Relaxation really drives good work.
Right now, I am sitting in my room with a nice cup of tea, listening to some AR Rahman and emotionally recharged after some alone time. I feel calm and am looking forward to doing some good (quiet) work. Normal days at the office seem so charged, though. The atmosphere is great for getting your “execution” things done but not so much for the creative stuff. I’ve seen many bosses work from home when they want to get their important to-do’s done. I totally empathise with them!
Wonder what we can do for this. Perhaps creating a “quiet space” in one corner of the office where no one is allowed email, cellphones, meetings etc and people can just focus on producing things.
I went back to dance class after a 5 month break. I very nearly didn’t go, telling myself that I won’t be able to handle it after a long day at work (and an equally long commute). But after this mornings fiasco of skipping my jog, I decided to take the plunge and go to class. And I loved it.
Sure, my stamina is laughably low, my bones feel all rusty and I am so hungry and tired now. But for an hour and a half, I was able to lose myself in learning something new and engaging. And I was with a community of like minded people who love what they are doing. That felt great. Hopefully I will be able to juggle dance with my life.
Benjamin Franklin made a list of habits he wanted to improve. He focussed on one habit a week and gave it his undivided attention. He moved on the next habit the next week and did the same. He kept tabs on how he was doing everyday and reminded himself of his commitment frequently.
That is what I am going to do as well. This week is the week of planning the next day the night before, instead of at the start of the day. My visual reminder gets delivered to my inbox every morning thanks to reminders from my Google Spreadsheet. (You can check out the script here).
I hope you have a great week! Live long and prosper my friends. \\//
I have always lived in really warm places. Both Chennai and Singapore have hot and super humid weather and to Westerners (or to anyone used to a dry climate, really) this weather is just terrible. You sweat like crazy, you grow very dark in the sun and even stepping out for lunch seems like an ordeal.
I love it though. I am most energetic and happy when the sun is shining brightly in the sky. I feel like my most productive months are during the summer as well. So I am happy about the fact that we’re bang in the middle of it all.
The next time you find yourself outdoors faced with hot weather, try to enjoy it… it is a privilege that a lot of people don’t have!
P.S. It struck me as being rather British, to be rambling on about the weather, in a blog post that too… haha. It is one of those cultural things we Indians still have with us, long after the British era.
My Sundays usually start early (by weekend standards) and are very productive. I make up for all the slacking on Saturday and get all the admin things out of the way before the new week starts. I clear email, do my “big cooking” that lasts till Wednesday dinner, finish all my shopping, do my laundry and ironing, clean my room, settle bills, catch up on the news and go running. And wait for the sunday blues to set in of course..
This sunday was very different, as I had been preparing for a big work event on Monday. I did not do any of my usual stuff. And I really missed not having a Sunday today. All those little things that seem annoying and tiresome to be doing on a Sunday suddenly get multiplied a thousand times over after a long day at work. And guess what.. those boring chores really do pay good dividends during the rest of the week.
Good reminder to keep my Sundays to myself and my routines.
The Spinelli’s at my work place has a pretty sweet deal for all staff who hold a Manhattan credit card: you can get 1-for-1 beverages with no strings attached. Their coffee is pretty good and with this deal, I pay only as much as I would at a local Kopi stall, so I use this deal a fair bit.
I’ve had so many people treat me to some coffee – it has made for many nice bonding moments. And I’ve paid it forward with many others as well. It is nice to create such a culture of sharing. And what better thing to share than my favourite beverage
On the similar vein, a nice story that has been making the rounds in Quora.
Have you ever felt decision fatigue?
Decision fatigue happens when you keep making decisions that force you to choose one over the other. It is an act that sucks up tremendous amounts of willpower.
And what happens when you deplete your supply of willpower first thing in the morning? The rest of the day is generally sucky and unproductive.
This morning, I set the alarm to 5.15 AM. I kept waking up, hitting snooze (i.e. deciding to go back to sleep) and finally woke up at 6.45, exhausted from all that decision making, instead of being refreshed by the extra 1.5 hours. It is not just mental exhaustion – I was actually feeling physically tired!
And of course, we all know who makes the decisions in the morning when a warm bed awaits… the elephant of course.
So, taking a friends advice, I am implementing a new rule in my life: no decision making as soon as I wake up for 30 minutes. I need to have decided when I wake up and what I am going to do when I wake up the previous night. The elephant should have no chance to even start engaging in a dialogue with the rider.
I’m interested to see how much of a difference this is going to make.
I got my job offer letter in May 2012, exactly a year ago. Now I can see my juniors at university go through the same thing. A year of grueling hard work, self doubt and soul searching later, you graduate from being a kid and people actually trust you enough to pay you for your work. It is a wonderful experience – something that Calvin (of the Hobbes fame)’s dad would classify as ‘character building’
Now that I am on the other side, I find myself conveniently blurring out the unpleasant details and remembering only the good ones. I also feel very grown up, compared to myself one year ago.
Wonder what it would be like one year from now. Will I also look back and smile at what a kid I had been and how grown up I feel now? I’m pretty sure of it.
When it is time to pay your credit card bills, check your transaction history to verify that all transactions are authorised by you. Many times we give our credit card details to online merchants who may be charging us some (deceptively small) monthly fee without us even realising. I recently found out that I was being charged $20 a month for an online service for the past 4 months without even realising it. Luckily I decided to read my transaction history this time around and found it and put an end to it.
That is the problem with online transactions. And credit cards. You don’t feel the pinch of money going away because it not a physical act you perform. Just some mindless button clicks and voila, you can throw away your entire paycheck and not even realise it.
Today is a public holiday in Singapore – one that I welcomed very eagerly with outstretched arms!
For the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling a sense of burn-out. I really wanted to stop, take a break and take some time to reflect. Day to day living was preventing that from happening all this while.. and luckily May Day came along.
I did a little “summer cleaning” of my own – of mind, body, soul… and well the kitchen. I feel a lot better now. I am not ready to face the next 2 (likely to be challenging) summer months yet… but I am ready to face the next two days. Small steps.. but steps nevertheless.
Mind and Soul cleanse by meditating at a temple, clearing my mind by spewing everything out to family and friends;
Body cleanse by sleeping well, eating my comfort food and running along a beautiful lake;
Kitchen cleanse by cleaning out all the gunk from the cupboards, throwing away expired items and making way for new things;
May is the time for action. I hope you have a great month!