Posted by: Jena McGregor on July 31
I couldn’t help but post this snippet of conversation between presidential candidate Barack Obama and Tory leader David Cameran at the Houses of Parliament. The New York Times ran the conversation, but I re-post it here for your own use or inspiration:
(According to the transcript…)
Mr. Cameron: You should be on the beach. You need a break. Well, you need to be able to keep your head together.
Mr. Obama: You’ve got to refresh yourself.
Mr. Cameron: Do you have a break at all?
Mr. Obama: I have not. I am going to take a week in August. But I agree with you that somebody, somebody who had worked in the White House who — not Clinton himself, but somebody who had been close to the process — said that should we be successful, that actually the most important thing you need to do is to have big chunks of time during the day when all you’re doing is thinking. And the biggest mistake that a lot of these folks make is just feeling as if you have to be …
Mr. Cameron: These guys just chalk your diary up.
Mr. Obama: Right. … In 15 minute increments and …
Mr. Cameron: We call it the dentist waiting room. You have to scrap that because you’ve got to have time.
Mr. Obama: And, well, and you start making mistakes or you lose the big picture. Or you lose a sense of, I think you lose a feel …
Mr. Cameron: Your feeling. And that is exactly what politics is all about. The judgment you bring to make decisions.
Mr. Obama: That’s exactly right. And the truth is that we’ve got a bunch of smart people, I think, who know 10 times more than we do about the specifics of the topics. And so if what you’re trying to do is micromanage and solve everything then you end up being a dilettante, but you have to have enough knowledge to make good judgments about the choices that are presented to you.
Productivity guru Julie Morgenstern teaches us how to get organized, save time, and reclaim our sanity. Linda Stone, a former Apple and Microsoft executive and frequent speaker and consultant, helps us learn to manage our attention. And David Allen, the widely followed author of the popular book Getting Things Done, helps us accomplish things more efficiently.