Maximise Your Productivity To Unleash Your Potential

Image of an hourglass,Caption; Maximise your productivity to unleash your potential.

Image Credit: Freeimages “Ten years from now, do you really think all the time you spent gossiping at the water cooler or sitting in some smoke -filled lunch room or watching television will count for anything ?’’ – Robin Sharma, The Monk who sold his Ferrari. As I read through the words, it set in motion a string of thoughts of the time I spent in Coffee breaks or small talks at the Pantry. Some of us take pride in the fact that we work 12 hours a day, but if it was to be measured against Productivity, will it sum up? Towards the start of my career, I had the flaw of procrastination, especially if the task did not interest me. As a result, I spent much time dreading about it than the time it would have taken to complete. Over a period of time, self-discipline taught me the virtues of Productivity. I started my morning with a to-do list, ranked in order of priority, which set the tone for a fruitful day. I learnt to mix and match, ie doing a task that I like and going onto the other which is less interesting. Also, I learnt to say “No “for multiple Coffee breaks politely, citing deadlines. Since the major part of my day was filled with meetings, I took efforts to comb through the minutest of details that might crop up, thereby avoiding the risk of meetings running behind schedule. In my experience, I have found that […]

How involved are you in your financial planning?

Financial Planning, Image of a clock and plants growing over coins

Image credit: Pixabay Have you read Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’? In her book, the COO of Facebook, Sheryl, mentions that the division of chores at her household was traditional. Her (late) husband Dave Goldberg would handle the bills and the finances and Sheryl would take care of the kids’ activities, food and, the birthday parties etc. Dave was at that time the CEO of Survey Monkey and Sheryl is still the COO of Facebook. I for one was relieved to note that it was a traditional model they followed – he handled the bills and finance while she handled the other stuff. Because it reflected mine. And maybe, yours too? Unfortunately, in 2015, Dave suffered a fatal cardiac arrhythmia while he was running on a treadmill. For anyone, the sudden demise of a spouse is indeed an irreparable loss. Yet, anybody’s guess is that an educated and accomplished COO like Sheryl would have been able to ‘more than competently’ handle all decisions including financial ones, despite the sudden upheaval in her life. I wonder if I would be able to. How about you? Would you be able to handle the financial decisions that impact your life and those of your dependant’s ‘if’ life puts you in a spot where you need to? If you are reading this, you probably are well educated yourself, and maybe have had or still have a good job. Despite your education and career, do you make decisions on ‘where’ to invest and ‘how much’ to […]

Communication made easy… follow these simple tips

Communication made easy... image of two people sitting and having an argument.

Image Courtesy: Life11 The word ‘Communication’ comes from the latin word “commūnicāre, meaning “to share”. And we have enough digital platforms to share our thoughts, opinions and messages. We do not have to express because the virtual world does it for us. Every emoticon is unique and global too. No language barrier there and no translations required. However how effective is virtual communication. Do we understand? Do we get misunderstood? Does the message reach across? Digital platforms and social media are a huge advantage but let’s accept the fact, that with virtual communication people become less expressive. Because there is lesser human connectivity and so it seems more ‘virtual’ than real. As humans we have been blessed with 5 senses…almost 6. We can most certainly use these 5 senses to communicate. And communicate for real. Here are some tips that could be helpful in making real communication.   Intention: If intentions could be heard, words would not be needed. Often people think that people can read their minds. Ohh if that was true. But one has to speak their mind. By the time the thought changes to words and is spoken, the message loses its essence. So intention to speak is important. If one has thought that a communication has to be made, one will find words to speak. Words just need to be expressed not buried.   SMS- mode: what this means is to keep the conversation short and simple. Whether it’s a presentation, board room meeting, lecture or […]

Networking

image of humans standing in a circle holding hands... networking

Image courtesy: Pixabay The animal kingdom lives in herds. I have often wondered if the animal species was born with the innate wisdom of collectivism or they realized over a period that much more could be accomplished if we stick together than leading solitary lives. In modern parlance the same trait translates to networking. A network as we understand it is a group of people bound by a common goal, interest or ideology. Technology has made us more connected than ever. Today there are networks for all genres of people-single, married, weight watchers, vegans. We all want to belong somewhere and understand that there is much to gain from collective wisdom and experience. Networking is not only for the not so well known. Even the who’s who of the world are associated with organizations/societies like the Freemasons. From US presidents and senators, to CEOs and even notable Indians like Motilal Nehru and Swami Vivekananda were reportedly members of the Freemasons. Freemason members claim that the society gives them a sense of belonging and helped shape character. However, networking does not always have to be about following the herd so to say. We are all capable of creating our own herds. One of the not so often mentioned way of creating a herd is either to develop a skill that makes you stand out or to do something notable that is acknowledged by people, that catches their attention. One example that shines out today is that of Mumbai based lawyer Afroze […]

Get over Work-life balance… Work-life integration is more realistic

Work-Life integration - image of 3 blocks reading family, play, work

Image credit: Flickr Is your mobile phone next to you as you read this? Yes? Then, chances are that you also begin and end each day by checking the emails and messages on your mobile. Checking the mobile phone for work-related emails, messages and updates all through the day (and even when you get up in the middle of the night) is the new norm. After all, it is quite impossible to meet the boss’s expectations to be ‘on top of things’ if you aren’t connected to work. So is it time to get over the idealistic concept of ‘work-life balance’? I think so. The concept of ‘Work-life balance’ puts work and life at odds with each other, each to be achieved at the expense of the other. Not being able to achieve the ideal ‘work-life balance’ makes us dissatisfied. Often, ‘work-life balance’ seems archaic in a hyper-connected, VUCA world that demands us to be integrated with work like never before. Instead, what is more realistic is – ‘work-life integration’. Because work and life co-exist. Attending official calls even after working hours is a trade-off to the flexibility of taking your kids along with you to work whenever it is required. Work-life integration provides a sense of control to handle both work and life’s various demands simultaneously. In fact, work-life integration is happening all around us. You are likely to have witnessed working parents respond to their emails as they wait to pick up their kids from school. And, the […]

Building Bridges Through Communication

Image Courtesy: MeetingOne ‘’Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind’’ – Rudyard Kipling Working together as a team and being a team player plays a major role in smooth functioning and increasing productivity of an Organisation. Communication between Peers and Management becomes indispensable for the business. There are moments when conversing effectively seems like treading on a thin line. In an Industry that’s dominated by the opposite gender, talking firmly leads to being labelled as boisterous, whereas a calm tone earns the tag of being submissive. It is imperative to strike a balance and maintain the stance of being a professional. In my personal experience, it took a couple of experiences to set the limits and communicate assertively, yet politely. Functioning as a liaison between my Company and the Client, most of my day was spent interacting with people from different geographies, spanning across 42 countries. I learnt that the foremost task is to understand and respect the Cultural differences and communicate accordingly. For instance, I found my peers in Japan to be highly culture oriented and respectful in their conversations, while those in Turkey were extremely task oriented. I learnt to shadow their behavior and converse in the same tenor. While e-mail is an essential form of communication, over dependency on it leads to redundancy and waste of time. In case of differences, it’s best to have personal conversation than shooting strong emails. Involving people in decision making and encouraging them to talk their mind […]

Who told you more work is more productivity?

Caption Productivity - Time, Work, Health , Rest

Well, simply speaking- productivity is the result or output. But it’s a little more than result, its efficiency of result. Who told you, more work is more productivity? Productivity has many factors associated with it. Work is just one dimension to look at productivity. In fact we should consider many more aspects to productivity. Prudence of Time: Time and Tide waits for no man. Time is always hooked with productivity. Timely delivery is the key aspect to sustain any business. Hence it’s wise to be aware of time management. “Do, Delegate, Delay”- are essential elements of time management. Prioritize the job and do it right away. If you can’t do it then delegate it and get it done. In fact Dale Carnegie once said-“Those who don’t learn to delegate die young” .That simply summons the importance of delegation. Also say, if you cannot get many things done at a time, we can of course wait a little i.e. delay job and better concentrate on job at hand. Prudence of Work: The basis of the elements of time is Priority and Perfection. Always know what is important at the moment.  Higher the priority, earlier the chore needs your attention. But how much should it be done depends on the level of perfection expected. This level of perfection should be smartly decided. Always remember – Feed the Eagles and Starve the Turkeys. Not all chores require 100% perfection. In fact think on who decides standards of perfection. Always limit perfection based on […]

Stay Connected………..Within Reality

Stay Connected.....Within Reality. Image of a pyramid with different

What a privilege it is to live in an advanced era of today. Technology has probably made it possible to stay connected with each other irrespective of time zone, geographical boundary or economic status. We take the aid of wireless mode but are constantly wired with people around us. What an irony is that! However, as much as staying connected has helped us get closer virtually, it may have succeeded in pushing us away from each other physically.   A lifestyle where selfies, instagram posts and twitter posts compel us to open up about ourself in the most unusual way, we lose the warmth and naivety of human touch.  Social media is great for staying connected but often stresses us out more than keeping us in touch with each other. We succumb to pressures of trying to look our best for “likes” or fear to be judged for what we post or what we don’t post. So, somewhere the need to be naïve, real, vulnerable, awkward in front of people, among people is also necessary. After all these are the base emotions that help us clear our thoughts and emotions. Human connections are more than staying connected through the digital world. But while technology pushes us to get more and more into our own cocoon, the more we need to try and spread our web. Meeting friends, spending quality time with family, socializing, doing meaningful social services like charity, philanthropy, working towards the upliftment of underprivileged ….are few of the […]

Why women need to be financially independent?

Image Courtesy: Learning Child Let us begin the discussion from the past, say about two generations back, from the time our grand mothers were running their homes. By running their homes, I mean mentally and physically because the financial reins of the house were entrusted upon the men in the family. Man being the only earning member of the family, happily or miserably took care of all the financial needs of his family members. The women of the house looked up to the men for any need that involved money. And the women in my family, from that era, were quite happy following the same because that was how it was supposed to be. Only when a male member of the family was not able to earn a living did the women step out to support the family and that too came with a lot of restrictions.   Then came the next generation i.e. my mother’s generation. A majority of households still had men as the only earning member of a family. As earlier, a woman was still happy and satisfied playing the role of a housewife. If the husband deceived her, died early or in case of any other situation, the wife had no choice but to rely either on her kids or her extended family for both emotional and financial support.   In comparison to this majority, there existed a minority of women who were working and were happy being financially independent. They proudly shared the financial responsibilities […]

A life not so extra-ordinary may not necessarily be an unfulfilled one…

Image of happy family - Life is All About Balance

Image Courtesy: Freepik About a decade ago, I was happily living my life in Bangalore. The city has everything that a 20 something could ask for. Moving from Mumbai, the city was much more affordable, it has a cosmopolitan outlook, lot of places to hang out and the city was safer for women than say Delhi. Yes, I was not growing professionally but other than that life was as happy as it could be. I was at peace with myself and my surroundings. To top it all I had a lovely apartment with a balcony overlooking a beautiful garden and a swimming pool. A Mumbaikar can not ask for more. Just as I was thanking the Gods above for the life I was living, the Gods played a cruel joke and sent across a job offer from London. Everything about the London based job was exactly what I was looking for: reputed organization, global role, growth and opportunity to be trained and to work with the best. However, those were only the pros, the cons were going away from friends and family, living in a city with one of the highest cost of living in the world, a place where you will always be an immigrant and a culture that you have to make an effort to get used to. When we are young we don’t necessarily understand the importance of the cushion of family (immediate and extended) and close friends in our life. We assume we can take everything […]