We all have chores that we hate to do, even in jobs that we love. Sales people who hate to file reports, Finance guys who hate to speak to people, Runners who hate to wake up early in the morning, Kids who hate to eat are more of rules than exceptions. What can we do that can bring joy or atleast make these tasks bearable enough to get them done. Answer lies in ‘Gamification‘.
Gamification – Defined:
Gamification is a great way to have fun while doing a mundane task or motivate others to do such mundane tasks. A good game is one that contains as many as 3 or 4 of the below features:
- A measurable time bound activity
- Clear Outcomes
- Peer Group Involvement
Free time, drool! That wonderful chunk of time when we can do ANYTHING we want. Importantly, it as also the time when we DO NOT have to do what someone else expects us to do. But wait! We may not be doing what others require us to do. But are we really spending it on ourselves? Well, sadly we are giving up our free time not by working for someone else, but by following someone else’s story too deeply instead of our own, even if their story isn’t inspiring or important to our own progress. Continue reading How to invest 30 days in yourself
In physics, we learn about a phenomenon called inertia. It means that a moving body continues to move at the same speed in the same direction or a stationary body continues to be stationary, unless someone does something to change that. Physicists have also framed a measurement system to measure the inertia of a body. This measurement is called the momentum. Putting a number to momentum is useful for letting us know just how much work must be done in order to make the body do something different than what it is doing now. However, for the purposes of English language, inertia and momentum are often used as opposites. The word inertia is used to describe a body not wanting to move and momentum describes a body not wanting to stop. The common ground for both is that they resist change.
How does this relate to human behaviour and getting things done? Turns out the human body and mind also show signs of inertia and momentum. The human body does not like sudden changes in movement and the human mind does not like sudden changes in behaviour. We can use these two facts to our advantage to start things off and get them done. I also later discuss when NOT to use the effects of momentum, since in certain cases momentum can build behaviour like addiction and inflexibility. Continue reading Momentum & Inertia: How to start things & get them done
Imagine the following scenario. You wake up in the morning with the alarm ringing in your ears. You know that you must leave for work in an hour or so. You brush quickly, take a bath and put together a quick breakfast, something minimal like a sandwich with jam and a quick cup of tea. The clock is ticking away and the rest of your morning is spent getting dressed as fast as you can and getting your office bag in order, while taking a few quick looks at your phone for new emails and updates. Finally you rush out of home hoping to catch your train / bus to work.
Now imagine that you wake up in the morning and spend a few moments to stretch and take a deep breath. You enjoy the view from your window and steadily start your next sequence of actions. You fix yourself a healthy breakfast rich in nutrients and have it slowly enjoying each flavour. You spend some lovely time with your loved ones. You take some time to work out, meditate and read a book. Then you get ready for the day. You transition from shut-eye sleep to complete wakefulness in small steps, fresh and ready to face the day. You become a healthier and better person day by day.
Which one of the above is you? Continue reading Power up with a rousing morning routine
You probably already know that building good habits is the shortcut to building success. Determination and Willpower are good traits. But they are fleeting and limited and to count on them for building a habit is like having Hope as a strategy.
Most people rely on their will power to stick to a new habit. No wonder new year resolutions don’t even last a few weeks. We have all set resolutions to get fit, study harder, spend more time with family, travel more, start a business and we clock another year without doing any of it.
How can we create and sustain change? How do we set our self up to succeed ? If will power does not work, then what works ?
Continue reading The Four Phases of Successful Habit Building !!
In his book The Checklist Manifesto, Boston based surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande mentions that failures occur due to the following reasons. The top three of them are:
- Lack of knowledge
- Lack of proficiency despite the knowledge
- Completely unforeseen circumstances.
But more than 90% of his best-selling selling book highlights the failure of the fourth kind. You may have complete knowledge about a subject, you may have gained enough fluency to be an expert and the task ahead of you is completely predictable and smooth. Yet you goof up, because you forgot a step by either not paying attention to it or because some other step distracted you. These are the mistakes that are the easiest to eliminate and yet they keep creeping up in our day-to-day work. In this post, we discuss why they occur and how to eliminate them.
Continue reading One simple idea to get things right
A lot of you can relate to this incident from childhood. You have just built yourself two LEGO battle tankers. You are sprawled on the floor, firing imaginary shells into the air across the two battle tankers, making shell noises… bang… crack!. Your hero tanker has taken a few hits and is weak and your enemy tanker is just two shells away from destruction. The suspense is building and you are totally in the zone, lining up your barrel at the enemy’s tanker for two final shots, when…. your mother calls you and says that lunch is ready and that you should eat it NOW! You say, ‘Just two minutes, mommy’. But she is adamant. You have to go RIGHT NOW or she will get angry. She reasons with you that you can always have lunch and go back to play, ‘LEGO tankers’.
But the point is that you have been shaken off your zone, that total isolation of focus that got you completely involved in whatever you were doing physically, mentally and emotionally. While it may not be your mom anymore, you are constantly ripped away from your zone by meetings, phone notifications and calls and visiting people. In this post, let us talk about what gets you in the zone in the first place and how you can keep yourself there. Continue reading Are you a maker or a manager?
Let me start this post with one of the most common productivity questions, “What all do I want to achieve today?”. Chances are that in response to this question, you will most likely whip out a pen and a sheet of paper and start listing out all the things you want to get done over the course of the day. Hmm, so should we write the blog post for the day? What about my bathroom with its white tiles no longer looking white? Oh, I am out of sugar and unless I buy it, I cannot have good tasting tea this evening. That reminds me, I am out of milk too. I have to get it if I want to avoid having last-minute black tea. Okay, so in summary, I must write the blog post, clean the bathroom and buy milk and sugar. Okay, my to-do list is nicely mapped out with a list of things that I want to achieve today. Good job! Okay, let’s check Facebook now for just 10 minutes and I will get to my to-do list. Soon, we realise that our Facebook checking has gone on for a couple of hours, followed by a link in one of the posts which took us on an endless spiral of hyperlink chasing until…… tea time!!! Oops, I want tea and I don’t have sugar and milk. God dammit, not bitter black tea again!!! I knew it… I need something better than just a to-do list to keep me focused!
Continue reading What I learnt: How a calendar trumps a to-do list to boost productivity