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 […]

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 […]

Sabbatical – How to get through it…

Image of a animated aeroplane with a cloud reading Time Out! - cation: Sabbatical - How to get through it

Image Courtesy: WikiHow. Gauri a software developer, playing a key role in the design, installation, testing and maintenance of software systems in high pressure situations, at times clocking over 50 hours a week. She felt stuck in a rut grappling with exhaustion and discontentment. After wondering for months if while trying to make a career did she forget to make a life for herself, she finally took a break. Priya loved her job as a web designer, coding and modifying websites, from layout to function meeting client expectations. She became a mother last year and in absence of dependable support called it quits and became a stay at home mom. Different circumstances leading to similar situation, a break from work aka ‘sabbatical’. What is a sabbatical? Traditionally, a sabbatical involves a break from work for a mutually agreed-upon time frame between employee and employer. But a sabbatical isn’t always traditional. Only a handful of companies in India actually encourage and endorse the concept of taking a break. A person may take a sabbatical on feeling burnt-out or disgruntled at work but more often than not women are coerced into taking a break as a result of familial or motherhood responsibilities. Myths related to a sabbatical once you take a break it is improbable to get a job back. companies frown upon the gap seen in your resume taking a sabbatical equals to missing the bus and you can never catch up once you take a break you lose touch These […]

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 […]

Money…..Matters!

Image Courtesy: eharmony A smile, a clap, a beautiful thought or a friendly gesture…..these are some of the the best things in life that are free. For everything there is a price tag attached. A dream of achieving  goal, an ambition of becoming someone, a tourist destination that is worth every penny, an asset that people would envy, a luxury that only few can afford. Money does matter!!!! But it always does not have to seem like a burden. The number of hours one can work and earn is limited but the number of ways in which money can be planned and spent is unlimited. Money comes and goes. However, Finance is what keeps track of money being earned and spent.   Saving v/s Spending: Investment is a kind of money saving technique. When a substantial amount of money is locked for a particular cause for few years, the assurance of that chunk not being spent is there. And it can further be used in future if required. Often investment in property, real estate, land, funds are good ways of stocking up money.  When it comes to spending, there are no clear rules.  Because what may seem a costly luxury to one, would be a simple item for the other.  But it would be good to follow a simple motto “Every penny saved is every penny earned”. So, spending wisely and as much as needed is a simple way of saving too.   Financial independence v/s Financially independent: Financial independence […]

Miles To Go Before I Sleep… Goal Planning

Image courtesy: cpacareermentor “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie A goal is not an end, but a means to an end. As humans, we are insatiable. When we attain something we desire, we yearn for more, and it goes in a loop. Irrespective of whatever the need maybe, Career, Monetary benefits or any other perks, we are set the constant question “What next”? While climbing up the corporate ladder, many dream of achieving greatness, but only a few attain it. Some drift aimlessly, wherever the wind takes them, without any set targets or goals. When it comes to Career, Goal setting is very much necessary starting from the grassroots level. There is no one universal way of Goal planning; it is left up to the Individual’s attitude and determination in achieving it. In the course of my career, I have sought help from my Managers/Mentors when I faced a setback. To fail is human, but not making a comeback is catastrophic. In a nutshell, some of the lessons I learnt are summarised below: Understand what you want in the long run. Set specific short term goals that will help to achieve the long term goals along with an expiry date. It gives immense satisfaction to look back at all the things we have achieved. It is constructive to discuss the set goals with your immediate Manager. It projects you to be focussed and ambitious, […]

Career Tracking, Yardstick To Achieve Excellence

Image courtesy: timeshighereducation “Anything that is measured and watched, improves” – Bob Parsons It’s true that work becomes our secondary life. Something so cherished requires constant introspection not only for the Individual, but for the Organization as well. Since ample energy, efforts and manpower is spent at work, it becomes inevitable to ensure it’s on a progressive path. While some start their careers in their respective field, some might opt for greener pastures offering better monetary compensation. Though in the beginning stages it’s reasonable to experiment, there comes a phase where settling in and constant self-evaluation becomes a must. The important aspect of Career Tracking is to be cognizant of the person’s academic proficiency, areas of expertise and then setting deterministic career goals accordingly. Having short term goals and evaluating them at regular intervals yields better results. If an individual is feeling stuck in a job that does not add value, it’s better to make a lateral move in the related field to enhance learning and experience. Also, it’s perfectly fine to take a break, sharpen one’s skills and make a comeback. In today’s era, many companies offer mentorship programs. Apart from imparting knowledge and sharing best practices, such associations do help in understanding where one’s career stands and suggests the improvements needed. If in course of time, an individual is unable to pace up with the set targets, it’s always wise to seek help from peers or mentors.Also, continuous learning ensures to bridge the skill gap and stay relevant […]

The Art Of Balancing Act

The Art of Balancing Act - Woman balancing and walking on a string

Image Courtesy: mapixel.freegreatpicture.com We all are faced with challenges and choices. Most often a woman has to make a choice between work and family, career and marriage. Well, one does not need to be sacrificed for the other. Both are equally important and contribute in totality to a woman’s life. They can very well coexist with a little smart planning and doing what we call is the balancing act. Here are a few tips that can be followed to master the balancing act.   Accept the change: Most women try to continue the lifestyle they had before marriage, after marriage too. Though this is not an unusual expectation to have, it is an unusual experience for sure. Changes will come. Priorities will change and things may not seem as before. But that’s what it’s all about. To accommodate that change into the current lifestyle. Accepting it makes the transition easier. Further as the brood increases with children, lifestyle will change more. A loud jarring tv channel with constant swaps, or a fight for the remote may replace a quiet evening watching your favorite Tv channel. That’s absolutely fine. Maybe an occasional quiet evening someday will help in rejuvenating.   Balance and not juggle: Most people get confused between balancing and juggling. Juggling is doing too many things at the same time whereas balancing is the art of prioritizing and doing things one by one. A work life balance is achieved when a bit of priority is marked to certain activities. Anything that […]