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This Ancient Ritual Is Key to How I Run a Company of 500 People. Harvard Research Shows Why. Rituals are underrated ways to keep people connected.

By Harry Ritter Edited by Frances Dodds

This story appears in the September 2023 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Just before sunset every Friday, my whole company knows I become fully unavailable for 25 hours. It doesn't matter what is going on. We could be in the middle of a fundraise or a major product release. Unless it's a life-threatening crisis, when that time comes, I put down my phone and go offline.

I am the founder and CEO of Alma, a platform that streamlines mental health care for patients and providers, and I am also an observant Jew. Those 25 hours are my observance of Shabbat. I launched my company in 2018 and now have a team of over 500, and I don't know how I would have done it without this weekly oasis to anchor myself and regain perspective. It has helped me make good decisions, lead more effectively, and see things differently in order to innovate. Although the advantages of taking a break are well-known, rituals contain a different kind of power — and through this experience, I've become a vocal advocate of them.

Related: Use These 4 Self-Care Rituals for More Resilience and Less Depletion

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