Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tips on time management


Time is a vital constituent of life. The best way to save time is to simply do things right the first time. Time managed well equals time saved effectively.

So, without wasting another moment, let’s get started with some effective time management tips.

  1. 80/20 rule to the rescue. Eliminate 20% of the things that cause 80% unhappiness to you. Choose those 20% things that bring 80% happiness to you and give you the desired outcomes. Focus on them and work on them wisely.
  2. Set your priorities straight. Don’t complicate your life by getting involved in things you don’t have to. Don’t take up more than you can handle. Focus on the most important tasks and say no to all else.
  3. Learn from your mistakes. Every mistake has a lesson to offer. Each mistake adds to your wisdom. This wisdom and experience will save you time, the next time you do something new because you already know which road is not to be taken.
  4. Write things down. If don’t write write things down, you are going to forget them. If you forget them, you are going to waste time trying to remember them. God knows how much time is that going to take (Read : WASTE). So, write things down and save time later.
  5. Learn to say NO more often. If you say yes to every request made to you, you will end getting involved in some time wasting tasks that wouldn’t hold any importance to you. Such tasks clearly waste time and leave you with no time for yourself. Your time is precious, start saying no to unwanted things.
  6. Say not to procrastination. This is the greatest time killer. The more you stay away from it, the happier and more accomplished you will be will. Don’t invite unnecessary stress by putting things off. Dedicate a deadline and get done with your tasks before it takes a toll on you.
  7. Say no to perfectionism. This positive word is of no good when it comes to work. Instead of trying to make things perfect, try to make them good enough. Instead of putting them off for the perfect time, do them now. Perfectionism is just an excuse, just do it!
  8. Stop over-analysing. Over-analysis eats up a lot of time and stops us from doing our work. Instead of wasting time in trying to analyse the pros and cons of something, focus on accomplishing that thing. Over-analysis would lead to stress and you will end up wasting time over something you didn’t even do!
  9. Live in the present. Obsessing over the past is as useless as trying to control the future. The past has happened and can’t be changed. The future hasn’t happened yet and is uncertain. Live in the present and make the best out of it. Don’t waste your time over the uncontrollable.

Single-task. When you focus all your attention on one task, you finish it in a lesser time than when you try to multi-task thinking that you will finish all the tasks simultaneously. Multitasking not only takes up longer time but also degrades the quality of each task. Single-task always to save time and deliver quality.

Positives of a TV-free week


Ever wondered, what things would you be able to accomplish if you shun your television for a week?  My momma always says, “Turn off the TV, it is not helping you.” So, I decided to give it a try and stayed away from the TV for a good one week to see what difference can the absence of a TV make in my life. Turns out, it had a huge positive effect on my life, though it was a little tough in the beginning. I would happily want to reduce my TV time now or better yet give it up completely, with time.

Please note that giving up TV also means not watching any TV related thing online.

Sharing with you, 10 the positives that came out of this exercise.

  1. Enhanced focus. Let’s admit it, TV is a huuuge distraction even if it is playing across the wall in another room. It became so much easier for me to concentrate with the TV shut completely. I worked with better focus and it took lesser time to get my work completed.
  2. Increased family communication. With the TV always ON during the dinner time, my family was missing out on the family talks. Everybody was always involved in the Prime Time news while having their dinner. But with the TV not playing anymore, we talked more, laughed at each other’s joke rather than at the comedian playing on TV and had some intelligent conversations at the dinner table.
  3. Burned more calories. Sure enough, I could always be seen on the couch with the remote in my hand. With the TV off, I moved around more and gave up being a couch potato. It definitely burned more calories as I was always moving around and not just sitting right there on the couch.
  4. Went cycling. Guess what I used to do in my free time? Watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S on Romedy Now. But this whole week, I went for cycling. Have to say, I feel good about it and surely going to continue with this fitness exercise.
  5. Organized my monthly planner. Replaced the ‘watch TV’ time slot after dinner with ‘organize your monthly planner’. I planned in advance for the next day each night and this surely turned around my days for good.
  6. Tried new recipes. Since I hadn’t been watching TV before dinner anymore, I tried cooking for myself and my family. Tried out newer recipes and let’s just say I never knew I can cook this well. Also tried baking some scrumptious brownies. Loving this new found love for baking!
  7. Got more done. I was always ‘busy’ with the TV playing all the time. The news, the shows, the movies always held me back from doing much more than I was doing. Staying away from the TV made me work a lot more. In an attempt to keep myself busy, I ironed my clothes the night before and organized my closet. I could think of better blog topics. My life became a lot more organized and i actually busy doing stuff rather than lazing around the TV.
  8. Got time to meditate and relax quietly. With the TV constantly playing, I couldn’t relax mentally nor could my eyes relax. I took time to meditate in silence and that not only relaxed my senses but also made me feel more energized. Instead of concentrating on the TV, I concentrated on myself.
  9. Read a novel. I utilized the free time reading a self-help book – ‘The power of habits’ by Charles Duhigg. I would have never thought of reading a book because I was always ‘occupied’. I must say, I loved this book, there are some pretty good take-a-ways. I would like to continue this practise of reading such books by cutting down on my TV in the future as well.

Lived more. I loved the real life experiences more than reel-life experiences I had during my TV time. I indulged in some deep conversations with my sister over the phone. I also had time to catch up with a school friend after 7 years because I was always pseudo occupied. Undoubtedly, I lived more!

Habits of happy people


Habits make you happy or sad. This implies happy habits make you happy and sad habits make you sorrowful and morose. So, if you want to lead a happy you might want to check out the happy habits mentioned below that almost all happy people share.

Check them out-

  • Spend time with loved ones. With our fast-paced lives and hectic schedules, we get so much involved with our work that we get to spend lesser time with our family and friends. To make it to the deadlines, we cut on the time that we would have spent with our friends, family, spouse or children. Time spent with the loved ones is free from stress and gives happiness because the bonds are real and unforced ones. The love is selfless and there are no demands or complaints so you can be your true self. Keep your work away from your personal life and spend quality time with your people. Don’t compromise your personal life for your work engagements. Don’t give up on your happiness for your deadlines.
  • Get involved in something you believe in. It can be anything from a religious group that brings you spirituality & peace to a society meant to support a social cause or a passion that you want to pursue. When you are involved in something that means so much to you, you feel happy from inside. Such engagements give purpose to your life, peace to your mind and happiness to your soul. There are activities that bring you money but rob you off your happiness. Don’t compromise your happiness for a handful of dollars. Money will definitely buy you luxury but it cannot buy you happiness. You might become a billionaire but if you aren’t happy, is it even worth it?
  • Reflect positively. In an urge to correct some undesirable outcomes, we end up focusing too much on the negative outcomes that we forget to positively reflect upon our successes. There is nothing bad in striving to correct the wrong but it is important to mindfully reflect on the good as well. Even if to correct them but if we keep focusing on the negative, we end up sidelining the positives. So much attention to the negatives will shift the paradigm of our focus on negativity, which in turn will degrade our performance and affect our happiness.
  • Utilise the resources that you have access to. Availability of all the resources does not ensure happiness but the way we utilize even the limited resources is what gives happiness. Often times, we get baffles when we see a handicapped person in pure state of happiness. We are forced to think “How could someone in a restricted physical state be so happy?” The answer is – because that person has accepted the reality and is utilizing the resources available to him/her for their happiness. The best example would be of Stevie Wonder, a blind who won 25 Grammy Awards in Music. You ask how? He exploited his sense of hearing to pursue his passion for music. Even in a limited availability of resources, we always have a choice, a choice to utilise it in a way that would give us happiness.

Create happy endings. A powerful ending can make a powerful impact. Think about watching a movie that had a good run throughout. Now imagine an ending for it that is next level tragic and sucks. Even if the storyline was captivating and the movie was interesting right before the climax, would you still recommend it to your friends? I guess NOT. Why? Because the experience will not be a happy one. People always remember the climax and happy endings give happy experiences. Same goes for life, always strive for happy endings whenever possible. Leave things on a good note, create happy memories, create happy experiences. Life is too short to be experiencing crap!

Drug free ways to stay awake


Staying awake these days is easy. Shots of espresso, cups of cappuccino, hash-weed joints- there are so many options to choose from. These will definitely keep you awake but excessive amounts of caffeine, marijuana and other drugs will affect your health badly. This brings me to the main question- “Is there a way to stay awake without the usage of any drugs?”

Well, this article is all about 10 healthy or better yet drug-free ways of staying awake. Check them out.

  1. Cold water. This is a time-tested trick. Remember how teachers at school send children to wash their face when they dodge off in the middle of a class? Hands down, splashing cold water on your face can actually keep drowsiness at bay.
  2. The digestion process makes us feel sleepy because our body spends a huge amount of energy in digesting the food. Fasting can help if you want to stay awake. Just make sure that you compensate the production of acid in your stomach by drinking a lot of water.
  3. Jotting down. When you are feeling sleepy in the middle of an important work meeting, start writing the important take-a-ways of that meeting on a notepad or a sheet of paper. If there is nothing important to write, you can utilise the time by making a TO-DO list. This keeps our mind busy and distracts us from sleep.
  4. Use the unlimited data pack to watch a funny clip or a video of your favourite stand-up comedian. Laughing stimulates our mind and helps us stay wide awake.
  5. Get motivated. Often times we feel sleepy because we are bored and we don’t have a reason to be awake. Watch a motivational video over the internet or read a motivational blog to get that boost of motivation that would keep you going.
  6. Tickle the top of your mouth cavity. This is a little unusual but this actually works. Rubbing your tongue against the top of your mouth cavity create a tingling sensation in our mouth. This tickles the nerves and gives a jolt that is enough to keep you awake.
  7. Light it up. If you are working in a dark room, it is natural to feel sleepy because darkness promotes sleepiness. Switch on the lights of your room, light the corners up, this will help stay awake for a longer time.
  8. Nutritious snacks. Fruits like apple, berries that are rich in vitamins and minerals, nuts like almonds, walnuts that give energy are good to munch on when you feel sleepy. They don’t increase your weight and are great energy boosters too.
  9. Up-beat music. An upbeat music improves your mood, takes away the gloom and eliminates the drowsiness. Listen to some party or workout worthy music when you are feeling low or sleepy.

Get enough sleep. You will feel sleepy if you don’t sleep when you should have. Taking proper rest and sleep when you have time, definitely helps to pull all-nighters or to stay up till late when the need arises.

Living a good life


‘Good Life’ – the definition of it might differ from person-to-person because of the difference in needs and perceptions. However, generally speaking, a good life implies a happy life with peace of mind, with the loved ones kept close, with clarity in personal goals and a happy ending.

Isn’t it? We all want a life that is happy and balanced. But we get caught up in our fast-paced lives that we are unable to maintain a balance between work and personal life. And, happiness and peace are seen rarely.

Here are some reminders that would help you live a good life.

  • Nurture your relationships. Our loved ones are the most important people in our lives. They love us unconditionally, care for us selflessly and are always there for us through thick and thin. Spend time with your dear ones because that is pure bliss. You might become a billionaire but if you lose all your relationships along the way, you won’t be happy in that sense of loneliness.
  • Be self-sufficient. Be your own boss. Don’t depend yourself upon others when you need some money. Don’t let anybody influence you emotionally. Be physically fit so that you don’t need someone to be your human crutch. Aim for self-sufficiency in all spheres. When you let someone else control your life, you aren’t free. This lack of freedom can never make you happy.
  • Follow your passion. Do what you love and love what you do. If you aren’t passionate about something you are pursuing, you won’t be successful in it and you would end being sorrowful and morose. Do what your heart really wants you to do. Don’t give up on your passion because of anyone. Don’t give up your chances of being a master in something that you love to be a mediocre in something that you don’t even like.
  • Efficiently utilize the resources that you have. Unlimited resources don’t guarantee success. Success comes when you efficiently utilize the limited resources that you have. The finest example of this would be Stevie Wonder. He was a blind but won 25 Grammy Awards. How? He exploited his sense of hearing to follow his passion in music. Don’t let the unavailability of resources stop you from achieving what you really want.
  • Live in the moment. The past has already happened and cannot be changed. The future hasn’t happened yet and is uncertain. Obsessing over the past or worrying about the future will only rob you off your happiness and peace of mind. Just concentrate on the present and make the best out of it. When you fully commit yourself to the present, you are satisfied and this satisfaction yields happiness.

Create memories. When you retire someday, all you have would be memories of the life that you led. Keep this day in mind and think of what kind of life would you want to look back then? Do you want it to be unhappy and un-happening or do you want it to be the other way around? So, create more memories. Laugh more. Worry less. Spend time with your loved ones. Travel a little more. Live a life so full of memories that you won’t have to regret it later. Follow your heart, do what you want.

Black belts are white belts that never gave up


The basic difference between a black belt and a white belt-owning person is that the black belt-owning person didn’t give up against the intensifying efforts that were required to be put in by him/her. He kept challenging himself outside of his comfort zone. He continued training consistently without any hesitation or complaints. He was determined to earn that black belt and persevered despite all odds. In simple words, he didn’t quit.

On the other hand, the person wearing a white belt gave up easy when the intensity of efforts started to increase. He choose his comfort zone rather and never bothered to challenge himself. This person might have been a born genius but he chose not to face the difficulties, he chose not to learn. He gave up very early!

In life, this black belt description defines any person who sails through the difficulties but is determined to come out stronger when the storm ends. Those who give up in the face of adversities are left with the white belt.

Sharing with you, six black belt keys for success.

  • Work hard. There is no shortcut to success and the route involves work hard. Sweat it out because the more you sweat in practice the less you bleed in the final battle. Success doesn’t come easy. Hard work is the cost that you pay for it.
  • Learn from your mistakes. Each mistake has a lesson to offer. Learn the lessons and move on. Don’t stagnate because of a mistake. Mistakes are stepping stones to success. The more mistakes you make, the wiser you become because each mistake adds wisdom and experience.
  • Set goals. Unless you have a goal, what are you going to work for? Set a personal goal and work accordingly to achieve your goals. Otherwise you will end up making efforts over something that doesn’t even matter to you.
  • Don’t quit. This is the most important one. Winners never quit and quitters never win. If you give up, you are already out of the battle. What are you going to work for now? Be determined to achieve your goals despite all odds.
  • Find a mentor. A mentor is someone who has been in your shoes and survived. Such a person is full of advices and first-hand experiences. Learn from them and value their opinions.

Be consistent. Keep training yourself and never stop learning. Be consistent in your approach. Don’t try to complete a week’s work in a few hours nor fool yourself into doing a few hour’s work in a week. Be consistent. Take small but consistent steps towards your goal.

How to productively utilize the time sinks

We cannot and should not work 24/7. That is practically impossible and insane. There are some days when we are all charged up to work and strike out all the tasks off our TO-DO list. Then, there are days when we don’t feel like working and want some time to ourselves.

Here are 5 ways that will help you to productively utilize your time sinks.

  • Have an intelligent conversation. Discuss something that interests you with someone. The mere act of discussion something intelligent and interesting puts your mind into activity. This way you won’t waste whole of your time and your brain would get prepared for the tasks ahead. This is way better than just lazing around.
  • Indulge in something you love. When you do something you love endorphins are released that make you happy. This will ease your mind of stress and work related worry. The activity would make you feel fresh and get your mind in momentum for the pending work.
  • Take a short nap. Sometimes all we need is a little break and a time out from the hustle of the life. A nap rejuvenates us and gives our mind the much needed break. Such a boost of energy can only be achieved from sleep. Go ahead put your alarm clock to work and dodge off for a little while. When a nap is all you need, don’t feel guilty! 😉
  • Read or listen to something inspirational. Sometimes, life feels purposeless. We get so much engrossed in the chaos of life that all the confusion stops us from getting to work. In such times, read or listen to something that inspires you, motivates you or pushes you to push your limits. It can be a song or a book or anything. The idea is to get back the zeal and enthusiasm.
  • Do some exercise. Exercise is the best way to relieve the stress in your body. It gets your blood flowing and release endorphins, the happiness hormones. Take a walk, go for a swim, work out at the gym or do yoga. It releases stress, eliminates the bodily inertia and gets you going.

These five ways are sure to get you into the mood to work. They will ensure that your time doesn’t get wasted. They ensure a fruitful use of the break time. They pick your mood up and put you in the work mode.

Next time whenever you feel like wasting your time or taking a time out, give these a try. You won’t regret! 😉

Mindful ways to spend your hard-earned money


Saving and mindfully investing our hard-earned money is one of the most important things that we have to do in our lives. People either completely save their money and live a mediocre life compromising with their desires and wishes or they mindlessly blow their money on useless crap. No one should have to live neither on compromises nor on worthless spending of their hard-earned money.

Here are some practical ways to ensure mindful spending of your hard-earned money.

  • Update your skills. Use your money to learn new skills whether technical courses like learning programming languages, Adobe Photoshop etc. or non-technical courses like learning different languages, meditation classes to enhance your focus, dance classes etc. Learn any skill that adds value to your career or interests you.
  • Join a fitness centre. Join a fitness centre to commit to a good health because health is wealth. Without good health, aiming for all the success and worldly affluences is worthless. Commit yourself to a healthy mind and body by joining a fitness centre or some aerobics/zumba classes. Alternatively, you can also hire a personal trainer who commits him/herself for keeping you on a fitness regime.
  • Travel to meet your loved ones. Trust me when I say, there is no better way to spend your money than to nurture your relationship with your dear ones. Book air tickets and fly to meet them or spend money on buying them something useful. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your loved ones happy and bringing a smile on their faces. All the money and success has no worth if we don’t have our loved ones around to share the joy with.
  • Go on a vacation. Going on a vacation is one of the best ways to use your money for. It not only gives us a break from the hectic schedule but also rejuvenates us. If you really want to splurge your money on yourself, then plan a luxurious vacation for yourself with your friends or family. It is the best way to spend on yourself rather than wasting your money buying useless crappy things. Plan a vacation twice or thrice a year. Explore the world. There is so much more to life than the city you are living in has to offer.
  • Upgrade something you use regularly. The idea is to use money on stuff that is used by you regularly rather than wasting money on stuff that you barely use. If you are a movie buff and like to chill in front of the TV with your family and friends on weekends or holidays, buy yourself a 60-70 inches huge television with home theatre. Spend money on things that you really use and things that you love to use.

Replace or fix what is broken. Spend money on fixing the broken gadgets or stuff in your house. For example- fix the air conditioner if it is leaking, fix the refrigerator if it is not cooling enough or fix the car lights or screeching brakes. If something cannot be fixed, replace it. Add value to your home so that you can relax in peace when you are back from work. Rather than buying unnecessary things, fix the necessary things in and around the house.

Irrational thoughts to stay away from

Countless irrational thoughts surround us all the time. Even the most intelligent mind can fall prey to some irrational thoughts. These thoughts unnecessarily clutter our mind and hold us back. They not only affect the balance in our life but also affect the stability of our relationships.

Irrational thoughts lack logic and so cannot be sorted out. Hence, it is always better to stay consciously aware of such thoughts. Your life will be more productive if you learn to avoid this type of negative thoughts.

Mentioned below are some irrational thoughts that should be avoided at all costs.

  • Success and failure are like black and white. There is no grey in between them. This thought will hold you back from trying out new things. You will always be scared thinking you might fail. Success is not the opposite of failure, giving-up attitude is. Failure is a stepping stone to success. Every failure has a lesson to offer. Failure is not a dead-end. It opens up newer opportunities.
  • Everyone around me should like me. If I want to be content, I should please one and all. First of all, it is practically not feasible for anyone to please everyone. And second of all, it only invites unnecessary stress and unhappiness in life. You cannot please everyone at any point in your life. Period. You are not a jar of Nutella, it is not even your job.
  • If somebody disagrees with me, it is a personal attack on me. This is absolutely not true. People have different views and perceptions. Everybody looks at things differently. Nothing is wrong or right. It is our way of looking at things. If you are right, it doesn’t mean the other person is wrong. Take disagreements in the right spirit, they add to our knowledge and provide us with newer perspectives of looking at things.
  • The past always repeats itself. If it was true then, it should be true now. This cannot be further away from truth. Outcomes change when circumstances change. What held true back then, might not turn out to be true now. Past outcomes might help but completely relying on them would be plain stupid. One should always work and adapt according to the current situation and not that of the past.

If I don’t have a intimate relationship, I would be completely alone. This is the topmost irrational thought most youths have. If you don’t have a gf/bf that doesn’t mean you are completely alone. You still have you friends and family with you who love you without any expectations and demands. Cherish and nurture your relationship with them because they would always be there for you, irrespective of you relationship status.

The A to Z of productive living


Simplifying the essence of a productive life for you. Here’s the AtoZ of productive living. Have a look.

  • A – Avoid negativity.

Stay away from all the sources of negativity like negative people, negative habits, negative sources of entertainment and negative relationships.

  • B – Believe in yourself.

Always have faith in your abilities and skills. If you don’t trust yourself nobody else will.

  • C – Choose to wake up early.

Early morning is the most productive time because there is minimum noise and minimum distraction. You can set the right tone to the day by focusing on the most important tasks of the day.

  • D – Do the planning.

Plan your day well in advance to avoid any wastage of time. Make a TO-DO and a TO-DON’T list for each day to give a direction to your day.

  • E – Enjoy the moment.

Live in the moment. Enjoy it. Make the most out of it. Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future will only add stress and unhappiness to life. So, enjoy the present!

  • F – Follow your passion.

Find your passion and follow it. Don’t give up your chances of being a Master in something you really love to be a Mediocre in something you don’t even like.

  • G – Give up the bad habits.

Give up the habits that hold you back and stop you from performing. Habits can make us or break us. So, choose your habits wisely.

  • H – Help others.

Help others whenever you can. Always be kind to the people around you. What goes around comes around. You cannot just give out negativity and complain about having a trashy life. Do good and good will follow.

  • I – Internalizing excessive criticism or praise is bad.

Take criticism in the same spirit as you take praises. Don’t let praise get to your head and criticism get to your heart. Learn from the vital feedbacks and keep working towards your goals.

  • J – Just DO it.

You can do micro-level planning but all of that will go in vain if you don’t act on any of it. Actions are what make a difference. Dreams don’t work unless you do. So, just do it.

  • K – Keep a healthy balance between your personal and Professional life.

Don’t compromise over your personal life because of your work. Spend time with your loved ones. You might become a billionaire but you won’t be happy in that state of loneliness if you don’t give importance t your personal life.

  • L – Learn from your mistakes.

Each mistake has a lesson to offer. Learn from your mistakes and move on. Don’t stagnate because of a minor setback in life. Mistakes give us first-hand experience that adds wisdom to our life.

  • M – Manage your time effectively.

Time is money. If you don’t manage your time well, time will manage you. Either you run the day or the day runs you. So, make a choice wisely.

  • N – Never say YES to each and everything.

Saying a NO becomes vital when you want to manage your time. If you keep saying yes to each and every meeting or hangout sessions with friends, you will end up compromising y=the time you could have used for something more important. Learn to say no.

  • O – Open your mind.

Be ready to learn new things and explore newer opportunities. Learning is a never-ending process and some opportunities rarely knock twice. So grab them with both your hands.

  • P – Prioritize.

Prioritize your tasks based on their importance. Do the top three most important tasks in a day before going to bed. Prioritizing helps to take only as much as you can handle.

  • Q – Quitting is not an option.

Quitters never win and winners never quit. If you quit each time when things get intense and start requiring more efforts, then you will never reach success. Because success is all about perseverance and making relentless efforts. So, give in more when you feel like giving up because that is when the magic will happen.

  • R – Read.

Read as much as you can, wherever you can and whenever you can. Reading improves your focus, adds to your knowledge and gives you better perspectives.

  • S – Stop procrastinating.

Procrastination is of no good. You delay a work until the day after tomorrow which actually should have been done the day before yesterday.

  • T – Thankful attitude goes a long way.

Be grateful for whatever you have. Someone else is happy in less than what you have and someone else is praying for the things you take for granted. Be thankful for this life.

  • U – Utilize the resources available to you.

Whining about the resources that aren’t available to you and how you could have done wonders with them is of no use. Exploit what all you have and do wonders with it.

  • V – Visualize your goals.

Until you visualize what you want, you won’t be able to have it. Our thoughts are like the steering wheel that drives our life into the desired directions. So, visualize your goals vividly.

  • W – Write down everything.

Take note of everything before you forget. You might think that you won’t forget but trust me you will.

  • X – X-factors always help.

Figure out your x-factor and work on them. When you have an edge over the others is when are nearer to your goals.

  • Y – You need to try.

Try, try, try again. Even if you fail, that’s a sign that you are trying.

  • Z – Zeal is the key.

Until you are passionate about something, you won’t put in your best. So, do what you love and love what you do. Otherwise, don’t do it at all.