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Organizing A Think Day

Organizing a think day

It is at times hard for professors to carve out time to take a step back and think about the broader picture. Following Bill Gates’ example with his “Think Weeks,” I’ve scheduled monthly meetings with myself for deep thinking about my research and career path. This structured time is crucial for reflection, planning, and coming to insights that contribute to my progress. My plan is to dedicate each session to a different topic. My first five-hour “Think day” focused on the concepts in “The Great Leap” by Gay Hendricks.

“The Great Leap” is a practical guide that introduces the Zone of Genius concept. The book discusses how individuals can overcome self-imposed barriers to reach their full potential. The Zone of Genius represents the intersection of one’s passion and unique skills, leading to success and satisfaction. Hendricks also addresses the Upper Limit Problem, a psychological threshold that limits our achievement and happiness levels.

To effectively apply these concepts, I created a five-hour workshop to identify my Zone of Genius and tackle the Upper Limit Problem. The workshop included 20 exercises and journaling prompts focusing on understanding my passions, strengths, and engaging activities. This helped me identify patterns and activities that align with my core interests. I also examined my standout experiences and positive feedback to better understand my Zone of Genius.

Next, I explored the Upper Limit Problem with another 20 exercises, uncovering self-sabotaging behaviors that limit growth. These activities involved recognizing triggers and rethinking limiting beliefs, equipping me with strategies to overcome these psychological barriers. Finally, I had another 20 exercises that helped me think strategically about leveling up in my career.

I included regular breaks throughout the workshop to maintain focus. These pauses were vital in approaching each exercise with clear thought, and giving my hand a break from writing. I got some interesting insights, as well as topics that I need to pay more attention to in the future.

In summary, this five-hour workshop, inspired by Bill Gates’ Think Weeks and “The Great Leap,” has been useful for me in figuring out what I want to focus on in the next year(s) of my career. I’m planning to add more of these thinking sessions on my calendar (I am aiming for about 10 half days over the year) with theme each time to advance on various topics.

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