Thursday, June 30, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
'I went to a restaurant that serves "breakfast at any time". So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.'
Monday, June 27, 2011
'If I miss one day of practice, I know it. If I miss two, my manager knows it. And if I miss 3 and my audience knows it.'
Sunday, June 26, 2011
In the picture below, we have David's 5 step process beautifully illustrated. David's 5 process involves:
1. Collect: Put in all your thoughts in the 'Bin' or collection tray.
2. Process: If actionable, decide on whether it is a '2 min' action or 'project'. If not, 'trash it', 'someday it' or 'reference it'
3. Organize: If it is a 'Project', then decide outcomes and break down the actions.
4. Review: Decide if you plan to 'do', 'delegate' or 'defer it'.
5. Do: Get it done!
1. Read through the whole illustration 3 times and understand it.
2. Plan on implementing 1 step every week!
This system works incredibly well and applies not only to tasks but also to email. More on that next week!
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
A learning a day..
(PS: I tend to have weirdly long days sometimes resulting in the next day being understandable short(36 hrs and then sleep through the next for example). So, the definition of day can be a bit..well.. shaky..
(PPS: That's just me making excuses! Hoping to make it happen..)
Monday, June 20, 2011
Principle 1: Never leave ideas in your head.
Solution: Use something that you carry around all the time. Some people carry notebooks.. i prefer just writing them on my phone. Every phone these days has a ‘Notes’ feature – you can keep putting these ideas in and email them to yourself so you know you will never forget. This generally eliminates a LOT of stress. These ideas could be anything – a simpler way to solve bank payment for example – just putting it down helps greatly.
What’s also important is you keep an idea collection ‘bin’ somewhere. When you email all these ideas, try and put them all in one place (instead of processing them all at once) so you can collect them and your brain knows it is there safe. When you have time to plan, you can plan accordingly.
Principle 2: Always decide 1 action step
Solution: Simple – just pen down the ideas with the action step. Eg: Clean room versus room has to be cleaned
Principle 3: Group admin tasks
Solution: Once you have a working bin (I use a file on the computer – a close friend uses a notebook), you can plan stuff on a Sunday morning. Then, you can start combining all admin tasks for a single day - instead of doing them one at a time.
If the meeting was face to face, he diligently took notes and first thing as soon as he got out, sent everyone a follow up email with action steps.
'We act as if comfort and luxury are the chief requirements of life when all we need to be happy is something to feel enthusiastic about.' |A Einstein
Sunday, June 19, 2011
David Allen, the famous productivity Guru was once asked for a 1 minute answer on a radio talk show to the question - What is the 1 thing we do that gets in the way of being productive?
His response was telling. 'It is never 1 thing, but 5 things all wrapped together.'
1. People keep stuff in their head
2. They don't decide what they need to do, about stuff they know they need to do something about (i.e. deciding a simple next step)
3. They don't organize action reminders and support material in functional categories (example: grouping admin tasks together)
4. They don't maintain and review a complete and objective inventory of their commitments (i.e. no collection bin)
5. Then they waste energy and burn out allowing their busy-ness to be driven by what's latest and loudest, hoping it's the right thing to do but never feeling the relief that it is (i.e. urgency driven)'
Here's to staying productive and stress free this week! :)
Happy learning all!
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
And just as we were settling the change and collecting the receipt, we heard loud honks from the car behind us.
Infuriated at their unfair behavior, I got off the car to ask them what the fuss was about. Surprised and slightly shaken, the guy who honked began talking at full speed, all flustered - 'I didn't honk at you. I honked at the guard. It was not you. I have a movie at 1pm. It's already 115pm'
Monday, June 13, 2011
'When you are 18, you spend 40% of your time wondering about what others think about you. When you are 40..
A long quote but a worthy one I think.
Happy Monday all!
He asks the participants to stretch their left arms out. Then, Jack pushes down on their left hand to test their usual strength.
Now, Jack asks them to think of something they can't do like 'I can't play the piano' and start saying it aloud. And when Jack pushes down on their arm, it is ALWAYS weaker.
For the final part, he asks them to reverse it by saying 'I can ….', and voila! their arms are strong again.
Our brains are designed to solve any problem and overcome any obstacle as long as we feed it with great fuel - the right attitude. So, are we going to take ownership and remove 'I can't' from our dictionary?
Here's to 'I can', and strength this week!
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
'The average man doesn't know what to do with his life but yet wants one that will last forever.' | Anatole France
Thursday, June 9, 2011
- Breathe. When stressed, lost in a problem or the past or future in your mind breathe with your belly for two minutes and just focus on the air going in and out. This will calm your body down and bring your mind back into the present moment again.
- Do one thing at a time. You’ll get better results and feel better and less stressed while doing those things.
- Write it all down. Use your mind for better things than remembering what to do. And the mind is often like a leaky bucket. So write down all your great ideas, insights, and thoughts before they go missing somewhere and add what you need to do to a to-do list.
- Do all your food shopping once a week. You’ll save time, energy and possibly money.
- Stop doing what you don’t like doing anymore. Life changes and so do you. If you you don’t like doing something anymore then stop doing that (even if it may take some time before you can do so by for example switching jobs).
- Stop trying to please everyone. There will always be people who you don’t get along with or that do not like you for some reason.
- Stop trying to do things perfectly. Go for good enough instead and when you are there you are done. Get things all the way to done this way and then move on to the next thing.
- Pack your bag before you go to bed. Then you don’t have get stressed out by that in morning and you are less likely to forget something.
- Throw out the things you haven’t used in 1 year. Go through what you have and ask yourself if you have used it in the past year. If not, give it away to charity or a friend or simply throw it out.
- Ask yourself simplifying questions every day. Questions like “What is the most important thing I can do right now?”.
- Keep everything in its place. If everything has its own place then it is whole lot easier to keep your home reasonably ordered and decluttered from day to day. This also helps you with your inner stillness as the outer environment affects how you feel on the inside.
- Cook more food than you’ll eat. I usually make two or three servings of what I am about to eat. This cuts down on time that you spend on cooking and you’ll have to do less washing up in general. Plus, it’s good to have portions of food to bring to work to save some money.
- Write shorter emails. I tend to write emails containing only a few sentences, usually between one and five. If you focus on keeping it short and focused then you’ll probably discover that this is a good solution in most cases.
- Ask instead of guessing. Reading minds is hard. So, instead ask questions and communicate. This will help you to minimize unnecessary conflicts, misunderstandings, negativity and waste or time and energy.
- Use a minimalistic workspace. My work space is just a laptop on a small black desk made out of wood. I use a comfy chair and there is room for my glass of water beside the computer. That’s it. There are no distractions here. Just me, the computer and the water.
- Check everything just once a day. I check my email inboxes, blog statistics, my online earnings, Twitter and Facebook just once a day. I combine all that checking into one small daily ritual at the end of my work day so I don’t slip and go checking it more during the day and waste my energy and attention.
- Choose small daily acts of kindness. Instead of small acts of judgment and criticism towards the people around you.
- Don’t make mountains out of molehills. Before you you start thinking too much about something and building it up something big in your head, ask yourself “am I making a mountain out of a molehill here? And if you get lost victim thinking in some way then ask yourself “does anyone on the planet have it worse than me right now?”.
- Spend 15 minutes each Sunday to plan the next week. Write down your plans for the week, organize your prioritized to-do list and get ready for the week before you are in the middle of it all. This will help you to find more clarity, get more of the most important things done next week and minimize stress.
- Cancel subscriptions for things you rarely get around to watching or reading anyway.
- Spend more time with people that help you to keep things simple. And spend less time with people that drag you down into overcomplicating everything and creating unnecessary drama.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
Sunday, June 5, 2011
During the process, I experimented with the following -
Saturday, June 4, 2011
The trouble is, we are short on simple, clear information about good mental habits. Few people know about what it takes to have optimum mental health, and the implications of being out of balance. It is not taught in schools, or discussed in business. The issue just isn't on the table. Businesses schedule time as if the brain had unlimited resources, as if we could focus well all day long. Every week I talk to an organization who says that their biggest problem is simply the overwhelm their people are feeling. Without good information about the mind and brain, we may be stretching ourselves in ways that may have bigger implications than poor eating habits.
So, my friend and colleague Dr. Daniel J. Siegel and I got together and decided to create what we're calling the Healthy Mind Platter. This platter has seven essential mental activities necessary for optimum mental health in daily life. These seven daily activities make up the full set of 'mental nutrition' that your brain needs to function at it's best. By engaging regularly in each of these servings, you enable your brain to coordinate and balance its activities, which strengthens your brain's internal connections and your connections with other people.
The seven essential mental activities are:
Focus Time. When we closely focus on tasks in a goal-oriented way, taking on challenges that make deep connections in the brain.
Play Time. When we allow ourselves to be spontaneous or creative, playfully enjoying novel experiences, which helps make new connections in the brain.
Connecting Time. When we connect with other people, ideally in person, richly activating the brain's social circuitry.
Physical Time. When we move our bodies, aerobically if possible, which strengthens the brain in many ways.
Time In. When we quietly reflect internally, focusing on sensations, images, feelings and thoughts, helping to better integrate the brain.
Down Time. When we are non-focused, without any specific goal, and let our mind wander or simply relax, which helps our brain recharge.
Sleep Time. When we give the brain the rest it needs to consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day.
We're not suggesting a specific recipe for a healthy mind, as each individual is different, and our needs change over time too. And we're not suggesting that business suddenly changes everything and reorganized all of work. The point is to become aware of the full spectrum of essential mental activities, and just like with essential nutrients, make sure that at least every few days we are nudging the right ingredients into our mental diet.
Just like you wouldn't eat only pizza every day for days on end, we shouldn't just live on focus time and little sleep. Mental wellness is all about giving your brain lots of opportunities to develop in different ways. In organizations, from a practical perspective, this means allowing people to work from home more, to be more flexible, to give people more autonomy.
In short, it is important to eat well, and we applaud the new healthy eating plate. However as a society we are sorely lacking in good information about what it takes to have a healthy mind. We hope that the healthy mind platter creates an appetite for increasing awareness of what we put into our minds too.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
He was the player I looked up to the most in the football world and was among the biggest reasons I chose to be a fan of Manchester United. Even during the days of Ronaldo, the sight of Scholes' name on the team sheet thrilled me the most.
The events after the Barcelona game were fitting. A reporter described it best -
'Stood, clad in Iniesta’s sweat-drenched shirt, Scholes had to disappoint Messi, Xavi, Busquets and Pedro by informing each that he had already surrendered his jersey. For all their modern mastery of the football, Barcelona’s pass-poppers recognised that they were in the presence of the greatest little maestro of his generation.'
When I wrote expressing my admiration for him earlier this year, I wrote..
'If we are lucky, Scholes will decide to play on for another season before he hangs up his boots. If Ryan Giggs retires at the same time, the media will be all over Giggs showering one accolade after another and Scholes will be written about as another one of those greats who probably never got the credit or praise he deserved. People will speak of his eye catching passes, his spectacular goals and they will move on. News stays fresh only for a few hours after all.. But, football will be poorer for it. Football would have lost an artist, a role model for many a youngster, a humble family man, one of its few remaining 'one club men' - all rolled in one.This blogger is reminded of an article written ages ago by a leading journalist on Sachin Tendulkar accusing the Indian media of taking him for granted.
'It is unlikely that the tourist guide loitering on the perimeters of the Taj monument would have appreciated its timeless beauty — and even if he did, it is less likely that he might have pondered its historic value to a civilization.'
It is much the same with Paul Aaron Scholes. We know not what we will miss..'