Category Archives: productivity

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.