Saturday, October 06, 2007

Useful insights

Recently I met a friend after a long time. We talked about lot of things. Here are some tid-bits of wisdom that came out of this conversation. Before I forget them, writing them up here.

1) Worry, stress causing you sleeplessness - I think most of us have those nights when some worry or stress does not let us sleep. It varies from person to person and kind of situations they are in. Here is one of the best ways to do something about that is causing you worry to death and not get sleep. Wake up. Write down all your worries and they try to go to sleep. Just write it down. OK, it does require some action. That is the key. Doing something about anything is the way to go about it. If you are not able to sleep even after writing down all your worries, take one worry at a time and analyze it. Once again, analyze on the paper. Make mind-map which helps clarify the worry. Bottom line, anyway you are tossing and turning with all that churning going on your mind. Why not use that time to do something about the worry? I am pretty sure this is going to help reduce the worry quite a bit.

2) Savor the experience of every situation - One of the reasons why this friend of mine is very successful at a fairly young age is his willingness to get into any situation just for the experience of it. He says - many times he has to take up responsibilities or do work he would not have liked to do under normal circumstances. But, there is no way not to do it. So, he just gets into them without worrying about the actual tasks. He gets into them to just experience them. I asked how do you manage to get into such situations time and again because it might be becoming boring after a few time. He has a solution for that too. Make the experience different by trying to do things differently.

3) Meetings - Many people in corporate world think meetings as necessary bane of working life. We hate them but also know that when we have to get something done, meetings are invariably required. Sometimes, people who we need for a meeting routinely do not show up. What we do? Keep getting frustrated? First, do everything you can do to get a reputation that you are a master meeting organizer. That means you take your meetings seriously and conduct them to get maximum out of them. Despite all your efforts if your meetings are not being attended. Do what you think is the best. If something blows up, let it be. Sometimes, it takes a big blast for people to take notice. Nothing is going to be that serious to kill your career. Hmm...this is one piece of advice, I do not know how to implement. But, the guy giving this advice is running a large unit of a very large company.So, it probably has some value in it.

4) Have belief that things that are helping you carry through your current situations will help you carry through all future situations also.

5) In the grand scheme of things, all your worries and problems of today look like minor blots if any. So, do not worry. What worried you a month ago or an year ago is not likely worrying you today. So, probably what is worrying you today is not likely to be of worry after a month or year. Why worry  now when you are not going to worry about them later? OK, I remember this from Dale Carnegie's book. But, this a true jewel and I  do not mind everyone I meet repeats it at least once.

6) Work less, achieve more. This seems like a contradiction. However in knowledge industry, it is all about thinking and planning. Higher you go in the organization, you will have more people to do it for you. What they expect you to do is to pave way for the people under you to do the things. So your job become predominantly thinking. Sometime you can think better when you are away from the confines of your office. My friend in office only for 8 or less than 8 hours. Does not sit before his computer all the time. Carries blackberry but not a slave to it. But, he spends tonnes of time thinking deeply about issues that need his attention. As he thinks, he commits his thoughts to paper. His most hi tech gadget - you may be surprise -  a notebook and a pen. I opened his notebook and was impressed. It is full of idea, thoughts and plans. All he does is as thoughts come up, he just jots them down. He  also has devised a way of short hand which uses his custom notations liberally. This saves his time. I asked him if writing thoughts does not reduce the speed of thinking or if he does not lose continuity of thoughts. He said that is the very reason. Thinking should be slowed down to produce quality thoughts. Without slow thinking, what mind produces are mainly junk thoughts. Writing one thought at a time helps the mind think through completely. What an insight? Work smart and not work hard.

These are some bits of wisdom from someone who I think has achieved quite a bit pretty early in life.

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