You forgot? Didn’t I ask you to remember?

“Oh drat!”, says Ashok, as he gets up from his computer chair. “I am printing a 12-page stock investment statement, but ran out of paper sheets at 5 pages. If I study this report today, I can plan for our investments for the coming financial year. Baby, I am going to the department store to get some A4 pages, okay?”, he says to his wife Bindia.

“Okay dear…. but, can you get some sweet corn while you are there? Let’s have some nice corn soup instead of the same boring tea in the evening.”, adds Bindia. Ashok nods at her, “Okay”, and is on his way to the store.

Later, Ashok enters his room with a stack of papers, ready to print the remaining 7 pages. While he is shuffling the papers, Bindia comes behind him and asks, “And where is the corn?” Ashok is confused, “What co….. oh drat! I forgot baby! Sorry!”.  Bindia is disappointed, “But I asked you to remember, honey. It’s not like I called you up in the middle of your shopping or when you were driving. I told you well in advance. Don’t be so forgetful, dear. So, it will be the same old boring tea again.”

How did corn slip through the cracks? Do you think Bindia has done enough by telling Ashok to get the corn before he left for shopping? Do you think Ashok is justified in forgetting because he was busy with something else?

Continue reading You forgot? Didn’t I ask you to remember?

Designing happiness in everyday life

Happiness seems to be elusive and misunderstood in today’s busy, distracted and confused world. But in reality, being happy is extremely easy. The feeling is misunderstood because contrary to what is popularly believed, happiness doesn’t just come to you. You have to work on yourself and on your environment to sustainably be and stay happy. I consider myself a very happy person in general. I am not anxiety-proof, but I have successfully fought anxiety several times and bounced back to be happy within a matter of minutes or at most a couple of hours. Here are my thoughts on intentionally designing your life to be happy.

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Book Summary: Choice: Eliyahu Goldratt

Title: The Choice
Author: Eliyahoo Goldratt
Publisher: North River Press
ISBN-10: 0884271897
ISBN-13: 978-0884271895
Buy from: Amazon.in | Amazon.com

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Are you really done when you say you are?

When do you that say you are done with something? Do you say, “I am done with lunch”, when you have eaten the last morsel off your plate or after you wash your plate and set it carefully in the utensil drying rack?

As a software developer, do you say, “And I am done!” as soon as your code works for a single sample data only on your laptop or do you say so after having run the tests and having merged your code with those of others over a version control system (e.g. GitHub), having run the tests again and then having committed all of your final changes for everyone to use?

After shopping, are you done as soon as you enter home and drop your shopping bags? Or do you consider it done after each item has been taken out of each shopping bag and put away neatly into shelves, bottles, containers, wardrobe or supplies room?

Here is my answer. If someone is having to clean up and reorganise after you, then you are not done. When you are done, there should be no mess left behind for someone else — even yourself — to bother with.

Continue reading Are you really done when you say you are?

7 things to do make the most of your time in Lockdown

We all wished for more time in our hands, more time with the family. Now that we have what we had wished for during the lock down, most seem to be struggling with it.  This could be a great opportunity for us to do things that we had always wanted to do. I would like to list a few high quality ways to use our time:

Learn a new skill

Our home and internet gives us plenty of opportunities to learn a brand new skill – a new human language, a software language, Excel shortcuts, Udemy or Coursera courses on any skill that you always had your eyes on but never got around to it. A lockdown gives you the ability to put in atleast your otherwise commute hours to use in learning something.

Continue reading 7 things to do make the most of your time in Lockdown

Breaking the spell of infinite scroll

In the post Get more out of your reading, I talked about using Pocket, a tool that helps you save web articles for later reading. Pocket also saves content for reading offline, so that you don’t have to remain connected to the Internet to read the saved articles. Perfect for reading during commutes.

Recently I shifted to a tool named Shiori for saving articles to read later. Cannot help noticing a significant difference between the two. What if there are more articles saved than the size of your screen? Pocket is an app designed with modern UI. It provides ‘infinite scroll’. Shiori has a good UI, but it looks very outdated, like an Android app from 2013. It also uses the outdated concept of ‘pagination’. This outdated concept is why I respect the app in the first place. Continue reading Breaking the spell of infinite scroll

Book Summary: Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam

Title: Millionaire Teacher
Author: Andrew Hallam
Publisher: Wiley
ISBN-10: 8126568054
ISBN-13: 978-8126568055
Buy from: Amazon.in | Amazon.com

Continue reading Book Summary: Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam


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The myth of centum

“Dad, I got 98 out of 100 in Mathematics.”, says the bright child with results in his hand. The dad’s discouraging response is, “Why not centum?”

While thankfully not a precedent at my home or my wife Priya‘s, the community that we belong to, i.e. Brahmin community of Tamil Nadu in India, is notorious for its insistence on getting the perfect score in examinations, especially in a subject like maths or science where all the questions are objective and you could potentially score 100%.

While I definitely question the extremely high score standards set by the community, my problem starts with the system itself. A system which makes it possible to score a centum in examinations. If you already know the answers to every challenge in a test, what did you learn that day? Continue reading The myth of centum

Get organised: Part 2: Cut through pile-up

In the first part of the series on getting organised, we learned how we need a place for everything and that everything should be in its place. Today, we learn about another common problem that comes in the way of staying organised, i.e. pile up. Things or activities keep piling up. Due to overwhelm, we let them pile up and do not deal with them. By the time we decide to do something about the pile, we have a huge backlog. Here’s how to systematically deal with pile ups or better yet, not let things pile up in the first place. Continue reading Get organised: Part 2: Cut through pile-up