Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Journey

So many choices. One life. If you think about it, perhaps, a very brief, almost negligible bleep on the canvas of life on Earth. Non-existent in the Earth’s lifetime. But this bleep, is our life. For most what we know, an opportunity, the only one that we have right now. The only one we are sure of. Then why are our choices mostly confined, constrained by factors such as our upbringing, our innate tendencies as humans (evolved from animals), why do we not realize these barriers being only in our minds, why are these shackles tough to break.
Because choosing an offbeat life is difficult, extreme, disagreeable to society or to the construct of society. But how do you choose, how do you define the offbeat life you may fantasize about. Should we give in to this whim to ultimately lose a lot of time, money, relationships and eventually long for coming back? How do you test the waters without disrupting your current life? How do you finally take the call and take the plunge?

This is about finding answers, about the process, of discovery. It may not look like it but perhaps this is a whole lot internal rather than external. Discovery of ourselves. Realizing what you truly enjoy. Designing a life, you enjoy. Making it sustainable. Prioritizing life over traditional way of living. Taking a leap of faith.

The journey eventually may make you experience immense bliss. You may experience life in its full glory. A tale to tell, a life truly lived. On the flip side, even if you don’t find what you longed for. It may take some precious resources, time away, but it would perhaps still be worth a shot. The traditional life would always be available, open to embrace. One may fall a step or two backwards in the traditional sense. But in the larger canvas, in the larger picture of one’s life, this perhaps would surely be worth. After all, finding oneself is a long pursuit, the journey like this is going to be the first step. A step in a direction with some hope of being right should definitely be worth.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Failing to Succeed - Book Summary/Review


I was randomly browsing the new offers on the Kindle Store when I came across this book. The title of the book was quite apt and it did catch my eye.
Ever since I have started questioning the fundamentals of societal structure, one question that has always perplexed me has been the question of Success. What Success really is? I wrote a blog post about this titled, “Your Idea of Success. Is it really your Idea?”, way back in 2014. As you can see, it now has been almost 4 years and here we are, still exploring this concept of Success.
Anyway, coming back, so I found this book’s title interesting, read the brief on Goodreads and decided to buy.
The book is about the advent, success and shutdown of India’s first E-commerce start-up Fabmart/Indiaplaza. I am sure people from early days of Internet (90s) may have heard of those names. I had read some articles about Mr. Vaithee and hence had an overview about the venture.

Fabmart – India’s first E-commerce start-up begins

This book is narrated and authored by Mr. Vaithee himself which hence gives you a vivid experience (thanks to his writing style) of everything that happened. It begins with the author toying with the idea of starting up, leaving a well cushioned job at Wipro to venture into the world of entrepreneurship. He was mightily influenced by the experience of amazon.com which was, in those days, trying to pioneer the e-commerce world and perhaps was the only reference point.
Along with 5 other co-founders the first e-commerce site of India was born, named Fabmart.com selling audio cassettes and CDs. To give you a perspective, we are talking about creating an e-commerce company when internet penetration was extremely low, world-wide-web had recently entered India and getting connected to Internet was a painful process of using the Dial-up connection. A lot of us millennials may have never seen internet that slow, you could literally see the images / content load line by line on the screen in front of you!
The author then takes you through some first principles of starting up (most of which happen to be same for Product Management).
  1. What problem are you solving?
  2. Are you solving it for reasonably large set of customers?
  3. Will these customers be willing to pay for your solution?
  4. Are you the first one trying to solve or there have been others who have attempted?
  5. If others have already solved, are you bringing something superior or unique?

The author then shares some really amazing learning about
  • The concept of Better, Faster, Cheaper to evaluate start-ups
  • Selecting your Co-founders
  • Deciding Co-founders’ responsibilities and compensation
  • Seed-funding 

Fabmart – So many firsts

As is there in any product, while taking the crucial decisions, the team at Fabmart needed some really important inputs and they used the concepts of Product Management really well. This just tells me that the first principles are just timeless. The way they executed in the absence of all the modern tools we have today is just exemplary.
  • Stalking customers in offline stores to understand customer buying behavior.
  • Deciding on whether to sell books or music online.
  • Getting the meta-data of the Music labels was a challenge, then getting it online was another challenge, music companies didn’t have it in online format.

Anyway, so slowly and gradually things started moving and Fabmart started getting traction. It is not very well known but Fabmart team deserves the credit for a lot of innovative and first of its kind solutions executed in E-commerce world which now just seem to be a norm.
  1. First PIN based Payment Gateway
  2. First E-commerce client of Microsoft Azure in India
  3. BlueDart’s first step in E-commerce logistics
  4. First to execute Omnichannel retail
  5. First to sign up a celebrity singer to launch a Single exclusively online
  6. India’s first Electronic Gift Certificates
  7. India’s first E-wallet
  8. First Customer Loyalty Program
  9. India’s first Online Grocery store
  10. First time COD in India

Diversifying into Books, Jewellery

The book then takes us through some day to day challenges of deciding the KPIs when you don’t have any reference point, signing up more music labels, singers to get more traffic and all along sticking to the first principles of business to ensure that this is a self-sustainable business and not a VC money driven that now-a-days is.
Fabmart starts to expand beyond music and gets into books and jewellery. The author talks about the challenges faced and how they finally launch these online. In future, books become one of the bestselling categories for the business.
This was the time (around 2000) when the Dotcom bubble bust was happening in US and hence whenever Fabmart team was meeting the investors, they were interested in valuation more than anything else. The company was able to raise 25 Crores as Series A in this turbulent time.

Fabmart Goes in Offline Retail

The next part of the book is about how Fabmart goes in offline retail and builds the brand Fabmall. Most of you may not know this but Fabmall was acquired by Aditya Birla Group in 2006 and re-branded as More stores, fairly well known now.
In spite of the fact that Groceries as a category will be difficult and low margin venture, Fabmart went ahead and launched India’s first online grocery, along with selling it offline in Fabmall. Some really creative warehousing and supply chain strategies had to be executed by the team.
This was also the time when the team started off COD for groceries (in 2001) and then extended it to other products such as books, movies, music, watched etc. But because of all the challenges that COD brings with itself, the team decided to shut COD down in 2004.

Fast forward to Indiaplaza – Cash Crunch Begins – Investor Challenges

Author then talks about a lot of business challenges that were being faced because of which finally, the offline business and the online business were separated.  Because of the recent Dotcom bust, no investors would even want to listen to anything that had “.com” in it raising funds for the online business was becoming daunting.
I would try to fast forward the summary here. There onwards, author details about tonnes of challenges that were faced because of the Investors, Cash Crunch etc.
What is commendable to read in the book is that in spite of owning around 2% or so of the company Indiaplaza, the author somehow became responsible for all the troubles that the company faced. The challenges of ever changing business conditions can be navigated well if there is money available. The responsibilities of the current investors were not executed and hence Indiaplaza had to face severe situations.
I am highly impressed by the way author keeps his morals and integrity standing strong in spite of the tough, nerve wrecking situations around him with vendors, creditors, police etc. Reading about all the struggles that he went through is highly inspirational. It gives a perspective into how most of the investors focus perhaps on the wrong metrics and how it is extremely important to be highly selective when choosing where you are taking the money from.


Overall, the book is really delightful and refreshing to read. The writing style is simple yet engaging. It provides a lot of ground reality perspectives about the start-up world. Media selectively glamorizes the start-up world with less focus on failures and the dark sides. It gives you a perspective of what all can go wrong in a start-up and can prove to be a guidepost to learn from the mistakes detailed in the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has interest in start-ups and/or e-commerce in general.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Experiences, Experience and More

I used to think, this is not how I would spend my life. Running around, chasing something which I may or may not want, oppressing myself with day to day grinds, living almost the same day, almost the same place over and over again and calling it life.

Long back, when I was young and stupid, I used to think this life is not for me. But, reading a letter I perhaps wrote in 2012 when I started my career, I realize, I am already living the kind of life I was kind of trying to consciously avoid. 

Don't get me wrong, it is not that I am not happy. Perhaps I am. Perhaps I am supposed to be. I have a good job, pays well, I live in the IT capital of the country and I have some skills that can continue to fetch me fairly good life. 

But then, in spite of all that, when I look back at myself; what I used to be 6 years back, I feel this is not what I wanted. I don't know what I did want but I had told myself that I would do something different. I know I am way off. 

May be that guy at that age did not really understand what to expect from himself or may be I got it all wrong and haven't yet figured out and learnt how to live. Yes, it is possible. There was no lecture on how to live, in my school, college or even my post graduate certificate course. No one really told me because may be there is no single way. Even having a framework around it would have helped but nah, nothing. 

Anyway, let me put on my PM hat now. Yes, we have a problem, but if we really try to put this in the AIPMM new product development framework, we should be able to arrive at a product that should be able to help. I think I need to focus on the problem more. 

Why exactly people like me think that they wanted a different life. If I dig deeper I think I can say that because when one is young, the intensity of hopes and ambitions are high. What one can achieve in life is at Level 8 and one himself is sitting at Level 0. Sure, being at Level 8 sounds so much fun but reaching there has a different path.

The path that is difficult, full of rejections and failure and if you look at it, it never looks anything remotely like Level 8. Hence everyone gets deceived and thinks this cannot be it. This can never be the path to where I want to go. Everyone then looks at the path that looks amazing at the moment, we are unable to look ahead and see where this beautiful looking path is going to take us.

We start walking on that path and after a while perhaps, we realize, Oh, this is certianly not going to take me to Level 8. We panic, we try to look for other paths. The cycle repeats and then yet again we look for another path and so on.
Before you know it, you are done with 5-6 years and you are happy but you are nowhere near to Level 8. 

Now, you may ask yourself, do you still want to go to Level 8, because the path is still dirty and difficult or you would rather stay on the path that you currently are on, which by the way is very comfortable?
Everyone has these choices. And most people fantasize about Level 8 but do not prefer to go down that atrocious looking path, they would rather stay on their comfortable Levels.

What would I do? I don't know. I am scared of losing my current level in pursuit of Level 8 that I may or may not achieve.
I may change my mind. Well, we will see.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What am I up to?

I came across my friend Deepak's blog and something interesting caught my attention. He has a specific page that tells about what he is doing now. His inspiration for such a page has been http://nownownow.com/. It is interesting and surprising to see that this /now page is a revolution! I went to Deepak's Now page (link here) and decided to write a blog post about it and to also create a similar page for myself.
Well, recently I have been tied up and have not been able to manage my time well. But I am slowly getting back on track. I have been using www.toggl.com to help me track my time and of course www.wunderlist.com and www.getpocket.com have been my favorite tools.

Wunderlist is well, a To Do list and Pocket helps you bookmark your links and manage them better to revisit them and hence manage your learning better.

I keep myself occupied with Business Analysis, Product Consulting, Product Management and learning about these all the time. Recently I also have found myself interested in knowing about what people like Elon Musk and Sam Altman are up to. I am actively following the growth of smart cars, self driven cars etc. I am also blogging at Faichi's official website. 

Oh yes, I also have been reading books and happily running Pune Book Lovers Club. I am currently reading
1. Totto Chan - English translation of a Japanese book. This book is very famous though.
2. Thinking Fast and Slow - I am very slow in reading this.
3. Zero to One - Interesting insights

I am active on Twitter these days, please follow me @ayushtweet.

Cheers till the next time!

My Poetry Sucks!

I am totally embarrassed about the stupid poetry I have put on my blog. I haven't written anything good for a long time now. I am requesting you to please don't read any poetry please? I will put a good one as soon as I write, I promise you.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Weekly Habit Experiments

I have been in Pune since September 2015 now and I got to know that here Gudi Padwa i.e. Hindi Calendar new year is a grand festival. It is celebrated with a lot of zeal. I thought I should take this opportunity to try something new and become a better person. 

Now, many of you must be thinking that this is something we all think of doing in every new year. Yes, that is true, I have always been making a list of habits I need develop, the achievements I want to see in the new year, the milestones I want to achieve, so on and so forth.

Well, yep the only problem was that the list of 2015 looked a lot like the list of 2014 and so on and hence I thought this is not going to work at all.
Hence, I thought this Hindi New Year can be an opportunity. I knew I can’t commit for an entire year so decided to try for something really short a duration and settled for one week.

So, here it is, my weekly experiments have started from 4th April. Now, I wanted to begin with something really small. I just randomly thought how it would be like to not speak any cuss words for a week and yep, that is what I decided for the first week. I had to follow this No Cuss Words rule till 10th April i.e. 7 full days. If you think it is easy you may go ahead and give it a try yourself.

Anyways, so how was my experience and how did it go? Well, for firsts, I think the week ended really quickly and I faltered for a total of 5 times. I realized that initially I indeed was, quite frequently saying cuss words in my mind but wasn’t just speaking them. But over a period of a few days I realized that I started using some other words to better explain, rather than the cuss words. I seriously recommend you to give it a try.

This was a good experience by the end of the week. I had two decisions to make now, first, what should be the next experiment and second, whether or not should I continue with the previous one. I decided to try no sugar+ green tea daily for the next week and also decided that since it was not difficult so I would just continue the previous experiment too.

So, for the next week i.e. 11th April to 17th April it had to be No Cuss Words + No Sugar + Daily Green Tea.

The week obviously has ended so you might be wondering as to how did it go. Well, No Cuss Words went really good, though I stopped keeping the count of the faults because I found doing that insignificant. No sugar regime has been strictly followed and quite easily actually but this Green Tea Daily has been difficult and I think I could only follow it for 3 days out of 7. I think the reason being that following this involved preparing green tea and I have been too lazy to do so.

Anyways, I have continued all three experiments for the subsequent week too and it has been going well. Though I had to add another habit and I wanted to try Daily Meditation but I have failed at that too.
Now, for the coming week I have decided not to add any habits and to carry all four of these habits to this week and see how that goes. If at all everything goes fine. I will start adding more habits, else I will drop some of these.

Current habits to pursue in the next week starting next Monday i.e. 25th April 2016 are No Cuss Words + No Sugar + Daily Green Tea + Daily Meditation. Hoping for the best!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Book Review: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Best thing about this book is simplistic language. When the ideas being shared in the book are complex and difficult to understand and relate to, it really helps to have the ideas in a simple language.
The story is fairly gripping in the middle of the book and starts on a comfortable note too. I would say that the ideologies shared, especially at the end of the book are somewhat difficult to imbibe or even understand in one go and it does require to read them again.

Presumably the thought of the author is to give the readers a small insight into the concept and hence this book can just be a beginning for the readers to think on such lines and then explore more by themselves.

This book is indeed a short read but it makes you think time and again and hence I would say this is an impacting book to me.

Certain sections of the book (some specific conversations) are extremely enjoyable and hence I would surely want to read the book again. I highly appreciate that the author seemed to have ensured that any religion aspect is not touched upon.
To conclude, this is a must read book.

The book is publicly available online, you can go to 
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2500  to get the book.

Also, I am happy to announce that this book is going to be the first specific book being discussed in Pune Book Lovers Club.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Why make a fuss?

It’s been a while since I wrote something, elsewhere or on this blog. It literally feels like the fountain pen being used after years. The ink has dripped through inside but is unable to dribble through the nib of the pen, and smoothly on to the paper. As you try to write, you scratch the paper and mildly damage the nib. Just like the ink, I have thoughts in my mind but am unable to carve them out into words.

Why? What happened? Has it not been a good time in the past? Am I so engrossed in the day to day life that I forgot how to express in words? No, I did not; well, I hope not.

I know that the wheels are a little rusty now, but they sure can still move. It will take a little time, I will need a little inertia to push myself and that indeed will take some effort and some pain.

Pain, oh yes. That, we always experience; every time something begins (or ends) that little word pain is like the threshold energy we need, to get started, to begin and to endure.

So, what is there to exaggerate in this? Why make a fuss?  Is this the first time I am experiencing this? Surely it is not. There is nothing new in this. Also, don’t other people undergo the same and just still keep going? There is nothing unique about it.

All you got to do is keep going. Can anything else help? I highly doubt it. But, given my little experience of life and of people, I might be wrong. Over time, everything fades away, just like the early morning fog, like it was never there, was just a dream.

Yes, the visibility is currently low, it is indeed hazy all around; there are some things to remember and there are some to forget. But all I need to remind myself is that; this too shall pass, this too shall pass.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

It's easy to feel hopeful during the good times

Hope. It indeed is one of the strongest emotion human beings can conceive. It defies reasons and logics and keeps our spirits almost unnaturally and impractically alive when we need it the most. I recently came across a wonderful graduation speech given by the lead female actor in the movie “The Amazing Spiderman-2”.

“I know we all think that we are immortal. We are supposed to feel that way. We are graduating, but like our brief four years of high school, what makes life valuable is that it doesn't last forever.”

“What makes it precious is that it ends, we know that now more than ever, and I say it today of all days to remind us that time is luck”.

“So, don’t waste it living someone else’s life, make yours count for something. Fight for what matters to you, no matter what, cause even if we fall short what better ways is there to live.”

“It's easy to feel hopeful on a beautiful day like today, but there will be dark days ahead of us too. There will be days where you feel all alone, and that's when hope is needed most. No matter how bad it gets, or how lost you feel, you must promise me that you will hold on to hope. Keep it alive.”

“We have to be greater than what we suffer. My wish for you is to become hope; people need that.”

“And even if we fail, what better way is there to live? As we look around here today, at all of the people who helped make us who we are, I know it feels like we're saying goodbye, but we will carry a piece of each other into everything that we do next, to remind us of who we are, and of who we're meant to be.”

--- Gwen Stacy

May we all get the strength to realize and attain hope when we need it the most because it indeed is something which is deeply imbibed in all of us but, it’s just that we tend to forget this fact when we are going through the ‘not so sunny’ days of our lives.  

Youtube link to the speech: Here

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Your personal goals - Shout out loud or keep them to yourself ?

The new year 2015. I know it is kind of late to write about the new year but still as the first quarter of the year has ended I realize this indeed is a good time to write about it. As per my opinion, the problem with being too much energetic or enthusiastic at the beginning of the year is that we end up making too many commitments to ourselves and then end up not being able to live up to them.

Now, since those commitments had been made to ourselves alone, we fail to monitor ourselves well enough to check our progress time and again and hence we lose the track. The cycle repeats itself over and over again every year.

The solution to this, I believe, is to become accountable to someone for your achievements and goals. What I mean here is that we can try to be explicitly vocal about things that we want to achieve in the year to some people we can trust and we know are going to push us when we feel like drifting away. These people can be your best friends, siblings, parents etc. But a minor detail that is important here is that that person(s) should motivate you when you are going off the track and should not rather draw energy out of you. 

So, when we are accountable to others about what we do and do not achieve, we tend to push ourselves in the times of crisis because there is a certain aspect of social reputation that is attached to it. This is something to be tried and tested to see the results.

If we do try and implement this, we would not impractically over-commit and would also have a feasible method of going about our goals as we would know that the status of our progress is being monitored.

Ah well now you may or may not agree with whatever I just said but still you should watch this TED talk below by Derek Sivers that is completely opposite of what I just discussed.

The blog link for the same is here http://sivers.org/zipit 

I personally do not agree with Sivers here but you may choose one of the two methods and see the results for yourself. I would love to know which of the two methods you tried; being socially active about your goals or keeping them to yourself and which one worked for you, do let me know in the comments.

P.S: Reference link that goes in my favor is here.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Your idea of Success, is really Your Idea?

Today's TED talk was about the current society's idea of success and failure and its repercussions on the humanity as a whole.
The speaker started with the days of grief that he used to have on the weekends when he was dealing with the career crisis thinking where is his career headed. He talks about how these days snobbery has become a global phenomenon. Snobbery i.e. the practice of observing a part of a human being and assuming and making image of the individual as a whole based on that. 

This happens a lot in the social settings where "What do you do?" has become the most prominent question and we make the whole image of the person in our mind based on response. So, what is written on your Business Card has become important for the people than the real you. 

We are living in the times where it is a general belief that if you have the right talent, resources and hard work anyone can achieve anything There is nothing particularly wrong with this ideology apart from the fact that this also means that if someone is not very successful then it is because of their own reasons and hence are responsible for it.

Because of this, in general, there is more career related anxiety in people these days. Earlier people did not used to expect much from themselves and from their careers but now with "anyone can achieve anything" mentality most of the careers are in grief.

In previous days human beings used to centre the life around other forces like God, Universe, Nature etc and used to worship them to find the answers. These days, on the contrary human being believes he doesn't need any of that and can pray to himself and believe in himself to achieve anything.

Due to this situation, there is a contrary thinking that if I am a failure I am because of my own; which increases the suicide tendencies in humans while the truth is that Success and Failure are just random events and should not be made to be the centre of the human lives. 

This also takes us to the reasons as to why this sort of mentality has prevailed. Primary reason is the media that keeps highlighting the success stories of the people making it sound easy, logical and likely rather than being random.

Because of all the media hype, the idea and definition of success for people has not been unique rather, has been dictated by what they consume from the media. It is such an unfortunate moment when you achieve someone else's definition of success and realise; after investing a significant amount of time and energy in it that you did not want it in the first place.

To conclude, it is important that we think deeply about what our idea of success really is and then go about achieving it rather than running around the media's or society's idea of success. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Let's Write

This might sound a little odd but I have no clue what I am going to write about in this post. Okay, you may still read it to know what am I going to write about as you and me both get revealed to this together. Oh well, before writing this post, lets just talk. So, I would like to know how are you doing these days, what is going on at your end ? Hmm? Sorry?... 

Ohh.. How can you answer, this is not voice chat, is it? :P Hmm.. Let me think... how about you leave that as a comment? I will take up from there, thanks. Okay, yep I am doing good too, just that I am still thinking what should I write about? Experience, travel, politics, opinion, festival.... Ahh there are so many topics I can take and get myself started with any one but still I do not know. 

This is weird. :( But, has it never happened to you, that you have to select any one out of so many permutations available and you end up investing so much time in selecting one that you just lose interest in all of them? Well, happens a lot in my case. :-/ I am just afraid that this post might not end up like one of such cases. Ohh no, I will think, choose, decide and select one to get started.. I do not want you to get bored. 
Oh by the way, in case you actually are getting bored, you should check the Popular Posts on the right side block, you surely would find something interesting posts to read there. 

So, how about writing about writing? No really, I mean I am writing this blog post and here you are reading it so why not write about this itself? So, tell me why, according to you, I am writing this blog post? Yep, you can use the comment to answer. I will reply in comment itself. :) 

Actually, well, again it may sound weird, but I just am writing this to make sure that I do write something today. To get better at something, we need to ensure we do it as planned and try to make it a habit, isnt it? Only then we get better at it. Hence, in spite of being confused on the topic, I am just writing it. :)
Do let me know your thoughts about it ? in the comments of course and also give your feedback on this blogpost (only if it is good :P). :)      

Sunday, September 15, 2013

“गुज़रा ज़माना”

बहुत याद आता है वो गुज़रा ज़माना,
वो प्यारा सा बचपन वो मासूम फसाना,

सुबह रोज़ उठकर वो यूनिफॉर्म पहनना,
वो टाई में उलझना वो पापा का सिखाना,

बस स्टॉप पर बस का इंतज़ार करना,
वो खिड़की वाली सीट की ख्वाहिश होना,

"स्कूल प्रेयर" और "थॉट ऑफ डे" से दिन की शुरुआत,
वो "PHE" और "फ्री पीरियड" की राहें ताकना,

"लंच ब्रेक" से पहले "बोरिंग मेथ्स" पढ़ना,
और लंच ब्रेक में सबके टिफिन टटोलना,

फ्री पीरियड में होमवर्क पूरा करना,
फिर शाम को ज़्यादा खेलने की उम्मीद होना,

हर "आन्सर" के बाद वो लाल लाइन खींचना,
और हर एक "डाइयग्रॅम" को सुंदर सा सजाना,

घर जाके सीधा टीवी से चिपकना,
वो मम्मी का डांटना खाने के लिए,

शाम से पहले होमवर्क की जल्दी,
छत पर फिर फुल ऑन क्रिकेट खेलना,

वो दादा दादी से क़िस्से सुनना,
"पता है, आप सुना चुके हो" ये बार बार कहना,

वो मम्मी के हाथों का गर्मा गर्म खाना,
वो पापा के आने कावेट” करना,

सब का छत पर जाकर फिर बातें करना,
तारों और सड़क की गाड़ियों की गिनती करना,

वो पापा का कहना जूते पॉलिश करके रखो,
वो मम्मी का समझाना स्कूल बैग भी जमा लो,

और कुछ ही देर में,
फिर जल्दी से सो जाना,

वो नया दिन फिर वैसे ही जीना,
पर हर दिन में खुशी, हर दिन में कुछ ख़ास होना,

हक़ीक़त था जो, अब हुआ है फसाना,
हक़ीक़त है जो, होगा वही फिर फसाना,

बहुत याद आता है वो गुज़रा ज़माना,
वो प्यारा सा बचपन वो मासूम फसाना |

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Thinking, Planning, Doing - One at a Time

In our daily life there are so many chores that demand completion. Some of them require no or little thinking while others may require not just thinking but a session of detailed thinking before we are convinced and are able to complete or rather say start it.

Amidst all such thoughts and actions cycle what we may tend to forget is about priority. Unfortunately, the systems around us are all architected in such a way that there are so many issues and problems that do not deserve our attention but we tend to scale them at a higher position in the priority list. Consequentially, these no so important issues or tasks or problems start taking a decent amount of our mindshare and concentration while, considering what their actual significance is, it is best to postpone them and not provide our mindshare to them.

The other way round, we also need to identify those tasks, traits that deserve to be on our priority. Some of them are being happy, introspection, knowing one's strengths etc. 

Oh ok, there is no need to think much about this. Just keep in mind the not so important things in life may actually be very important and those lists you made but did not complete may not be that important that you need to loose the peace of your mind and some time to observe this world.

So, we need to Think, Plan and Do. But, the first step, thinking, needs to be of much more significance.

Friday, February 1, 2013

To Do or Not To Do

No matter what field you are working in, at some point of time we all use the concept of the To Do List. This is something that people at times use not only in their professional life but also in their personal life. It indeed is a very effective method to keep an eye on all the tasks at once and to ensure that we do not miss on anything. Though I am not really into such kind of planning etc. but ever since I have been into the working force I have had to start using it and I have to admit that it really does helps to complete the tasks in time.

I have been using the To Do lists in diary rather than any electronic form because I was more comfortable with it. Also, some people who had tried the electronic forms of To Dos recommended that the hard copy format is effective. Nevertheless, you will find that people preferring the electronic form are more than that of the hard copy. I personally believe that writing by hand has its own aura and conjuration.

Anyways, I then started off with the electronic mediums for the To Do lists. Now, there were ample numbers of options available, which one to choose? After some basic search around I started off with Evernote and Wunderlist. Initially, you may take some time in being familiar with them and being habitual to them but slowly and gradually it becomes an important component for your day to day activities and also to plan the week or month well in advance.

Evernote is an amazing tool for taking all your notes, web pages you like, images etc in one place and has amazing methods to categorize data and retrieve as and when needed with the help of Tags, Notebooks (and similar jargons) etc. So, this is something you can use for long term thing.

For day to day, Wunderlist is an awesome tool or actually not Wunderlist but Wunderlist 2. It has a very neat interface and is very simple to use with the options of creating different lists for different tasks, adding notes to individual tasks, marking them crossed when done, setting up reminders etc.

So, you can use Wunderlist for short term planning and Evernote for long term planning & single point repository for notes, content and data you would like to visit time and again.
To add on to that, you can use both of these on your cellphones as they have their apps available.

Amazing tools they surely are but every now and then I also use my diary, not sure if any electronic tool would be capable enough to make me switch entirely to the electronic form!

Do try them and happy planning.

Find them here: