Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

Things To Do

Summary – The Trap of Things-To-Do

Do you consider yourself as an organized person? Or at least a person who is attempting to organize his/her life? If you do, there is one trap we may have fallen into. The trap of Things-To-Do.

Things to do is not something new when it comes to getting things done or organizing. In fact, it is one of the basis of the concept. If you want to get things done, you need to come up with a to-do list.

But what will happen when you see everythings in life as a things-to-do? What if all you are doing through out your day is a task? Some examples are like when you even view your family time as a task. And you will stop spending time with them after an hour to focus on other things.

Or you allocate specific time to call your parents to say hi (Maybe every Saturday 12pm). And you find it disturbing if the parent call you when it is still not the time. Deep down you are blaming them for messing your schedule

I know, you may wonder, do such people exist? The truth is, they do. Not in such extreme cases though.

How do you know you are one of them?
Simple.. it is when you never satisfy with your life. Or you suffer the same frustration of not finishing your work even after your working hour. Or you are feel tired most of the time for no apparent reason. If these describe you, I’m sorry to inform you that you have fallen into the trap. Everything you do is work for you.

How do you get out of the trap
1) Determine whether you’re already trapped or not
This is a routine step 1. In order to solve a problem, we must know that we have a problem.

2) Add 25% free time in your schedule
When we have 18 hours everyday (assuming we sleep 6 hours), Free up 4.5 hours for us to do anything we want. It may be anything as long as it’s not work.

3) Be flexible
By flexible, it means that the previous 4.5 hours may not necessary be 4.5 hours every day. If you want, take a day off for yourself sometimes. Get in bed with a thick book to read.

However, being flexible itself is quite dangerous. You must know how flexible to be. Things will backfire if you are too flexible with your time, up to the point that nothing is being done. The keyword is always “finding balance”

4) Do something spontaneous
Take a road trip to a place 2 hours drive from your house. Spend sometimes there, snap some pictures and return home. The whole point is to mess your schedule once a month. This way, your mind will be trained to accept the idea of not completing work gradually.

5) Mingle with people
Another unmentioned sign of people trapped in the things-to-do trap is when they prefer to be alone rather than with friends / family. This way they think they can finish up more work. Take some time to hang out with friends. Go for a drink with them. Your mind need this more than you do.

6) Take up bigger project
Imagine a college proffesor. Proffesors are supposed to be one of the most brilliant mind on earth and we expect them to come up with better ideas or solve problems. Now imagine they’re living their life solely to teach students. No research done. Just plain teaching day in day out. Don’t you think that will be a waste of brilliant minds?

They still need to teach the students, nobody else can do that. But who will solve our global problems like global warming etc if not them?

Take up project for you to do. Maybe try to be more active in your support to your political party etc. Bigger thing for you to spend time on.

7) Revise all this
This is however the most important steps. As you can probably see, all the 6 suggestion in the list will help our mind to not view life as one big to-do-list. That’s really the whole idea.

However, in reality we still need to get things done for us to accomplish more in life. So revise all the list and check whether or not you are still able to finish up your important things-to-do. Try to find the balance between the two.

If you manage to do just that, trust me on this. You will live a happier life, with less stress and frustration from not finishing work,

/end list

– I wonder –
Anybody find this familiar?

——- Personal Note ——–
The mrs is now in her 38th week of pregnancy. If for some reason you see the blog without update for some time, most probably she is delivering the baby, and I’m there with her. Please be patient then kay?

Excited, Scared, Smiling, Worried – All these emotion in one time, no wonder most parent is suffering hypertension 🙂

Photo Credit – merfam

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It’s a known fact that we each have 24 hours per day. You can be the prime minister of a country or the loitering teenager at the mall, nothing can change this fact.

Like every rigid rules in the universe, this too can be bent. Here’s 10 method to steal an extra 3 hours from the time bank.

1) Wake up early
Try to find your minimum hours of sleeping needed. If for example you sleep for 7 hours every day, try to wake 15 minutes earlier. Keep reducing it slowly but only do that when you are comfortable with the new habit. Don’t force it.(1 hour recovered)

2) Solve problem while sleeping
What you need to do is simple. Just before you go to bed, plan what you are going to do tomorrow. Try to be as detailed as you can. It is theorized that most problems were solved when we are asleep by our subconscious mind. Imagine going through the day smoothly without having to stop when problems occur. Imagine how much time we have saved.

A more extreme method is to see the future one hour at a time. (0.5 hour recovered)

3) Filter television
Preferably just stop watching. But if you must, only watch what you want to watch. Check the schedule on what’s interesting and put that on your personal schedule. Watch ONLY that. Do not watch television just because you have nothing to do. (0.5 hour recovered)

4) Cut small talk
This is quite critical. You cut too much you are antisocial, you cut too little and it’s just pointless.

When you’re on the phone, try to have something in mind on what you want to know or tell. Unless that person is family or your loved ones, I don’t see any reason why we should be on the phone more than 30 minutes.

That goes the same thing to email, IM and now twitter 🙂 (0.5 hour recovered)

5) Walk faster
This trick is actually introduced to me when I was in high school. As juniors we are forced to walk fast to go to places. I hated it then.

Now however, I find it quite efficient to walk fast. I exercise and most importantly I save quite a significant amount of time compared to walking slowly. (0.25 hour recovered)

6) Avoid repetitive work
Your time is gold. If you need to go buy groceries, try to plan your list and avoid having to go twice. Yes, sometimes we forget. That’s why it is recommended to print out a list of things you always buy. Whenever you are going out, check out all the items in the list first. (0.25 hour recovered)

7) Delegate
Delegation is an art really. To know which task can be given to other person to do, and which to do ourself. The thing is, tasks are really never ending. Start delegating simple tasks like typing, proofreading etc (0.25 hour recovered)

8] Dedicated days
I have a tray on my desk where I put all my receipt or carbon copy of my paid bills in. Those are supposed to be filed. However if I file every receipt everytime I receive one, I will spend a lot of time just doing my filing. So I dedicate one day of the week to do filing.

You can do the same to maybe spring cleaning, or snail mail corresponding etc. Assign one day to do all of that. (0.1 hours recovered)

9) Scrap the seconds
By scrapping I mean to appreciate every seconds of your day. Imagine that seconds are like $1. What would you feel if you are losing $1 every second. Learn speed reading, read only important news in the newspaper (Do you need to know how depressed an actresss is?). Recover as much as possible. (0.1 hours recovered)

10) MOST IMPORTANT : Know how to spend the extra time
Even if you have 100 hours per day, it would be meaningless if you don’t know what to do with it. This is why it is very crucial for you to know 3 things before you start with the list.

  • What do you really want in life? (loved ones, religion)
  • What are your priorities? (family, job, hobbies)
  • What trivia things that you need to do anyway (email lost friends, Jar Of Life technique etc)

By doing item no 10, you are basically recovering the sum of it all – 3.2 hours. Which generally means if everyone else has 24 hours, you have 27.2 hours a day!

– I wonder –
Any other tips to recover that seconds?

——— Personal Note ———-
NetworkBloggingTips is actually putting up a challenge to come up with a list-type post. This entry is my submission to the challenge. Feel free to join in.

In the spirit of the challenge. Here are some of my most recent list-type articles. More of them here


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Summary – 20% of controlling power is better than 0%

If you were given a choice of a super power, what power would you choose?

I watched an interesting movie not very recently “Next” played by Nicholas Cage. I am more interested in his power though. He can actually see 2 minutes into the future.

Don’t think about it too much. you might get headache. Enough to say that he know exactly what will happen to him. And thus he know exactly the right action to do. He can even dodge bullets after bullets as if he were dancing.

In a way, we can apply this power in our life. Are you ready to learn it?

All we need to do is that everytime the minute-hand of our clock strike the number twelve, try to spend 30 seconds and plan what to do in the next 60 minutes.

But first, we will need to know what exactly we want from our time. If for example, you life goal is to earn more money, then ask yourself, what can you do in the next one hour that will help you make money.

Even if you are not doing anything you planned, keep practising it. You will slowly have a more goal-oriented mind each day. And this will help you achieve more from your time.

There’s no need to write what you’re doing. We actually want our life goal to be embedded deep in our subconscious mind. Trust me, the problem with this is commitment. In time, you will start forgetting to practise it, or you find it not practical. Don’t let this stop you. Keep practising it. The whole point is as previously mentioned, to embed it in our subconcious mind.

It will be more effective though if you actually do what you plan.

Tada! Now you have the power to see one hour into your future. Keep doing this, you should be able to see you entire future 🙂

You may not be able to control 100% of your future, but you are now controlling 20% of it, far better than the 0% you did previously, don’t you agree?

– I wonder –
How many of us actually plan what to do tomorrow before we go to bed?

——– Personal Note ——–
Believe it or not, one of my most played game during my childhood is a game called “Main-main”. A direct translation would be “The Game”. Filantera and DaPocket can verify this. I believe we invented the game ourselves.

At the start of the game, everyone would choose a superpower, and we would then start telling stories of how we got the power, or what good deed we were doing. It’s very imaginative. However, most of the time it went pretty much the same way, with secret identity exposed, getting the girls, bad guy loses, become wealthy etc 🙂

Good times good times

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Summary – More & Less

I was actually writing another post when suddenly I realized something. Most of life’s problem can be settled by the keyword “more and less”. Hopefully this list will help elaborate the idea.

How to have a a healthier body?

  • Less unhealthy food, more exercise

How to get things done?

  • Less idling, more systematic work done

How to be more understanding?

  • Less talk, more listening

How to be a happier you?

  • Less negativity, more positivity

How to become rich?

  • Less expenditure, more income

How to have a meaningful life?

  • Less you, more others

How to achieve dream?

  • Less dreaming, more action

How to excel in exam?

  • Less wasting time, more study

How to be successful?

  • Less mistakes, more results

How to live longer?

  • Less dying, more living

/end list

You may be saying… Duh! 🙂 But seriously when you think about it, it does make sense. It all boils down to these two term, more and less.

Allow me to explain. Let’s take example 2 – How to get things done. Don’t you think that the only thing that deteriorate our productivity is procrastination and lack of system? If we can minimize procrastination and build a more systematic way of doing things, basically nothing will stop us from getting things done.

Once we know this, we must go deeper, and ask how exactly can we reduce procrastination? What other system can we apply? Unfortunately the answers to that must be researched ourself.

So, what’s the importance of knowing this?

Guess what, even in its general form, we are actually halfway from solving our problems. We already know where to start. And knowing where to start is basically a solution to every problems on earth.

Try it with other problems / questions in your life. Maybe you can try to come up with the solution for these questions

1) How to make a person likes you?
2) How to be a good man?

———– Personal Note ———–
I’m currently in Kuala Lumpur, visitting my mother and taking the mrs to her now-weekly medical checkup. She is now 8 months in her pregnancy. We had checked via ultra sound to determine the gender of our baby, but apparently the little one is quite creative in hiding that vital part of his/hers. So we are still unsure of his/her gender.

Now we had given up checking and will just wait the news once he/she is born.

But, the mrs had bought quite a lot of pink colored baby clothes 🙂

Photo Credit : Fran-Cis-Ca

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