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March 2020
Although productivity in a day depends on the amount of time we spend doing, productivity in a career hinges on the amount of time we spend thinking and learning.
 
I like getting things done. But when I looked at my calendar, I saw that nearly all of my work time was blocked out for doing. My new goal: carve out at least an hour a day for thinking and learning.
 
Some articles that got me thinking and learning recently:
1. Kids Don’t Need to Stay “On Track” To Succeed (Madeline Levine, Atlantic)
If I could only teach kids one thing about achievement, this might be it: the path to success is a squiggly line, not a straight one. It’s not about how many setbacks we face, but how much we learn and grow from them.
 
2. To Achieve Your Goals, Lump and Slice (Lee Anne Fennell, Behavioral Scientist)
When short-term tasks feel trivial, lumping them into a larger goal makes them meaningful. When long-term goals feel impossible, slicing them into smaller pieces makes them manageable. Zoom out for purpose. Zoom in for progress.
 
3. Are You Sugarcoating Your Feedback Without Realizing It? (Michael Schaerer and Roderick Swaab, HBR)
The point of giving feedback is not to make people feel good today. It’s to help them do better tomorrow. Tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.
 
4. This Could Be Why You’re Depressed or Anxious (Johann Hari, TED)
Of nine key causes of depression, only two are biological. “If you're depressed, if you're anxious, you're not weak, you're not crazy, you're not a machine with broken parts. You're a human being with unmet needs.”
 

New from My Desk:


5. Wild Work Advice with Cheryl Strayed (WorkLife)
On a bonus episode of my podcast, I talk with Wild author and master advice-giver Cheryl Strayed about giving and getting guidance on career dilemmas. One of my takeaways: the best version of yourself is the one that’s always looking for a better version of yourself.
 
Speaking of WorkLife, season 3 launches March 10! The first episode is on why we procrastinate and how to overcome it, with one of my all-time favorite guests. I’ll tell you more later.
 
In the meantime, exciting news at Wharton: our new dean is trailblazer Erika James. Along with being the first woman and the first person of color at the helm, she's the first organizational psychologist too. She's not just a widely admired leader; she’s a leadership expert (a qualification some other institutions might consider).
Cheers,
Adam
Adam Grant, Ph.D.
Organizational psychologist at Wharton, author of ORIGINALS, GIVE AND TAKE, and OPTION B, and host of WorkLife, a TED original podcast
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