A better way of doing things

Everyday we come across a lot of situations when we are supposed to solve problems, execute complicated assignments, finish complex tasks, etc. This is applicable on both work as well as personal front.

A very effective way to handle a such a complex task is to:
Start with what is required rather than what is possible.

As short as that!

Whenever we start seeing the task from the perspective of what is our current ability or what is the minimum that we can start doing, we lose track. We try to map the task with our current inclinations, and do only that part, which is the simplest and less cumbersome.

Giving an example:
John’s boss has asked him to collate some data from different sources and plot the final output in a presentation. John really detests the data collation part, as it is very difficult getting data from different people. Hence, his mind would drive him towards starting with the presentation part. He might create a format and make some place-holders for the final output. He would either not take up the data collation part, or would do it half-heartedly. Either way, he would end up not finishing his task in the given time.

A positive scenario in the above example would be:

  • John lists down the data required.
  • He puts name of the people against each of the data item needed.
  • He calls up people, and if unsuccessful, calls up alternative contact people, or escalates, if needed. But he ensures that he receives the data.
  • He complies the data.
  • He places the data in the presentation in a suitable format.

You can apply this principle to some of your problems and see whether it works for you.

Means of life

Our life today has got dependent on so many machines and gadgets that we have forgotten the difference between means of living life and life itself. Gadgets like cellphones and computers have no doubt made our lives easier and efficient, but have distanced us from our friends, loved ones and nature. The only flowers we really notice now, are the ones on our desktop wallpaper. The really interesting conversations we have with our friends are through ‘scraps’ in orkut and facebook. The last skillful goal you have scored is in a game in your cellphone. The last earnest decoration you have done is by changing your Gmail theme.

We are continuously being led far away from the ‘real’ world. A world where a sight of dew drops on a tender green leaf can freshen up your morning like no tea or coffee can. A world where the sound of chirping birds is the best music which no expensive ipods or music players can match. A world where the fragrance of soil drenched by first rains is far more pleasant than exotic perfumes. A world where relaxing is lying down under the shade of a tree and enjoying nature.

Let’s enjoy the real world and real life before it becomes extinct.

All about an Idea

It was all about an idea;
Thought of it,
Dreamt of it,
Just nurtured it like a plant.

I was happy –
It was growing.
But alas – one day,
The water dried out.

The leaves were yellow;
Some fell on the mud.
I cried out to my heart:
Wish I would have asked someone for water.

(Background of this poem: I wrote this poem while attending a workshop on Ideas and Innovation. One of the key learnings there was about sharing the idea with others and collectively building upon it, so that it can be duly taken forward and implemented. )