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5 commitments worth keeping: New Year’s resolutions from our faculty

New Year's Resolutions from MIT Sloan Executive Education Faculty

Do you want to become more productive, balanced, and impactful in the New Year? Before you set lofty resolutions that are hard to keep, try these research-based recommendations from our faculty.

Go to sleep
“98–99% of brains need to sleep for 7 to 9 hours per night,” says neuroscientist, executive advisor, and MIT Sloan Lecturer Tara Swart. “This allows the lymphatic system to be cleansed of neurotoxins.” A good night’s rest resets the brain and helps you approach your day with a sharp, clear mind. Learn more in Neuroscience for Leadership.

Take a break
MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Bob Pozen suggests taking multiple mini-breaks throughout the day. “Working for 75 to 90 minutes takes advantage of the brain’s two modes: learning or focusing and consolidation,” says Pozen. “When people do a task and then take a break for 15 minutes, they help their brain consolidate information and retain it better.” Learn more in this post and in Pozen's course, Maximizing Your Personal Productivity: How to Become an Efficient and Effective Executive.

Be quiet
Executives are generally expected to be in broadcast mode, delivering words of inspiration and direction. But according to MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Hal Gregersen, that style of leadership will never help you “know what you don’t know” or enable you to arrive at a truly novel hypothesis. “Quiet time increases the likelihood of asking the right questions, says Gregersen. “For some significant portion of your time, you have to stop transmitting messages and switch over to receiving them.” Learn more in The Innovator's DNA: Mastering Five Skills for Disruptive Innovation.

Resolve disputes
MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Jason Jay has crafted and honed a methodology to help people break through the gridlock of difficult conversations. One of his recommendations for turning around a polarizing conversation is to be more vulnerable. “In difficult conversations, we often focus on our talking points and avoid sharing what motivates us,” says Jay, “like what we love, what inspires us to action. Sharing what matters to you can create a completely new context for conversation.” Learn more in Strategies for Sustainable Business.

Act locally
Whether you’re passionate about politics, clean energy and sustainability, or another meaningful cause, make 2018 the year you make an impact in your own community. “There are plenty of examples of grassroots activists succeeding in bringing about social and political change,” says John Sterman. “We have to act where we can make a difference.” Learn more in Strategies for Sustainable Business.

One more resolution: Invest in yourself
From becoming a better leader to solving your organization’s most persistent problems, our executive education courses can help you make a profound impact on yourself and your organization.
We look forward to seeing you in one of our programs in 2018!

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