Lockdown Dairy – March 27th

Lockdown Dairy 1 –

So I thought I should buy chicken and other essentials. I tried looking for an online source, but the couple of ones I know were shut down.

I reached the cold storage. The shop owner said he doesn’t have chicken. But has something else, I wasn’t interested. Then he asked me if I have run out of food, I said no, I am just sick of dal chawal.

He said, why are you risking your life, If you are alive you can eat chicken all your life. We are open because we are essential services. I think he had a point. I walked back home after buying some milk and vegetables.

There was another driver of a madam, Madam insisted the shopkeeper get on the phone so she could instruct the shop owner. The shop owner refused to touch the phone. The driver was helpless, the shopowner had to speak on speakerphone.

Meanwhile, I have a cough for several days. I don’t have a fever, every morning I wake up with a cough, it takes cups of masala tea and latte to get the cough down, the stomach is grumbling. I worry, never been so paranoid.

Lockdown Dairy 2

So the other day when the PM announced the lockdown, I needed to buy my multigrain bread. I reached the store and there was only one man ahead of me.

But the one store guy was busy on the phone. I was getting impatient, then a zomato guy comes and stands very close to the guy ahead.

I remind the zomato guy on social distancing, he gives me a sick look and goes out of the store. I tell the store guy to drop the call and ask the lady to come to the store and pick up herself.

He hands the phone to the guy ahead of me, it was his wife instructing and asking about the stock. The husband was frozen with fear, I apologised to him and I said I didn’t know it was his wife.

He looked at me blankly. This is when I realised, the panic that was there in men. Men are worried sick about running out of food for their families, women are even more worried, as they play the role of the nurturer.

Hopefully, after this 21 days of lockdown, when the Ro goes below 1. We will get back to a bit of normalcy. Things will never be the same. The partial or complete lockdown might go on if cases in India go exponential the Italy way.

Lockdown Dairy 3

The death of Chef Cardoz, made me scared in the stomach. He was a successful and reputed chef. He left Mumbai on 8th of March for NYC. On 18th he reported fever and got hospitalised. In about a week he was dead.

He was not a senior citizen, he led an active life. The virus knocked him dead in a week?? How powerful is this virus! So far I was thinking, that it is only severe for the above 70 age group.

But now it seems, anyone is susceptible.

Lockdown Dairy 4

The Indian Health system scares me, but I have a friend in Amsterdam who says the Indian health system is better than the dutch one.

She has experienced it. She gave me how once she and then her mother received good treatment in an ordinary hospital in Goa when on vacation.

The dutch are going for herd immunity on the strength of their robust health infrastructure. I think it is a kind of bais, I don’t know if this has a name. Many Bhakts say that we don’t appreciate our own country, we are not Nationalistic enough.

We appreciate the west and think they are better and superior. Why can’t there be a quantitative and qualitative study about how we measure upon with the rest of the world?

It will at least give us the metrics which we need to improve and where we are good, we can think of how to become better.

Multi-Tasking is better for Productivity

I am sure, I am the only person who claims that Multi-Tasking is better for Productivity. This may be my subjective truth of what I witnessed. We all know, time management is a defunct concept, the state of art of productivity expert will tell you, you need to manage your energy instead of your time. _Before I explain how multi-tasking made me more productive, let me post a brief on energy management._

Energy Management

The idea is you match the task or the thing you want to accomplish by matching your energy. Suppose you are most productive and focusses in the from 4 pm to 6 pm like me, then do the task with most complexity at that time.

How Multi-tasking makes me more productive.

I used to believe like the traditional wisdom suggests do one thing at a time. This got my brain very tired. I would feel bored or sleepy with focussing on one task at a time.

Why I felt bored and sleepy while single-tasking

The thing is when I am focussing on one task, they are persistent knocks on my brain reminding of ideas, and inspirations at the threshold. If I don’t listen to these persistent knocks of ideas and inspiration while trying to focus on the most important task. My brain gets tired because those ideas and inspiration are consuming my mental energy while I am trying to ignore them. So let those ideas and inspirations come in and possess you. Now ideas excite us and all those tiredness of the mind is history as the energy that was held back is now free and you are taking actions on the ideas and inspirations knocking in your brain while you were focussing on the single task. This has made me quite a difference to my workflow. I feel I am able to tick off more work in a day and I am moving towards my goals faster than when I was single-tasking. This blogpost idea came to me when I was reading an article on Economy and drinking my latte.

Please note – This multi-tasking habit of mine is just a week old. So results might take some time to show up

Multi-Tasking
Photographer: Andreas Klassen | Source: Unsplash

Life Lesson’s learnt in 2019

December end was crazy work wise. You could say there was a revolution. A revolution which changes the paradigm. So excuse me for coming up a 2019 round up blog so late. But I think I should share some important lessons I learnt in 2019.

Realised my value

I realised I have been under selling myself for years. I never felt the need for any pretence, but then being naive and ignorant and thinking the other person will give you value for what you are worth could be too much to trust in the other.

It never occurred to me, how i could undersell myself. I blame myself for the same, as I have not done my home work and never bothered to position myself well in the social and competence hierarchy.

Jealousy

You might find this unbelievable. So far in my life, I have never really felt jealous about anyone consciously. But 2019, I saw myself getting jealous of people. Also I realised I am not jealous of people who have bigger cars or more material stuff. I am jealous of people who are better communicators, people who have that hallow that they have made sense of the world.

I don’t feel bad about this, in-fact I feel joy that these are the signs that I am becoming competitive. I am measuring myself to some people out there, who are much ahead of me in the race. It is pushing me to improve my communications skill. It’s making me think about all the things which stack up to make someone an excellent communicator.

Discovering the process of chasing Objectives.

I was feeling overwhelmed for years, I wanted to do all. But this year I discovered a framework called OKR’s. It stands Objectives and Key Results. Companies like google, intel have been using that to meet their objectives. Then I dived deep in to SCRUM a process management system and finally now I am learning how to execute by a system called 4DX (The four disciplines of execution).

Feeling Empowered

Finally I feel I am getting a bit of a handle on my work! God why did it take so long for me to get my house in order. But this is just the start. Lets see what lessons are waiting in 2020.

Why the “Number of Books I read” in a year is not the right metric.

I have been reading many articles on “how to read more books” or “how I read 50-75 books a year”. I think this is an incorrect metric to measure.

For starters – Some books are good in parts and not whole.

Why do I read –

It usually starts when I am trying to solve a problem. The end of 2019 I was struggling to set my Objectives and Key Results for my business. I partially read books by Joh Doer on OKR, and then a book on SCRUM by Jeff Sutherland. Now I had gathered some ideas how to set up Objectives and Key Results, and the process ( here scrum) on how I could go about achieving my KR.

But writing your Objectives or Goals and executing is two different things. I needed to know how do I executive or plan my tasks so I can inch everyday closer to my objectives. So I dropped the two books I was reading and jumped to a third books called “4 principles of execution” or 4DX.

I usually purchase about 50 books a year, but as per my GoodRead’s profile I have completed on 19 of them. I leave books at various stages. My time is more valuable, and the moment I have got the gist of the book I move on. I don’t want to finish the book for the sake of ticking it read.

Also, I do listen to audio books. It is easier and faster to read audio books. Books which are not cognitively heavy are best suited to audio listening. So in case someone only listens to audio books, they might be read much faster than a person who is reading a book, taking detailed notes and tagging them or creating flash cards for revision. In the latter case the person will finish less number of books but will retain more values than a person who reads 4x the number of books.

Measuring by the number of words read

If we could measure our learning, the number of words read would be a much better metric. Second order measurements like the number of notes taken, the number of times the note has been revised or converted into a flash card would also be a more accurate representation of our learning progress.

This measurement could be done by Kindle or some notes app like readwise. But I agree it is much cumbersome to do such measurements and until then we will keep seeing click bait articles about “How to read one book a week” or “How Bill gates reads 100 books a year”. I am seriously turned off with such articles on medium and other blogs. Hope we get some serious lead measurement which aligns with our goal.

If my goal is to become a coder, the most significant reads will be the book on coding or programming and not some books on writing.

Are you sure you are a male or female?

Post modernism has thrown many ideas, but none of them are so challenging to our basic understanding of human biology as “Gender as non-binary”.

Gender as non-binary

So I was talking to the principle of a media institute, they had a “Queer Talk” event. The poster had a woman called Yogesh, she asked her students if there was a spelling error, the person whose name was “Yogesh” looked like a women. The students explain that it is not a mistake. The person is a trans.

The principal then tells me that she came to know there are 38 genders. Do you know that you are supposed to address the trans with the gender pronoun of their choice or zher or zhim or play safe with they.

Gender is a social construct

The postmodern idea is there is no such thing as male or female. Gender is a socially constructed phenomenon and it is the prerogative of the individual.

Outrage

Ofcourse there is frustration on this issue. Jordan Peterson (the most infamous Canadian Professor) who decided he is not going to change pronouns. His opinion is that the post modern intelectuals who had started from a well intentioned position, but the idea has been completeley miscontrued. Another professor Jonathan Haidt explain that students in elite colleges in US are mollycoddled and get easily trigged by speech.

It is a complex issue. I am keen follower of this movement.

Image – Courtsey – out.com