eliminate vigilance decrement, you do as well at the end of that hour, as you did at the beginning. So there's all these kind of neuroscience hacks that we're learning that sciences emerged with, over the last few years that we can actually use now to help our brains align with how they're meant to be aligned.

David Sandstrom 16:58
Excellent. You may not know this, I'm a Naturopathic Doctor, but I'm also an Airline Captain. And we sit in that cockpit for sometimes hours at a time. And you know, that when you're having to focus for a long period of time that your performance goes down. It really does in sometimes, when you're at the end of a long flight, you wish you had had a break, but we would not get it. And it's even more pronounced when we're in the simulator. When things are really, really intense. Would you have one emergency after another, we might do a two and a half three hour session. And I can tell you from personal experience, by the end of that session, you are burning out, you know, it really does make a difference. You're not at your peak, for sure. Yeah. So can you share some of the highlights that you learned during the book writing process, some of the, you know, low hanging fruit that people can apply to their lives?

Joe Sanok 17:44
Yeah, Ithink so the book is broken down into kind of three major areas. The first one is our internal inclinations. And so we're looking at high achievers, what are the three things that research supports that continue to show up over and over in these people? And so the first one is curiosity, that we enter into things with the sense of being curious, instead of saying, you know, it's black and white, it's pass its fail. In most situations. Of course, if you're a pilot, you want to pass every time. But you know, most things in our life don't have that high-a-stakes. So having a sense of curiosity, and being able to say, well, that's really interesting why that happened. I wonder what's going on there. Instead of Ooh, I failed, I screwed up. To have that sense of, of kind of a curious mind. The second internal inclination that we discovered was that an outsider's perspective actually gives you statistically more information than just being an insider. And so I mean, we've all had this experience where maybe you get hired in a new job, and then you're learning other systems. And so why do they do it that way? That seems like it's counterproductive. Or why do they have that double paperwork here, that as an outsider, when you're coming in, you actually have more power and more influence than someone that's on the inside. And then the third internal inclination is that we really want to have the ability to move on it. So we have speed, and we have accuracy along a line. Now, when you're a pilot, you want to be 100% accurate, but in most things in life, speed is going to trump accuracy most of the time. And so a lot of times people are paralyzed by perfection, they overthink things. They want it to be perfect when they put it out in the world. But in reality, whether that's a blog post or something creative, or, or even something that, you know, is one of the pieces of marketing within a business, getting that out there and then allowing that to be able to be iterated and see the results is kind of the first three low hanging fruit we see with those internal inclinations.

David Sandstrom 19:33
I see that excellent. I love this idea of staying curious because it sounds more like what you're saying is into correct me if I'm wrong, is that we don't want to beat ourselves up, right? We want to be able to not self-deprecate in the process of learning how we can do things better. Is that is that accurate?

Joe Sanok 19:52
Yeah. And so what we're seeing is that whether it's in marketing or parenting, or just in life that when something goes wrong quote, I do quotes Wrong, that we need to just analyze it, we need to see it as data. So say I run a Facebook ads campaign to promote my book and I spent $1,000. And absolutely no one buys the book or clicks on it, but I spent all this money. Well, sure, I wouldn't like giving up $1,000. That'd be terrible. I wouldn't enjoy that. But if I approach it as a curious person, I can say, Okay, what was it about this campaign that gives me information for the future? You know, we often hear how many times Abraham Lincoln failed before he became president, or all these other innovators that it's often in that failing that we learn and we iterate and we change and we're curious that then we can finally get to that final product that we would never would have got to had we not had all those failures before it,

David Sandstrom 20:41
Right. So we don't want to view things as failures, but as learning experiences to make us better.

Joe Sanok 20:46
Exactly. So then the second part of the book, we dive into slowing down. So most books, you know, will be on maybe the productivity side, here's the five steps that you have to take to do this, you're either in or you're out, I would say that this book is different, and that it's more a menu to say you're a smart individual, you can figure out for yourself, what works, what doesn't, here's how you do experiments, here's how you look at the menu and see all the options of the neuroscience that you want to apply to your own life. So on one side, we have often these productivity books that are very prescriptive, or on the other side, we have these woowoo books that just say put it up on a vision board, manifest it to the universe and don't do any work and just see how things happen. And these two kinds of books rarely meet each other. And that's where I would say that this book actually brings both sides together to say, both sides have tremendous value, we need to slow down before we can speed up. And so we need to actually get centered, get grounded, get into that sense of flow before we can jump into the work. And so that last section is when we're ready to work, how do we absolutely kill it. So then we look at all the neuroscience, we look at all these productivity hacks and say, once you slow down first, we do that first. That's when we can really speed up and how we do that, to really do it based on the science and what we see working in case studies.

David Sandstrom 22:01
What I'm thinking about as this podcast is about health and wellness, is that there's a school of thought out there that says, Well, I'm just going to think positive thoughts, and this is going to be better for my health. And I would say that's probably futile. So you can't believe your way into being healthy. But it sure does help. Right? And I know that Zig Ziglar, the famous motivational speaker, he's he was asked that question at a conference. And I heard him say, Well, no, you can't believe your way into a success. But if you believe you can succeed, it sure will increase the chances of success. And I think that's what you're saying here about incorporating the neuroscience along with our goals.

Joe Sanok 22:40
Yeah, one of the things I talked about is acting as if this book launches October 5. And so I'm entering into all of these podcasts, with the posture and with the way that I approach it as if I'm going to be a New York Times bestseller. I'm wanting that to happen. That's something that you know, sure, someone could say a manifested or whatever. But I'm approaching it saying if I'm going to be a New York Times bestseller, let's reverse engineer that. Let's look at what did those kinds of books look like? What did those kind of authors do? How many podcast interviews does that person do? So I can manifest it to the universe or have a positive mindset all I want. But if I don't then actually say, Well, how do I then show up like in New York Times bestseller, I need to have clear talking points, I need to understand my book, I need to be able to quickly resonate the message with people. And so they work together. And that's where I think oftentimes we see one side critique and say, well, you're just believing it. And then nothing happens, of course, but that mindset is going to also informed how I show up how I think how I prepare. And so when we mix that slowing down, with that speeding up, it's amazing what ends up happening.

David Sandstrom 23:45
I love it. Great stuff. Joe, I think your book is going to be a New York Times bestseller. This is an awesome topic. If someone wants to get a copy of the pork a little more about you. How would they go about that?

Joe Sanok 23:56
Absolutely. So they can go wherever they get their their books that could be at a local bookstore, it could be Amazon, wherever you prefer to buy your books, it's available everywhere. The book is Thursday is the new Friday. It's all about how the four day work week boosts productivity and creativity. So you can buy it wherever you buy books. And then if you want to read more about my work, you can just go to Joe Sanok. com. We're bringing together experiments that people are doing, we have book clubs, there are all sorts of ways that people are connecting with each other. Because this isn't just going to be my movement. This is going to be a revolution that we do together, that we work together to say this is what's working. This is how we're applying it to small businesses, large businesses, individual businesses, our families, and we want to share those experiments with people over at

David Sandstrom 24:37
Thank you, Joe so much. And I just want to wrap it up with this is when you have a truth when you're when you're dealing with truth. It applies to really all areas of life. You can apply these truths to business, you can apply it to your health, you can apply it to your family, and it just works everywhere because it's true.

Joe Sanok 24:52
Absolutely. Thank you so much.

David Sandstrom 24:54
Thank you, Joe. All right. Hope you enjoyed that conversation with Joe Sanok. He's a great guy. Good, I encourage you to pick up a copy of his book, I'll put a link to his book in the show notes. This is a really important topic because most of us feel in our society today. We feel as though working all the time or seven days a week, we're more productive, but biblical wisdom says otherwise. And once again, scientific evidence is catching up with what the Bible has been teaching for 1000s of years. Take one day off in seven, you won't regret it. More, go to in the show notes for each episode, you'll find links to all the resources that were mentioned, as well as a full transcript with timestamps that you can download for free. In addition, I always include a content upgrade with each show, which is a free download that is designed to help you go deeper with that subject. Once again, thank you for listening, and I'll talk with you next week. Be blessed

About the author 

David Sandstrom

I want to help you maximize your health potential so you can look and feel your best at any age. We do this by aligning our lives more fully with God's natural design for our spirit, mind, and body. I've been helping people maximize their health potential since 2005.

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