How I (sort of) do it
I'm often asked how I do these emails while still running my business, etc. There are two main answers: A) I have great partners, most importantly my wife; and B) I try to be highly efficient and productive with the 17 waking hours I have every day (yes, I really do average seven hours a sleep per night). In particular, last year a friend helped me go through my calendar and analyze how I was spending my time vis-à-vis school reform. For each calendar item, he asked me: "How is this helping kids?" He helped me realize how much time I was spending having meetings, visiting schools, going to evening events/fundraisers, and attending conferences. While I really like doing these things – I love meeting interesting new people, seeing fabulous schools in action, debating the big issues, etc. – I was doing too much of it, so I cut way back, which has freed up a lot of time for these emails (which I really hope are making a difference), as well as for my business and family.
I tell you this so you can imagine how much I was looking forward to attending (with my wife) the KIPP Newark "Be the Change" benefit tonight at the NJ Performing Arts Center. I was especially looking forward to it so I could share pics and videos about what this phenomenal network of schools is doing as part of my response to Diane Ravitch's toxic op ed in today's NYT. Thus, you can imagine how I was totally losing my mind as we got stuck in the worst traffic jam imaginable trying to get into the Lincoln Tunnel, forcing us to finally give up. GRRRR!!!!
I've now managed to rationalize this, however: by missing tonight's event, I got home two hours early and have the time to write this email…