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When Michelle Millben served as a White House adviser and Congressional liaison for President Obama, the idea of finding time for quiet reflection often seemed, in a word, ludicrous.

She was working almost around the clock, managing relations between the White House and lawmakers in the final years of the Administration.

So, she relied on a simple but unconventional strategy: She scheduled tiny increments of quiet time in her day.

But Michelle, a practicing minister, and professional musician as well as a professional in politics and law—recognized that all the sound and stimulation were unsustainable. She knew she needed time for reflection in silence in order to maintain her energy, find clarity, and make the right decisions.

Today, as the founder and CEO of an educational startup targeted at kids, Michelle continues to work to guard the silent sanctuaries in her calendar. For years now, Michelle has used a spreadsheet as a “reality check” to see when she might find pockets of silence in her day. 

Read the complete Fast Company article BY JUSTIN ZORN AND LEIGH MARZ:

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