Habits that help us organize and structure our work & life.

A friend of mine asked me if I can help declutter her life and I was this is a post I want to write. So, I have a few questions for you. Does your life seem like a blur to you? Or perhaps you say, “My life is such a blur that I don’t know where the days went by, and I did nothing.” In the sense that you question yourself, “what did I do yesterday? And now, what am I going to do tomorrow?” Or you say, “I don’t know what am I doing.

Well, if any of the above resonate with you now or could have resonated with you in the past, then this post is for you. And if you’re the lucky one who doesn’t ever feel this way, still read on… you never know what you might gain out of this, to declutter your life and get some structure. About two years back, when I was working in my full-time job, I felt that my environment was cluttered, disorganized, unstructured, and lacked clarity. While that was true, it wasn’t really because of the environment as such but because of my reflection of the environment.

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Let me explain. About two years back, when I was working in my full-time job, I headed the media department for an educational group, which was then a new thing for many institutions. The employees of the group at that time didn’t really comprehend what I did, my role wasn’t clear to me either, and like any other place, crab mentality was at its peak. To make things crazy for myself, I got admission into an esteemed doctoral program, which was quite exhaustive.

I felt that my environment was Continue reading “Habits that help us organize and structure our work & life.”

Smart advice for managing “difficult” people.

A friend of mine recently asked me “how do you deal with difficult people?” I simply said, “I don’t.” I revisited my response immediately and added, “well, I choose to ignore them, wherever possible, and I also have simple tactics to help me surpass people who make situations difficult.”

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Before I begin with the tactics, I would really want to define what I mean by the term difficult: “someone who needs a lot of effort to deal with, or understand, perhaps may cause intentional hardships (yes, some do) or aren’t easy to satisfy.

There are tons of difficult folks that we encounter in our lives, sometimes we’re the difficult ones too. Yes! It is true. When we do meet such a person, it can be chaotic, scary, and even nerve-wracking. However, when we do encounter the different kinds of difficult, hard timers, we Continue reading “Smart advice for managing “difficult” people.”

Are you motivating yourself enough with changing times?

Motivation is key to any kind of personal and professional success. Especially in today’s day and age, we need form better habits in a jiffy, we’re expected to adapt to newer skills at work and learn new things continuously. All of the above is possible when we’re motivated from within to do it. Wouldn’t you agree? So how is that happen?

When we’re intrinsically motivated it drives us to make positive changes in our lives, develop skills & strengthen our habits.

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I’ve been on a personal assignment to understand and verify how motivation works for all of us, in different spheres of life. I analyzed four different cases, one of my grandmom’s health, one of my own, one of a friend’s professional conduct in a large corporation and another in a personal relationship. They all led me to conclude that any kind of change, physical, mental or emotional, comes from an internal drive or motivation. Of course, I’m not undermining the effect of external motivation or any backing from people/favorable situations. However, I am commenting on the fact that, the drive to change comes from within. Whether we’re looking at any change of personal habits… or changes in skills for a promotion… or be successful in our business through our consistent discipline… or have successful personal relationships… the idea is Continue reading “Are you motivating yourself enough with changing times?”

Let’s focus on productivity instead of being busy… shall we?

Heads up, I’m going to take you through this post with a little contradiction. Yes! You’ll see what I mean. Yesterday, I was really BUSYYY – doing nothing productive. Even though I love my super productive days, I cherish my ‘busy for nothing’ days too! More often, these days don’t come to me but I try.

Before I move on to say why the above is important, I want to lay emphasis on the use of the term “busy.” We take ‘being busy’ as a badge of honor, as though we’ve been super productive. Largely, when we’re telling a lot of our pals, our teams or even our families that we’re busy, we use this term as a glorious distinction to undermine another person’s time over ours (even if we don’t really intend to). For some, indeed, it would’ve been a productive environment, for some stressful, for some just hectic, and for some just occupied with mindless tasks. They are all FINE. However, being busy doesn’t really mean we’re being productive (since the latter has a clear end goal and achievement attached to it).

Being the type A person I want to be productively busy, every time. I want to stick to my schedules with a strict discipline and diligence. Though I was ‘busy’ yesterday,  wasn’t particularly productive – I cooked my lovely healthy meals, talked to my parents at length, did video calls with two of my long distance friends (felt soo good), enjoyed the rainy weather over a cuppa, chatted with my husband about our plans, and more. Well, the point that I’m making is… that there’s a huge difference between being productive and being busy.

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Not so long ago, Continue reading “Let’s focus on productivity instead of being busy… shall we?”

What did I do when Murphy ‘s law actually came true?

OK! Quick questions for you: How many times have you been in situations where things just didn’t work for you? Or that day, when everything seemed to be going? Or that project, where you couldn’t get the work done right?

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Well, a few weeks back I had to go for not just one but two pitches, (Oh! The time when it pours, it pours). I was super excited and kicked to present my work and hoping that I’d get the work, however, a few days before the pitch my laptop started getting, what I call, as “panic attacks.” The OS in my laptop got updated and since then the software in my system started acting up. My internet stopped working, my office tools didn’t function and I couldn’t access some of my files. I was practically staring at my screen, almost in tears, thinking what am I supposed to do NOW. It was a disaster! I experienced Murphy’s law at it’s best. And even though I am a good planner Continue reading “What did I do when Murphy ‘s law actually came true?”

Let’s not get too praise dependent.

How often do you like getting praised? Let’s be honest, we all love being praised for ALL THE GOOD WORK that we’re doing and have been doing in the world. This is “considered” as one of the biggest motivators at work and in life; when in reality, that is just not true. Our motivation comes from within and not from external praise (read on… you’ll see what I mean).

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There are multiple ways in which we seek and give feedback, but mostly, we look for praise, rather than criticism. Who likes criticisms whether at work or in life, anyways? In this vicious cycle let’s ask ourselves these questions: Are we getting too praise dependent? Do we get disappointed when we see or hear criticism? Or get demotivated when we don’t get praised? I believe a large number of times, YES! Whether it is at work or in life, we think people around should “naturally” feel obliged to praise our work. While I do think it is important to say good things about the effort of another person… often it doesn’t occur to us to tell people who look naturally good with work that they’re good.

Well, I believe a large number of times the answer is – YES! Whether at work or in life, we think people should “naturally” feel obliged to praise and appreciate our contributions (maybe our documents, our strategies, our methods, our cooking, our behavior, etc. And not criticize it). While I do agree Continue reading “Let’s not get too praise dependent.”

Why assumptions can be deadly at work or in life.

During my post graduate program, my media research professor would always emphasize on this statement “never assume anything” it is deadly for your research. Well, it was certainly true then and it holds true in most of our life and work situations.

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Can’t understand what I am talking about? Well, you will be able to… just keep reading. There is so much going on in our world and half the time we are simply assuming things. Assuming that someone knows something, assuming that people are stupid or even smart, or that we assume that “we’re better than others” or maybe not. All this chit chat in our head is nothing else but assumptions that we are making about our surroundings and even ourselves.

There is no doubt that assumptions lead to Continue reading “Why assumptions can be deadly at work or in life.”

Lead with good emotions.

If you may recall, a few weeks back I’d written a post for you that you have what it takes to be a leader. That post also talks about what is true leadership actually means. Before I start, I want you to consider these questions: Have you ever been in a position where someone has led the way for you, whether in an organization or in personal life? How often was that leader charismatic in leading the way for you? Was the person supportive of your ambitions, thoughts, emotions and genuine situations? Did the person empathize? Did they challenge you to be your best selves, in the right way? Did they motivate you and inspire you to stay true to your goal? I can go on and on… but you get the gist, right?

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I’ve been informally studying personal conduct, workplace relationships, and even salesmanship for a while. The one thing that stands out for me is how emotions, whether positive and negative, truly set the stage for effective personal and professional leadership. Whether we want to establish trustworthy, long-term relationships or want to influence others, motivate them or simply lead effectively, we need project better thoughts and emotions.

Whether we are entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, executives or just a happy relationships persons, we can lead and influence people significantly with Continue reading “Lead with good emotions.”

You can be diplomatically honest at work and in life.

I recently revisited the movie Interstellar and there’s a dialogue between Cooper and Tars which goes something like this:

Cooper: Hey TARS, what’s your honesty parameter

TARS: 90 percent.

Cooper: 90 percent?

TARS: Absolute honesty isn’t always the most diplomatic nor the safest form of communication with emotional beings.

Cooper: Okay, 90 percent it is.

It caught my attention and got me thinking in multiple ways. I find TARS absolutely charming and genuinely fun in the movie. If you’ve seen the film, you may remember the above scene. It got me thinking about the way we conduct our relationships, whether personally or professionally. We often alter the way we think and feel in our hearts, for whatever reasons, and become dishonest in our responses. How many times have you questioned yourselves if “honesty is the best policy?” This is one statement that has been told to us since we were kids. We might have even followed it when we were young but wonder what happens to us as we grow up.

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Well, what if I were to tell you that you could get your way around situations without being dishonest?  I’m here to get you out of that sticky situation where you feel obliged to not speak your mind and heart. Here are five factors for you to consider:-

Continue reading “You can be diplomatically honest at work and in life.”

Gen Z, Millennials, Baby Boomers, or Others: Do we need to learn different things differently?

My husband and I, both, are in the field of training, learning and development. I am a  millennial and he is a baby boomer. However, I would vouch that he has traits “of a millennial” than I do. So, we often have some really fun and interesting conversations regarding personal development, lifelong learning, skills enhancement and training (Yes, we have some fireworks too ;0). It is believed that each demographic cohort, engages and learns in different ways, however, I beg to differ. I recently reviewed literature for my doctoral program on learning preferences and styles. My study also revealed that since individuals as such are unique, they do learn in their own unique ways. Perhaps the demographic classification doesn’t aid in any better training/teaching or even learning. However, there are key indicators which suggest learning can be made interesting and meaningful for all cohorts, with just a little bit of MAGEC (see below).

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Oh, before, I head on to the MAGEC terms, I would urge you to check out the I’d written an article for TD magazine, regarding what millennials want and yes they do want to learn. I’d highlighted the ways in which millennials want to learn, evolve and grow, personally and professionally. We often

Continue reading “Gen Z, Millennials, Baby Boomers, or Others: Do we need to learn different things differently?”