A Brief Note on TenureAugust 25th, 2016 · 68 comments
I don’t like talking about myself (outside discussions of hyper-specific productivity techniques), so I’ll keep this announcement brief…
At some point early on in my graduate student career I set two somewhat arbitrary goals for my academic trajectory: to become a professor by the age of 30 and tenured by the age of 35.
I ended up starting at Georgetown at the age of 29, and earlier this summer I earned tenure at the age of 33 (though I since turned 34).
There are many factors that help fuel an academic career, and many fell outside my direct control.
But reflecting on these past five years, it’s easy for me to identify what was by far the highest ROI activity in my professional life: deep work.
I know I’ve said similar things a million times before. And it’s not sexy. And it’s not a contrarian “hack.”
But in my case, focusing intensely on hard things that people unambiguously value, day after day, week after week, was more or less the whole ball game.