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 was 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 mornings 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. (Ho Hum)..
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 instead. Why don’t I harmonise my daily activities in a way that they jive with each other rather than struggle to compartmentalise and 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 (make an effort to memorise that I need to write it at the end of my run or on a note-pad in my phone and get to it after my jog is over). This allowed for creativity to flow (I feel very cool using the word “Creativity” for myself given that 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 struggling and then finally finding that hour to listen to your favourite podcasts, or reading or listening to a book, 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 ROTI (Return on Time Invested) 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!

Now lets look at the HOW part – there is No silver bullet or one size that will fit all. Each of us and what we are seeking and how badly are we seeking it, varies. And so will our speed, acceptance & agility. SO – first assess where are you on the “how badly do you want it” Scale. This will define the momentum you need to build.

Once you have figured that, next is the mental talk to yourself, that the “How” to making this ecosystem is not complex or does not involve giant steps. The key is to take note of what task is coming in the way of what you want to do and fixing that “task” or challenge is actually your task at hand first. So mindfully identify what are those things – for example is it running the washing whilst you could be reading a book you have been waiting for or preparing dinner while you could take a short energising nap, replying to chats instead of pushing yourself towards writing that piece you had been wanting to. The tasks themselves could be completely unrelated but one appears like a hurdle, coming in the way of what you want to do.
SO..

1. OBSERVE & NOTE : Spend a few days just observing WHAT were these “hurdle” tasks and towards “WHICH” tasks did they appear as hurdles. WRITE them down – even if it is 4 word sentences – but do write it – as it will distil your thinking process

2. UN-HURDLE – Now it’s time to UN-HURDLE ! – You do. Identify how could these “Hurdle tasks” be addressed – Start by first asking if the task could be completely eliminated (I know it sounds a bit extreme but remember you are taking an extreme measure here at creating your ecosystem). If it CANNOT be eliminated then ask could some advance planning help, co can they be un-hurdled could asking for help assist, or can it be done later – afterwards. Sometimes the answers will be yes & at other times a No. Either way you now know exactly WHAT the “Hurdle Tasks” are.

3. JUXTAPOSE – List all “WANT TO DO TASKS” in column A – “Hurdle Tasks” in column B & “UN-HURDLE” method in column C – which is your baby step forward

What you WANT To DO HURDLE TASK UN-HURDLE
Read a book I have been wanting Put the washing on Just do it if no clean clothes in the closet
Take a Nap Prepare for Dinner Maybe some Advance Planning. Figuring best way to plan the week’s menu & read up some easy tricks for doing prep work and storing it
Go for a walk Waiting for a delivery to arrive first Ask for a (possibly) neighbour or friend’s help
Complete downtime – Just watch some telly and not talk to anyone People around you who wouldn’t shut-up You can say you just have a massive headache
& need time to recover (wicked..but it is not a crime 🙂 The universe did not just give you a black star – so RELAX !

The KEY is to CRACK-ON .. So start to create your map that works for you. One day at a time. One moment at a time. One Breath at a time.

Happy Heart

Love..P

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Passionate

Passionate

In my books, pedantically speaking, and in the more practical university called Life, Passion for me has been an ongoing journey. Taking a step forward and sometimes sideways to view things from another lens but advancing nonetheless, watching, listening, absorbing, the occasional fall & the quick stand-back-up act of dusting off & carrying on.

Being passionate does not always have to be a high amped emotion, something I thought for a large part of my life. It is an ongoing process, the daily taking of small & what may seem as inconsequential steps at the moment, it the bit by bit building of the life one wants to carve out. On certain days it can only be reflection and introspection, just taking stock of your goals & how far have you progressed or if you have moved at all. And other days it could be like a dead man’s ECG report (as long as that is not yours), it is okay !

It is okay to have days of quiet and days of excitable moments when it is hard to sit still and on other days sitting still is the only option amidst high energy frenzy of an F1 race track. Passionate moments can take different hues and different tempos.

A burst of creativity or a spurt of clever ideas alone whilst can fire passion up, may not be enough to sustain it. Passion is an ecosystem we build, moment by moment carefully crafting these moments with love. And an integral ingredient of passion is fun. I personally find it easier to absorb and deal with things when it is not all too serious. So it is of great merit in bringing out our sociability and meet with people who we believe can add value to our lives, to attend trainings and lectures that help us get out there where we want.

Taking and informed decision about things that baffle us are like strengthening the base & the walls of our passion and passionate lives. And having a few Gin o’clock moments is the added streak that often helps in churning some intellectually great ideas and sometimes even the elusive clear thinking.

So a penny for your passion or plenty for your passion … is a call only you can make & life you can create for yourself !!

#takingactionseries

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 !