Being productive is more important than being busy

How often do you feel like you have nothing to do but actually you have plenty of tasks at hand?

I was thinking for a while. There were a couple of things that I absolutely had to do but when I was thinking about them, I could never thought of them. Instead I was wasting time in doing something else which was not so important.

Many a times, it happened that I was doing a task that I was supposed to do but couldn’t complete it because of external distractions. They can be anything.. Let’s say your boss offered you to urgently do something else, your cellphone rang, you had to go somewhere urgently. There are many possibilities.

I will write many things on this topic which will come in parts but for this post, I would like to discuss about one important principal called Eisenhower’s Principle. By applying this, you would definitely be less busy and more productive which will help you grow personally and professionally as well.

Eisenhower’s Principle

The principal basically focus on two terms: Urgent and Important

Urgent: Tasks/Activities which require your immediate attention and not doing it might have bad consequences.

Important: Tasks/Activities which should be completed in order to help you grow.

How to use this principle:

You can simply make a to-do list of all the activities that comes to your mind. Always have a habit of noting it down. I prefer writing them in my cellphone(sticky notes).

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Once you have all the tasks in front, you can analyze each of them.

You can divide each of them in two catagories-low and high for both urgent and important. The picture above is self-explanatory.

Tasks which have both urgent and important tagged as high, you should start doing it without giving it a second thought.

Tasks which are important but not urgent should be be scheduled next after first category of tasks.

Tasks which are urgent but not important, you might want to delegate them or do it when you have a free time on your schedule.

Tasks which are not urgent or important, are not even tasks, they were just distractions. You can save them for later when they become important enough.

 

I think this will give you a better idea. Many of you might already know about the principle. I just thought of sharing it to those who don’t.

PS: Let me know if you think this will make things better for you in the comments. More on this topic will come on my next posts.

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How to Start a New Habit That Stays Forever

Ever wondered why someone is able to wake up early in the morning every single day and exercise and you kept thinking about burning that extra fat but you could never actually do it?

It is hard. Is it hard? It is. But then why someone is able to do it so efficiently? Well, someone seems to have developed a habit of doing this.

Habits

It can be simply put as something you do regularly or repetitively. If we can understand the science behind it, we might be able to form a habit in better ways.

It follows this simple pattern:

  1. Reminder – The trigger that makes you do something
  2. Action – That thing/habit
  3. Reward – The benefit or pleasure you gain after doing it

For example, We wake up in the morning and brush our teeth.

  • Reminder: Waking up
  • Action: Brushing teeth
  • Reward: It feels good. It doesn’t feel right if we don’t.(At least, I don’t!)

On the basis of the nature of the reward, habits can be wanted habit or unwanted habits.

Wanted habits can be considered as the ones which have long term good rewards attached to them. i.e. We brush our teeth to make sure they don’t stink and are clear.

Naturally, a human brain will attract us towards pleasure and will repel us from pain. But it can not distinguish between temporary pleasure and permanent one.

That being said, unwanted habits can be considered as the ones which also have good rewards attached to them at first or temporarily, but they are not very good for a long run. i.e. Overeating your favorite food will give you pleasure at first, but then you know the consequences, right?

That’s all about habits.

How do we form new habits?

we-first-make-our-habits-and-then-our-habits-make-us

Key to form a new habit is to do things consciously until it becomes doable without a push. We need to work on each part of the pattern.

Reminder

Reminder or Trigger is what will make you do the action part. This part is really important because when you want to do something consciously, you are more likely to forget.  It is wise to choose a trigger that is a routine in your regular life. Some common examples are: waking up, getting off the bed, sleeping at night, eating lunch. You already know what you do daily without fail, right? It will also depend on the habit you are trying to form. Linking a common activity or trigger to your new habit will increase the chances of persistence. For example, if I want to meditate in the morning. My trigger would be: waking up. Simple.

Action

Action is a new habit or behaviour you are trying to form. Key here would be to start small. I mean, really small. So small that you can’t ignore doing it. Also, link it with your trigger in some way. In above example of meditation, if I want to link my action with a trigger, I will have a picture of a person meditating on the front wall so that when I wake up, I get to see that photo and can quickly execute my new habit.

Reward

Yes, we are always looking for it even in our regular life. So why not treat ourselves when we are doing something good. Get yourself a cookie. Seems like not-so-great-idea? Rewards can also be some sort of self-appreciation. Go on to social media if you like. People might see you working towards something and they encourage you. There are endless possibilities. I urge you not to skip this step. Not at least for first few habits. Soon you will understand why.

I hope the process will help you understand habits in a better way. Are you ready to burn that extra fat?

So if you like to start forming a small habit right away, share with me in comments or on social media. I am not an expert but I may be able to give some suggestions.

 

References:

  • Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, is a good source. I started off with this.
  • James Clear writes about useful stuff on habit formation.
  • Check out: Leo Babauta. He has amazing posts on habits.
  • Google is your friend.

 

Attention is the new currency – How and Why?

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And I was thinking about posting a blog on this for few days. I started writing about it yesterday. I could’ve finished it in few hours. But umm.. Yes, you got that right, lack of attention.(Facebook will only show you what you would always love to see!)

Ever wondered why Kim K is so popular? No… Not just that. Obviously that is one of the reasons but isn’t the only one. I went through few posts about it and could figure out that she did things in very organized way. We live in an attention-based economy and she leveraged that fact of the matter to the fullest. She considerably did nothing to be famous for. But she is.

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Attention is the new currency, and when I talk about attention- I have different perspectives to it.

  • Marketers would want to concentrate more on how they would get the attention of their target customers frequently and then introduce the product/service to them.
  • You feel like an Information Overload(there is now more information on internet than any of us could possibly know what to do with), and you just don’t know where to start from and what to refer and how to cop up with distractions.
  • You turn to your friend to say something and you suddenly forget(Go through “The Power of Now”). And he swears the crap out of you.
  • And of course Kim K, what/where she is right now, is because of “attention”.(Some People excel at getting attention!)

We are living in attention era. Term was coined in 1997 by Michael H. Goldhaber. I tried to go through couple of articles about it, but as you might have guessed, couldn’t be so focused. Attention and focus, I can probably interchange those, at least in this context. we are spreading our attention and hence loosing focus.

The new scarcity in the internet age is attention. With technological advancements,
people are being more and more dependent. We used to remember phone numbers of the people- back in the days(remember?) And Now, sometimes people trouble remembering even their own phone numbers and they have to save them in their own device(Got dual sim? troubling?). We don’t even try to think for a while, instead just google it.

The problem is not the technology itself, it’s how we choose to use the technology. The Question is – Is it serving us or are we serving it?

This can get on and on and on but I just want to say, We must learn to master our focus and our self-awareness to properly take advantages of the attention economy. Limitless access to knowledge brings limitless opportunity but only to those who learn to manage the new currency: their attention.

In the new economy, the most valuable asset you can accumulate may not be money, may not be wealth, may not be time, may not even be knowledge, but rather,  the ability to control your own attention, and to focus.

PS: Mark Manson, you own this one. That’s where I started thinking about writing this! I even kept some of the lines which you wrote as it is 😉

 

Welcome to e-raised-to-x!

Hello folks,

This is probably my first attempt at writing something(yes!). So do guide me as I go ahead with this. This is Neil patel, Electronics and Communication Engineer by qualification. I work for a startup company in Surat. Designated as Marketing and Outreach Manager, my work involves everything and anything ranging from taking strategic decisions to making not-so-great coffee sometime. I am a startup enthusiast, a rapper. I have a crew called 911 Rap Crew and we try to promote Hip-Hop culture around Gujarat. I also like to inspire and educate people. I am not always that serious guy! I don’t always throw punches, but when I do, I make sure you die laughing. That’s a little about me.

So I had this thought of starting a blog at noon when we(Synergians) were sitting, brainstorming about strategies to implement and I decided to take it forward when I was coming back from the office this evening. It’s not always that I take decisions this fast. But I did it for this one. I wasn’t very well today, so I just came to see my doctor. He’s out for some reason so let me take this opportunity to give attention to my thoughts and start writing.

Lets not waste time any further. I want to go straight up to tell you what I am going to talk about here. So, basically I am here to talk about entrepreneurship, startups, Hip-Hop music(sometimes!), inspiration, motivation, education, giving back to the society and much more. I think life is all about learning. Do something remarkable everyday to make yourself better for tomorrow.

Well, enough for the first blog I guess. I can keep writing because there’s a lot to say. I don’t know how it is, do let me know. Suggestions/Feedbacks/Grammar mistakes, please go as more blunt as you can. Good would give me power to move ahead and bad would make me go back and  improve and come back again. Either way I am winning and coming back 😛

PS: By Synergians, I mean me and my team at workplace. Do comment. Cheers!

PS2: No! I am not going to talk about the logic behind this name! And I will write freely, won’t think much about it. views will be completely mine. Please do not mind or inbox me at any point of time!