Daily Observations

How You Should Be Managing Time?

“Time is not measured in minutes nor seconds. It’s measured in the things you do with it.”

Time...

In other words, you can have all the minutes and seconds you want, but if you don’t use it to accomplish something, you might as well not have it to begin with.

We go through our days with numerous tasks that require our attention. And we usually deal with them by allocating chunks of time from whatever amount of time we assume we will have in that particular day. I say assume because realistically, you can only guess how many hours you will have to attack these tasks. There is a possibility that you might get into a car accident and you will spend the rest of the day in the hospital. So, we always tell ourselves that we’ll have 15 minutes for this meeting, 30 minutes to write that report, 1 hour for the lunch appointment so on and so forth. We are very good at managing time this way- by allocating tasks to a specific duration of time. This time-for-tasks allocation is a quantitative approach to manage your priorities.

I believe there’s a better way around that. Of course, it would require some un-learning on what we’ve been taught. We may not need to check all that task in the to-do list. After all, many of the things in our life would not need the same quality of attention that we’ve been giving them. Maybe a qualitative approach to the way we spend our precious hours would make more sense. Instead of starting off with how much time to allocate for each projects, how about we figure out first which projects would make give us a better sense of satisfaction and accomplishment? Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to bake apple pies. But as you look at your calendar, you might realize that you barely have time to slot in any 60 minutes baking lessons for the weeks to come. And this is when you should start looking into those menial tasks that is gnawing your time away and possibly replace those slots with baking lessons.

We can always make time for the things that we love to do. But if we don’t remind ourselves the goals that we want to accomplish on a daily basis, it’s very easy to let other parasitic tasks slip into our schedule.

Go ahead and list down all the things you want to accomplish by end of the year, and stick to it. Remember, the goal is to do the things that will make your life more enjoyable.

2017-04-07T03:59:47+00:00 March 27th, 2017|Daily Observations|0 Comments

Experts are Dangerous

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Experts connotes superiority and credibility. When the source of information comes from expert, we are very inclined to believe them, even more so when the expert’s last name is followed by a long list of credentials

And we would be foolish to question the experts. They’ve gone through so much trouble to produce the facts that you are reading now- extensive research, long period of observation and funded heavily by well-established corporations

Only problem is we don’t often get to evaluate or read about these experiments, or at least it’s not explained in a way that it’s easy for the average Joe to understand.

When in doubt, we always take the expert’s word for it. Even Mum could sometimes be wrong.

2016-11-24T02:53:54+00:00 November 24th, 2016|Daily Observations|0 Comments

Reboot

It’s been quite a while since I wrote anything on this space.

There’s always an excuse for not doing something, but let’s just say writing on Meshio.com has become a low priority. And why am I getting back here now? Maybe I find Facebook too much of a distraction. And Twitter is too restrictive. But I find that I do need to get back to writing, as part of a mental exercise.

Let’s see how this goes.

2016-11-22T14:38:07+00:00 November 22nd, 2016|Daily Observations|0 Comments

Training vs Education

It’s easy and actually quite common to interpret that both training and education means the same thing. But as we shall read it from Thomas E. Ricks, the author of The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today, training and education is 2 very different things:

Training tends to prepare one for known problems, while education better prepares one for the unknown, the unpredictable, and the unexpected.

Training is very much like a step-by-step exercise repeated continuously to achieve an expected result. Think of it like a simulation with predefined objectives, with the set of challenges known and familiar to the participant. Usually, it’s also expected for the participant to engage training exercises within confined rules and regulations. The desired outcome is when the participant becomes very competent tactically in the given challenges.

Consider another scenario where a Susan, a six year old child, is enrolled in a coloring exercise. In an effort to train her to become very good at coloring, she was told not to color outside the lines. Next, she was told that she must color based on the example given (the objective). The grass must be light green in color. The sky must be blue. The trunk of the tree must be brown. Any variations from the example, the exercise is considered a failure.

Everyday as part of her training regime, Susan is given new coloring exercises and taught many different coloring techniques to achieve the desired outcome. And these exercises are often repeated until she masters the technique, which is evaluated by how close her results are to the examples given. Eventually, she becomes very skillful in most of the coloring techniques and she can reliably reproduce the outcomes that is expected of her. Susan is now a very well-trained colorist.

Next, we look into the realms of education, which may sound very similar to training but is essentially a very different form of cognitive exercise. In education, you are given a lot of contextual information. In our coloring example, the child is taught about primary, secondary and tertiary colors. She also learn about warm and cool colors complementary colors. She is also taught that black and white are not really colors (this is a highly debatable topic, depending on which color theory you are coming from). She also learns how colors affect our moods and give meanings to our every lives.

In short, education seems like learning a whole bunch of theories, so much so that the student sometimes would start to doubt if it’s really necessary to be so educated in the practical world we live in. However, it is only with a good understanding of theories, an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter and a habit of constantly questioning the status quo that we can hope to confront the unpredictable and randomness of real-world challenges.

Training puts you in a box and asks you to give your very best within the boundaries. Education informs you that though the problem is about the box, the solution is likely outside the box.

If your sixteen year-old daughter told you that she was going to take a sex education course at high school, you might be pleased. What if she announced she was going to take part in some sex training at school?

Jay Cross, credited with inventing the term e-learning

So, are you well-trained or well-educated? Maybe you have the best of both worlds :-)

2015-10-08T02:09:05+00:00 October 8th, 2015|Daily Observations, Productivity|0 Comments

Stop Blaming the World

Came across a great quote from one my random reading adventures:

“A man only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile, and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his life. And he adapts his mind to that regulating factor, he ceases to accuse others as the cause of his condition, and builds himself up in strong and noble thoughts; ceases to kick against circumstances, but begins to use them as aids to his more rapid progress, and as a means of the hidden powers and possibilities within himself.”

James Allen, As a Man Thinketh

Makes me want to read more from this author now. It sounds a little too philosophical from my average selection, but I have had enough of serious biographies for the past few months.

Often times, I have observed how people are quick to point at others the moment shit hits the fan. I am guilty of this too. But shit don’t get wiped off from the fan no matter how hard you point at others. In the workplace, it’s very easy to witness such episodes.

I somehow believe that condemning failures is the main reason why finger-pointing becomes the most practiced exercise in the cubicles. We have been trained since young that failures is something to be shunned at all cost. We must not allow failures and all that training we get about the 101 ways to avoid making mistakes. And deep down in our subconscious, we fear failures almost as much as death itself. Worse yet, some even start to make up stories (read: lie) to cover up for their mistakes, which is a lot more effort than owning up to it. These make-believes don’t exactly help us to become a better person. hey just make us better liar.

That’s also not to say that we should blame ourselves for everything that went wrong. People get depressions because of this. It’s important to know accept the fact that we cannot resolve all the challenges around us. The idea here is to at least stop passing the buck around, take control of the situation and act on it. Even if we fail, it will be very likely we will put ourselves in a better position than before we started. So while we cannot get a perfect ten in every life’s challenges (which is impossible in my opinion), at least we are above the average because we keep working at it.

Like one of my school teacher used to say (I can’t give him credit because I couldn’t remember which teacher actually said it), “While you have one finger pointing at others, you have another four pointing back at yourself”.

2015-07-11T13:12:20+00:00 July 11th, 2015|Daily Observations|0 Comments