Building your own Eco-System

Whats your best ROIT – Return on Invested Time ?


After many months of juggling and struggling to do everything I wanted to in a day or even a week, I realised I was making limited success. Then I started making rules like, no emails after 7pm or on the weekends. That is my time to do all the things I wanted and also find some time to relax. We all know – of all rules we make, this one does not last too long. Whilst I am not a slave of my emails I realised quickly enough that this was not very sustainable. The other trouble with such rules is that you might be inspired with an idea about something in the time chunk that you have set aside for something else. Inspiration does not give you a heads up and tells you i will strike at 4pm today. So that was another downside to these rules. They were becoming barriers than enablers as i had originally imagined them to be. And Monday morning are not exactly the “inspiration-abundant” mornings either. So cutting off time between things was not working. I was not any closer to my goals and i told myself.. here we go again…hahaha ! (have a laugh at yourself..its okay – it). But most importantly what I noticed was that i wasn’t getting the best return on the time i invested in something as not always were best ideas coming to me for the time set aside for doing something. so my Return on Invested time was sub par – not what I wanted.

So week on week, i realised what appeared as a magical formula a while ago, was actually a self created booby-trap. So I decided to re-configure. I said lets build a an Ecosystem or a Continuum. Why don’t i harmonise my daily activities in a way that they jive with each other rather than struggle to find time for them. So this was an interesting (read as smart :-)) move..

I started to do things when an idea occurred. if i was in the middle of something else which needed finishing before i could get to this great next thing, lets say if your thought-bulb lit up in the middle of a jog- then i would just make a mental note of it or even write on the note-pad in my phone and get to it after my jog is over. This allowed for creativity to flow (i feel very cool saying that, as i don’t think i am a particularly creative person, but i like it so will just say it :-). If an email needed answering or if I found a better (calmer..non pointed) way of answering an email then i would do it when that idea occurred, instead of doing the 10-breath inhale-exhale trick, as whilst that does pump more oxygen to your brain, it does not promise a good idea as a payback. So instead of finding that hour to listen to your favourite podcasts, or reading a book – hard copy or kindle, or calling a friend – you decide what is going to give the best return on your time invested, when it is invested & in what or who is it invested. This ROIT (Return on Invested Time) will be your biggest enabler in helping you create your ecosystem.

If you have kids and lets say they need to be taken to a study or a sports class it is perfectly okay to ask for (reliable) help of friends or family who could do this for you if you believe you have other things you could do in that hour.

Going for a bike ride or a swim needn’t wait till a Saturday morning. It is okay
to sleep in on certain days and ask for help. It’s okay on certain days to leave the dishes sit in the sink and go for a nice after-work massage. Whatever ticks you. The only key thing is – Your Eco-system needs to work for you. It is a powerful weapon to enable energy flow through areas of our life that seem to not have worked in the past. And as that energy starts to flow you start to glide through things, situations and days…feeling happier & more accomplished!


Just last week I met a girl, an intelligent pretty girl, who had just moved from Bangalore to Mumbai. Her house looked great, she looked great, had a dog & a cute fluffy Persian cat but was unhappy at a deeper level. She said she was looking for a job in Mumbai but will start doing that full throttle once her driver comes back from his wedding leave, which still had 3 more weeks to go.
And I instantly asked her why did she want to wait for him to come back. Why could she not start in the NOW ?
And that got me thinking that we are all so accustomed to procrastination that often we make the happening of one event contingent on another event. SO for example, this pretty girl was waiting for her servant to come back to start the job search – two fairly unrelated events. And similarly we have umpteen such things, we continue to postpone because we are waiting for what we believe to be “The prefect moment”. We believe that once the kids school re-opens– I will start my morning walks, or we believe that once the entire house is spring cleaned only then will I get the new curtains, or we withhold buying that rocking chair because we are waiting for to shift into an apartment with a balcony or we believe that we will start painting once there is a spare room to keep the painting equipment and so on.
We are constantly in search of that perfect moment – which we believe is a perfect moment – but you know what – there is never a perfect time. “Right now” is the perfect time.
If we keep waiting for the perfect time, frankly we may never end up starting that thing we have been wanting to. Simply because when that thing- that we have been waiting for, does happen – there is something else that creeps in and becomes our priority or dependency. So it could be that when the males servant does come back from his wedding vacation – his wife cant cope with the city & he has to go elsewhere looking for a job or it could be that we never find a house with a balcony big enough for a rocking chair.
SO the key is not to procrastinate. Not to make two independent events dependent on each other and make that dependency as a reason for delay in checking off our bucket list. Also life is uncertain so we need to take action in the here & now. And take that action believing that even if not perfect, this is a Near perfect moment & then just get on with it.
At the end of the day, it is a choice we make – either to act now or decide to wait for something else to first happen. And guess what, in the meantime – precious time would be lost & life would have passed you by.
So remember – it is all in the NOW. And awareness of this fact is the greatest agent for Change !

#Takingactionseries #decisionfatigue

“Reduce Decision Fatigue and make your days happier and more Productive”


This week I want to talk about decision fatigue. Nope, it is not a psychological or academic concept but the phrase we use just so often in our life, every day in various ways & languages.

As human beings we are gregarious. We like to be in groups. We are by nature social beings & we like company. And in the process we start becoming dependent on people in multiple ways for multiple reasons. And nothing wrong with that coz that’s just how we are created & wired.

Each day we are required to take various small & big decisions as we go through a day. The size or impact of that decision could be large or infinitesimally small. The big decisions ofcourse need careful thinking and educated dialogue. It’s the smaller ones that I want to talk about today.

In deciding whether to get an unplanned hair spa after a hair cut, or whether to put a red or a yellow bedspread, whether to offer the watchman some chai (what will others think of me), whether to drive or take a taxi, if a taxi then should it be uber or a regular cool cab, whether to get rustproofing or wax polish during a car servicing, whether to service the car at all now since it is making some noise or wait till the next free service date arrives, whether to wear that sexy top today or a more sober one, what should today’s menu look like, do you have the ingredients to make the menu, whether to call that person or just send a message, whether to be the first to call after a date, should I write about this topic or another, should I organise the kitchen cabinets this weekend or the next, should I buy those shoes online I love but don’t need or the cushion covers, whether to watch game of thrones or finish the last episode of Mad Men, whether to, whether to attend to emails first or take a quick look at Social Media, whether to have that glass of wine or eat only a dessert, what should the main course be, do you feel like a starter etcetra etcetra. And most of all on most days I start my day with decision fatigue – whether to snooze the alarm or spring up ( I need to change this) ..but unknowingly this decision fatigue goes on ..wether to ..wether to…whether to

Our days are full of such decision making. And the thing with decision fatigue is – it saps you of mental energy and leaves you on a low fuse & high on irritability. Unlike physical fatigue – decision fatigue is not obvious , you are not conscious of being tired BUT you are low on mental energy. And that explains why a lot of reasonable sensible rational people end up doing & saying a lot of irrational things.

So how do we navigate our day without letting DF creep up on us.  Ofcourse there are no magic wands that will immediately fix this for us. But what we can start doing is things that don’t need thinking, identify and stop them now. Breakfast every Monday can be the same & every Tuesday be the same – figure the dishes for the 4 weeks and stick it on the fridge. Keep one day of the week for the surprise meal or the junk meal. Set one day of the week or fortnight when you get the maid to clean all the corners instead of labouring over it daily. Decide that this one hour – it will only be work on the projects & email & no “quick looks” on social media

Simplify your choices. Plan a bit. Keep the less important decisions to be made later in the day. Make the more important ones in the morning. And most importantly stay consistent. Good Luck. xoxoxo