First draft: Digital or physical?

First draft: Digital or physical?

During the university exams, if you recollect people taking supplement sheets always made others nervous. “Madam, supplement!” and everyone’s head would turn! It would kick in a competitive spirit to join the league soon.

What did writing exam papers did? You were focused – all the senses where at the tip on the pen. You had a mission to reach the finishing line. The more you wrote, the more you could concentrate. Writing your first draft is similar. The blank page staring at you could be scary. Your bad handwriting could make it sweat. But as you fill the pages, you may find your groove. Physical writing is laborious, involves more of you, in turn brings out the best of you!

Digital writing works best when you intend to write specific and short in length – an email, a status message, a blog. Typing draft on a MacBook requires to keep the itch to log on to check mails, read news away. You will scroll the draft to review. You won’t cover the distance. You haven’t built your pieces. You put it off to another day.

Handwritten draft gives you confidence, sense of achievement. Converting to digital gives the first instance to improve it.

What works for you -writing on a piece of paper or typing?

What is the one thing that reduces your efficiency?

What is the one thing that reduces your efficiency?

Yesterday I was playing Chess with my son, and he advised me not to play the same piece twice consecutively. If you do, that means your first step was ineffective, you are inefficient. You are one step behind me, he shared. I took note.

The same strategy applies in the corporate world too!

Sending reminders to get things done at the workplace is the single most act that reduces your efficiency.

You cannot move forward if there is a dependency. Part of your energy is engaged in getting the task done. If there need to be a rework, you are racing against the time. It introduces uncertainty in your plan of action. It results in a chain of reactions, ultimately you may fall one step behind!

Quick action or reply to email or calendar-invite brings certainty. More work gets done in less time, everyone’s time is valued, nobody chases anybody! This strategy helps in building an efficient culture. It develops slowly, but once you know everyone is part of the culture; you can build your pieces with every forward step like in the game of Chess.

When you move abroad, knowing work-culture can give a jumpstart to your journey!

What affects your efficiency, and how do you go about it?

Does food influence immigrants, Or is it the other way round?

Does food influence immigrants, Or is it the other way round?

When you immigrate to another country;

your own food gives familiarity to you in the foreign land.

Food becomes a tool for survival,

a tool for your identity.

Food is a sign of resistance,

as well as assimilation.

Ingredients hide stories of who you are and flavours reveal where you come from.

The style is localised over a period.

Britishers loved Fish and Chips. They took it to wherever they went. It is a relished dish in most of the common-wealth countries, more so, in the English speaking countries.

Wherever it is, is a sign of adoption of what Britishers brought with them. Food breaks the cultural walls. Sitting together, eating cuisine from another country is a sign of openness. If it becomes part of the local culture, it is acceptance!

Food is not just a matter of feeding your hunger, it is a matter of existence!

What is your story of food from another country?

Tipping culture!

Tipping culture!

“The first time I went to a restaurant was with my office colleagues. It was full of cultural shocks in this new country.

The server in the restaurant asked us if we would have a single check or separate. Everyone ordered for themselves. There was no discussion on the food to order, the combination of dishes, spicy level, previous experiences… I was used to having many stories around ordering food. The menu card would do round-robin, before somebody taking the lead, to realise all his choices were voted down!” I missed those stories. It was formal, jumping straight to the order.

As the bill arrived, I was shocked to see ‘gratuity’ there. Till that day, gratuity for me was the money employer would pay if one stayed for more than five years in the company.

18% gratuity (tip) was part of the total bill. My sharp brain quickly converted the amount to INR. It was more than my total bill at a restaurant back home!

I wasn’t inclined to pay it as I was still an outsider to the culture. I was yet to embrace the way of living here, now I call home!” shared a friend.

Which country are we talking about? Do you have personal experiences of the tipping culture away from home country?

Autobiography of a Monday!

Autobiography of a Monday!

Hello, I am Monday! Just like my other six siblings, I have my own existence. I take pride in being an opening batsman of a workweek in most of the countries! I am the one who sets the ball rolling from a full stop. I ensure that my other siblings have smoother sailing. People hope to start their aspirations on a Monday, makes me feel special. Traders and investors get busy charting their action for the week. Other professionals look forward to doing their best, starting Monday. This gives me a high to come consistently with even higher energy after every Sunday!

Kids are thrilled imagining that they would get to wear new uniforms, new school bags, new classroom, and new books on a Monday! This excites me, and I start doing the Moonwalk! Yes, Michael Jackson is my favourite! But once life becomes routine, the excitement towards me fades away. They love my siblings Saturday and Sunday more. Kids wait for Sundays to arrive. They get a special breakfast, weekend meal and outing with parents. But as the Sunday night approaches, and I gear up to welcome them, they discourage me. I feel sad. But some of them miss reciting their school prayers on weekends and look forward to meeting me. Riding a bicycle to school and dashing back home gives them an adrenaline rush. I give them back my love. Actually, I love them all.

The case isn’t different from the grown-ups. They do behave like kids at times! I remind the college students of submissions and start of exams. Is it my fault? Is it my fault that you don’t go on a date on a beautiful Monday evening! If your birthday falls on a Monday, you celebrate it in advance and again chose Sunday over me. All feasts and gatherings are scheduled on Sunday, making it feel more important. Even I want to be a part of your cherished memories. But God has chosen a different life for me.

Working professionals like you, okay maybe not really you, but people like you, call me dreadful! They start getting fever a day before I arrive! “Why does Monday need to come?” You find it difficult to get up early morning. You have even coloured me – ‘Monday Blues’. I don’t mind the colour because Blue is my favourite. But the real meaning of Monday Blues disheartens me. I give people a sick feeling! Really?

You call my brother ‘Friday fever’. He is celebrated with movie releases and actors making a debut on big screens! How I wish I were part of such significant events! It’s not that I only know people who curse me. Some people love their work so much that they eagerly wait for me to arrive. And then some people have their own vested interest. They wait for me to come so that they can see someone again at their workplace.

If you really agree with me until this point, you would like to try out these things. Again, I am trying to help you so that you enjoy me a bit more. Plan what you want to do on Monday and subsequent days on the last Friday, beforehand. This will give you clarity for an upcoming week. Listen to songs when you are getting ready on a Monday morning. Indulge yourself into your favourite chocolate right in the morning, before breakfast. Wear your best dress. You guys are smarter than me and can think better than me.

By the way, there is no Monday Blues if you work in the United Arab Emirates. My Sibling Sunday is the opening batsman for the workweek, and I just tag along with him!”