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?

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!”

Why do you hesitate in asking a question?

Why do you hesitate in asking a question?

Seven years ago, I went to Singapore. Day two, I was in a meeting room packed with Business users explaining requirements. I was excited. I gave all my ears to the proceedings.

Fifteen mins into the meeting, and I was not following the topics discussed. My team members looked calm. Tension started building-up in me. I focused for another 10 mins. “Have I forgotten everything in the jet lag?”, a doubt surfaced.

“The process might be obvious, everyone might be knowing. If I ask, will I look stupid? I may lose face even before performing. What will my client manager think about the question?” There was a self-imposed pressure to do well. Tension turned into fear, and it paralysed me. Quotes and gyan that I read didn’t come handy.

I stopped the stories I was telling myself. I asked a question. I don’t know how it sounded, it allowed me to settle myself. It was a step forward. Why was I hesitant? Because I had to break the pattern. I had to interrupt the user. I had to break the flow of events. I had to change the course of a flowing river. I had to pick up the first plate in a wedding reception. The fear of being judged grew on me.

What self-stories stop you from asking questions?

Which words stick out for you?

Which words stick out for you?

“This project is critical for us. Analyse the requirements. Let us discuss your findings this week”, David said to his newly joined team member in his US office.

“I am on it. I will intimate you once we are good to discuss”, replied Sameer, who had just arrived in the new country.

“Sure, please notify me”, smirked David.

Both laughed.

Real incident, names changed.

What’s wrong in the word ‘intimate’ here? Intimate also means to tell something, but the context is different. When used as a verb, the underlying meaning is to hint, disclose or reveal (a secret).

I have been hearing, overhearing ‘I will intimate you’ over the past 15 days, every day. Or maybe I was selectively looking for it and found it most of the times. It sticks out every time I hear.

Inform or notify makes more sense depending on the context of usage. Your apps send notifications on the phone screen!

Do you intimate? Which words stick out for you in daily life?