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Stop Checking Emails and Get More Work Done

One of the time sapping activities we all get entangled in is checking email. It has become work by itself. Think about it. How many times do we think we have work to do and then check email. But email is not work. It is a mode of communication. Just like any other. 
Sometimes, my dad used to see me work and ask me, what are doing doing the whole day checking emails. To him, it was something alien. He belonged to a generation who were used to inter office memos being taken down by a shorthand-typist and then physical copies being sent to the concerned people. The concept of cc (carbon-copy) also came from there. The typist used to carbon-copy the main typed sheet and send it out as fyi to the cc-ed people. People in that generation still got work done.
In the initial phase of my career I had a mail replication frequency of 1 min in Lotus Notes. I was obsessed with checking mails. Slowly, as I started to realize that email is just a means of communication and not the mos…
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How to free up upto 20% of your work time?

Ever felt swamped with work and not know how to get all your ToDo's done? Well, I have. Plenty of times. Ever wonder how some people seem to get so much on their plates and yet get so much done? The trick they use is the art of delegation.

Here are some of the tips I have learnt from some of those who possess Ninja-like abilities to delegate.

Step 1: Find the right person for the job - Think about who in your team would be the best fit for the work-at-hand. Don't "dump" your work on the person person you see. If it is grunt-work which no one likes to do, then rotate it amongst the team (and don't forget your turn!)Step 2: Explain "why" he is the right person to do the work and what he stands to gain - If you do step 1 well, you should be able to explain why you have chosen the person and what he stands to gain from the experience. I have learnt a lot from my managers who have delegated work to me. It has given me a glimpse into areas of work that I had …

Three Key Leadership Traits

There are tons and tons of books on leadership and what makes a successful leader. It has spawned an industry of "leadership consultants" who help manufacture leaders! But, stripped of all fancy nomenclature, I believe leadership boils down to four key traits. Here they are:


Vision
All great leaders have a compelling vision of the future that they use to energize people. They can visualize something which others cannot. e.g. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela could see freedom for their people. Steve Jobs could "see" his products before even it was on the drawing board.


Conviction/Passion
Vision without conviction is just a dream. Great leaders have always believed in their vision and have faced numerous odds against them. e.g. Henry Ford during his initial days of Model-T when no one believed in him. Warren Buffet, when he started his investment partnerships, when his father and his mentor both warned him against it.


Integrity
People may follow someone with ques…

Great Quotes

I came across some very nice quotes on the web. 

Some were really good and worth repeating.
Figure out what the top five most important stuff is, focus relentlessly on that and keep iterating. Less is more. -- Daniel Ek, CEO, Spotify  My personal limit is upto 3 concurrent goals. It gets much much more complicated if it grows more than that. Have 3-4-5 (whatever suits you fine) goals that are top of the list and focus on them wholeheartedly.
Don’t let people tell you your ideas won’t work. If you have a hunch that something will work, go build it. Ignore the haters. -- Dennis Crowley, CEO, FourSquare  There will always be naysayers. It's more important to believe in yourself and do what you think is right. End of the day you are only answerable to yourself, and no one else.
Follow your gut. it may be wrong, but you won’t regret it if you fail. You’ll regret it if you ignore your gut and fail. -- Sarah Lacy, CEO, PandoDaily  Follow your instincts, but upto a limit. Then get some data…

Do something you love everyday

I keep a list of things that I like doing. At the beginning of every week, I make sure I put atleast one thing from that list into my calendar. Some of the things I have on that list are:
reading detective novels (preferably Agatha Christie!!), 

watching a detective or thriller movie, playing tennis, watching tennis!!, speaking to close friends (the good old adda), having a cup of self-made  darjeeling tea, reading investment books and reports, playing with my son, reading him storieslistening to songs from Kishore Kumar
the list goes on...
It is important to do things that you love frequently. It refreshes and recharges you.