Do you use your watch to its fullest potential?

I love watches. I have a good collection of them. I keep changing them every now and then. Recently a thought came to me, as I looked at my complicated watch. Am I using my watch to its fullest potential? I found a strange thing. I am just wearing it as an accessory and I rarely look at my watch even to check the time. My digital diary tells me the time. My laptop tells me the time.

Here are my thoughts on how we can use a watch to its fullest potential:
  1. Tell the time (most obvious one)
  2. Plan to reach an airport on time. Let me illustrate-If your flight is at 3:00 PM; Need to be at the airport one hour before at 2:00 PM; One hour commute to the airport, so leave at 1:00 PM; One hour for lunch, so start lunch at 12:00 PM ---
  3. If your watch has a stop watch, you can estimate the amount of time a repeating task takes; Try to cut down the time for the same task by providing yourself just 30 minutes instead of one hour it usualy takes.
  4. If your watch has a countdown feature, you can set a time limit, of say 30 minutes, for a task and try to finish it within the set time limit
  5. If your watch has an hourly chime, you can anchor the chime as a reminder for you to get up from your desk and walk to the other end of your office block. This can prevent arthritis in future.
  6. You can use an alarm to remind you of any errand you have set;You can shut down the Outlook email that will distract you and check it after 2 hours, by setting an alarm
  7. You can use it as a jewelery.
I am sure everyone knows the various uses one can put a watch to. However, most of us take this wonderful gadget for granted.

We wear complicated watches that can tell us the temperature, the direction, the altitude and do many other things, except perhaps cook us a breakfast, in addition to telling us the time in our time zone and perhaps different time zones. How many of us use these features?

Moreover how many of us use the watch for its primary purpose-To help us to be punctual and be more effective?

What about you? How do you use your watch?

Do you seek opportunities to build trust?

Recently one of our colleagues was put on the chopping block. There were a lots of complaints about him from different leaders. There was a discussion about him whether he should be allowed to continue or be asked to quit.

Finally a decision was taken by all of us to give him a second chance. All this happened without his presence. When he called me for some official business, I decided to tell him and warn him that such a discussion had taken place. He was shocked and surprised. He told me that none of the leaders, all of them whom he thought were his good friends, had warned him and appraised him about this incident.

He thanked me profusely and our relationship totally changed. The trust levels went up very high. I was surprised by this incident as I was never close to him and he had never considered me as his friend.

What this incident taught me was that being fare and showing genuine care and concern has a profound impact on relationships. It can turn an ordinary acquaintance to a friend.

While it is not possible to have everyone as our friends, we always have to seek opportunities to show we care. Who knows that person may turn into a good friend of ours?

When was the last time you recognized an opportunity to build trust?

Definitions for using the necklace-treasure chest model* to become highly productive.

Definitions of terms used in the previous two posts:

Simple task:
  1. A task that can be done in 5 minutes
  2. A task that has not more than two sub tasks

Complex task:

  1. A task that will last more than 5 minutes to a 8 hours
  2. A task that has multiple steps
  3. A task that has action items that need to be done by others

High Benefit

  1. Tasks that will take you to your goals
  2. Tasks that will help others
  3. Tasks that will enhance relationships
  4. Tasks that are fun to do

Low Benefit

  1. Tasks that does not contribute to reaching your goals
  2. Addictive harmful tasks
  3. Tasks that are fun to do

*© Muralidharan Jayaram

Discover what pulls you to do useless activities?

Please read the previous post before you read this one - Are you filling your treasure chest with plastic trinkets?---.

Your choice of whether you will do the plastic, zircon, emerald or diamond activities will depend on whether the actiivites are "urgent" or "not urgent".

"Urgent" plastic and zircon activities are distractions that will pull you to focus on them and do them.

"Urgent" emerald and diamond activities usually gets done.

It is the "not urgent" emerald and diamond activities that have a major chance to get neglected.

Keeping this model in our mind will help us to understand why we behave the way we do.

The questions to ask yourself are from two angles;

Is the urgency forcing you to choose the plastic and zircon activities?

Is the lack of urgency causing you to neglect the emerald and diamond activities?

These are very important questions for everyone of us to ponder over.

Are you filling your treasure chest with plastic trinkets? Fill your coffers with 'gems of activities" daily.

At the end of today, every one of us would have done a string of activities. These activities can be broadly classified into the following:

  1. Plastic

  2. Emerald

  3. Zircon

  4. Diamond

Please see the figure. It is self explanatory.

At the end of the day, do you have a diamond or a emerald necklace or a zircon necklace or worst, a plastic one.

Be careful of the necklaces you craft everyday, lest the treasure casket of your life be filled with plastic and zircon.

Stay tuned for a future post, where I will define these terms.

So, what necklace are you making right now?

It is a very important question for you to ponder.

What an accident can teach you?

I had an accident, last Monday. The cars in the fast track suddenly stopped and our chauffeur had to jam the brakes. He saved our car from crashing into the car in the front; However, a taxi skidded and hit our car from the behind.

These are the sequence of events that happened after that:
  1. I got out of my car and checked the damage done to my car
  2. I checked the damage of the taxi that had hit us
  3. The taxi driver got out and checked his taxi
  4. I took his license number and noted the number of his car
  5. We exchanged words while other cars were cursing us for blocking the traffic
  6. We had the option of going to the police station, but I chose not to
  7. We parted and went our ways

Later on, I checked whether I had any pain in my back; It was just a mild one. As I was thinking about the impact of the accident on myself and my purse, I suddenly realized that I had completely forgotten to ask the driver of the taxi nor my own driver whether they had any injury or hurt.

Both the drivers had got out of the car and stood there arguing. Neither the taxi driver nor my driver had asked me whether I had any hurt or injury, all us were fully focused on our respective cars.

I was ashamed of myself. It is in these situations that our real values come to play. My car was, probably, in a higher position in the value hierarchy than a real living person; Of course, the taxi driver and my own driver had no injuries and if they had one then I would have reacted differently and offered them help.

Nevertheless, the point I am driving at is that all of us and the passersby had no basic courtesy to check whether any party was injured.

Why did all of us, including the passersby, react like this, despite Mumbai being one of the most helpful cities in the world? Is this a sign of our times?

Well, I need to do a soul searching regarding this, for I always thought I had great concern for people.

How about you? How would you react?


Is the genie in you awake?

There is a genie in you. There is a genie in everyone. Alas! for most of us our genie is fast asleep.

Here are my thoughts on the genie

The Genie*

I saw the child standing there,
With a wary look and a scare,
He saw everyone, here and there,
in the games they played, without a care,

He stood alone and walked alone,
Dropping his tears on many a stone,
What his fears are, did know, no one,
He got no cheers from anyone,

Look my child, you need no one,
Only one friend you need, more than anyone,
That is you my child, you can have the fun,
You can get the success wild, and get the race won,

There is a genie in you, you need to wake,
Wake that genie and it's all a piece of cake,
The genie will help you to move and shake,
embark you on the journey, for you have the world to take,

He moved with courage and was bold,
A lot of things he touched turned to gold,
He had a success, forever to hold,
for what ever he made, got wildly sold,

Now I saw him stand there,
With a smile and not a thing to care,
For the genie was in him, he was always aware,
He also had friends around him, everywhere,

There is that lonely child, don't fail to notice,
She is full of fears and you need to pay your fees,
Awaken the genie in her and put her to ease,
That is the way, your genie, to keep and please.

*© Muralidharan Jayaram

Will generations down the line thank you?

Your actions are determined by your values. Every family hands down its values from one generation to another. In that sense, the values handed over to you, by your parents/guardians or whoever raised you, will have a say whether you succeed or fail. Your upbringing and your family has had tremendous influence on you so far, whether you like it or not.

Good families handover wholesome values that will go a long way in helping its family members to succeed in life.

No matter how good a family you belong to, you will have, definitely, missing strands of values as no family is perfect. Moreover, along with the wholesome values you would have also got the disfunctional ones.

Over and above this, you would have changed your values, mostly unconsciously, living your life so far and hopefully you have changed the dysfunctional values.

Rarely do people examine the values they have inherited. It is a very important activity.

Examine your values and begin to cultivate the wholesome values that are missing. You need to do this not only for yourself but also for your children and rest of the generations to come.

Generations down the line, they will thank you for it.