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Time Management: ROI of Seconds

Time Management: ROI of Seconds

ROI… Return on Investment! A term so common and popular in terms of money! Every one of us is usually so careful with where we invest what we earn, with what we can get in return of investing our hard earned money. Here is a question I would like you to ponder upon:

What if a genie were to appear in front of you and offer you an amount of Rs 15,77,66,400/- tax free! Yes, that is right. An amount of Rupees Fifteen Crore Seventy Six Lakhs Eighty Thousand! The only catch is, before you take this money, you got to tell the genie for sure, what you are going to do with it and how you are going to spend it, and you have to then do exactly the same! Here are other points to consider:
(a) the areas in which you spend/invest the money much be specific, i.e. you can’t just say invest and spend – you have to say where and in what
(b) the entire money can be used up in only 3 things – not 2 and not 4, just 3!
(c) you have to say exactly how much of the money you are going to spend for each of the 3 things – either in percentages or in actual amounts

What will you do with the money? Pause here before continuing to read, think for a minute, or more, and write the same down! Be honest with yourself.
What did you write??? Are you sure that is how

Now, let us re-look at the situation. Do you need a genie to come and give you this money? Doesn’t each and every one of us already have it??? How so, you may ask? I don’t see that amount anywhere in my bank accounts, you may ask? Sure, you do not see it in any bank, because it is not yet in form of the money we are used to dealing with in day to day life.

It is however, with each one of yes in yet another form, “time”. Yes, Rs 15,77,66,400/- is right here with us in the form of “time”. Take the next 5 years of your life: that amounts to 1826 days (taking into account one leap year of 366 days): this is 1826*24*60*60 = 157766400 seconds. Thus Rs 15,77,66,400/- is the next 157766400 seconds of your life, i.e. the next 5 years of your life!

Now, revisit the 3 choices that you made. Ask yourself, “If at the end of the next 5 years of my life, the above are the only 3 accomplishments that I would achieve, would I be happy and satisfied?” If your answer is YES, then Congratulations! According to various researches conducted, you come under that lucky 3% of individuals who work on tasks that are in tandem to their goals!

If your answer is NO, then consider this, “Why is it, that when it comes to money, we choose to acquire things with it that we would not value over time?” The reason is very simple. We value time and money in different ways! It is time that we started to value time as money, in fact in today’s scenario, much more than money.

We invest money. We also invest time! We get returns on our money investments. We also get returns on our time investments? The very same ROI (Return on Investment) matrix that applies to money, also applies to time (refer matrix below)!

You can do tasks that need high investment of time with low returns – example, watch hours of television endlessly, surf the internet aimlessly, gossip, and so on. These tasks are time wasters and in order to lead a successful life, we ought to learn to reduce the time we spend on these.

You can do tasks that need high investment of time with high returns – example, register and study a part time course related to career, training programs, reading books, taking vacations with family, and so on. These tasks take time, however, can offer fantastic benefits in our goals and relationships in life, we ought to learn to make time to work on these consistently.

You can do tasks that need low investment of time with low returns – example, having a quick cup of coffee in the midst of work, checking email or facebook, etc every hour, and so on. These tasks do not have much benefit, however, also, do not create any loss.

You can do tasks that need low investment of time and high returns – example, exercising for 15 minutes every day, spending quality 30 minutes with family daily, and so on. These tasks take little time, however the benefits can be profound and long lasting, we ought to learn to find more of these to do every day.

Know your low investment high return tasks, and work on them!
You have the power!

—————————————-
Revathi Turaga is an International Trainer & Inspirational Speaker
http://www.revathionline.com

Published in ‘The Hans India’ newspaper on 22nd July 2011

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July 25, 2011 Posted by | The Hans India Newspaper, Training and Learning | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time Management: Breaking Down Tasks

From business leaders who run billion dollar organizations, to executives who operate an enormous number of projects, to housewives who are involved in a multitude of daily activities, to students who have lots of studious and recreational goals – for every one of the above, there is one factor that helps accomplish more and more. That factor is ‘managing time’!

Has it ever happened that you know you have to finish a task that loomed so large in front you that starting it seemed your worst nightmare?
Has it ever happened that while working on a task after hours, you step back, look at it and feel de-motivated by it being nowhere near completion?
Has it ever happened that you were seriously working on just the one thing the whole day and at the end of the day feels like nothing’s accomplished?

For learning to handle ourselves better those times when we encounter more of the above situations, today we shall look into the aspects of effectively accomplishing huge tasks in the time available.

Completing a huge task is like eating a watermelon. The most time consuming activity is before even beginning to eat it, i.e. to cut it into sizeable pieces. Similarly, to successfully complete a huge task, we need to be able to break it down to more manageable small sub-tasks and systematically plan to accomplish the same.

Given below are 8 steps that will help you to achieve the same:
1. Give yourself time to plan sub-tasks
Many presume that when a task at hand is huge, it has to be started immediately without wasting any time. This is however not true. Research shows that, giving yourself a little silent time to virtually run the task in your mind step by step helps in increasing the overall speed while performing the task.

2. Hierarchy of essential sub-tasks
Every task can be divided into a lot of sub-tasks, some big in themselves and some small. The bigger sub-tasks can further be divided into sub-sub-tasks! It is important to keep the number of sub-tasks at any level to at most 4.

3. Know how much close each sub-tasks takes you to the end goal
Simply knowing that completing the sub-task is essential for accomplishing the huge tasks is not enough. It is important to identify the importance each sub-task has in relation to the main task, so that you can feel the satisfaction of accomplishing something at each step.

4. Identify timelines for each sub-task
Deadlines are set by external factors, and timelines are set by the individual. Set your timelines a little longer than what you believe the sub-task would take, yet within the limits of your deadline. This helps in working methodically towards completion.

5. Understanding connections between sub-tasks
The sequencing of the sub-tasks is of utmost importance. Not doing this, causes one to jump back and forth their plan thus ultimately rendering the planning useless. Noting the connections between different sub-tasks helps not only in placing them in the order they ought to be done, but also in putting the most related sub-tasks together.

6. Delegate certain sub-tasks
Not every minute thing has to be done only by you! If there are any sub-tasks that someone else can do, then please delegate them! Let people help! It helps!

7. Use available titbits of time to finish the smaller sub-tasks
Sometimes, an unplanned time gap pops up in the day. Instead of just letting it go by, find a sub-task that can fit into it and get done with it. This will reduce the pressure later.

8. Focus all your energies in the active sub-task at that moment
How many times do you keep thinking about the list of next things to do while working on one thing? That stops now! Once you have planned out the task properly, focus all your energies only onto the sub –task that you working on at that moment, knowing that the rest of the sub-tasks and other tasks are in their own right time.

Breaking down a huge task into smaller, easily accomplishable sub-tasks not only makes it easier to complete them, but also helps in reducing anxiety and in staying motivated to continue working.

Once you are done with the list, just pick up the first one, and get started!
You have the power!

—————————————-
Revathi Turaga
http://www.revathionline.com

Published in ‘The Hans India’ on 18th July 2011

July 22, 2011 Posted by | RevathiOnline Learning, The Hans India Newspaper, Training and Learning | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happiness@Work™

Aristotle once said “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”

‘Happiness’, as we know, has been defined by an innumerable many, right from Mahatma Gandhi to the Dalai Lama in their own way. In this article the I define ‘happiness’ as ‘that state of mind that one wishes to come to instantly, so as to respond the way one needs to respond in any given situation or time towards any individual.

In this inspirational and motivational article, ‘Happiness’ is treated, not just as an abstract concept, but also as a few practical and implementable techniques that can be applied at any point in time so as to get one back to a state of positive energy!

The techniques are as follows:

1) Positive Attitude
As Herm Albright said, “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”

Positive attitude is about being able to look at situations with a positive outlook, being able to think positive, being able to take purposeful action towards one’s goals, no matter what the situation.

Research suggests that having the inner confidence that success shall come our way and that I can achieve what I want, helps us take on challenging tasks and goals at work.

2) Respond, don’t react
As Charles R. Swindoll puts it, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

Behavioral pychology defines a human beings actions as ‘Response to Stimuli’ from the environemnt. Every time something happens, instead of reacting instantaneously, learn to pause and think of possible cause and effect, i.e., possible reasons and consequences. An attitude of responding is most important today because that is the one choice we have in life!

Research shows that as we learn to think and respond at work, conflicts reduce and more mature and composed discussions are possible, thus leading to effective teamwork and productivity.

3) Appreciation
As Voltaire said, “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

Human beings desire appreciation. They are extremely happy when their efforts and talents are appreciated. Telling another that they are apprecited also increases an attitude of gratitude and humility within us.

Appreciating oneself for our accomplishments can be a powerful concept that helps us to constantly stay motivated, especially when no one else does so.

Research shows that in organizations, those constantly appreciated for their good work, tend to feel more motivated to accomplish their tasks successfully.

4) Imagine
Imagine here means to dare to dream.. to dare to think BIG!

Victor Frankl, who spent a few years in “Auschwitz”, said in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning”, that is it not the problem-free today that keeps one happy n motivated! A problem-free today is virtually not possible. It is, the things that one can look forward to in the future tomorrow, the things that one is yet to achieve, wants to reach n looks forward to doing, that help one be happy today!

Follow the following steps to Achieve Dreams!

4A) Dream Big

4B) Believe in Possibiliies

4C) Power of Visualization

4D) Tell your Network

4E) Planning n Prioritizing

4F) Hardwork n Passion

4G) Write n Review Goals

4H) Celebrate Success

Thus, to be able to get through anything today, and to stay accepting and happy, it is nice to remember where our career is heading, the reason why we are working, and our future plans with this finances and the learning.

5) Smile
As Phyllis Diller rightly said, “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”

By saying Smile@Work it does not mean to make work a place of humor. The seriousness of tasks that we do, their importance are not to be misjudged in any way. All we need to do is to constantly find something to feel good about at work, or even elsewhere. A smile on your face will brighten up not only your day, but also maybe another’s!

6) Excellence
Excellence for me is defined by Martin Luther King’s powerful “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

Striving to perform the best that we can, living up to the standards set in the industry, working towards excellence in whatever we do, while also constantly learning to get better, gives us the motivtion to continue on the journey of our life.

When we strive to excel, we have something challenging to focus on, that uplifts our spirits and helps us re-enter the realm of happiness.

The above are a few simple practical techniques on being constantly happy at work!

Revathi Turaga
http://www.revathionline.com

July 5, 2011 Posted by | Training and Learning | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment