Seven Deadly Productivity Mistakes…

Let’s avoid these deadly mistakes to boosts our productivity:-
 
#Mistake No. 7: Working Too Hard
 
Don’t work too hard, work smart. Learn/study improve ur skills and work smart.
 
#Mistake No. 6: Consuming Too Much Content
 
Do you ever have a feeling like you’re at the mercy of your phone with constant pings, notifications, and calls?
 
TV, Social Media, News always connected with content, get away with these distractions.
 
#Mistake No. 5: Working In The Open
 
You’re working on something in a shared work environment like an open-plan office or library. You’re focusing really hard but there’s always noise. That printer whirring away, people chatting, doors opening and closing, someone’s phone beeping… There’s always something going on and if you’re not deeply into something, you’re going to lose that focus. And every time you do, that’s 25 minutes spent getting it back. That’s a huge waste of time, especially if you don’t have that kind of environment at home as an option.
 
#Mistake No. 4: Multitasking
 
A jack of all trades is a master of none, and that’s especially true when it comes to multitasking and productivity. When we repeatedly switch between tasks we lose up to 40% of their productivity. We also develop psychological problems with focusing and productivity, even when we are not multitasking. It’s tempting to switch to something when you have a brainwave about it but let’s not do it. It’s not worth it.
 
#Mistake No. 3: Forgetting About Quality Downtime
 
The first part is ‘Work hard’ but the second part is ‘Play hard’. And it’s important to add play-time to our schedules because without downtime, we get tired and our productivity suffers.
 
#Mistake No. 2: Copying Other People’s Routines
 
While there’s a lot we can learn from other people — especially successful people we admire — we’re all different. That’s why it’s important for us to have a unique routine that is bests for us.
 
#Mistake No 1: Not “Taking” Enough Help from Others
 
We live in times where we’ve made to think that taking help is unacceptable, but there’s also a lot of benefits that come from receiving support. If you’re offered help, take it. If you’re offered a shoulder to cry on when things get tough, take it. If you’re offered friendship, partnership, joy, camaraderie — take it.
 
Take as much as you give, especially if it’s taken from the people who want to see you succeed.

 

How to build company culture…

Culture is one of the most critical pillars that keeps standing in the ups and downs of a company. It defines the success and growth of the team and the company.
 
Also wherever there is a team, a culture (good or bad) is already set within the team. Defined by the leaders and top management etc.
 
So how to build or rebuild a culture? Here are a few pointers:
 
#Personal accountability
 
You must model the behaviors and basic underlying assumptions you want to be true. Greatest shortcoming of a leader is wanting others to do something that she doesn’t practice it herself. For instance, a leader wants to set up “ownership and trustworthy” culture but doesn’t own her own weaknesses and expects employees to be upfront and own things. See the disconnect?
Others in the team will emulate what you do, so exhibit those basic underlying actions yourself and the team will follow.
 
#Consistency
 
Whatever culture we want to set, it should be consistent over a period of days, months and years to build it. It cannot be that one day we want ownership & trust, other days we want hierarchy and formal structure.
 
Also whatever process we want to follow to inculcate the culture, All hands meetings, one on one etc should be consistent. Yes, there will be learnings but the core process has to keep hitting the cultural attributes.
 
#Use All Mediums or Communication Channels
 
In today’s environment, we have different ways of communicating with the individuals or team. It can be meetings, remote video calls, internal social media, WhatsApp groups, etc.
 
Use all these to communicate the same core attributes, for example, if All hands meetings are for openness and gathering ideas, displaying an open culture of ideas. One on Ones and any team meetings should have the same theme, openness towards any ideas. 
Now, this is no grand formula by any means for creating the culture that you want. Shaping a company’s culture and tapping into a team’s basic underlying assumptions is more art than it is science.
But consider these three elements — personal accountability, consistency, and richness — in how you’re upholding the basic underlying assumptions you want to make more real.
Pick one, commit to it, and see progress build over time. Slowly, but surely, you’ll see the difference.

 

Fear of Exams

“Fear of Exams” is it good or bad for success? The same is true for a job interview, presentation to a team, performing in front of an audience or in sports.
 
We all have been into these high-pressure situations. “The Fear” is one of the critical factors, which pushes us to fail or succeed. Is it good or bad for us to be in fear and prepare ourselves? Let’s look at Pros and Cons:
 
Advantages of “The Fear”:
#”The Fear” boosts our mind and body allowing us to focus continuously hence increasing our chances to succeed.
 
#Sometimes with the adrenaline rush of “The Fear” we solve much harder problems in these difficult situations, which might not possible in normal situations.
 
#With Practice to tackle “The Fear” it becomes easier, we stop fearing Exams (Or Interviews, etc) and grow more confident in all areas of Life.
 
Disadvantages of “The Fear”:
#If failed, we get in a state of turmoil and depression. Self-doubting ourselves, never logical thinking that our preparation might not be enough. And because of so much pressure, it leads to negative(Suicidal) thoughts. Especially, in case of the younger generation.
 
#Even if we succeed the experience is traumatic and we start avoiding it. Think about it, a job Interview even if you succeed you still remember it as a fearful experience. Avoiding interviews in future if possible. It’s more because of “The Fear” mentality than the actual interview process.
 
#”The Fear” leads to short term thinking, more driven because of social and peer pressure. We completely miss the bigger picture of life. If we want to become a programmer how does failing in one job interview hinders our goal. There are a lot of other ways to become a programmer like to become a freelancer. But since we get into “The Fear” mode we look at it as do or die situation, which is not true!!!
 
My vote is to get rid of “The Fear of Exams”. Look at life more long term with a goal (Or set of goals) and keep working towards it. We may still fail but will be more persistent and determined to succeed and achieve it. Moreover will never fear to try it again and again and hence be more successful!

No points for busy

There’s a common safe place: Being busy.

We’re supposed to give you a pass because you were full on, all day. Frantically moving from one thing to the other, never pausing to catch your breath, and now you’re exhausted.
 
No points for busy.
 
Points for successful prioritization. Points for efficiency and productivity. Points for doing work that matters.
 
No points for busy.

Sleepy head way to go…..

Are you a sleepy head? A sleepy head person can take a quick nap anywhere in any circumstances and can take them a lot. It can be anywhere, while traveling, in college, in office or in home. It’s amazing how a sleepy head can nap in any condition.
 
I remember once while traveling on a train in the hottest summer and long 36 hours journey and I slept most of the time. Everyone around me got amazed how can I sleep in these conditions. There are numerous scenarios like these where I have taken naps.
 
I am one of the sleepyhead person, and all my life whenever I use to take a nap. People around gave a sense of guilt, why are you sleeping now? How can you sleep here? You are wasting time by sleeping etc..etc…
 
But what sleep does is energize from anything be it stress, negative emotions, anger and lot more. It’s like you have got a new morning to start again.
 
Moreover, after sleep, you will find solutions to your problems. Imagine a cluttered room or closet before you go to sleep, but as you wake up the clutter is completely sorted out 🙂Sleep has so much power!
 
So don’t worry all the sleepy heads, its the best way to get toxic out of your mind. Use it as frequently as possible, let others envy you…
 
 
 

Boost Your Team’s Productivity? Really?


As Manager or Leader, one of the most critical problems is How to increase our Team’s Productivity. We constantly think about it and keep reading trying different things to achieve it.

Some of the main points (From different sources) are:

1. Set the best example for your team.
2. Set Goals and Clarify expectations.
3. Encourage open communication.
4. Give team members autonomy.
5. Give team decent breaks or holidays, so that they are not overworked.

There might be more…But does these work?

One of my friend who is based out of California(US), had set up an office in Delhi and did all of the above but the team was not productive. Moreover, the employees’ came late and had started taking things for granted. He wasted 6 months and couldn’t figure out the problem. In the end, he hired an experienced Ops manager. Who rolled out his stick, kept attendance registers, fixed timings, a penalty in coming late etc and Baam!!! –  It started improving. Last I discussed he was happy with the output and didn’t care much about the above rules.

Take away:– Some of these rules might work in a culture, probably US-based team, but may not work in other culture. All the books/literature we read are typically based on US environment and hence should be taken with pinch of salt. It might not work in a different country or culture. In the Indian context where we have been trained to obey the rules from childhood and even in school/colleges being driven by “Stick” more than “Carrot” these rules as it is might not work.

We need to have “Carrot” and “Stick” in right mixture…

What rules do you think applies to the Indian context? Please share your comments…

Nap to increase productivity..

 
Working hard is the most important ingredient for success? Pick up any self-help book and it comes with many examples where working hard is the key to success. 
But what about working smartly? Now you roll your eyes “Sure, lets work smart not hard”. Before bouncing off the page, let’s reflect in our last 2-3 days time interval where we were at our best in productivity. At least once in a day (Or given interval) we are at our mind mojo, at our best and performing like a smooth oiled engine.
 
So how can we repeat this mojo? Will this not be doubling, tripling our performance and hence working smart.
 
Enter Naps or Sleep lightly or briefly, especially during the day. It’s like dividing your day into 2-3 days by taking sleep breaks. Winston Churchill used to do this. Most of our leaders & artists use this as a tool to be at their bests.
 
Yes, it sounds weird, to take a sudden Nap and think of it as wasting time but the returns are tremendous. Imagine after every Nap you have your mojo and getting a shot of productivity boosts.
 
So next time if you feel sleepy in office or meeting go ahead and take a power nap to give boosts to your productivity.
 
Let me know if you tried this in comments below.