My life story in Six words


One of the habit I’m developing while at my regular walk during Morning and evening is to keep my mind busy with thoughts that might help me with my work and life. One of the routine is to write blogs on something that could  help/inspire someone who reads my blog. I was thinking of writing a blog for quite some time but was busy with guest lectures and a Coursera course (https://www.coursera.org/ )  “Developing innovative Ideas for a New company” I started this March 3rd. This is a six week course but they allowed students to go ahead and finish the course earlier. It occurred to me that I should attempt to complete all six weeks course in Six days of the first week itself but should be able to target for highest marks possible. Guess what, I completed the course but took Ten days (Wednesday 12/3/2014) taking the last quiz before midnight 12.00 PM. So the result is that by constraining to six days forced me to be creative with my daily schedule.

So the constraint that I made for completing my course in six days made me think creatively and set goals to reach it as much as possible. Constraints should enhance creativity not bog you down to stress and anxiety.

The most common problem college students engage is procrastination, the act of ‘putting off something until a future time – postponing or deferring action’. That means most of them become serious with their exams or career planning in the last minute. This creates stress that leads to anxiety.

They come to me with this problem of stress and anxiety due to lack of time (it’s too late). How do I help them?  This became my challenge for  quite some time during my daily walk.  I read extensively on how to reduce stress and anxiety as listed bellows that helps some of the students or employees to overcome their stress and anxiety.  But I was not sure that this research will solve everyone’s problem.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/02/21/mikaela-shiffrin-takes-lead-olympic-slalom/fBf912OWzecqxe9RY2h9KM/story.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22755446

http://www.athleticinsight.com/Vol5Iss2/ClimbingImagery.htm

The only way stress or anxiety can be reduced is to plan ahead and stick with that plan and reach the goals you want to reach.

But that is not easy with the distractions of daily life. So now I thought let’s explore how to use these constraints of daily distractions, mental weakness, and procrastination to reach our goals or reduce the stress.

I started exploring the web on constraints and came across a story of Ernest Hemingway, a story writer who bet with friends that he could write an entire story in just six words. It seems impossible feat but Hemingway did it as follows

“FOR SALE: Baby Shoes, Never worn”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_sale%3A_baby_shoes%2C_never_worn

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18768430

That excited me to write my life story in six words and here is what it is

Fall ,Rise, plan, achieve, Sorrow , splendid –RK

So procrastination , stress , anxiety , tension or what ever it is that is stopping you becoming great should be used for your advantage.  For me planning , setting goals and also sticking with the goals to the best of my abilities is what made me what I’m today. My physical constraint never bothered me reaching to a better life with best practices. So I wish this blog inspires you all to think how to use your constraints for your advantage creatively…

Now I challenge you to write your life story in six words as comments to this blog.

The links below are some extraordinary “creativity under constraint” stories for you. Enjoy and let me know if you liked this blog and make me happy please by expressing your opinion (it’s long overdue from my readers).

https://gettingreal.37signals.com/ch03_Embrace_Constraints.php

http://99u.com/articles/5993/reel-back-finding-creativity-in-constraints

http://austinkleon.com/newspaperblackout/

http://vimeo.com/55804669

https://www.attendly.com/exceeding-limitations-is-all-about-the-way-you-think/

My favourite talk on TED must watch http://www.ted.com/talks/phil_hansen_embrace_the_shake?embed=true

http://www.sixwordmemoirs.com/

Don’t forget to give your story in six words as comments… Thanks and I appreciate your time reading this blog..

Simple tips for getting work done


While I talk to students there is one complain I hear, and that is  not having enough time in a day to learn something new  and they are always distracted by friends or TV or other activities. I always wonder what will happen to them when they start working in a very challenging work environment when they get hired. Modern work is very challenging and at the same time companies are trying to squeeze more work from employees in less time.  During the day you will be constantly distracted by emails from colleagues, friends and others. You will be called into meetings. You will be disturbed by people walking to your cubicle and chatting with you.You may be tempted to watch a new song or video online or shop for something online. Your friends want to go to a movie with you.  All these consume time , that otherwise you might be spending on finishing the work/studies  you supposed to finish that day.

When you are not prepared for that kind of environment then you will end up frustrated, ruin your health as tensions rise with approaching deadlines of finishing work on time. Also Many of us ignore the signals body sends as we get immersed in stressful work environment. 

In order to achieve what you planned to do you need to focus on that task only.

So let’s see how to be effective with time we have in a day and save ourselves from ruining our health or frustrated for not able to do enough in a day. In the age of distractions what research and one Harvard professor  said is that you should break your day time into intervals of 90/60/30 minutes with 5/10 minutes of break. For 90/60/30 minutes you should only focus on the most urgent work by not getting distracted from any kind of activities that distracts you. That 90/60/30 minutes you should have  patience, attention to details, concentration, and should have reverence for the moment.  Then take a break of 5 to 10 minutes go enjoy the nature or do yoga,spend time with friends,  play a instrument or take a walk or do something that won’t consume more than that 5 or 10 minutes and keeps your mind pleasant for the next 90  or 60 or 30  minute time slot work or studies.

There is no hard and fast rule that you should slot your day into 90 minutes schedules only. It can be 60 minutes of intense work/ studies and a 5/10 minutes break. Scheduling the time slots is up to you. If you can focus witout distraction for 90 minutes then you can do the 90 minutes rule. Without a doubt focus and concentration are the keys to productivity. It has been shown that when we come off a task or are distracted it can take a substantial amount of time to get back on task. You cannot really manage time, but you can manage yourself with this kind of planning.  This is especially helpful if you have several competing priorities and need to focus on one at a time.

With this kind of planning you can achieve 12 hours of work in 4 to 5 hours of time depending on what  kind of challenging work /studies you are involved in.

Here are the links for learning more on this techniques of time management   http://pomodorotechnique.com/ and

http://elembee.com/time-management-for-creatives/

https://forum.quantifiedself.com/thread-my-pomodoro-experiment

http://99u.com/articles/7032/a-day-without-distraction-lessons-learned-from-12-hrs-of-forced-focus

Your 5 to 10 minutes breaks can be used for improving health. Check this info http://www.escardio.org/about/press/press-releases/pr-11/Pages/Sedentary-time-EHJ.aspx