Making the Case for Getting One's House in Order
Clearing the way for better rest and better work
The Brief Case 📚→💼→📈→📊
Here’s some counterintuitive advice to consider: when possible, you should dedicate work time to preparing for your break or vacation time. You owe this to yourself, to your families and friends, and to anyone with whom you intend to spend those breaks or vacations. It is also a practice that can set your school up for success.
Below is an anecdote we referred to when writing about executive assistants:
In The Organized Mind, Daniel J. Levitin recalls meeting with Jimmy Carter when Carter was campaigning for the United States Presidency: “[Carter] spoke as though we had all the time in the world. At one point, an aide came to take him off to the next person he needed to meet. Free from having to decide when the meeting would end, or any other mundane care, really, President Carter could let go of those inner nagging voices and be there.”
By creating an ordered system for handling the aggravating or enervating or just plain distracting tasks that might engage Carter, Carter’s executive assistant helped him to remain present. Such presence would allow Carter not only to achieve outstanding results while campaigning — likely the most important thing he could be doing day-to-day at the time — but also to maintain the type of energy his daily schedule would require of him. Last, the work of the aide would ensure that Carter’s full operation would succeed. While Carter focused on the present, his aide focused on the pre- and post-present, ensuring that Carter’s work would not be compromised by an avoidable failure of resources or logistics.
As you approach a no doubt much deserved break this summer, we suggest you think first like Carter’s aide: what can you do to ensure that, when you are truly OOO, you can be fully present — wherever you are — and not be pulled back to work concerns other than absolute emergencies? Additionally, what can you do to serve your future self who, when returning to work, will want to be able to hit the ground running and benefit from being fully refreshed?
📚 The Learning Case for Getting One’s House in Order
Getting one’s house in order is similar to calling a timeout during a learning or research process. During such breaks, master learners and researches don’t stop all
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