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21 Day Challege | #writingblackness

Last week I attended the 2022 BRAINS Symposium as an invited panelist. There was such an alignment with our CareFull Scholars model by encouraging us to conduct science in a sustainable and soul-fulfilling way.

The audience consisted of neuroscientists who do all types of investigations: from cellular mechanisms to psychological testing. However, the focus of the symposium was on the care and well being of the investigator. One of my favorite presentations was a talk given by Chris Loving (Yes, that is his real name and his actual demeanor!) Chris’ talk was based on an idea from the book “The Seven Habits Highly of Highly Effective People” and focused on a topic from the Habit “Putting First Things First.

Putting First Things First can be represented by a 2x2 matrix.


While it might be assumed that most of what we do at work is important to our career advancement, the research says that may not the case. In fact, most of us spend far less time in quadrant II than is needed and far more time in Quadrans I and III. We often end up in Quadrant IV out of sheer exhaustion. Fortunately, reading this blog is a Quadrant 2 activity. The purpose of it is to help you change your habits so that you become more effective at your job while being more fulfilled as a human being. That is nor urgent but it is very, very important. Another Quadrant 2 activity is joining a community of practice, such as our own HBCU STEM HUB (sign up here to get more information on upcoming events). Here’s some others for you to consider - If you are into neuroscience then join BRAINS. - If your research interests are related to health in any way, check out this series sponsored by NIH - Becoming a resilient scientist series.

Here’s one more I just learned about today. An online community of Black writers (#writingblackness). Today just happens to be the first of a 21 day challenge to write for 1 hour each day. That’s only two 30- minute Pomodoros a day and you can even use one of them to focus on your Quadrant 2. Why not give it a try. You DO have 30 minutes for Quadrant 2. You DO have 30 minutes to write. Start today.

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