Obama After Dark: The Precious Hours Alone

Obama’s style of presidency has been the focus of many, many articles over the years. This piece by the New York Times does an exceptional job revealing just how important it is for him to have time set aside for himself: unlike other presidents who often relied on human contact to keep them energized it seems that President Obama needs to retreat and just be let alone to work or relax. And it’s a credit to the people he keeps close to him that this time is carved out, while also showcasing that even when you’re the most powerful person in the world it is possible to have a work tempo fit to your style, as opposed to one that is driven purely by the work itself.

Don’t Be a (Work) Hero

As I read this, I saw myself described in paragraph after paragraph. I hadn’t realized how damaging my work behaviour was getting until a month or so ago, when every day was laced with stress resulting from ‘no down time, and too much to do.’ Life was seriously out-of-kilter.

Fortunately I got some relief. A major burden was relieved, slightly, and I’ve been able to breath. I also saw the result of my ‘work ethic’ after it was maintained for months and years on end: I didn’t like what I saw, and worried about the long-term effects.

As part of my recently ‘normalized’ work schedule, I’m actively trying to leave work at work and not bring too much home. The result has been that I’ve been a more productive writer in the past month than I had been in the preceding three months. Sure, I was pounding out ‘rote writing’ at a impressive rate, but the insightful or interesting stuff needed when writing the conclusion for my dissertation just wasn’t coming to the surface. Fortunately, it’s coming at a rapid rate these days and I also get to (try and) enjoy myself for a few hours each night with non-work related things!

Source: Don’t Be a (Work) Hero