Tuesday, October 17, 2017

15 Morning Habits of Successful and Highly Organized People

Many people struggle with being organized and fully functional. Having too many everyday responsibilities and tasks makes us more prone to developing habits that can harm our health. However, there are also people that have no trouble finishing everything on time without stressing too much about it. These people are actually excellent at organizing things the perfect way.
Successful people have a routine that helps them lead a positive lifestyle in order to benefit from their mindset which then results with success.
This is not as challenging as it may appear. To learn how you can change your way of thinking and acting, read the following list that can help you find out how to start and how to organize your day.

1.Wake up early
Having a regular sleeping pattern is essential in order to be able to achieve your maximum during the day. Start by going to bed earlier, and if you find this harder you may also try waking up earlier in order to feel sleepy earlier in the evening.
Waking up early in the morning provides you with more time to achieve everything you are supposed to during the day as well as more time for relaxing during your busy day.
2.No phone
Instead of reaching to your phone immediately after waking up you should get out of bed so that the sleepy feeling will go away faster. Also, scrolling on your phone is just wasting time which you could use doing something much more beneficial or productive.
3.Remain thankful
Happiness is not running to the things you don’t have. You should be thankful for those you have and be happy for being blessed with the gift of life. Write a journal with all the things you are thankful for and try to do this every day no matter how bad it is. Training yourself to be thankful will help you become more optimistic.
4.Do something that makes you happy
Doing something that makes you happy will make you feel more optimistic and positive which will result in being more productive. If the things that makes you happy takes too much of your time, try to limit it for about 5-10 minutes. This way you will look forward to your happy moments and actually feel pleasure doing them.
5.Ask the right questions
When you wake up in the morning think about the things you would like to do that day if it was your last day. Instead of diving into very deep thoughts, ask yourself constructive questions that could be helpful for the solving of a certain problem.
You should prepare your daily routine every morning which will help you finish your tasks on time. Try to plan it thoroughly and once you achieve it you will feel very fulfilled and happy about yourself.
7.Strategy, strategy, strategy
Try to find a time in your day to make plans for your next step. Create your strategy no matter how unnecessary the subject might be. This way you will be prepared and less likely to feel stressed.
8.Realistic goals
Your expectations about yourself should never be unrealistic. Try to go step by step without jumping from one thing to another before you even finish the previous. Always know your limit and your capability however you can always slightly push yourself within your limits.
Find the right meditation method for you. Or you can always get out of your comfort zone and experience new things you never would have done before. Try yoga which can help you clear your mind as well as relax so that you will be prepared for the following challenges and obstacles.
10.Clean up
Your home should never be chaotic and dirty. You can’t expect your mind to be organized if your home isn’t. Get rid of all the objects that distract your mind and clean your living space. This way your mind will be able to declutter much faster.
If you don’t have extra body weight, you can always do yoga. Engaging in any physical activity will help you clear your mind and make you feel refreshed and prepared for the upcoming challenges. Try to spend at least 40-60 minutes doing physical exercise every day.
12.Finish your unwanted tasks
Finishing the things you least enjoy doing first will help you feel relieved and have more time doing the things that are less challenging and more enjoyable. You will also feel less stressed and more focused on the things that are not as hard.
13.Cuddling is key
Never forget you should give your friends and family hugs. This will help you charge with positive emotions that will guide you through the day and also make other people feel good.
14.Free hour
Give yourself a one hour break every day. Spend this time reading quotes or listening music that will lift your spirit and make you feel good.
15.Prepare overnight
Preparing for the following day before going to bed is never a bad idea. If you can do something today, don’t leave it for tomorrow.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Financial Health checkup Everyone

To get anywhere, you need a plan and the same goes for your financial future. Unfortunately. a financial plan appears, to most of us, like a visit to the dentist – something to postpone until you wake up screaming in the middle of the night.
So, here I came up with a financial plan that’s more like a visit to your favorite cafe. It involves forming simple habits and takes less than an hour to start implementing.

Investing, tax planning
1.    Maximize your Employee Provident Fund (EPF) contribution. If your total contribution (including your employer’s) to EPF is less than 1 lakh, save the difference in a Public Provident Fund (PPF) account. Your tax planning is done and so is your allocation to debt
2.    Invest 30% of your take home salary in diversified equity mutual funds. Never invest directly in stocks. (I'll be writing more about investing in mutual funds in my next blog).
3.    Got your annual bonus? Invest 50% of it in a 5 year auto-renewing FD. This is your emergency fund.
4.    Invest the remaining bonus in yourself – take a course, travel, do fun stuff.
5.    If you have a home loan, split the bonus 3 ways – one third to prepay the loan.

Time spent: One can talk to HR of the organisation for increasing EPF contribution, fill up a form: 10 minutes
Create an FD through net banking: 5 minutes

1.    Buy a 40 year term life insurance plan at 25, then a 30 year plan at 35 and a 20 year plan at 45. Every time make sure the total sum insured is 30x your then salary.
2.    Buy health insurance for every member of your family. Even if you’re covered by your employer.
3.    Buy insurance for your car, your house and its contents.
4.    Renew your insurance every year 1 month in advance.
Please note that I said “buy” not invest. Insurance is not an investment. So NEVER merge your investment with 

Time spent: 45 minutes each year for the 3 insurance renewals, an extra 15 minutes every 10 years for life insurance

Bonus tips
1.    Maintain a single no frills bank account and a single no frills credit card.
2.    Set all your bills (electricity, phone etc) to auto-debit to your credit card every month.
3.    Pay off your credit card every month – in full. Set it to auto-debit your bank account every month.
4.    Contribute to charity – your time is better but some money will do as well.
Time Spent: 60 minutes to set up auto-debits

1.    Only ever take a loan to buy a home. Never more than 75% and never longer than 15 years. Pay it off within 7 years. Yes, it’s possible.

Congratulations! You've just set yourself up for a comfortable financial future. I'll be writing in detail regarding other options available for investment in my next blog.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Received a rude mail - Don't worry, kill them with kindness..!!!

It’s known that reading abusive comments actually has more effect than hearing them. This is very relevant to email, which is the leading form of office communication. It’s interesting to note that for all its speed and effectiveness as a messaging tool, this sophisticated form of messaging has a flaw or two.

For example, without the emotional and facial cues a person uses when speaking, emails can come across as lifeless, blunt and curt. And when the rudeness is on purpose the effect is even worse. How many of us have experienced nasty emails? Not only do they tend to linger, but often cast a cloud over your day. What’s important is to evaluate the email calmly, and decide if the rudeness was intentional.
Should you feel so, there are ways to deal with it.
 Let’s see how.
 Don’t answer right away
         Being offended by a rude email is natural; and perhaps lashing back too. But often it’s best to wait a while before you answer. Get some perspective, let your anger cool, and try not to dwell on it.
 This should help you come up with a civil response. Chances are the sender was also a bit hasty and will return with an apology even before you mention it. It will also help you to get your ducks in a row should blame be directed at you, and you need to check your facts first in case you might be in the wrong.
 Of course, there’s never a right time for rudeness, but being sure of your case will prevent it from getting worse.

 Create a standard answer template
 Getting into the details of why an email offended you can sap your energy. Save yourself time and aggravation by replying with a pre-prepared template that informs the sender of his rudeness, and that you will only consider more nicely phrased letters. Here’s an example:
 I'm open to hearing what people have to say, unless they take a malicious approach to conversation. I felt your previous email applies to this, and if you'd like to try again with a nicer approach, I'd be happy to have a conversation with you.
 This should give the person pause, and perhaps even draw out on an apology. At the very least, this avoids getting into an unproductive slugging match of trading insults.
Should it draw out no response, let the dust settle for a while. Then perhaps follow up with another message, kindly reminding them that you are still open for discussion.
 What is important to note is that a template such as this might not always be appropriate given the situation, culture or person it is aimed at – and might be seen as a rude email in its own right! Use prudence before deciding to send it, and remember that the key is to distance yourself with an impersonal – if polite – writing tone. Which leads us to the next point…

Kill them with kindness

Sometimes, simple politeness can deflate the abuse coming your way, even if you don’t feel like being nice. First, make an effort to understand their grievance and acknowledge it. Better yet, try to solve it, and if you can’t, explain why you can’t. The voice of reason goes a long way in making the sender of a rude mail aware how they’re stepping over the line.

If the abuse continues, you might have a real problem on your hands. But before escalating it, take a step back, or step out completely. The next point explains how.

Get a cool-headed friend to respond
 The problem with directed, written communication is that it’s difficult not to take personally. Distance yourself by getting an outside opinion, as well as a response.
 Of course, the trick is to be fair and even-handed – as you will have to outline the situation to a third party, who is not involved in the situation. Ask them to write a response that’s impartial, then tweak it if needed and send it off. This could also help you gain perspective on the situation and set you on the road to resolving it.

When words fail

Make peace with the fact that there will always be rude people. And that we all have bad days. Based on the instance you’re facing, decide if wasting energy on an abusive person is worth it. Make sure you’ve done your best to solve the situation, but should there be no developments, move on and get on to other things. If you feel stressed by the mail, take a breather, or set your mind somewhere else. Best is then just to forget it.

After all, nicer people deserve your attention too.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

6 Things You Should Quit Doing To Be More Successful

If you haven’t seen it, I’ll describe it for you. In a now viral video, writer Marina Shifrin turns the camera on herself at the office around 4:30 a.m. She then proceeds to dance herself out of a job. Throughout the video, words splash across the screen explaining her reasons, then at the end we read, “I quit.” Then one more time in caps for good measure, “I QUIT!”

You know what I thought about as I watched the video? I wish more people did this.
We humans (that means me included) often get stuck in a hamster wheel of habit. We do things that aren’t good for us, remain where we shouldn’t and put ourselves through voluntary suffering all in the name of comfort. We don’t know these things are damaging, because it’s normal to us.
But a rare few, like Marina, snap out of it and quit before it’s too late. Here are six things you should quit doing today, before it’s too late.
Quit Stopping – They say that at the very moment you want to quit, you’re actually almost there. It’s the stupid human in us…we go so far and then our brains take over and tell us it’s too hard. When did we get the memo that life was supposed to be easy all the time?

Think right now about something you keep stopping. You committed to it, but then you suddenly quit because it started to require a little extra elbow grease. A project at work, a relationship, a fitness goal. Remember why you started it, then push onward. Because the more you stop and think about quitting, the longer it’ll take to get to your desired result. Or worse, you’ll never know what it feels like to reach the finish line.

Quit Saying Tomorrow – You know the saying, “Yesterday you said tomorrow?” Seriously, stop that! Delaying or procrastinating around something that you think is important means one of two things. You’re either scared to start because it means your life will change or you want it for the wrong reasons (i.e. someone else is encouraging you to do it).

So yes, that new healthy eating thing you want to do will be very difficult and possibly unpleasant. But every day you wait to start is another day you’re not helping yourself. And you keep telling yourself that you’ll wait until the kids are a certain age before you finish your degree, but is that really the main reason you’re waiting? Or is it because studying is not nearly as exciting as all the other options you have right now? And while you’re at it, why are you donating free money to the gym? They haven’t seen you in months.

Quit Being A Victim – When people tell me they’re doing something or making certain choices because they have “no choice,” it makes me want to bang my head on the table…and then put that on repeat. You have a choice in everything you do. Barring a few really crazy exceptions, no one holds your hand to the fire on anything. And if you’re choosing to remain in a place that isn’t positive, you’re victimizing yourself.

You are not so worthless that you have to keep dating that person. Obama and the economy are not forcing you to stay in that career. There are other places you could live. And it’s not your schedule that prevents you from being healthy.

Our social groups are great for complaining. We all discuss our problems with our friends and that’s ok. But there are limits. Everyone gets a few opportunities to complain about a particular hardship, but if you seek advice and respond with “but I can’t” (said in whiny voice) too many times, you officially become a victim. Eventually, you’ll have to ask yourself whether you even want to fix the problem.

Quit Saying Yes – My yoga instructor, Angela Wagner, reminded me recently that anytime we say yes to something, we’re saying no to something else. So when you say yes to a happy hour, you’re saying no to <insert your choice of workout>. When you say yes to a crappy review from your boss, you’re saying no to getting acknowledged for the great work that was overlooked. When you say yes to watching pointless reality TV shows, you’re saying no to doing the dishes. Or if you say yes to staying late at the office, you’re saying no to your relationship.

It could be you don’t need to entirely quit saying yes. You may just need to analyze when you’re saying yes and what you’re trading for it. You might find yourself saying yes to things you don’t even care about and no to things that could make your life better in some way.

Quit Expecting – I got an email the other night from someone looking for advice after reading this article. He told me that he’s been working for the same company for his entire career, rising through the ranks and loving it. But recently he realized he’s hit a wall – he’s had many reviews and each time he meets with management, they’re not giving him the promotion he knows he’s ready for. My question to him was, “Have you asked for it?”

It’s very rare for a company to proactively promote someone at a fast pace. Especially true in older organizations, if you expect your company to promote you when they feel you’re ready for it, you’ll be sitting around waiting for about 10 years to reach the next level.

Your boss is like your significant other. Don’t expect them to read your mind. They’ll only know what you need when you tell them. If you really have your heart set on something (like a promotion), you must be vocal about it. If you don’t speak up, you’re leaving the translation up to them. Expect at your own risk.

Quit Avoiding – Suck it up. We all have things we don’t want to do, but we have to do them because we’re adults. (Should I have started the paragraph with, “Dear Congress”?)

I once managed a team responsible for a corporate-wide project with a lot of moving pieces. There were some majorly miserable elements to that project and there were some really sexy parts (i.e. things you put on your resume) too. As I sat with my boss reviewing progress one day, she asked why I hadn’t finished one particular task (a task that couldn’t be delegated). I responded with, “It’s boring me!” Her response was, “Your point?”

Yeah, life doesn’t work that way. You can’t pluck the fun parts out and leave the tough parts on the table. You take all or none.

If we didn’t have to work hard to reach success, we wouldn’t appreciate it. If there’s something you’re putting off because it’s boring you, it’s hard, physically demanding or tiring…just get up and get it done. Quit avoiding it. There will be rewards along the way and there will be a great sense of accomplishment at the end.

Monday, November 11, 2013

All About Saving Bank Account

RBI’s continuous efforts for a better financial inclusion has totally transformed the banking system in India. Now, banks are competing with each other to attract more customers, therefore, they are trying to enhance the service quality and also offering a better return to its customers to woo them. Banks are now trying to reach more number of customers by providing services customized to their needs. The modern banking tools have revolutionized the service quality for the customers. Debit cards, online banking and mobile banking have provided all necessary flexibility solicited by the customers.

Analyze Your Saving Bank Account
When we talk about a saving bank account, interest, associated charges, service quality and associated facilities are some significant factors that determine the selection criteria of a savings account by customers. Let’s check some important factors to analyze how much your saving bank account suits to your requirements.

Interest rate factor
In the year 2011, RBI liberated the banks to decide their own savings account interest rate depending on liquidity and profit requirement. Thereafter, banks started setting their own interest rates for the savings account. Now, the savings account interest rate varies from bank to bank. Most of the PSU banks are offering an interest rate of 4% over savings account whereas some private banks allow a higher rate of interest close to 7% pa. The interest is normally calculated on the daily balance. The savings account interest rate in the prevailing market for a few banks is as follows:

Interest Rate    (Per Annum)
SBI                 4%
Axis Bank       4%
Indusind Bank 5.5% to 6%
Kotak Bank    5.5% to 6%
Yes Bank        6% to 7%
ICICI Bank     4%

Note: Data taken from the respective bank’s website
The interest rate can make a lot of difference if you intend to hold a large amount in a savings account regularly. But, the interest rate should not be the sole criteria to opt a saving account.
Associated Charges:
It is very important to check the charges before opening a savings account in any bank. Nowadays, banks have various varieties available in the savings account, ranging from no frills account with minimum facilities to a premium account with all sorts of facilities. Most of the banks have minimum balance criteria associated with savings account, which ranges from zero balance in rural areas to Rs 10,000 in a metropolitan. The debit card received with a savings account is also charged on the basis of type of account you have actually opted for. Even the printed account statements taken on request from the banks are charged as per its norms. The recent circular by RBI has allowed banks to charge you for the SMS sent for all the debits and credits. Therefore, you must assess all the associated charges before opting for a savings bank account. Ignoring the charges can prove to be very costly as a penalty clause of banks are very stringent.

Service quality and facilities:
You must check the service quality of banks at your local level before opening a savings account. The bank should have a good lending record, number of ATM at local level should be good and there should be adequate staff support. It has been noted that some banks have bad network connectivity due to which most of the time the link is down, therefore, you may suffer from such service standard. If you have plan to borrow in future, then again the service quality of banks should be good otherwise your application would be delayed unnecessarily or it will get rejected for no reason.

Apart from above mentioned discussion, another important point is that interest earned from a savings bank account for an amount up to Rs 10,000 p.a is tax free as per Sec 80TTA of IT act. So don’t forget to claim such deduction while filing an IT return. Facilities like auto sweep for better interest return and auto debit facilities for investment & insurance products provide great flexibility to the account holders. Most of the people learn the first things related to banking while opening ‘savings bank account’. Now you can also open a bank account in a few hours with most of the banks by simply filling an online application form and submitting a printout to designated bank branch with all the id proofs; simple isn’t it!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It’s not what you know; It’s what you do

Do you know how many times I hear “We already know that” when I am discussing the topic of improving new product delivery? I hear this in almost conversation I have on productivity. A considerable gap typically exists between what we know and what we do, and in the semiconductor new product development space the disparity is glaring. The harsh reality is that if productivity knowledge is not being applied, then you don’t really know it. Without the application wisdom of successfully putting an improvement concept into operation, a claim of knowing is nothing but smoke.

Throughout our career we have been presented with techniques, tools, strategies and methodologies that are recognized as a means to improve the way our organization executes on new products. We are all loaded with improvement knowledge, however the odds are that most never get around to implementing and validating those that seem to carry a positive benefit. This calculated procrastination is replayed for weeks, months and years while still claiming that we know how to do this. Implementing and making a change that provides the desired results is the hard part. It’s time to put the empty justifications for inaction behind and move forward.

Honestly there will never be a “good time” to kick-off productivity improvement activities. That ideal point in time where everything is just right will always be safely off at some point in the future; securely substantiated with a list of reasons for inaction today.The lack of knowledge in the application of techniques that enable positive changes coupled with a fear of failure is the real barrier here.
Everything that holds back progress is pure FUDD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt and Disinformation).

The following section is the complete list of the “false” reasons that promote inaction. These are the self-imposed barriers to implementing what we know about improving execution. Use these to check your motives. Once you understand your own barriers you can begin the process to migrate from a book smart knower to a successful implementer of change.

There will never be enough time unless you make it. This is only a convenient excuse, nothing more. Make time in future plans to enable the time to work on what you know will improve capabilities. Any improvement effort must be a sanctioned project with plans, resources and traceability. Never assume a behind the scenes and spare time effort will be successful; such assumptions lead to failure and further justify inaction.

People do not want change, however they do want things to be different. Change is something imposed upon them, whereas enthusiasm mounts when they can be a part of making things different in a way that will benefit them. Involve people and solutions grow, exclude people and the barriers grow.

This one never ceases to amaze me. “It’s not in my budget” is simply an easy way to avoid the hard work to apply what you know will create a positive change. All problems have a cost; embrace that reality and turn the solution into a positive investment. If you can’t define a problem cost, then it’s not a real issue, is it?

Not my Area or Problem
Essentially this reason is exploited to justify the source of a problem rests somewhere else. This is really simple – If something is impacting your ability to efficiently add greater value to new product development then it is your area, and definitely your problem.

Check your motives. Are decisions based on comfort or reality? Yes, just like anyone else you can be a barrier in applying steps that are certain to improve productivity. Recognize that possibility and move forward. Get honest with yourself!

When you can change your response on productivity approaches from “I already know that” to “I have already done that”, real progress has occurred. Anything other than implementation is pure FUDD! I know that, others know that and you probably know that. The choice is to either keep looking over your shoulder, or take a shot at making a difference. It’s not what you know; it’s what you do.

Six tips for Parents :-

It’s hard to deny the importance of discipline. "Discipline has to do with civilizing your child so they can live in society," says psychiatrist Michael Brody, MD. Yet many kids repeatedly test their parents’ limits. When it comes to disciplining children, there is no quick fix and no magic bullet.
If you, like many parents, have tried to discipline kids who don’t want to listen, this article is for you. WebMD asked parenting experts for tips on how to discipline kids without being a drill sergeant, or a pushover.
Discipline Tip # 1: Reward Good Behavior
When punishment is the centerpiece of discipline, parents tend to overlook their children’s best behaviors. "You’ll get a lot further with positive reinforcement than negative reinforcement," says Mason Turner, MD, chief of psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center. Rewarding good deeds targets behaviors you want to develop in your child, not things he shouldn’t be doing.
This doesn’t mean you should give your child a pound of chocolate every time he picks up a paperclip. "There are grades of positive reinforcement," says Turner. "There’s saying ‘good job. I’m really glad you did that,’ when your child cleans his room." And there are times when your child does something extraordinary that may warrant a larger reward.
Discipline Tip # 2: Be Clear About Rules
If your rules are vague, or discussed only when one has been broken, your child will have a hard time following them. "It’s up to the parent to make clear what’s expected of the child and what isn’t," says Brody, who chairs the Media Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Be sure to explain the rules of the house when you can speak clearly and your child is not too upset to listen.
James Sears, MD, a pediatrician in Southern California, suggests practicing discipline when it works for you. For instance, when you have 30 minutes to spare, interrupt your child’s game and tell her you need help with something. If she helps, great, do a quick and easy chore together and let her go back to her game. If she throws a tantrum, you have time to deal with it. "If you do that every once in a while, your child will understand that when Mommy says I need to put my toys away, I need to do it," says Sears.
Discipline Tip # 3: Neutralize Arguments
How do you deal with a child who wants to argue into submission? Steer clear of no-win arguments.
Instead, "go brain dead," advises Jim Fay, co-author of Parenting with Love and Logic.For instance, if your child says, "This isn’t fair," say, "I know." If your child says, "All of my friends get to have this," say, "I know." Or you can use the phrase, "And what did I say?" to enforce rules you have already discussed with your child. Sometimes the less you say, the more clear your point becomes.
Discipline Tip # 4: Buy Yourself Time
You may have read that children need to experience the consequences of their actions as soon as possible. And maybe you’ve heard that parents should be calm as they discipline children. In reality, you may not be able keep your cool and react right away.
"Buy yourself time to calm down before you deal with the situation," suggests Fay. You can tell your child, "Wow, bad decision. I need some time to figure out what I’m going to do about that." When your emotions are in check, express empathy for your child first, then deliver the consequences. Empathy gives your child room to connect his behavior to the outcome. "You don’t have to get angry at kids, you don’t have to yell. Just allow it to become their problem," says Fay.
Discipline Tip # 5: Be Consistent About Rules
Sometimes sticking to the rules is as challenging for parents as it is for kids. Sears sees too many parents turn the other cheek when their kids talk back or otherwise act out. "Parents just are not consistent in enforcing rules," he tells WebMD. Not enforcing your own rules puts everything you say into question. "If kids don’t know what to expect from their parents, they never really know what the rules are."
You may want to back down for fear of ruining your child’s fun. Keep in mind that kids benefit from limits. Rules and structure give children the security of knowing their parents are watching out for them. As kids get older, you can take a more flexible approach. Around the ages of 9 and 12, kids should get "a little leeway to test out the rules," says Brody. "But always be very careful about safety."
Discipline Tip # 6: Model Good Behavior
Like it or not, your children are watching you. You can dole out as much advice as you want, but your personal conduct makes a more lasting impression than your words. "The number one way human beings learn is through imitation and copy," says Fay. If you want your child to be honest, make sure you practice honesty. If you want your child to be polite, let her see your best manners, at home and in public.
The fact is, raising disciplined children is not easy. Despite your best efforts, there will always be good days and bad days. For evidence, look to the experts we interviewed for this article. Even after years of working with families, all four shared stories of their own children’s meltdowns or misbehavior. "As a parent, you’re constantly pushing your own limits. It’s the toughest but the greatest job I’ve ever had," says Turner.