Apr 14, 2009

Five Time Management Tips … You Should NEVER Follow

Published in Big Hyderabad April 2009
Multi-tasking: Never think of saving time by doing three things at a time. Like for example, turning on the water tap to let the water fill in the bucket by the time you boil the milk to make yourself a mug of instant coffee while you send an SMS. Chances are the geyser has drained out, the bucket of water has gone cold, the milk split over and the sms gone to a wrong person. Now, you are left with cold water, a messy cooking range, burnt milk and a ‘You are fired’ message from the Big Bully boss you’ve sent to. So one thing at a time and that done well!
To-Do List: Collect all your To-Do lists and run them in your washing machine, freeze them in your ice tray or bake them in the microwave oven. Delete the software in your personal computer or mobile phones. Looking at the To-Do list before embarking on tasks is a little like reading the list of lessons you need to study for the impending board exams. It is unappealing, demoralizing and painful. Also like reading about exercises and diet and not doing it. Instead, when you have to do something, just do it. You have decided to sell off raddi, stand in the portico and holler at the first raddiwala and the work is done. Simpler than entering it with time, date, reminder into your Blackberry Storm!
Don’t Procrastinate: Those who never procrastinate know not the advantages of the same. For example, you have postponed the payment of your mobile phone. The fella cuts off your outgoing calls first. Great. That means you save Rs 80 per day on calls. A saving of Rs 2,400 per month. Then he cuts off your incoming also. Super. You also save on the movie program your friends have planned and could not include you, as you were not reachable. Ditto with the car and bike repair. The more time you take time to get them fixed up, the more time you can spend at home without driving into the mad traffic. Petrol ka bachat yaani paise ka bachat. So procrastinate as much as you can, as often as you can. In most cases, the others in the house or office will take the initiative thus saving you enormous time and money.
Prioritize: They say you should divide your tasks into A, B and C. A is for important, B is for urgent and C is for neither. I say make A is for Do it later, B is for Don’t Do it at all C is for Don’t bother. This way, you don’t have a To-Do list and you can revert to the previous point and reap mega benefits.
Wake up early: Those who don’t know the joy of being snuggled up in the bed, the bliss of having your body remain in a state of inertia when the Sun is up and shining will say these things. After all, what do you do when you wake up early? Start on the mundane chores of taking a morning walk, making coffee and fixing up breakfast or super boring tasks of taking bath, getting dressed up etc. According to research, life follows Parkinsons Law, which states that work expands to fill the time available. Therefore, if you wake up early, you have another three hours to fill it with work. Alternatively, you can choose to stay in late and get your work done fast. Again because according to the above law, the work has to get done in this time.
Go ahead, defy all the rules of time management, and write back to us about how much fun you had.

Apr 6, 2009

A Life less complicated

Published in Big Hyderabad June 2008
It takes only a genius to lessen complications and make more space and time for the nicer pursuits in life.
Here is a small test to show whether you are calm and composed or restless and stressed out. Look at the seconds hand in your watch for three minutes. Yes, just look at the slim needle do three complete rounds without looking elsewhere or thinking anything. Chances are, most would not be able to focus even for those 180 seconds. That’s because we’ve lost our ability to enjoy things in its pristine form, it its simplistic state.
Even ten years ago, a long drive just meant that. You would drive, enjoy the smooth black tar under the wheels, feel the breeze from the open window, look at the avenues on both sides of the road. Today, a long drive means switching on the FM radio; tinkering between the six radio stations available, jumping from one to another catch only the song and not the commercial jingles or the radio jockey’s blah blah. And then restlessly switching over to your Ipod player and hunting for your play list. Meanwhile, taking a call on your Bluetooth while sending an SMS from your second mobile phone. All this while changing the gear and maneuvering the others on the road. Aah, some long drive this.
Simplicity is no longer a virtue. The more you complicate your life, the more successful you are. Have you spotted anybody in the age group of 18 to 40 just be and do nothing even for five straight minutes?
There was a time when we could simply dunk the glass into a earthen pot of water, drink it with gusto and throw the glass into the sink and you’re done. Today, you bend down to take water from the water purifier which dribbles out water at its own sweet pace. Then you drink the water from the delicate branded Borosil glass and carefully place it on a coaster stand, lest your mahogany table develops rings of water marks on it. Then guard it from the little ones around who may topple it. Do we really need so many complications in life just to drink a glass of water?
Hotels have really perfected the art of complicating. Previously, we used to have nice open bathrooms which would allow fresh air into the wash area. But open windows have given to glass windows and that means air-conditioners which translate to dead air. To keep off the odour, you need to have room fresheners, special containers to hold them, then a hand perfume. Not a simple one but an automatic dispenser perfume holder. Again to dry it off, not a soft towel or even a use and throw tissue but automatic hand dryers! All this for a simple hand wash.
It takes only a genius to lessen complications and make more space and time for the nicer pursuits in life. Albert Einstein was so cheesed off spending twenty minutes everyday simply trying to choose his suit for work. One fine day, he ordered for seven suits of the same colour from his tailor. From that day onwards, he just had to open his wardrobe and pick any suit and it would all be the same. No time spent on futile chores. A month later, he propounded the Theory of Relativity.
Centuries later, we still spend time on whether to listen to Jodhaa Akbar or Om Shanti Om… while the geniuses work on world changing theories…