Category Archives: productivity

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The Power of Less

Focusing on the essential produces the most results for the least efforts. If you try to tackle everything that grabs your attention, you’ll constantly find yourself stressed, overwhelmed and burned out. Simplicity is the art of focusing only on what’s essential to your goals and your personal satisfaction and ignoring the rest.

You must set limits, they don’t set themselves.

The essence of prioritizing is deciding not to do something. Without limits, we mistakenly assume that everything is important and also assume that we will be able to do whatever is necessary to get everything done. If we don’t set limits we tend to waste time and energy working beyond the point of Diminishing Returns.

Parkinson’s Law states that, “work expands to fill the time allotted.” That’s why it’s easy to work until you collapse, surf the internet endlessly and spend too much money on things that don’t really matter.

Focus on only one thing at a time. Multitasking is a myth. Our brains are only capable of truly paying attention to one thing at a time. When we think we are multitasking, all we’re really doing is rapidly switching the focus of our attention from one task to the next. Every time your focus shifts, it takes your mind a while to load the information it needs to operate effectively.

Limit your active goals and projects to no more than 3-4 at a time. It preserves your focus and attention, allowing you to actually accomplish your most important objectives quickly and move on to next.

Establish 3 Most Important Tasks (MITs) everyday and do these before working on anything else. Try to finish these MITs as quickly as possible. Once you accomplish your MITs, the rest of the day is a bonus.

Batch similar tasks together to preserve your focus. Every time you switch the object of your focus, you lose a great deal of productivity – the immoral Cognitive Switching Penalty. To avoid the penalty, it pays to find ways to switch your focus less often. Batching is the practice of grouping similar tasks together, then tackling them all at once. Errands or daily chores are best to batch. Eg. Checking emails once or twice instead of checking every 5 minutes. Or how productive would it be to drive to the grocery store every time you want to buy a single item? Putting what you need on a list, then buying everything at once is clearly more efficient. Doing multiple errands at once, like going to the post office right before you go grocery shopping is even better.

Installing positive habits is easiest when you start small, then build on your early success. Installing habits takes willpower and willpower is very limited resource. For best results, focus only on installing or changing one habit at a time and start with small increments. Even the smallest win motivates you more than the slightest failure. Whatever you do focus on ONE (and only one) habit at a time. Practice that until it becomes second nature requiring no thought or willpower to do everyday.

Consciously minimize your active commitments and don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to new ones. The truth is your time, attention and energy are limited. When you overwhelm yourself with commitments, you’re shortchanging the most important activities that will contribute the most to your productivity, satisfaction and success. You’re also shortchanging the less important commitments since they’re competing with all of the other critically important projects in your world.

Slow down, pay attention and enjoy the process. Looking back on life, one of the most common regrets people express at the end of their lives is that it all went too quickly, and they didn’t focus enough on what was clearly the most important – family, friends, important contributions and enjoying the small moments of life.

When all is said and done, no one really cares how many zeros you have in your bank balance, what your job title is, or how many followers you have on Twitter. Recent research indicates that memorable experiences do impact your happiness and life satisfaction, so it pays to focus on ways to create memorable experiences. Slowing down and mindfully enjoying your daily experience of life is simple, effective and free.

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Desire for life

There’s always that desire for life that’s better than the one you have now.

When you do try to stay in your comfort zone, you never truly feel comfortable. There’s always that nagging feeling that you could be doing more. The more we try to stay comfortable today, the more uncomfortable we’ll be tomorrow.

There really is no destination, only exploring, exploring and exploring. Stop doing all that shit you know you shouldn’t be doing and start doing all the shit you know you should be doing. Those who succeeded, succeeded not because they were certain that they were going to succeed but they didn’t let uncertainty stop them. So rethink and start doing.

L 767

Virtual vacation to boost your productivity.

One of the great ways for you to overcome procrastination is by working as though you had only one day to get all your most important jobs done before you left for a month or went on a vacation.

By putting the pressure on yourself, you accomplish more and better tasks, faster than ever before.

You became a high performance, high achieving personality. You feel terrific about yourself, and bit by bit, you build up the habit of rapid task completion that then goes on to serve you on all the days of your life. So when are you going on a virtual vacation?

L 763

“The seed of money is Service.”

Put service first is an attitude which creates wealth. You don’t get a raise on the promise of better performance, you get a raise only by demonstrating better performance.

You can’t harvest money unless you plant the seeds that grow money. And the seed of money is Service. Put setvice first and money takes care of itself.

Always Give people more than they expect to get. Each extra little something you do for others is a money seed. Money seeds ofcourse grow money. Plant service and harvest money. Make it a rule in everything you do, give people more than they expect to get.

Under-promise and over-perform. Amazon is the best example for this statement, it exceeds people’s expectations. It promises to deliver in 7 days but mostly delivers in 3-4 days. As if you overpromise and underperform, you will loose goodwill. But the vice-versa will make people trust in you and enhance your goodwill.

Grow the Service First attitude.

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Have the right attitude. Enthusiasm can make things 1100 % better.

To activate others, to get them enthusiastic, you must first activate yourself and be enthusiastic.

When our attitude is right, our abilities reach a maximum of effectiveness and good results inevitably follow.

Grow these three attitudes. Make them your allies in everything you do.

1. Grow the attitude of I’m activated.

2. Grow the attitude of You are important.

3. Grow the attitude of Service first.

L 758

Ideas are fruits of your thinking. But they’ve got to be harnessed and put to work to have value.

Two ways to get mental stimulation are, first join and meet regularly with atleast one professional group that provides stimulation in your own occupational area. Rub shoulders and minds with other success oriented people. Remember, a mind that feeds only on itself is soon undernourished, becoming weak and incapable of creative, progressive thought. Stimulation from others is excellent mind food.

Second join and participate in atleast one group outside your occupational interests. Associate with people who have different job interests broadens your thinking and helps you to see the big picture.

L749

“Age is not the flight of years but the dawn of wisdom.”

Wisdom is the awareness of the tremendous spiritual powers in your subconscious mind and the knowledge of how to apply these powers to lead a full and happy life.

Get it out of your head once and for all that 65, 75 or 85 years of age is synonymous with the end for you or anybody else. It can be the beginning of a glorious, fruitful, active and most productive pattern, better than you have ever experienced. Believe this, expect it, and your subconscious will bring it to pass.

Learning 698

The greatest rewards of creativity are having a vision and then turning it into a reality. 

This is a process you control completely, and it’s one that comes with tremendous satisfaction and happiness in and of itself.

David Bowie repeatedly warned against doing work for “other people” and stressed the importance of remembering why you felt the personal urge to create in the first place. Bowie didn’t create to be famous; he created to better understand himself and to “do something artistically important.”

Ultimately, the real reward of having your creation be well-received is that it can make it easier for you to continue creating. And when you’re in it for how satisfying the creative process is, then there is no better reward than being able to keep doing what you love.


Avoid the myth of “making it” and create for an audience of one: yourself.

First of all, you should understand that the notion of “making it” is a myth. You might think that “making it” means you can kick back and rest on your laurels, but here’s the thing: success in the form of popularity and fame is fleeting, especially today. Someone can be getting attention one day, and, 24 hours later, everyone will have moved on to the next new thing.


Remember, the reward is in the process, and the only audience you have to worry about is you. 
When you’re working for an audience of one, there are a number of benefits – all of which can help you hone your creative voice, making it more powerful and, therefore, more likely to gain a big audience.

There are three primary ways of unlocking and embracing your creative side, and they’re all about listening to yourself and what’s around you. More specifically, there are three forms of listening: listening to yourself, listening to your environment and listening to others. All of these steps will allow you to bring more of yourself to your work and make it that much stronger.

There are different ways of listening to yourself, but the first step is to trust yourself and what you have to say. This means being comfortable and confident in what you stand for and not being wishy-washy about your values. If you’re unsure of those values, you can ask yourself some important questions, like what makes you angry, what makes you joyful and excited and what kind of experience you want people to have when they enter your world. If you want to be really precise, you can even write a manifesto!

Being present is another important way of developing your voice. If you’re not present, the profound moments of creative inspiration and the experiences that define a creator’s voice can fly by without your noticing. A lot of people also have the unfortunate habit of always thinking about the future and imagining what they’ll do tomorrow, when all the right pieces are finally in place. You should avoid such thinking. Rather, figure out what you can do with the resources you have now.

It’s also important to create a judgment-free headspace, while simultaneously cultivating solitude. Another way of avoiding being present is to indulge in self-judgment and criticism. You can’t create and criticize at the same time, so drop the judgment altogether and stay focused on the process and listening to what your creative voice has to say. A great way of really listening is to embrace moments of solitude – otherwise known as “just thinking.”

However, simply thinking isn’t so easy when there are numerous distractions vying for your attention at any given moment. So you may need to make a deliberate effort to cultivate solitude. Starting a meditation practice is something a lot of creators do in order to form a deep connection with their creative voice. The author also finds noise-cancelling headphones to be very helpful.

To hear your creative voice, it’s also important to listen to your body, since a healthy body goes hand in hand with a healthy mind.

Think of it this way: Being creative is about being productive, right? And to be as productive as you can possibly be, consideration needs to be given to your overall health and well-being.
One of the best things you can do to boost productivity is to make sure you get enough sleep. But sleep itself can also be productive. For starters, dreams have long been a source of creative inspiration, so starting a practice of writing down your dreams in a journal is bound to be enlightening. 

Another popular trick among creatives is to ask an important question right before falling asleep. Start doing this, and you may be surprised how often the answer to your question emerges in your sleep. Even if you don’t quite remember your dream when you wake up, you can jog your memory by spending some time writing down your thoughts anyway. The answer may become clear as you write.

Being creative takes cognitive power, and it’s been proven that a body full of junk food and trans fats will have less cognitive power than one with a healthy diet – especially one that’s high in omega-3s and B vitamins.

Keeping a journal can help here. Make a note of your daily productivity and diet for a week or two. Then note what you were eating on those days when everything clicked.

Finally, there’s exercise. This is another scientifically-proven productivity booster, since exercise creates mitochondria, which give both your muscles and your brain energy. And there’s no better way for an adult to help the body create new brain cells than to get the heart rate going. Plus, exercise is another time to create the sort of solitude that’s perfect for deep, meaningful thinking.

To make your work the best it can be, give critical attention to the environment you’re working in. This isn’t just about putting up some inspirational posters on your wall; it’s about your entire environment, including its sights, sounds and smells.

So let’s start with the physical space around you.
Perhaps you’ve already read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. With some simple decluttering of your physical environment, you’ll benefit from both a cleaner space and a decluttered mind.

How exactly do you declutter? Well, when considering disposing of an item, ask yourself, “Do I love this item? Is it enriching my life somehow?” If you don’t love it, get rid of it. Simple as that. If it doesn’t make you feel good and inspire you, then it’s very likely dragging you and your creativity down.

Spaces that are often wonderful for the psyche are natural surroundings. Something like a forest walk is not only great for solitude and deep thinking; it’s also been shown, in studies of “nature therapy,” to reduce the stress-related hormone cortisol by 12 percent.

Being out in nature is also a great way to remove yourself from noise and the productivity-killing distractions of modern technology. While noise-cancelling headphones can be great for working in public spaces, oftentimes the brain works best with some white noise or a certain type of music.

If you’re trying to write or read, you’ll likely want to stay away from lyric-heavy music and give the brain a break from verbal processing. But if you’re working in a visual medium, like painting or sculpting, music with lyrics might be the perfect accompaniment.

As for technology, many apps and websites are specifically designed to grab your attention and thereby keep you from being productive and creative. 

Most social media sites and emails are distractions thereby breaking your concentration and preventing yourself from entering the most productive – and enjoyable – state of being, known as flow. Flow is when you lock in to what you’re doing and time seems to fly by.

Take action to cut distractions and toxic elements from your day-to-day life.
Remember, you control your devices, not the other way around; you can go into the settings and turn off the notifications that pop up and derail your train of thought. You can also unsubscribe from whatever companies are inundating your inbox with emails that add little to no value to your life. In fact, a good step right now might be to unsubscribe yourself from everything and then add yourself back to the small number of blogs, apps and podcasts that do add value to your life. There are services, such as Unroll.Me, that can help you with this.
It’s also wise to simply turn your phone off and put it in another room when you want to get serious work done. And even when you’re not in the middle of a project, scheduling daily “unplug time” will be a great benefit to your creativity. There are also tools – for instance, the apps Focus, RescueTime and even the Facebook News Feed Eradicator plug-in – that can help you avoid the distractions of the internet for extended periods of time.

However, technology isn’t the only thing that can be toxic to your well-being. There may also be certain people that are weighing you down and adding nothing positive to your life. It may be difficult at first, but you’ll eventually be glad to cut ties with people who are actually draining your life of positivity.

A good policy is to treat the elements of your environment like the food you put in your body; cut out the junk and anything that makes you feel bad or insecure about yourself.

Along with cutting off distractions, you should be careful about the seemingly helpful tools that you bring into your environment.

Remember that a good and useful tool is something that can help bring your unique vision to life – not something that makes you less creative by deciding how your photo will look or how your music will sound. If you’re a photographer, a good photo app will make it easier for you to create your desired images rather than make you choose from a series of pre-set options.

There are good habits you can adopt to boost your productivity. One method is to use what’s known as a certainty anchor. This is a ritual that can help bring stability to your day, even if things around you are chaotic. Let’s say you have the ritual of brewing a cup of coffee and putting on your headphones before sitting down to work. This act of coffee and headphones will immediately bring focus to your mind; it signals that it’s time to work.

Another good habit is to find ways of reducing decision fatigue. Here’s an experiment you can do: tomorrow morning, for the first hour of your day, make a note of all the decisions you have to make, from what to wear to what to eat. On average, we make around 300 decisions a day, but that number could be significantly reduced. By decreasing the decisions you have to make, you’ll preserve more cognitive energy for your creativity.

It’s also good to keep in mind that creating good habits is often a gradual process. Let’s say you want to have the daily habit of writing a thousand words. Don’t try to hit that mark on the first day. If you come up short, you might beat yourself up or throw in the towel before you even give yourself a fair chance. So set a series of gradually increasing goals instead, and work yourself up to where you really want to be. For the first week, just write a minimum of one sentence. For the second week, write at least a paragraph every day. On the third week, make it a page, and then keep increasing until you hit your goal of a thousand words per day.

Also, keep in mind that it takes around an hour before a person reaches the state of flow, so schedule accordingly and don’t just give yourself an hour of work time. You could very well be stopping right when the good stuff starts!

The best creative voices are ones that listen to others while remaining true to themselves. It’s important to stay true to your voice and create for an audience of one (yourself), but this doesn’t mean you should cut out all outside voices altogether.

Just as you should cut out the toxic influences in your life, it’s wise to populate your life with good influences. In other words, you want people who provide you with wings to soar, not anchors that weigh you down.

Being part of a community of like-minded individuals is a great way to boost your creativity. These people won’t only provide advice and inspiration; they’ll make you feel as though you’re part of something bigger. They can also act as a safety net, allowing you to feel more comfortable making bold and challenging work. You can help form a strong community with simple acts like creating a monthly dinner club for your like-minded friends and colleagues.

If you have a grand idea for a project you want to get off the ground, it makes sense to have at least one other person with you. In pretty much every creative endeavor, there is some form of collaboration going on, whether it’s the crew that comes together to make a movie, or the editor that helps the novelist. The myth of the “lone creator” is just that – a myth.

So don’t isolate yourself completely in an effort to be a singular creator. Each work of art contains traces of artists who came before. You should embrace influence, as long as it’s positive and inspirational.  

However, it’s also important to be deliberate in the influences you consume. If you want to make an Oscar-winning movie, spending a day watching goofy YouTube videos is unlikely to help, whereas taking in quality material before you sit down to create your own is a fine way to get yourself inspired and motivated. 

You may also find that it’s best to absorb material that is somewhat different from what you want to create. This will help you maintain a unique and singular creative voice. If you want to start a new blog, maybe don’t use other blogs for inspiration; rather, use the work of, say, your favorite poets to find your own angle.

The possibilities are endless!

Learning 682

Back your PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) with determination.

A PMA gives you a solid grounding for success but it must be accompanied by determination and motivation. 

Rather than blaming all your difficulties on the world, you should set about changing it into a place you want to live in. 

When you feel determined to make a difference, your motivation will soar, which will allow you to reach new heights in your life. 

Someone who embodied passionate determination and motivation is farmer Milo Jones. Due to a severe illness, Jones became paralyzed. Although his body no longer served him, his head was working overtime and he began figuring out how to accomplish certain tasks in the most effective way. With this motivation, determination and PMA, he managed to convert his little corn farm into an empire that sold Jones’ Little Pork Sausages, which made him a millionaire.

But keep in mind that along with your determination, you’ll also need goals.
It’s best to write your goals down and attach a deadline to them. For example, anyting what you want to achieve by the end of the year. 

The higher you set your goals, the more you’ll fight for them and the more you’ll achieve.
If you have a particularly challenging goal, you should break it down into smaller goals that you can achieve in the next week or month to build up to the end goal.

So, for example, if your dream is to learn Spanish, a lofty goal would be speaking it perfectly, which may take years. But when divided into smaller goals, like ordering your first beer successfully or reading a novel in Spanish, these smaller triumphs will help you stay focused and motivated.

Learning 676

As humans, we’re born with an innate tendency to focus on the present. Biological needs demand this, from eating to sleeping to going to the bathroom.

But we aren’t usually raised to remain focused on the present. Society tells us to delay gratification, including the fulfillment of biological urges. Schools discipline us to study; even though it’s no fun, we know that studying now will improve our future prospects.

Thus we sacrifice some present-orientation perspective in favor of future-orientation. Let’s look at the different kinds of present-orientation perspectives.

In the present, you might be a hedonist or a fatalist. Hedonists enjoy all things that offer pleasure, and will do anything to avoid pain. Teens are classic hedonists, seeking novelty, excitement and short-term gains. They’re life of the party, to be sure; but teens also have little impulse control.

In contrast, fatalists believe their lives are controlled by forces outside of their influence. They might think, “Why should I worry about the future when it’s already decided for me by God?”

Learning 662

The Energy Bus – By Jon Gordon

10 rules for a new life. 

The first rule: become the driver of your own bus and take back control.

The second rule: with vision and focus, you can drive the bus in the direction you want.

Law of attraction.
According to this concept, all thoughts are magnetic, which means the things you think about will begin showing up in your life. Just take Olympic athletes, many of whom use the law of attraction by visualizing their best performances before entering a competition. Often this results in gold-medal wins. 

Just take the formula E + P = O. It says that Events + Perception/Positive Energy = Outcome. 

In other words, there are lots of things you’ve got no control over, but what you do control is how you perceive those events. So, by choosing to have positive thoughts, rather than negative ones, you can achieve better results.

The rule number three: This is key since positive energy is the fuel for your journey and it will keep your bus moving forward. But how can you keep that fuel tank topped up?

Sometimes it just requires approaching things from a different perspective.

If you have a lot of work to do, it can help to feel grateful for having a job in the first place, knowing that lots of people struggle to get work at all.

Such a simple act of gratitude will release endorphins and make you feel better before you know it. 

The rule number four: Tell people about your vision and ask them to join you on your journey. Whether it’s at work with your colleagues or at home with your partner, happiness and success often rely on teamwork.

It’s simple: the more people you get on your bus, the more positive energy you’ll have to fuel your ride and the more successful your results will be.

No one creates success in a vaccum and the people we surround ourselves with have a big influence on the life and success we create. 

The rule number five: Don’t waste energy on people who don’t share your vision; remove negative people whenever you can.

Save your energy and don’t try to convince people who aren’t ready to get on board. Just remember, if they’re full of negativity, they’ll only slow you down.

And if negative people do get on your bus, it’s essential to remove them as soon as you can. You might notice passengers who complain along the way. You can think of these people as vampires who suck out your positivity and vision.

The rule number six: is to get Energy Vampires off of your bus. To put it another way, if you have negative people on your team, sit them down and have a talk. Try to determine where their negative attitude comes from and how you can work together. If they’re unwilling to change, you have to let them go.

Or, in situations where you can’t get rid of problematic people, say your boss or supervisor, find ways to boost your own positive energy. If you can, you’ll outweigh the negativity they bring into your life.

Other people can feel your emotions and be inspired by your enthusiasm.

In other words, people around us can perceive the way we feel and respond to it. That’s why people can tell when someone is insincere. But it also means that when people are truly passionate about something, they share that enthusiasm and those positive emotions with others.

Because of this, it’s key to energize your whole bus, but when you do so, it’s also important it’s done with true enthusiasm. 

The rule number seven: enthusiasm will make more people join you and motivate them along the ride. In fact, the word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek word entheos, meaning “inspired” or “filled with the divine.”

As long as you’re excited about your work and the tasks you’re doing, everyone around you will feel the same. This is the kind of positive energy you need to fuel your ride for the long haul.

The author events has a name for it your CEO or Chief Energy Officer. People who fill this role infect their team members, employees and even customers with powerful positive energy that inspires and propels them.

Make your passengers feel valued by giving them your time and recognition.

You’ve probably noticed that you work harder when others recognize your efforts and care about you. It seems obvious, but it points to a deeper human need for appreciation.

In other words, by loving your team members, you can make them feel good, but also motivate them to do their best work and follow you wherever you go. 

The rule number eight: is to love the passengers on your bus.

Here’s how.

First, be sure to take your time and listen. Remember, love and relationships need a while to develop and blossom. So, just as you need to spend time with your partner to build your relationship, you’ve got to spend time with your employees. Regular individual meetings are essential; they offer an opportunity for you to get to know your team personally.

For instance, you should never send an electronic birthday message. Rather, write out real birthday cards for each person on your team.

The rule number nine: Purpose and fun will propel you to new heights. Its needed to understand that purpose makes the work easier. 

A story about President Johnson and a janitor at NASA offers a great example. The president was visiting the space program when he encountered a custodian enthusiastically cleaning the floors. The president told the man that he was probably the best janitor he had ever met, to which the janitor responded, “Sir, I’m not a janitor. I just helped put a man on the moon.”

It just goes to show that, with a higher purpose, you can easily accomplish everyday tasks, and that’s why rule number nine is to let yourself be driven by a higher purpose. Most importantly, purpose and fun can enable stellar performances. 

Last rule, number ten: you have got to have fun on your ride. After all, success is much easier to attain when you’re enjoying yourself, rather than stressing out.

Learning 655

A brain dump is a way of externalizing everything your brain is struggling to hold onto so that it can focus on doing what it’s really built for: solving problems and coming up with new ideas.

So, at the beginning of your workweek and each day, do yourself a favor and write down these tasks so that you don’t need to waste energy trying to keep track of what still needs to be done.

This simple but helpful technique will give your brain the space it needs to help you take action and get things done.

It’s not just grocery lists and tasks, either; you can free up brain space by writing down everything from unfinished projects you want to take care of to books you want to read or a brilliant idea you don’t want to forget. And if you don’t want to carry around a pen and paper, you can jot it down on a notebook app on your mobile device.

Another way of freeing up some much-needed brain power is to tackle easy tasks right as they appear. Why bother writing something down or trying to remember it if you can take care of it right away? If there’s a book you need to get your hands on, order it right away if you can.

Learning 654

The Rule of 3 

The rule of 3 was introduced by J.D. Meier, a Microsoft executive who explains how it works in his book, Getting Results the Agile Way.

Basically, you should start every week by identifying three things to accomplish that week. Then, you should start every workday by identifying three goals you want to accomplish by the time you go to sleep.

It might sound simple, but that’s part of why it’s so effective. By looking ahead at what you want to have accomplished both day by day and week by week, you’re already figuring out how best to structure your time, attention and energy on what’s important.

So let’s say your end-of-the-week goals are to finish the first section of your book, update your website with new content and renew your passport.

With these goals in place, your end-of-the-day goals might be to finish the next chapter of the book you’re working on, decide upon the topic for your next blog post and fill out the passport renewal form.

When you’re setting these goals, check your calendar.

To prevent yourself from choosing goals that are too ambitious or unrealistic, you need to consult your calendar to make sure you haven’t already dedicated your time and energy to another task. For example, even though you want to finish that section of your book, if your calendar reminds you of a big presentation you’re scheduled to give on Friday, it may be best to focus on preparing for that instead.

Remember, being productive also means being smart about your schedule, so don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unattainable goals.

Learning 635

“IF IT’S ON THE CALENDER, IT HAPPENS.” – Gretchen Rubin 

The strategy of scheduling is one of the most familiar and powerful strategies of habit formation. It also forces us to confront the natural limits of the day. Scheduling one activity makes that time unavailable for anything else. It makes activities automatic, which builds habits.

The 10 Minutes Mantra 

*Turn your life in just 10 minutes*
My dad once told me : “You can apply the 10 minutes mantra to turn around your life in a tremendous way.”
I didn’t understand at first. “What’s the big deal in 10 minutes?” I asked.
“There’s indeed a big deal about it. 10 minutes, believe me son, can create a marvellous difference in our life,” my dad offered wisely.
“Elaborate please, dad,”
“I’ll tell you. But first, you’ve to get up tomorrow at 6.00 am.” My dad conditioned. I agreed.
Next day, as I woke up at the agreed time, my dad came to my room.
“What’s the time?”
“6.00 am” I replied.
“Okay, so before you can follow the 10 minutes mantra, you have to “follow the art of being aware about the clock,”
I was confused. My dad continued, “Look at the clock. It’s 6.00 am. Now within 10 minutes I ask you to do the following – Arrange your bed and your table; drink two glasses of water, wash your face and brush your teeth. But keep looking at your clock while doing these. That’s it”
“Well…Okay,” I said, thinking what could be the catch my dad wanted me to capture.
I began and started doing all he asked. All the time, I kept glancing at the wall clock. Finally after 10 minutes (or 30 seconds earlier to be exact) I had finished it all.
“Well done, boy. You have turned around your life!” My dad praised, patting on my back.
“What?” I was astonished and puzzled, unable to grasp, and asked earnestly “I didn’t get you, dad.”
 “Think, son, think!” My dad urged, “Recall your earlier days. How did your day started off?”
I racked my brains and pondered over. Usually, I wake up at 6.00 am. Then, I wander off, yawning lazily and even sleep for some more minutes or sit idly on my chair, my thoughts in thousand directions. And, by the time I finish the above activities, it was already past 7.00 am.
“And today, it’s just 6.10 am” my dad said as if he read my mind.
“Yes!” I exclaimed, starting to understand.
“So what made you do it?” my dad asked.
I thought. What made me do it? Because my dad told me to do? No, no. There was more to it. And then it hit me.
*“ The art of being aware about the clock!”* I almost shouted.

“Yes and also ten minutes.” My dad said, smiling at my wonderstruck face.
My dad explained: “By setting your eyes on the clock and thinking about 10 minutes, your mind got *focused* in that span of 10 minutes. It was just like a deadline or a due date. *The10 minutesdeadline kept your mind in the present; in the “NOW ” and prevented you from wandering off.”*
I was impressed. Just a matter of meagre 10 minutes had such a mighty effect! I had completed all those routine activities on time.  Now, I felt I have so much time ahead (as compared to 7.00am, it was just 6.10 am!). With so much time saved, I could work on creative and productive activities, instead of loitering around aimlessly. *Time is indeed, the most precious thing on earth.*
 A question piqued my curiosity, “Dad, why only 10 minutes. Why can’t we divide our activities into 1 hour slots?”
“Good question,” my dad said, “we can. But Shorter the time, *more productive* you will get. Imagine, if I told you to do those routine activities in 1 hour? Your mind will make your actions slower because you’ll think you have enough time to do it. Even if an activity takes 1 hour, you can segment it into 10 minutes slots.”
“Give an example,” I was eager to know more.
“You can, for instance, segment your workout time,” my dad resumed. “10 minutes- warm-up; 10 minutes- stretching and 10 minutes-yoga,”
“Really amazing, dad; this 10 minutes stuff can make your life on a roll! Instead of long bouts of inactivity, once can benefit from the short bursts of creativity!”
“Yes. The 10 minutes stuff is just an idea. You can also make it 15 minutes or 20 minutes but not longer than that.” My dad paused and continued :
“The 10 minutes mantra can be applied in every aspect of life. A student, a professional, a businessman or anyone can apply this simple but successful technique. Take an example of student. The student can allot 10 minutes time for a topic. After that, he/she can take 2 minutes rest and resume for another ten minutes. He or she can also take time off and read a good book for 10 minutes or allot just 10 minutes for walking. All a student has to do is to be aware of the clock.
Elaborating it further, _we humans have a tendency to keep on delaying small things_. We know we have to pay bills on time, and still we delay it beyond the due dates. We are aware that our bike’s tyres need to get pumped, yet we don’t care to stop by the car-shop we pass every day. We promise ourselves to go to a temple on a particular day, yet we never seem to keep our own promise on time. Why? Because our mind wanders off and deems such things as unimportant. If we vow to take just 10 minutes or 20 minutes of our entire 24 hours, we would never procrastinate and our life will be million times better.”
 My dad concluded: “ The 10 minutes, if followed *consistently*, can have a tremendous effect in anyone’s lifestyle. *Procrastination* and *Idleness* will vanish away replaced by *Focus* and *Intensity*. People will tell you they are short of time. No time for the loved ones, no time for pursuing their dreams, no time to eat, no time for their health as if they are the most busiest people on earth! It’s the lamest excuse one can give.
*The 10 minutes mantra can keep us Organized, keep our otherwise disoriented thoughts in check, Balance our life fruitfully and help us to have enough time in our hands. So follow this 10 minutes mantra and see your life turn around at a miraculous pace…..!”*

Learning 582

The story of practically every great fortune starts with the day when a creator of ideas and a seller of ideas got together and worked in harmony. 

The story of watermelons by Manohar Parrikar 

“I am from the village of Parra in Goa, hence we are called Parrikars. My village is famous for its watermelons. 

When I was a child, the farmers would organise a watermelon-eating contest at the end of the harvest season in May. All the kids would be invited to eat as many watermelons as they wanted. 

Years later, I went to IIT Mumbai to study engineering. I went back to my village after 6.5 years. I went to the market looking for watermelons. They were all gone. The ones that were there were so small. 

I went to see the farmer who hosted the watermelon-eating contest. His son had taken over. He would host the contest but there was a difference. 

When the older farmer gave us watermelons to eat he would ask us to spit out the seeds into a bowl. We were told not to bite into the seeds. He was collecting the seeds for his next crop. We were unpaid child labourers, actually. 

He kept his best watermelons for the contest and he got the best seeds which would yield even bigger watermelons the next year. 

His son, when he took over, realised that the larger watermelons would fetch more money in the market so he sold the larger ones and kept the smaller ones for the contest. 

The next year, the watermelons were smaller, the year later even small. In watermelons the generation is one year. In seven years, Parra’s best watermelons were finished. 

In humans, generations change after 25 years. It will take us 200 years to figure what we were doing wrong while educating our children.”

Unless we employ our best to train the next generation, this is what can happen to us. We must attract the best.

Learning 570

Get your happiness out of your work, or you’ll never know what happiness is!

If your employment situation is absolutely intolerable, just quit. No company or boss is flawless, but you should invest 100 percent of your energy into being the best worker you can, or else leave the company entirely. In other words, “Get out or Get in Line.”

 

 

Learning 566

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. – Stephen R. Covey 

Learning 550

One of the most wonderful things about time is the fact that you cannot waste it in advance.

Your future is spotless. No matter how much time you have squandered in the past, the next hour that comes your way will be perfect, unspoiled and ready for you to make the best use of it. No one is stopping you from rewriting the story of your life. If you so choose, tomorrow can be the day that you start getting up earlier, reading more, exercising, eating well and worrying less. This very moment you can change your story and create a new ending. Remember, it is never too late to become the person you have always wanted to be.