The Haja Sheriff Blog

What can I start today that will benefit me for a lifetime?

Posted by in Time Management

This is an article by Abu Tyas Tungal in Medium.com. It is a fantastic article best read in more detail if you find this useful.
https://medium.com/spaceship/what-can-i-start-today-that-will-benefit-me-for-a-lifetime-fc54acd89b1b#.bu26aa8lp

 

There’s two types of work according to Cal Newport in Deep Work. There’s deep and then there’s shallow work. Shallow work arises from the internet. Social networks have eaten up our attention span and deleted our ability to fix our mind on anything for long periods of time. Think of shallow work as the tasks that anyone can do, right away with almost no training. It’s simple work ladled with interruption. Using Twitter and replying to emails while you write.

I don’t know about you, but this is a serious issue for me. I am desperate to find a solution to address this issue. This article was a very relevant topic for me. The concept of doing “Deep Work” appeals to my sense of doing something well.

The key learnings that I take away and I recommend you read through in this excellent article are –

1. Forget Time Management – think Attention Management. We, who multi-task, are told to look at task management as the way to succeed. The muscle we need to be building is “Attention Management”. 

In Deep Work, Cal outlines four types of deep work. Namely monastic, bimodal, rhythmic, and journalistic. Each fits a different situation. It depends on your schedule. Deep work is part art and part science. Take what works for you and throw away the rest.

2. Deep work is hard. It is time-consuming. It is deliberate. 
3. Find your “Ikigai” – The Japanese concept of “the reason for being”. It is a lengthy process and will require deep introspection. But finding it early in life will give you the moral compass to target your actions.

     

     

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Gratitude – 4 steps to say thank you

Posted by in Blogging, General Interest, Motivation, Personal Brand

 

My mother passed away in 2013. After 35 days in a leading hospital in Chennai. She had gone in for a complicated but not a life-threatening operation. In my opinion (unsubstantiated, and entirely emotional) one of the doctors was responsible for her condition post her operation. But that is not the point. She went into a coma on the 9th of December. She never came out of the coma.

But during those days, I observed how the doctors and nurses in the ICU took care of her. They were selfless, committed, and took care of her as if she were their own. But they made the last days for her, and for us, her family, a bit more manageable. Our doctor friend in Bangalore who kept advising us and giving us moral support.

But she still passed on. A couple of days after her last rites, we made a tough journey back to the hospital. My wife and I went and met every doctor who took care of her, the ICU staff, the nurses and even the receptionist we had got to know during her stay there. We thanked each and every one of them personally. If my mother were alive, she would have wanted it that way. That is the way she was. We felt it would be tough.

But it changed me that day. We saw doctors and nurses tearing up, and thanking us for coming back and acknowledging them. One of them told us that very few people come back to the hospital, let alone thank them. I don’t know what it felt like for them, but we felt lighter and happier.

There is a lot in life to be thankful for. If we ever took the time to think, we would realise miracles happen around us all the time. People who touch us in many ways. And there are those who work in our offices that we interact with, day in and day out. The peers who have helped us when we needed help. The Administrative staff that went out of the way to assist us with a meeting room for that very important meeting. There are always reasons to thank a person.

Being thankful for others. To show our gratitude to the people who supported us. Acknowledging their efforts in our lives.

Genuinely.

When was the last time you took time off to thank someone for what they did for you?

Not just a thank you in a formal manner. But a heartfelt thanks, explaining how you felt about what they did. How it was helpful for you, and why you appreciate the time and energy they took to support you.

Here are four tips on saying thank you from your heart. And making a difference to the other person.

  1. Mean it – Whatever you do, mean what you say. Look at the people who helped you, into their eyes, shake their hands, smile and thank them. Wholeheartedly.
  2. Say it – Explain the background of what you were going through when the other person stepped up to help. Saying “the why” in detail and explaining how you felt, makes the entire experience that much more authentic.
  3. Do it – Say it in a way that matters. Personally. Or by email, if it is someone who is far away. Call them if you need to. Irrespective of the medium you pick, just do it.
  4. Often – Become the channel through which positive energy passes. Touch people’s lives in such a manner that they feel compelled to pass it forward to other people who have helped them as well.

Go ahead.

Make someone’s day.

Be part of a movement.

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Delighting a customer…

Posted by in Books, Business, General Interest

 

Recently I had written an article on finding two gems… one of which was Grammarly. In fact, I wrote it and forgot about it post that. Imagine my surprise when I get a mail from the Grammarly team where they thanked me for referring their product in my note.

I believe this is an excellent example of great customer experience where I feel good about the product, and they add on top of that and delight me by acknowledging my comment.

The product is good (I am sure it will become better). The value it provides is significant. And to top it up with customer engagement like this makes the engagement that much more delightful.

Read more about their review here – https://www.grammarly.com/review

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Achieve your potential #496 – Be an Encourager

Posted by in Attitude, Leadership, Management

 

I had a co-worker in my earlier company who would find faults with everything. Everything. Living and non-living. Movable and immovable. Everything had something was worthy of error. And it stressed him out so much, that he would be depressed about just about everything. And worse, make everyone else around him depressed.

This barrage of negative messages happens in everyone’s work life -every day.

I have also seen employees in my career who are the exact opposites. They typically find something positive even in darkest situation. They reach out and talk to people who are struggling. Support them and encourage them. They bring positive energy whenever you meet them or see them. They make a big difference!

The world needs such people. Because there are so few of them around.

Let us work towards building a new habit. Most of us can live this positive life.

Become an Encourager!

Reach out to team members and encourage them. “I can see you are doing an excellent job”, can do wonders to a person’s day. Someone who is down and out, let them look at the stuff they have done well. Focus their energies on

Here are tips that could help you get started –

  • Be specific – It is important to be precise and specific when you encourage people. People can relate to what specific comments and not find general comments relevant.
  • Be genuine – Any encouragement needs to come from the heart. Don’t say things you don’t mean. Just because someone needs encouragement does not mean they can’t see someone who is lying. Make every comment you make genuine to the person.
  • Be timely – Offering encouragement when people need it works better than doing it later.
  • Appreciate them formally to their boss and write a note on their work. 
  • Tell people how they’ve encouraged you – Tell anyone who has touched you in some way. They will appreciate it and gives them a boost of confidence. 
  • Be random – This is nothing something you want to put in your calendar (10AM-11AM- Plan to encourage two people). Encouragement should be random and should be done anytime during the day (or night) and anywhere.

This is an opportunity to make a difference.
To people around you.
To yourself.

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