Productivity – A Personal Journey and Observations

29 December 2018
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  • Next time you’re at a round table discussion or a panel discussion, say the word productivity and you are likely to hear lots of opinions on the topic. What I am about to tell you here is my personal journey and the steps I have taken over the last three and a half years, and how I have benefited from making some simple changes to my lifestyle.

    Change #1: Deactivating my Facebook Account

    Facebook is one of those things, that offers a means to stay in touch with friends and family across the world. True. However, there are too many people there with too many opinions on too many subjects. Nothing wrong with that, but it can become a swirling vortex that takes up a lot of time, responding (reacting) to everything that’s happening. So, I deactivated my Facebook account around November-December 2015. Initially I missed it, but eventually realised that ca.90% of what happens there has little or no bearing on my life. I also realised that those that truly want to stay in touch, will find a way. Deactivating facebook was a moment of instant gain, that made me realise I had a lot more time on my hands. More time on hands means more pertinent and useful things to focus on. Here we are, three years hence, and I have found more productive uses for my time.

    Change #2: Meditating

    Today’s world is chaotic, to say the least. As a species, we’ve been reduced to coping with change, rather than staying on top of things, and working hard to make sense of all that is out there. Taking, five, ten or even 20 minutes in a day for ourselves seems to be a struggle. But, taking that first step to allocate a few minutes of the day to ourselves is vital. We are blessed with 1440 minutes in a 24-hour day. 20 minutes is a meagre 1.4%. I started consciously meditating around two years ago and it has helped me tremendously. I am more aware of my feelings, my emotions, my body, and my thoughts. Being self-aware has helped me present more rational and measured responses to situations around me, and as a result, I have grown, and still am growing, as a person.

    Change #3: Reading and Reading More:

    There is an abundance of knowledge out there. Why not make the most of it? The best inspirations often come from the humblest of origins. Curiosity may kill the cat, but it enables humans to grow. I let my inherent curiosity take over, and have rediscovered my love of reading and learning. Again, it’s time I allocate for myself, and see it as an investment in my own self. It’s not complicated. I would suggest starting with topics that interest you and see where the journey takes.

    Change #4: Ronan Keating

    I must start this by telling you, Ronan Keating is not someone you are likely to find on my playlist. However, one line he wrote has stayed with me since I heard it the first time; ‘you say it best when you say nothing at all’. As humans we love expressing ourselves, be it through our work, or hobbies, or simply by giving our opinion. However, it is also important for us to learn and know when to speak and when not to. This hasn’t come naturally to me, and I am still learning when to stay quiet, and when to speak. It is a work in progress, but I have made a start. Before I speak, I ask myself, if I have facts, if I am adding value, if I know the truth, or if someone is likely to benefit. If none of these criteria are met, shhhh!

    Change #5: Picking Which Battles to Fight and Which Ones to Let Go

    We often are put through the experience of watching heroes that went against all odds, and ended up winning, or inspiring others. This is inspirational, and there is a lot to be learnt from this. However, the biggest learning I get from this, is choosing which battles to fight, which to let go, and which ones to revisit at a later stage. Let’s face it, all of us as humans, have a finite reserve of energy. Choosing how, and where to expend it to maximum advantage is a call, we all have to make. So, rather than engage with everything and everyone, learning to accept certain facts and focusing on stuff where we can make maximum difference is a habit we need to cultivate.

    Thank you for patiently reading through this. These are just a few things I consciously have practised over the last few years and have benefitted from. I hope you find some of this useful. I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2019!

    Best Wishes,

    Raam Shanker

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