We live in an age of abundance. There’s too much of everything today – too many commitments, too much work, too much information – too much stuff pulling our head from every direction. The only thing we don’t have is: time. One great challenge we face today is to find time for everything, for all the various activities life throws at us, from day to day chores, to stuff we’ve taken upon by ourselves, to stuff given to us by others, all stuff we cannot run away from. If all we have is 24 hours, how do we cram all this work into it? How can we make the best use of the 24 hours given to us? In other words, how can we be most productive?
Archives for August 2012
Organizing means identifying various buckets to store your actions and support material.
For Non- actionable items:
- Trash: If something is determined as unnecesary to your workflow, trash it.
- Someday/Maybe: – The incubation bucket – If not sure when you want to get something done – save it here. Ex: want to learn guitar? But not sure when – put it here.
- Reference: Any information/documents/material you want to store as reference, put it here. Ex: project notes from the last client meeting (which might be necessary for the next meeting).
I woke up to the news of molestation & groping of a woman, in public (which just walked by), in one of the states in the country. I went out of the house, to get milk, into the lane past a stinking, overflowing dumpster and drainage, stray dogs & flies abound. I got ready and got onto my bike to go on ‘pothole-ridden-road-crush-my-bones’ journey. Suddenly, a bike rashly took over me and when I shouted out to him to go slow, he stopped his bike and patiently picked up a fight with me, using the choosiest of ‘gaalis’ (being rude is in fashion these days), oblivious to fact that it was his mistake, and that he was also jamming the traffic. After I inhaled enough pollutants to reduce a day’s life in me, I scrambled to leave the main roads to take a by-lane through the university I studied. I came across an agitation on ‘sons-of-the-soil’ notion by the students. They said I didn’t belong here (but I thought, being an Indian gave me the right to ‘be’ wherever I want to be, but, obviously times are a’ changing, and I was out of sync with my times). I move on, and drove past a political party house littered with banners of progress and promises of prosperity, remembering this was the same party accused of scams (obviously the cattle didn’t need the grain to eat, they did) the last year. I then passed the assembly which remembers the father of the nation only three days a year and that too because ‘he still sells’ (even today). I halted at a traffic junction and saw an old lady barely able to get up, begging for a morsel of food to get her through the day — we all gave her a rupee to ease our guilt ridden selves. The govt. hospital I crossed on my way was already teeming with bleeding patients standing in line for checkup as doctors fought for rights to boycott the mandate rule (by the govt.), to serve in rural areas. I then travelled through a communally sensitive area filled with cops to prevent any untoward incident. Something reminded me of an argument I had with a good friend of mine over the necessity of violence, which I lost (I supported non-violence, if you were wondering). By now, the journey took a toll on me, and I stopped at a cafe where a ten year old boy served me with tea and biscuits. I wondered what was his future. I wondered what was my future. And, I still wonder what is my country’s future.
About six months ago I found myself embroiled in what would be a life-changing thought experiment. After having spent some time with a paper and pen mapping out some big projects that were (supposed) to bring me closer to the precipice of success in life, another question burned across my mind: what would a successful day look like? In other words, how would success be defined in terms of the next twenty-four hours, instead of trying to define it from the nebulous long view of a whole lifetime?
- James Shelley
Do you ever wonder why we live? What’s the meaning of life? Is there anything more to life than getting up in the morning, drinking coffee, going to work, and sleeping? Sometimes, life seems so devoid of meaning, so empty. We look for reasons to live, we try to define life, to make some sense out of it. Like a person ready to drown we desperately look for something to cling to. I’ve been searching for a long time. Soon, I realized it is a never-ending quest. But, in my search I saw two patterns of answers popping up: ‘Reach god’, ‘Serve others’. I somehow could not accept the both. I don’t believe that god created us so that we can find him again. I don’t think we are playing hide & seek with him. Neither do I feel serving others is the meaning. How will serving others make me happy? A noble notion, no doubt, but incomplete. Then what is the purpose of my existence? What’s unique about my life?
Abe Lincoln once said, ‘the best thing about life is, it comes one day at a time.’, and that’s the worst thing too. Problems when they arrive, don’t go away soon, they linger on and we are painfully aware of each passing moment. We despair. With each passing day, hope slips away. Shadows looms large with no light at the end of the tunnel. We want to give up. Hang our boots. Just accept failure. In these times, his words inspire me, speak to my heart,”it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”. I wipe my tears, pick up my sword, and join the fight.