In this world of information overload, personal productivity is the differentiating factor. Based on 100 discussions with leaders in business, society, arts and culture, I am sharing points of reference that might help you exponentially enhance your personal impact.
1. Do What You Love: “Taking jobs to build up your resume is like saving up sex for old age.” Warren Buffet’s quote needs no explanation. If you can read this post and had breakfast in the morning, you are already more fortunate than half the world. There are limits to how bad things can turn out for you. Be grateful for your luck/privilege and attempt to do inspiring work.
2. 5 Person Rule: Your success, creativity, happiness and personal impact is a function of the 5 people you spend most of your time with. If you spend bulk of your time with “Energy Vampires”, you will most likely be a lesser version of yourself. Sometimes work/relationships put you in contexts you can’t help. If you find yourself in such a context, you will have to deal with it with empathy, intelligence and radical openness. If you let things be in limbo, you might implode.
3. Uninterrupted Work: Choose 2 hours a day for uninterrupted work. No social media, no calls, no protests. This will help you accomplish 8 hours worth of “regular office work”
4. Contra-disciplinary Learning: If you were to reflect on the success of Apple, you will realize that it combined the best of fashion and technology. It was a better technology company than most fashion companies and a better fashion company than most technology companies. The logic is true for professional success as well. It is likely that most leaders you admire combine skills and insights from different strands of life. Even if you are subject matter expert on something very specialized, it is likely you will enrich your thinking by drawing upon elements from other fields. For example, poets and data scientists make excellent peer mentors and collaborators. As someone rightly said, code at its elegant best is poetry.
5. Invest in Skilling Through Peer Mentoring: No matter where you study or work, if you leave it ONLY up to your institution/organization to reskill you, be prepared to be unemployed/underemployed in the not so distant future. The best way to learn something is to try and teach it. You should consider investing in building peer mentoring systems where you can share knowledge/insights continually
Laurie Santos (born 1975) is a professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale University. She is also the Director of Yale’s Comparative Cognition Laboratory, Director of Yale’s Canine Cognition Lab, and the Head of Read more…