Stories

Big idea: take a "Shultz Hour"

A worthy idea from David Leonhardt in his New York Times column today, "Why You'd Benefit From A 'Shultz Hour'" — a weekly hour of reflection, inspired by a former secretary of state.

"When George Shultz was secretary of state in the 1980s, he liked to carve out one hour each week for quiet reflection. He sat down in his office with a pad of paper and pen, closed the door and told his secretary to interrupt him only if one of two people called: 'My wife or the president,' Shultz recalled."

Why it matters: The now 96-year-old Shultz told Leonhardt that his weekly hour of reflection was imperative to thinking about "the strategic aspects of his job."

How you can do it: In any way that you find relaxing and that allows you to be reflective. For Leonhardt, that's "no meetings, no phone calls, no email, no Twitter, no Facebook, no mobile alerts and no podcasts. Sometimes, I plan to spend the hour sitting down, as Shultz did, and other times taking a stroll. I keep a pen and paper with me and have set my phone to ring only if my wife calls."

The takeaway: It's "the only way to do great work, in any field, is to find time to consider the larger questions," according to Schultz.

More stories loading.