The magic of planning for the next day

Let’s rewind to your morning today. Did you wake up with purpose, knowing exactly what to do for the next six hours? Or did you open your eyes with your brain all clouded, knowing that you have zillions of things to do, but with no idea about where and how to start? In this confused state, it is very easy to pick activities that need very little effort. For instance, snooze the alarm & stay back in bed. It is very easy to cling to activities that make your brain feel busy, but you aren’t doing anything productive. For instance, reading the newspaper all morning, browsing your email or watching TV. Continue reading The magic of planning for the next day

Why have a reading plan

Reading is an activity fraught with choices and distractions. You know how it is when you walk to a book shelf at a library or a book store. Too many books call out to you and you are paralysed. Reading online is more difficult. Apart from millions of articles on a single topic, articles often have a rabbit-hole of hyperlinks leading to other articles or even other topics. In the post, Get more out of your reading, we explained how to avoid distractions and focus on what you are reading. We even suggested that you discard all content that isn’t relevant to your life. We gave you some good habits to follow to keep your reading fun.

What if you can fine-tune your reading even more, so that you get the best results from your sessions? What if you walk into a library and know exactly where to start and how to proceed in your next few visits? What if you set reading goals for your upcoming year? What if you set seasonal topics that you will stick to? What if you are more proactive with your reading, using techniques like note-taking and deliberately practising the skills introduced by your books. This post takes your reading experience to a new level where you will start mastering a few skills that you have always wanted to learn. Continue reading Why have a reading plan

Why thrifty saving is not the same as investing

‘A penny saved is a penny earned’ is an adage you will hear so often that its sheer repetition will make you believe it to be true. But is it really true? Sure, money not spent right now is sitting to be spent on something else later. Economics defines this as opportunity cost. But in this article, I am going to argue against ‘thrifty saving’ as a way to ‘grow your money’ or to ‘get and live rich’. Continue reading Why thrifty saving is not the same as investing

Book summary: Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass SunsteinBook title: Nudge
Author: Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein
ISBN-10: 0141040017
ISBN-13: 978-0141040011
Buy on Amazon.in | Amazon.com

Nudge is a book written by American behavioural economist and nobel prize (Economics) winner Richard Thaler and lawyer Cass Sunstein, who takes deep interest in behavioural economics and ethics in law-making and government policies.

The premise of the book is that one can highly influences choices and decisions that people make by subtly modifying the way that choices are presented. In doing so, they describe a role named ‘choice architect’, whose responsibility is to carefully design choices so that choice-makers can be protected from bad choices and led to good choices. Continue reading Book summary: Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein


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The magic of a manifesto

Let’s start with a cliché. Our protagonist, Asha, is usually untidy, leaving her backpack on her bed and throwing her shoes in the middle of the hall after she comes back from work. Usually one of her socks finds its way under the furniture. A few pens spill out of the half open zipper of her backpack and fall on the bed. Asha has a hard time clearing out her bed every night she wants to sleep and an even harder time finding a matching pair of socks when she is in a hurry to leave for work. She is irritable and often harasses her mom to find her things for her.

Bunty wants to shed that extra fat from his tummy. He has enrolled for the gym and goes occasionally. But most of the time, life happens and Bunty either finds himself overeating while celebrating with friends or not going to the gym because he has something else to do. Even at the gym, he ambled around from machine to machine, getting a few reps, but doing anything effective.

On new year’s eve, both Asha and Bunty set resolutions. They vow to get tidy and get trim respectively. For the first week, everything works great. But, just after a week, things are back to what they were. Asha’s shoes are in the hall and Bunty is binging on extra large pizza, not having gone to the gym for two days.

How can we help Asha and Bunty stick to their resolutions? There are many solutions, but some of them work better than the others. My favourite is a method that political parties, engineering standards organisations and committees follow religiously. Writing and referring to a manifesto.

Continue reading The magic of a manifesto

600 minutes for your most productive day

I have talked about how to intentionally schedule your days here and here. The first post talks about chucking a simple to-do list and using a calendar to put a date and time to activities. The second post mentions that the activities in a single day should strictly follow a theme, such as book-writing on Mondays, marketing on Tuesdays, etc.

To help you really boost your productivity, I talk about the rule of 3 x 200 to take control of your day and get the most important things done effectively. Continue reading 600 minutes for your most productive day

Wind-down routine: The perfect lullaby

I have talked about a morning route to rouse your day here. However, finishing your day with a routine is as important as starting your day with one. As with a morning routine, a wind-down routine is an excellent way to get you from wakefulness to deep sleep. Being an long time insomniac and a light sleeper, I can say that a wind-down routine has worked very well for me. Continue reading Wind-down routine: The perfect lullaby

The ONE thing you should do every morning

Grab any magazine, read lifestyle sections of newspapers, go through productivity blogs or read productivity books. Everyone tells you the importance of morning routines, a regular sequence of actions you do every morning to build up to peak performance. Without the rhythm of a morning routine, you may mindlessly fumble through the day.

Most morning routines (including my previous one), fall under two categories: getting physical so that your body grows energetic (jogging, workout, yoga) and getting mindful so that your mind can focus better (meditation, journaling, worship).

However, Benjamin Hardy and Bedros Keuilian hit the nail on the head by suggesting that the first thing you should do every morning is an activity which takes you a step closer to your life’s most important goals. This activity most likely changes every week or month and is the #1 activity for that period of time. Continue reading The ONE thing you should do every morning

Book summary: Ready, fire, aim by Michael Masterson

000-book-coverBook title: Ready, fire, aim
Author: Michael Masterson (aka Mark Ford)
ISBN-10: 0470182024
ISBN-13: 978-0470182024
Buy here

What this book is about

Ready, fire, aim is not a typo. It is a deliberate word play on the common phrase Ready, aim, fire. Written by Michael Masterson, this book describes the process of building a company right from the startup phase to an enterprise that earns millions of dollars. The title suggests that we should always start before we are fully ready to launch something and that we should never obsess to the point of perfection. By launching before the product is perfect, we are letting the market decide how to improve it rather than falling into the trap of hubris, where we falsely believe that we fully know the market.

In the book, Michael breaks down the lifetime of a company into five stages. The sections of the book focus on what to do and where you should focus during those five stages. Continue reading Book summary: Ready, fire, aim by Michael Masterson


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Travelling for a year: not as radical as it sounds

Priya (my wife) and I are on a one year trip around India. We are calling the trip India 360, in which we are trying to cover as much of the country as we can in a year. The trip is from April 2017 to May 2018. While we have been enjoying ourselves and carrying on with the trip as if it were our regular day-to-day life, the reaction that we get from people who learn about our trip varies from mild concern to absolute shock. Trust me, most people are happy with what we are doing, but then….! Continue reading Travelling for a year: not as radical as it sounds