Review of the book A feast for Vultures: The hidden Business of Democracy in India.

This one one of the book, I finished at a single go. Though the author is journalist the content is easy to read and I trust the editor has taken a lot of efforts to make it easy to read.

Coming back to this book. If you want to know how the system (the state) works, this book is essential primer. The books starts with a classic rural village and the trials of a village activist to get a road to his village. You would know a lot about Indian villages after reading this first chapter. Did you know over 56% of rural Indian population in India still don’t have electricity. Unbelievable

The central chapter talks extensively about the airline industry which was born out of liberalisation. Remember East west Airlines? The owner was gunned down one evening outside his office. Also the meteoric rise of Naresh Goyal the billionaire behind Jet airways. #Imho the chapters on the airlines is the best part of this entirely fabulous book.

It talks about how the Judiciary has over 3 crores pending cases, which might take 320 years to dispose off. This is crazy isn’t it?

The books then heads over to central India into the business of mining and coal blocks. It talks about Jindal and Vedanta and a bit about the rich billionaires owners behind these corporations. It has all the details but the scope of the books is not to delve deep, but to give an overview of how corporate power works in India.

To sum it up.

It’s a quick read, you can finish it over a weekend or a couple of weekends. The book ends on a positive note. Read the book to find out.

Btw the way the author Josy Joseph is one of those great journalist. He has done some extensive investigative journalism on Adarsh and Common wealth games scam.

Amazon Link – http://www.amazon.in/Feast-Vultures-Hidden-Business-Democracy/dp/9350297515/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503158407&sr=8-1&keywords=A+feast+for+Vultures

About Josy Joseph – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josy_Joseph

Advertisements

Are you on the side of Good Billionaire or Bad Billionaire ?

The top 8 richest people of the world have net worth of the 50% of the population of the earth, That is about 3.5 Billion people.

As per Economist Ruchir Sharma who wrote the Book “Breakout Nations”. There are good billionaires and bad billionaires. He says the number of good billionaire should be always more that the number of bad billionaires.

Good News

Everybody is worrying about Economic inequality. Economist Jeremy Rifkin says marginal cost of production could come down to zero. This means most of the legacy business would become defunct and lead to more egalitarian society.

Manage your energy not your time.

Time management is passé. The new productivity mantra is about managing your energy and time takes care of itself. If you observe, most critical task don’t take more than 30 minutes. But yes, preparation, planning, de-cluttering , organising are time killers.
If you have the strength of body and mind, you can do a lot in a day. The mind tires the body and vice-versa. You have to make sure, you give energy to your body and your mind.

I have realised giving energy to your body with food could be counter productive. Don’t you feel down right tired after a meal which is oily and greasy? Food remains the most effortless and pleasurable way to boost your energy levels. When our energy levels drops low, our blood sugar levels drop signalling the brain to suggest to us, we need to eat. We all don’t have a planned diet which can give us the critical energy.

Here are some ways you can increase your energy levels, without indulging in a heavy meal.

1) Do a short warm up –

I always do a warm up yoga. This boosts my energy levels and I am able to get my metabolism going to digest a meal. This means I don’t fall a sleep after a meal and remain alert.

2) Some breathing exercises

Breathing is a great way to increase your metabolism, calm your mind. In only a minute of focussing on your breathing we begin to recover our energy.

3) Standing Desk –

I have realised, standing and working on my MacBook is tiring. But I am more alert because of the pain. So I try to finish my tasks as soon as possible.

4) Taking short naps –

I have trouble sleeping. Most days I don’t get good sleep. Somedays I have to lie down in the afternoon or even as early as 11 am for 15 minutes, to get my energy levels up.

5) Reading

Reading is like a reset switch for your mind. If you are mentally fatigued. This is a great technique to get the mental juices flowing to nourish your mind.

There are other things which are dependent on external resource to help to boost your energy levels for e.g..

1) Counselling –

Talking to a competent authority about your problems.

2) A personal trainer

If you have some one who can guide you through a series of physical exercise to aleivate your pains. This could be wonderful.

3) Massage Therapy

Our Body craves for touch. Its the like the food for our stomach. Great way to boost energy levels.

Let me know, if you have any personal hacks to manage your energy levels.

 

No Notifications

I got my peace of mind. In the age of white noise, everyone needs to know how to find their peace.

Here are the actions I took in last month to maintain my sanity

 

1) Stop the incoming notifications –

a) Don’t take unscheduled calls and meeting requests.
Scene – A colleague needs to release his frustrations, he Whatsapp’s you. You spend half and hour talking to him, to make him feel better. The consequence, is you miss out on a timely deliverable which you agreed. The client gets furious, as she has paid you upfront. You apologise and throw in some freebies.

WhatsApp is the deadliest tool of all social tools. Please mute for all notifications. I did, and I am much happier. This is not foolproof because when you need to check a important message and see 2/3 frantic messages from your friends. You are going to ne tempted to read them.

I dislike to use WhatsApp for business, but after many years, I installed it. Every client requests for a WhatsApp number. It has become the replacement for Fax. There is no other ubiquitous tool and some people who came on the internet after 2005 think WhatsApp is the email.

Enough Ranting on whatsapp. 

 

b) Macbook –
My macbook is my place of worship, I make serious shit here, like writing this blogpost, which I decided to finish in an hour. Writing takes 30 minutes and editing takes another 45 minutes. But I will cheat on the editing time.

Macbook has a handoff feature where you see your Ios notifications plus your apps and browser notifications. Which add to the distraction to work. First thing you do is toggle to DND mode.

This is not adequate since you might still accidently go to Facebook or twitter. This could be taken care with Freedom and Cold Turkey apps. They block these websites, which might make me loose focus.

c) Three Tasks per day.
I use Focuster app to focus on one task at a time. The concept of focuster is that you can do to the best of your ability 3 task every day. In Focuster, you can list and schedule these three task and make sure, you finish them. This idea has made me
immensely productive.

d) Ipad –
Never use multi-screen when you are working. Hide your Ipad when you are on the mac. But if you do lighter tasks on the Ipad. You need to to mute all the notification. I have muted all notification except the one’s in the notification center.

Freedom app can block all your websites, and can make you go hysterical, so I suggest you go slow, and build a separate block lists as per your priority.

e) Iphone –
I make it a point to avoid all unscheduled calls. Even if its the most trivial of conversation, I use one of my AI scheduling assistant like Amy or Cortana to set up a time for the call. This works 90% of the time. Pre-digital generation has trouble accepting this protocol. One of my friend in his 70’s, felt hurt when I told him, that you need to take an appointment to speak.

2) Psychology of Focus –

 


a) We get stressed when the INPUT > OUTPUT.

When the amount of work is more, then the input is greater than the output. You will get stressed. We need to deliver quality work, and one cannot do over 3 or 5 tasks per day. But our todo list which goes in the 20’s. There are also demands from Bosses and colleagues.

b) Prioritise –
This is where prioritisation kicks in. We rationalise how much we can deliver every day. I fixed mine at 3 fantastic jobs per day. You can do maybe 5. I am talking about work which needs skill and energy, not tasks like tele-calling. I am speaking about serious managerial work.

c) Put your foot down –
You choose what you can do. One cannot manage the input, but can sure control the output of your work, right? Ignore all pressures from anyone to deliver, you are accountable to yourself and no one else.

%d bloggers like this: