Personal Productivity

A few days back, we had a brain storming session on personal productivity. Organisational productivity is a subject that may attract more attention than any other in the management field. But what is personal productivity? Does it mean how does one manage his/her time? The answer is yes and no. Yes, time is an important aspect of personal productivity. Rather, it could be so provided your activities are aligned with your goals. And yet it is a lot more. Does it mean one’s achievement towards realization of personal goals? Not just that! Personal goals may change. Personal vision may change. And if one may say so personal mission statement if one ever cares to establish that – that also may change.

When we talk of mission statement or vision or an organization, that hardly ever changes. But when we are talking of an individual, the factors that affect a person’s likes and dislikes, desires, drastically change with changing circumstances, or even without these.

According to me the most important factor for a person’s success is his/her personal productivity. Now I will like to define it as far as I am concerned. As one grows one realizes that it is not just money, not just health, not just family, or your social status, hobbies etc., that bring to you happiness, but it is a combination of all these in varying proportions.  So what we need to do is to align all our activities to achieve whatever we want in the aforesaid different fields.

Therefore a daily review of what you do becomes very important. In the highly competitive world we have today, the targets that the organizations set for you are hard ones. These sap your energy and rob you of the power and ability to think what you must do. You only start following sometimes even unachievable targets. In the process, you totally destroy you concept of personal productivity.

Hence, what is really needed is to have the right balance and proper perspective towards life. It is only such a healthy attitude that strikes a right balance between family and friends, home and work, health and money that will lead to a truly happy and successful life.

Lots of good books are available which help you develop a proper perspective some of these are:

Image

Murphy’s Laws

Most would think that Murphy was a pessimist.  His pessimism alone drove him to be a negative thinker.  In the circumstances, it is neither necessary nor prudent to take him or his laws seriously.

What does Murphy say?  And what is the implication of his controversial laws?

This is what I propose to share with you, today.

Murphy’s most talked about law is:

‘If anything can go wrong it will.’ Corollaries are interpreted by many as below:

1. Anything is not as easy as it looks. To me, this is a valid caution.  Often times a task appears a bit too easy.  It is so because we don’t all the aspects.  Thereafter the difficulties that we face in completing the task leave us discouraged.  So, if we keep this dictum in mind, we shall be better prepared to do our own job surmounting whatever difficulties come our way.

This attitude could be either due to casual conduct or being over optimistic, over confident and taking things for guaranteed.  Hope we all agree it calls for an improvement – for better productivity and happier life.

Yet, if we take it literally and don’t rely on the intent, it remains no longer a caution.  Instead of being helpful the dictum will result in procrastination or even pessimistic.  Both are equally undesirable.

2. Second corollary: Everything takes longer than you think is very similar to the first one and should be dealt accordingly.

3. Next: It has been interpreted that if there is a possibility of many things going wrong, the one which will cause maximum damage will be the first one to go wrong. I have no personal experience so therefore cannot comment.

4. The fourth corollary is interesting indeed. It says that if you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong and you circumvent these, than a fifth way will promptly develop. This again should be taken positively as a caution.

5.  The fifth one is important and needs serious attention:  ‘ Left to themselves things tend to go from bad to worse’.
Surely, one must not hope that anything important, be it a relationship, or a project which has hit a stumbling block will improve with time.  No, never.  It definitely requires your considered action or even ‘inaction’.  But in both the cases it should be a deliberate and thoughtful decision.  There are more. But we will discuss these some other time

Thank you

What do you need?

What do you need

What do you need

Now a days, life is full of stress. Stress is the caused by multifarious reasons. Firstly, there is work pressure. This has increased due to the ever increasing competition. Life in the city is also becoming difficult due to distances and slow moving traffic. You take more time in travelling from home and to your work place than you ever did in earlier times.  Pollution is another major factor that saps your energy. On the one side you have less time for your productive work, with reduced energy level you tend to take more time in completing your daily tasks. So time-management becomes another issue.

So what should you do? You cannot change the environment, the way the society is moving forward, the social conflicts are increasing. But you can certainly do one thing. Change yourself. Bring about a change in your personality, your perspective, the way you look at things, and the way you solve your daily problems.

In order that you successfully do so you need to recognize what you needs are. Your own needs specifically! While overall our needs may be the same but these differ due to reasons like our personality, family background, requirements etc.

Needs have been classified by Maslow’s famous pyramid of needs theory.

Keeping these in your mind you may define your own needs. This need not be done in one sitting. But what you can do is to write a broad overview first, and then by contemplating on it on a daily basis you will be able to develop the clear chart of your personal needs. The biggest advantage of such an exercise is that the burden that one carries due to mental fog will be removed and you will start looking at things clearly.

Furthermore, it is only after clearly defining you own needs that you can chart out a plan of action to achieve these. It will also enable you to deal with the stress problems. Of course, this will be you first step. A lot more will need to be done. But then you must appreciate that this is for your own life. Your constant efforts to improve will undoubtedly be enjoyed by you. Besides, these will bring about better results. Further on this in my next blog.

Thank you.

Self-confidence

Self-confidence

Your confidence depends on how you have been influenced by people around you till now. Be it your parents, your teachers, your friends and others you have been meeting. Some of the influences have created positive impact. ‘Yes, you can do it and you must try’. This motivates you to act even if there is some risk. ‘No, you can’t do it’, ‘it is not for you’ ‘what will others say when you fail’- these are some of the negative thoughts, instilled by people around you, or due to your own brooding. These hold you back.

Faith, Fear and Action are three most important ingredients of your self confidence. Today, everyone realizes the importance of self-confidence. Your career, your relations with others, your progress in life or even your reputation- all depend on your self- confidence. Your ability to overcome fears and your determination to take action even in adverse circumstances give it a boost. Anyone who wants to grow in life must develop ability to take some risk. Of course, you must not be a dare-devil. No need to deliberately expose yourself to great risk just to show off. Nor is there a need to take risk without thinking about the results. But some calculated risk of taking action to move forward in life is necessary.Self-confidence

Life is not a straight line. Like the waves in the sea, it moves up and down. There is low tide and there is high tide. There could be storms like we have in the ocean. You have to accept the challenge and move forward. Your determined action further enhances your faith and allays your fears. Consider that your body is a ship. And your mind is the captain of your ship. Just as the captain of the ship has to take decisions and take action all the time- 24×7, you must do that too. This will generate the required self-confidence. And, you will start viewing the life differently. It will no longer be a burden that tires you. It will be an interesting journey that will keep you in good cheer.

Some other suggestions to build your confidence and conquer your fears are:

  1. Belief in yourself
  2. Associate with confidence people
  3. Keep motivating yourself by dwelling on positive thoughts
  4. Be the master of your ship of life.
  5. Never remain idle.

Thank you.

High Self-confidence

Stretched Goals

Goals

Setting Stretched Goals

Today I’ll talk to you about the importance of goals in life. Anything that we do in life, we spend our precious time and money must bring about desired results. But often it does not happen. Why? Do we always try to figure out the reasons? If not, then why not? Because our goals are not clear. Because our desire to achieve the results is not so strong.

So what should we do? Sit back and think that everything will be alright? Or, that our luck is bad? No!

We must clearly define what we want to achieve. Write these clearly on our diary/journal. Make it known to the friends, family members, peers wherever it is necessary. Particularly to our well wishers. When we make our goals known to others, we become more committed.

Then, we should create a strong desire within us to achieve our goals. We need to contemplate on these as often as possible. Further, we need to plan how to achieve our goals. Work out the plan and write it down. Spend some time, contribute something, however small, daily towards achievement of what you want to do in life. It is worth it. And, you will be surprised to find how effective this process is for achieving what you want.

What are stretched goals? Goals should be short-term, medium-term, and long-term. In other words, what you want to achieve in the current year, next five years, ten years, twenty years, etc. Never think about obscurity of the future and changing times. Instead think that I have the ‘right’ and possibility of modifying my goals as per the needs of the changing times.

Furthermore, you need to work about a practical plan to achieve each of your goals. This should be backed up with action, you genuine effort to follow the plan. Life will be a lot more meaningful when the goals are well-defined and the plan to achieve these is followed.

You must define your goals in all aspects of life. Work out your own priorities, but you goals must cover all the following areas:

  1. Your Career Goals
  2. Financial Goals.
  3. Your Health Goals
  4. You Family Goals
  5. Social Goals
  6. Your Hobby Goals
  7. And, your Spiritual Goals.

Thanks for reading.

The Neutral No!

Winning Negotiation Strategies

How to win negotiations – The Neutral No.

During Negotiations if you don’t agree with your opponent you have a right to say no. But it should be a ‘neutral’ No. What is a neutral No? It is not harsh. There is no anger in it. It is not even apologetic. If you are known to be a nice person, when you have to say No the best thing is to become neutral.

It is important to remain on the issue and not allow any digression. It is equally important not to allow your ego to come into the picture. Often times, even when there is a possibility of a solution, it does not materialize simply because of individual egos. By sticking to the issue and remaining neutral you leverage you strengths. There are certain does and don’ts that you must follow while negotiating with difficult people:

  1. Your language should remain polite but firm.
  2. You should listen actively to what the other person is saying.
  3. You should try to assimilate the hidden meaning behind his/her words and strategize you arguments accordingly.
  4. You have to be really quick witted during negotiations.
  5. You should never say No using light-weight reasons. Preparation for an important negotiation is crucial. While doing your homework you should visualize what your opponent is likely to use as his/her negotiation weapons or arguments.
  6. You should be prepared to meet these squarely.
  7. You should remain alert and not be swayed by any emotional blackmail.

It is always good to have a nice image but not at cost of your personal interests. Managers must particularly use their discretion aptly during discussions with their higher ups.