Semi-regularly, I’ve been doing something I called “Paper Therapy.” The idea was simple: “Write on paper till your brain has nothing left in it.” This stupidly simple idea has often been miraculous in helping me clear my mind and think of ideas or options that I was unable to
I was struggling with focus in the past week, and I needed a refresher of the basics. So I was looking for reading a new book that I haven’t read before, and luckily there was a free one – the Focus Manifesto by Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.com fame. The
At Barcamp Bangalore 10 on Saturday, I talked about GTD, Pomodoro and Productivity: NOTE: If you have trouble viewing the web version, there is also a PDF version of my slides. I was nervous when preparing for this talk because it is not a concrete topic, it’s something abstract
I recently read the book The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande – a respected surgeon, noted author, MacArthur fellow, New Yorker staff writer, and a professor at Harvard Medical School. The premise of the entire book is the author’s dive into the concept of a checklist and how they have
81 people have asked me about “Innovation – ways to make people innovate.” That’s a hard question. Especially because I’m always wary of using such an ambiguous term. And more so, when there are far more qualified people to answer out there. Since I have been asked the question,
Cal Newport, one of my favorite bloggers ever, wrote about the upside of deep procrastination last week. I had a few thoughts on the subject. So what is deep procrastination? You know you’re in it when “No matter how dire the stakes, starting work becomes an insurmountable prospect.” I
Update on 5 Oct, 2012 : Still on Mac applications, but now using the free email mailbox option of my domain registrar Gandi.net + local Thunderbird email folders instead of Rackspace Email. Desktop apps are better for frequently used stuff. No matter how many times web apps lure me into “available
Listening to Seth Godin say “What you do for a living is not be creative, what you do is ship” reminded me of the The Cult of Done manifesto: If you find the image inconvenient to read, here’s the text: 1. There are three states of being. Not knowing,
– Work – Resolutions Life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans. I got sidetracked by struggling to make a business. But don’t regret it for even a moment. Learned a lot about the real world. Changed from being a meek guy who liked to hide behind
The irony in this world is that “To get somewhere, you already have to be there.” From an individual perspective: * If you want to make money, you need to already have money. * To get a job, you need to be one-year experienced and not a fresher. * If you’re experienced
I think of this weblog as a small place for me to write. The reason I write is because I have this innate implicit belief that I learn only by teaching. In hindsight, that’s why I wrote those books and that’s why I keep writing in this space.
I was reading the The Favorite iPhone Apps of Five Geek Rock Stars and did not find it useful, because it was mostly about games or things that apply to people only in USA. So I was wondering if I had my own list. Stanza My most favorite application is
Attention Span I started using Twitter as an experiment, and it was the first and only social network I really participated in. It was great because I actually made new friends that I went on trips with, got the opportunity to follow the thoughts of interesting people, and whenever I
The Idea A couple of months ago, I was going through a “productivity drought.” I used to repeatedly bounce between tasks. I couldn’t concentrate enough. Work was suffering. I thought to myself “Just how bad is the situation? Can I quantify it?” Then I started using a very old
Reading a book is fun. If you have to do a review on the book for the newspaper by Friday, it becomes work. Writing code is fun. If you have a deadline next week, it becomes work. Spending time with that special someone is fun. After tying the knot and
Here is a typical day of someone who sent this to Caterina Fake: This style of working is explained further in “Don’t Multi-task When You Can Use Chunking”. What does your day look like?
I have been reading personal finance-related blogs for a while now. But due to obvious reasons, it had become very important to have proper habits so that I have a healthy personal finance, and hence I started doing more research on it. But what is personal finance? I like how
I just finished reading “Idli, Orchid and Will Power”, the autobiography of Vithal Venkatesh Kamat. Just a few days back, a friend was telling me that the famous Utility building Kamat restaurant in Bangalore no longer has quality food and hence no longer a popular place. I read this book
Ever since I read about how Arif Vakil uses a “My World Mindmap” to organize his life, I started using mind maps. It is such an utterly simple concept but yet I still find it fascinating. If you don’t know what a mind map is, think of it as
About six months ago, I had stopped reading all RSS feeds because I wasn’t managing my information input well. Over the past few months I was slowly creeping back into the same RSS habit and I didn’t like it. The biggest problem for me was seeing that unread
Prof. Sadagopan has an interesting take on how the mobile phone is evolving and how he views its relationship with the PC: In the GSMA World Congress in Barcelona during Feb 16-19, 2009, Acer (the laptop manufacturer) launched four (mobile) handsets under the brand name “Tempo” Last week Nokia talked
A big question that keeps coming up for an attention-deficit person like me is “How do you get into the flow?” There are two things that work for me and I find them at loggerheads against each other. The problem is that it has been difficult to stick to either
I read Outliers, The STORY of SUCCESS by Malcolm Gladwell last week and found it fascinating. Here’s an excerpt: Cultural legacies *matter*, and once we’ve seen the surprising effects of such things as power distance and numbers that can be said in a quarter as opposed to a
Most of what I learned about programming was during my first year at Yahoo!. I wrote so much Perl code and dove into naive attempts at distributed computing, and the like. I was pretty proud of my code and that I put in hard work, and was vindicated when I
A list of blogs I read has been published in the Mint Lounge newspaper on 13-Dec-2008 Saturday. Read it online on the Mint website or in the epaper section. Thanks to Sidin for asking me to write this and publishing it in Mint. Unfortunately, as typical of newspapers, my words
If you want to make new friends, there is no use in just saying hi to people, something of value should be exchanged or there should be a common activity. That’s when they become friends. Real friends. I’ve added a page on my wiki to list the type
Ever since college days where I got hooked onto the Internet, I have been an avid reader of self-improvement websites and books. I used to prowl for content, before the advent of lifehacking and productivity websites. I eventually stumbled upon good websites like 43Folders.com, and my friend Pradeep cajoled
When making a website, there are simply so many aspects to consider. I’ve been gathering some useful links and information on the same, right from How to Evaluate a new Product Idea to choosing color schemes. I’ve put all of these links together into a Website Making Howto
I’ve been pondering about specialization vs. generalization in terms of career skills. I have this notion that I should be a maven, should be an expert at something. But yet, I mostly do things that are the very opposite of this idea. Since I don’t tend to be
Working from home full-time is a different experience than we are used to. You make or break things, there’s no one asking about your progress and there are no deadlines. It’s all up to you. My productivity has varied a lot during this time and I was wondering
Imagine a conversation with your doctor that goes like this: “What do you do for work?” the doctor asked me at the beginning of the interview. “Well, I’m trying to start my own social movement.” (There was a long pause, but he didn’t ask anything else about that.
Today, I re-read a book called Super Crunchers: How Anything Can Be Predicted by Ian Ayres. So what is supercrunching? Now something is changing. Business and government professionals are relying more and more on databases to guide their decisions. The story of hedge funds is really the story of a
Long ago, a wise friend I used to know once told me that humans have many kinds of needs – physiological, emotional, etc. Along with these, there is also the need to fight. I’ve been thinking over and over on how true this is. Or whether it is just baloney.
One of the hard lessons that I have learned this year is “Always remember Carpe Diem“. The corollary is that “If you don’t execute on your idea quick, someone else definitely will.” For example, long back Vikram had this idea that there should be a company which takes care
Philipp Lenssen recently had a good post on tips on information overload by various people. It got me thinking about the various tips and tricks I’ve imbibed in the recent past and which work reasonably well for me. So I tried to collate them into one place: Email * Always
From Philip K. Dick’s 1978 article “How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later” (emphasis mine): The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must
One fine day, I was running by myself. It was a few weeks before Barcamp Bangalore 5. I got an idea that I should talk about a non-techie topic at Barcamp since I’ve been giving tech talks for the past few years and I wanted a change of pace.