10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy: Part II

10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy: Part II

By 10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy – Part 2

 6. Hanging on to old beliefs

Take a few moments to listen to your inner soundtrack when you read or hear what others express. Notice that you have your own beliefs working as a filter or a lens through which you see and listen. Do you have an “always” and “never” mentality?
This is when you have a belief or statement that you use to generalize everything you experience. I won’t list too many of the common typical statements here but they resemble:
“People can’t be trusted.” (Or a certain sect of people can’t be trusted.)
“It is very hard to succeed.”
“Birds of a feather flock together.”
“Once bitten, twice shy.”
“I never win.”
“I always get sick after XYZ.”
It is the habit of generalizing where you make things either “good or bad”, “right or wrong” and you live in judgment. This is a double-edged sword as you will apply the same harsh rules to yourself. There is no middle ground.
Ease up and cut yourself and the people in your life some slack. Things may not be exactly as you see it. Your beliefs may be outdated and dis empowering. Give life a chance and learn to trust a little.
Here’s what Tony Robbins says, “All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs. So how do we change? The most effective way is to get your brain to associate massive pain to the old belief. You must feel deep in your gut that not only has this belief cost you pain in the past, but it’s costing you in the present and, ultimately, can only bring you pain in the future. Then you must associate tremendous pleasure to the idea of adopting a new, empowering belief.”

Every opportunity I get, I remind people that they are good enough, to be, do and have whatever it is they truly desire. “I am good enough” is the mantra to replace all the others that don’t evoke positive emotions in you.
In order to truly start embodying the new belief, you have to add action based on it. Not doing so, will only feed your old limiting belief. For example, if you had a belief that you are broke, you need to do something every day that shows you that you are wealthy and blessed. Take small steps to help breathe life into your new powerful beliefs.
Notice too when your thoughts and comments are extremely one-sided and judgmental. When you look through the filter of your beliefs, you can’t see both sides of the coin. Use the acronym W.A.I.T. (Why Am I Talking?), and take a few minutes to view the situation from different angles.
7. Not keeping your relationships in good repair.
Not giving affection to the special people in your life and giving too much time to the people who sap your energy.
We cannot deny that the people in our lives have a great influence on how we feel and we need to choose wisely. If you have a helper or employee who manages to upset you or bring out the worst in you, first, look at yourself and see if you are deliberately keeping this person in your life because you want a punching bag, or if this person perhaps is mirroring attributes about yourself that you are ashamed of and try to hide? If you can be honest that it is neither, then you can either change your attitude towards this person or you can also choose how much of power and time you’d like to give away to them.
More importantly, nurture the relationships you love. Make time daily and even several times a day to connect and GIVE love to the people you care about. Instead of waiting for them to show you appreciation and care, why not give it? The only way to have more joy and love in your life is to BE loving and joyful. Watch that your communication with loved ones is not always about getting them to do things or complaining to them.

 8. Ignoring your health 

This includes binge drinking, smoking or eating. It also includes always making excuses or postponing exercise or being healthy, thinking you are enjoying life and will be healthy later or tomorrow. Realise that you would enjoy life more if you looked after your health. Not making time for exercise is just making time for illness. Keep pace and maintain a sustainable lifestyle so that you can live it for the long haul with balance. It takes only a few weeks to form new habits and tastes. Even something like sugar, after a few days of drinking tea or coffee without it will get you used to the taste and you will start enjoying it. Exercising every day too, once you stick with it for the first few weeks, you will feel more uncomfortable when you don’t! Create healthy eating and exercising habits that will last you a lifetime. When you are older, you will thank you for it. Start today, if not now, then when?

 9. Having unrealistic expectations of yourself 

Having unrealistic expectations of yourself and others is the surest way to kill your joy. You just can’t lose 10 kilos overnight (even Lipo takes time). Your relationships won’t improve without your loving energy and dropping most of these killjoy habits. You won’t be able to pay off $32k debt in a week. Your new business won’t be profitable from Day 1. So be kind with yourself, be realistic and give 100% effort and then accept where you are with the faith that you are getting there, slowly but surely.
10. Entitlement issues with others
Your family doesn’t owe you anything, your friends don’t have to pay for your drinks, your child may forget to acknowledge your help. Your brother may not buy you gifts, your partner may not remember your anniversary. No one owes you anything. The sooner you accept this, the quicker you will take responsibility of your joy and become adept at creating it in your daily life independently! I believe that Emotional Independence is one of the most important skills you can learn.
Instead of always setting people up to fail, make crystal clear requests of them if you really want something and if you still don’t get it, check your communication skills and also learn to give more to yourself by yourself, so that you don’t feel your joy is dependent on anyone else. Being selfish is a word that has been misused.
Looking after yourself and doing things everyday that make you smile, whether it is playing or listening to music or taking a walk or even playing scrabble, look after YOU and GIVE yourself permission to have fun! Balance isn’t about staying in the centre. Even a car cannot move forward in neutral gear. It is about swaying from side to side. Be kind with yourself and acknowledge your efforts to replace your killjoy habits with joyful ones.

 Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock photos/ Getty images

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25 Ways to Make a Girl Smile

25 Ways to Make a Girl Smile

By | posted Jul 15th 2014 at 6:00AM

 

Ever noticed how a little puppy only has to wag his tail and nudge you with its tiny paw to make you smile? Well, winning a girl over is that easy. You don’t need to have a funny bone or a romantic vein in your body; to make a girl laugh all you need is a sincere wish to see a big, bright smile on her face. Here are 25 ways to make a girl smile.

1. Surprise her with a nice dinner when she comes home. If you don’t know how to cook, then order her favourite dish from a restaurant.

2. Sing her to sleep. Let her feel like a child.

 

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3. Send her a cute text while she’s sleeping. So when she wakes up, she’ll wake up with a smile.

4. Call her beautiful, instead of pretty, cute or gorgeous.

5. Go out for a stroll. Hold her hand while walking.

 

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6. Have a date planned out so all she has to do is look good and show up.

7. Sneak up behind her, hold her around her waist, kiss her softly on the neck and tell her you love her.

 

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8. Randomly send her a text telling her you miss her.

9. Bring her flowers for no reason at all. Not just when you’re in trouble or on Valentine’s Day.

 

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10. Make her a handmade card.

11. Buy her a pair of earrings or anklets. Then every time she wears it, she’ll think about you and smile.

12. Give her a bear hug.

 

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13. Play with her hair.

14. Hold her hand while crossing a road. Open the door for her when you enter a restaurant.

 

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15. Set a special caller tune for her.

16. Give her a foot massage or a back rub.

17. Take her best friends out for coffee / dinner. She’ll appreciate your gesture of getting to know her friends. Also, the compliments her friends will give her for being so lucky to have a thoughtful boyfriend like you will make her gloat.

 

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18. Support her ambition.

19. Don’t get jealous of her guy friends. Don’t impose a rulebook of dos and don’ts on her. This will let her know that you trust her completely.

20. Spend a night watching a movie and cuddling instead of going out with the guys.

21. Slow-dance with her even if there’s no music.

 

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22. Write something romantic on her Facebook wall. Seeing her friends get jealous will secretly make her happy.

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23. Unexpectedly, tell her one thing you liked about her the first time you met her.

24. Tell her how much you love her. It doesn’t hurt to be expressive once in a while.

 

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25. Begin a sentence with, “Next year on your birthday…”, “Next Christmas we’ll…” or “Next rainy season we’ll…” This will let her know that you’re serious about this relationship and that you’re in it for the long haul.

Do you know any other way to make a girl smile? Leave us a comment and let us know

Courtesy: idiva.com

10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy: Part II

10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy: Part II

By | posted Jul 21st 2014 at 11:17AM

10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy – Part 2

 

6. Hanging on to old beliefs

Take a few moments to listen to your inner soundtrack when you read or hear what others express. Notice that you have your own beliefs working as a filter or a lens through which you see and listen. Do you have an “always” and “never” mentality?
This is when you have a belief or statement that you use to generalise everything you experience. I won’t list too many of the common typical statements here but they resemble:
“People can’t be trusted.” (Or a certain sect of people can’t be trusted.)
“It is very hard to succeed.”
“Birds of a feather flock together.”
“Once bitten, twice shy.”
“I never win.”
“I always get sick after XYZ.”
It is the habit of generalising where you make things either “good or bad”, “right or wrong” and you live in judgment. This is a double-edged sword as you will apply the same harsh rules to yourself. There is no middle ground.
Ease up and cut yourself and the people in your life some slack. Things may not be exactly as you see it. Your beliefs may be outdated and disempowering. Give life a chance and learn to trust a little.
Here’s what Tony Robbins says, “All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs. So how do we change? The most effective way is to get your brain to associate massive pain to the old belief. You must feel deep in your gut that not only has this belief cost you pain in the past, but it’s costing you in the present and, ultimately, can only bring you pain in the future. Then you must associate tremendous pleasure to the idea of adopting a new, empowering belief.”

Every opportunity I get, I remind people that they are good enough, to be, do and have whatever it is they truly desire. “I am good enough” is the mantra to replace all the others that don’t evoke positive emotions in you.
In order to truly start embodying the new belief, you have to add action based on it. Not doing so, will only feed your old limiting belief. For example, if you had a belief that you are broke, you need to do something every day that shows you that you are wealthy and blessed. Take small steps to help breathe life into your new powerful beliefs.
Notice too when your thoughts and comments are extremely one-sided and judgmental. When you look through the filter of your beliefs, you can’t see both sides of the coin. Use the acronym W.A.I.T. (Why Am I Talking?), and take a few minutes to view the situation from different angles.
7. Not keeping your relationships in good repair.
Not giving affection to the special people in your life and giving too much time to the people who sap your energy.
We cannot deny that the people in our lives have a great influence on how we feel and we need to choose wisely. If you have a helper or employee who manages to upset you or bring out the worst in you, first, look at yourself and see if you are deliberately keeping this person in your life because you want a punching bag, or if this person perhaps is mirroring attributes about yourself that you are ashamed of and try to hide? If you can be honest that it is neither, then you can either change your attitude towards this person or you can also choose how much of power and time you’d like to give away to them.
More importantly, nurture the relationships you love. Make time daily and even several times a day to connect and GIVE love to the people you care about. Instead of waiting for them to show you appreciation and care, why not give it? The only way to have more joy and love in your life is to BE loving and joyful. Watch that your communication with loved ones is not always about getting them to do things or complaining to them.

 

8. Ignoring your health 
This includes binge drinking, smoking or eating. It also includes always making excuses or postponing exercise or being healthy, thinking you are enjoying life and will be healthy later or tomorrow. Realise that you would enjoy life more if you looked after your health. Not making time for exercise is just making time for illness. Keep pace and maintain a sustainable lifestyle so that you can live it for the long haul with balance. It takes only a few weeks to form new habits and tastes. Even something like sugar, after a few days of drinking tea or coffee without it will get you used to the taste and you will start enjoying it. Exercising every day too, once you stick with it for the first few weeks, you will feel more uncomfortable when you don’t! Create healthy eating and exercising habits that will last you a lifetime. When you are older, you will thank you for it. Start today, if not now, then when?

 

9. Having unrealistic expectations of yourself
Having unrealistic expectations of yourself and others is the surest way to kill your joy. You just can’t lose 10 kilos overnight (even Lipo takes time). Your relationships won’t improve without your loving energy and dropping most of these killjoy habits. You won’t be able to pay off $32k debt in a week. Your new business won’t be profitable from Day 1. So be kind with yourself, be realistic and give 100% effort and then accept where you are with the faith that you are getting there, slowly but surely.
10. Entitlement issues with others
Your family doesn’t owe you anything, your friends don’t have to pay for your drinks, your child may forget to acknowledge your help. Your brother may not buy you gifts, your partner may not remember your anniversary. No one owes you anything. The sooner you accept this, the quicker you will take responsibility of your joy and become adept at creating it in your daily life independently! I believe that Emotional Independence is one of the most important skills you can learn.
Instead of always setting people up to fail, make crystal clear requests of them if you really want something and if you still don’t get it, check your communication skills and also learn to give more to yourself by yourself, so that you don’t feel your joy is dependent on anyone else. Being selfish is a word that has been misused.
Looking after yourself and doing things everyday that make you smile, whether it is playing or listening to music or taking a walk or even playing scrabble, look after YOU and GIVE yourself permission to have fun! Balance isn’t about staying in the centre. Even a car cannot move forward in neutral gear. It is about swaying from side to side. Be kind with yourself and acknowledge your efforts to replace your killjoy habits with joyful ones.

Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock photos/ Getty images

20 Easy Tips for Saving Energy at Home

LuminaStock / iStock / thinkstock.com

 

 

 

20 Easy Tips for Saving Energy at Home

 

Saving energy is not only important for the environment, but also vital to save money on the electric bill. These quick tips are easy to implement and do not require extra “energy” from homeowners. Save the planet and increase your pocket book with any of these 20 easy-to-implement tips for saving energy in the home.

Unplug Electronic Devices
When the device is not in use, be sure to unplug it, or at least turn it off. Phone chargers, coffee pots, and lamps are easy to unplug and re-plug. When left in the socket, electronic devices pull passive power from the socket, in preparation for it turning back on.

Change or Clean AC Filters
Around once per month, be sure to check your air filters. This keeps the system running optimally without fighting through dust and dirt.

Turn the Thermostat Off…
…or on auto when you’re not home. Leaving your machine in the on position uses energy nonstop, whereas putting it on auto will keep the house cool, without upping the bill.

Tune-up the AC Device
Many companies will also give a rebate for making sure the device is running smoothly as inefficient systems lead to costly electric bills.

Add a Rug
If you have wood flooring, consider adding a rug. Carpets and rugs insulate a room’s heat, thus keeping a room’s temperature a little more regulated.

Don’t Block Air Vents
Unfortunately, the best place for your couch sometimes just so happens to be on top of the air vent. For the most cost effective and efficient air flow, allow the air to flow unconstricted instead of fight, against couches, furniture and dressers.

Gradually Increase the Thermostat
In the summer, keeping the temperature a little warmer makes it work less, resulting in cheaper bills. If you like it cooler, when you get home keep it cold, but slowly increase the temperature a few degrees before bed. In winter, you can try just reversing this, decreasing the temperature a bit over a few hours to conserve energy.

Keep the Thermostat Consistent
When heading on vacation, it’s best to keep the thermostat at the same temperature. During the winter months, keep it lower, around 60 degrees. This keeps the system working, although not hard, and avoids the risk of damage due to the frigid temperatures. In the summer, keep it a little warmer than normal, that way you’re not wasting air conditioning on an empty house.

Use Motion Detector Lights
For all outdoor lighting, at least. Instead of leaving lights on all night when there’s no movement, put them on a motion detector. Plus it helps to scare away potential intruders.

Dust the Fridge Coils
In the back of the fridge, there are some coils sticking out. This ensures the refrigerator is working more efficient without dust blocking the energy and airflow.

Keep Refrigerators at 32 to 38 degrees
If you keep it under 32 degrees, you might as well just get a big freezer. If you keep it over 40 degrees, most things will spoil (especially dairy).

Cook with Copper Pans
Copper has a very high thermal and electrical conductivity rate. Therefore, it makes for an extremely effective cooking implement. You can use lower temperatures and it’ll cook as well as a higher temperature steel pan.

Use Cold Water
While washing your clothes, be sure to use the cold setting. Not only does this avoid shrinking, but it’s cheaper than heating up all that washing water.

Turn Down the Water
While brushing teeth and soaping up hands and bodies, either turn off or decrease the pressure of the water. This drastically reduces the use of water and energy, especially with hot water.

Let Your Computer Sleep
Go into your computer’s power settings (for Windows go to the Control Panel, and it’s either under the Screen Saver options, System Security, or Performance and Maintenance), and change the display sleep and computer sleep settings. What you change it to depends on personal preference, but the defaults are rarely the best option. For all personal electronics, be sure to completely shut them down frequently; keeping them on 24/7/365 wears them down faster than they could be.

Look for the Energy Star Label
Most electronics and devices such as televisions and microwaves, even rooftops, can be Energy Star certified.  These certified models are at least 30% more efficient than non-certified labels.

Use Burner-Sized Pots and Pans
Using a small pot on a larger burner drastically loses heat. Using a large pot on a smaller burner requires much more energy to heat the pan.

Hang Dry Clothes
Not only does this completely bypass the dryer, and energy, it’s also easier on your clothes.

Turn Off Your Water Heater
In addition to changing the thermostat, while away on vacation or for several days try turning off the water heater. This saves energy while away—plus water generally reheats within one hour of turning the on switch.

Clean Full Loads
This includes dishwashers and washing machines. If you fill up the dishwasher only a quarter of the way, most models still use the same amount of water as a full load. So fill them up all the way and save some energy.

LuminaStock / iStock / thinkstock.com

How to Improve Your Efficiency at Work

improve_efficiency

Image courtesy: © Thinkstock Photos/ Getty Images

By TNN

There is way too much going on around you and inside your mind. It’s no surprise that attention makes only a short appearance in the day and is hard to sustain. Our experts tell you how to rise above the distractions and improve your efficiency.

One thing at a time
You are working on a project against a fast-approaching deadline and your boss comes and hands you another to complete. In the middle of this, your wife calls and asks you to help out with an address she cannot find. Your target is to complete these three tasks, say, within an hour. Multi-tasking would mean you giving 33 per cent of your efforts to each of the three tasks and the quality of output will be low for all three tasks with more time spent on each of them. Life coach Captain Vinod Nair suggests you prioritise what is most important for you. “By doing so, you will be giving 100 per cent of your brain to one task at a time, focusing on it and accomplishing it twice as fast,” he says.

Fast five
Whenever you are in the middle of a task and are tempted to give up, push yourself to do ‘five more’. This means don’t switch off, instead wait five more minutes, read five more pages or work five more minutes. Doing this will help build mental stamina just as sports persons push past the point of exhaustion to up their physical strength. When your mind is finally giving up, insist on reading a book or writing a project brief or solving a balance sheet problem for five more minutes. This will build mental endurance over a period of time and help you accomplish a given task with greater ease.

See and feel, really
Artist Frederick Franck said, “When the eye wakes up to see again, it suddenly stops taking anything for granted.” Your mind may be wandering through a hundred random thoughts, but it always knows to treasure a great sight. So when your mind is far away, it will help to look around and for a change, actually see everything around you. Admire the painting on the wall, revel in the beauty of the sculpture that has always escaped your attention, or just look again and closely at a loved one you tend to take for granted. This will make it come alive in your mind’s eye. Having white noise in the background such as instrumental music will help you ignore the more distracting stimuli from your surroundings.

Recharge with eustress
Nair advises indulging in activities that boost the eustress, which is basically the good stress. “You can feel eustress after engaging in a challenge, riding a roller-coaster, watching a scary movie or having sex,” he says. Eustress doesn’t carry the same type of damage as chronic stress. In fact, in the state of eustress, energies of the mind are highly focused and organized during which you can pull off tasks with competence. What also greatly aids concentration is the glucose metabolism in the brain, which is at its peak after breakfast. Concentrate on the most important or difficult tasks during this time.

To do or not to do
Fix a time in the day for worrying. When you are about to begin a job that needs your complete attention, worries tend to float into your brain. Tackle your brain’s never-ending preoccupation by telling it what to worry about and what not. Just remind yourself that you will worry about that unpaid bill exactly at 7 pm, and not now. To-do lists alleviate your brain’s anxiety — once written, you’re free to forget them. Assign every task a strict time-span. Tell yourself, “For the next 30 minutes I will focus on formulating the client brief for tomorrow’s presentation at office,” is a better bet than worrying about the worry. That said, taking short breaks between demanding tasks helps keep your mind alert. “Even a short break of 5-10 minutes every two-three hours improves efficiency of the brain with sustained attention,” says Dutta.

Rewire your brain
Just before you start, focus on your breathing for five to 15 minutes each day and it can make a significant difference to your attention spans in everyday life.From the experiments conducted on those who meditate, Dr Varsha Dutta, consultant clinical neuro-psychologist at Dr Balabhai Nanavati Hospital, found that meditation increased activity in the brain regions used for paying attention and decision-making. “The experiments have shown that people who meditate, which is a mindfulness technique, are able to switch attention between tasks more efficiently than people who do not. Meditation has rewired their brain processes in such a way that their attention spans have increased more than average.”

Two hemispheres
When the communication between the two brain hemispheres is efficient, you are able to accomplish tasks with greater attention and proficiency. Scientific experiments have shown that horizontal movement of the eyes from left to right while watching a target on the move for at least 30 seconds can help improve communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Try this type of eye movement by watching a certain car move in the traffic.

Procrastination
Stop putting off tasks and errands by simply asking yourself these questions whenever you are about to postpone any work: Do I have to do this? Do I want it done so that it’s not on my mind? Will it be any easier later? The answers to these will give you an instant check on how this task will keep getting counter-productive the more you delay. And oh, the guilt of not getting it done, that will make its home in your head too.

Author: Ankit Ajmera

How to Use Mobile Apps to Increase Efficiency

how_to_use_mobile_apps_to_increase_efficiency

How to Use Mobile Apps to Increase Efficiency

By

Next generation smart phones help professionals work better and quicker. Today’s working professionals, who are constantly wired in and on-the-go have found a ready ally and valuable resource in their cell phones. Next generation smart phones, fully loaded with every sort of application imaginable, are supporting professionals in working better and quicker. “The advent of the smart phone has made our lives so much easier. There are numerous mobile apps for every purpose possible which ensure that you are always wired in and in touch with ongoing projects, to the extent that you can manage entire projects from your cell phone,” explains Megha Moorthy, who works in the business development team of an IT company in Hyderabad.

The apps transcend a variety of purposes, right from networking to data transfer and storage, managing tasks and keeping updated with industry and current news. “Quite simply, it’s like this. Whatever office related task you are doing, there is an app somewhere that will help you do it faster and better,” smiles Moorthy.

Stay Up-to-Date
“The one app I simply cannot do without is the Economic Times news app. It’s extremely important to be constantly up-to-date with all that’s happening in the industry, competition brands, the business world in general, and the app allows me to do that easily,” says Bangalore-based digital marketer Siddharth Raman, who works in the alcohol beverages industry.

For those who are tired of reading dozens of different magazines and newspapers simply because they don’t want to miss out on anything, Flipboard is an excellent app. Flipboard allows you to select specific publications and news areas (for example, technology, stock markets, politics) to create your own customised news digest.

Don’t Miss: Bollywood Actors & Their Fancy Gadgets

Better Collaboration
There are countless apps available to help you stay better organisedand hence be more efficient in your work. Arvind Rongala, marketing manager at Invensis, a leading business processes outsourcing company in Bangalore, says, “I use Evernote for taking notes, maintaining a to-do list, creating reminders and archiving the same. The app allows me to seamlessly collaborate with my marketing team as well.” Rahul Shitut, who works with an organisation in the real estate sector in Mumbai, agrees, “I use Teambox extensively. It is a great help in task management. Tasks are organised under task lists for various projects. There are features that allow delegation and time-tracking as well.”

The Mint app is widely used in the professional world for tracking expenses and accounts. Anuradha Jhaveri, brand manager at a leading FMCG organisation, elaborates, “The app allows me to track all the transactions involved with my brand on a daily basis. I have set budgets under various heads and Mint lets me know if I am reaching the allotted cut-off too quickly, or how much of the budget allocated is available. You can also customise the app to know when bills are due.”

Apps also help easy sharing and storage of data. “I use Google Drive, a fantastic app from Google on a daily basis. It helps my team and I to edit and share documents within the group, keeping everyone updated of the most recent changes,” explains Rongala.

Connect and Network
Professionals are also using apps to connect, network and converse with contacts in the business world. Rongala, adds, “I use the LinkedIn app extensively to interact professionally. Additionally, we have a company page on which we post interesting topics and recent news articles. This helps us reach the right audience and achieve higher online visibility.”

Seemingly basic social apps are also being leveraged by professionals. “I use Blackberry Messenger and Whatsapp to communicate with my professional contacts. It helps work get done quickly, as it is easy to seek small clarifications or get status updates on the job at hand instantly,” explains Raman.

Efficiency and Ease
Copy2contact is an interesting app which instantly and intelligently creates contacts in your phone from texts and email signatures. This eliminates the unnecessary and tedious manual keying in of contacts and ensures that your phonebook is constantly updated automatically. The Docusign Ink app is the world’s first personal electronic signature. “My organisation uses this app extensively. It saves the effort of having to print, fax, scan or courier a document for signing, speeding up the whole process. Even if individuals are traveling, it is not an issue, as we use Docusign Ink,” says Moorthy.

For the ones engaged in the creative fields, Paper is an app which allows you to sketch, draw, write or colour-and put your ideas into images. The app is particularly helpful to explain concepts which cannot be effectively explained only through words.

Mobile apps, if leveraged properly, are a powerful tool in the hands of working professionals. It’s no surprise then that more people have turned to relying on their frequent use to be able to work better, faster and more effectively!

Image courtesy: © IDIVA.COM

How Working Women Should Find Their Way Forward

women_time_forward_image1

A multi-tasking women is always a winner

HOW WORKING WOMEN SHOULD FIND THEIR WAY FORWARD

By

 At one of my motivational talks  on “Women, Work and Leadership Development” at a prominent IT company recently, I was approached by a timid young woman who stayed back after her colleagues had left, to talk about her very challenging situation. Turns out she had delivered a baby four years ago and had to give up her job so that she could raise the child. She had recently come back to work but struggled to cope between being mom and employee.

It is the same old problem that all of us women face – being pulled in different directions by the competing demands of our careers, guilt over leaving our kids so we can go to work, and the mind numbing fatigue that takes over body and soul from constantly being on the treadmill.

While most women at the talk listened, some terribly boyish young men ones and some middle-aged ones too, sat through the entire event as if none of it concerned them. Kids? Home? PTAs? What has it got to do with us, was very clearly the attitude.

My heart went out to her a bit when she said that despite the fact that this is not the first time and will certainly not be the last time that I have heard this story. Young women meets man of her dreams, marries, children come along, family responsibilities follow and before she knows what hit her, her career is on the back burner while she feeds  and burps the baby, changes diapers endlessly, and struggles to look reasonably sane while all this is being achieved.

Don’t worry too much about it. It will get better. The kids will be grown up before you know it and you will be free to pursue your own goals – I said. You have to just hang in there and keep the faith.

As a very young mother I had struggled with all of these and emerged triumphant in spirit, raring to go. Being a work- from -home journalist taught me time management, prioritisation, discipline and the merit of delegating some stuff. Supermoms and tiger moms end up burning themselves out and that is no good for anyone, especially themselves.

Admittedly I lost my younger years without any ‘me time’ – I never went to the spa, bought myself glamorous clothes or pampered myself with holidays. I know a few women who insist it cost them their marriage because who wants a hag who smells of baby vomit, right?

At a panel discussion on the journey of power women from being bosses at work to moms at home, veteran banker and CEO of investment bank Moelis India, Manisha Girotra, charmed the audience when she spoke of being terrified of having to live without a nanny at home to look after her daughter. “I might be the boss at the workplace, but at home the nanny is the boss”. Girotra spoke of guilt over missing chunks of her only daughter’s life, but said the trick is to be there for key events. “You miss some of the good moments but it does not kill you,” she said.

Capgemini India chief Aruna Jayanthi told her daughter early in life that she had a career and would not always be present for PTAs or birthday parties. Either she or her husband is present in the city at all times for their daughter and Jayanthi’s mother has been the chief nurturer since baby was three weeks old.

“If there is one country where it is easy for a woman to work, it is India. My colleagues in other countries such as France are jealous of what we have here, supportive parents and in-laws.”Jayanthi said.

Both these ladies provide crucial support so that their women employees can simultaneously fulfil their career aspirations and be primary nurturers at home.

At Capgemini, flexible hours is the buzz word, and employees can choose the hours they work to get the job done. Jayanthi herself burns the midnight oil after the child has gone to bed.

It is alright for a woman to take a couple of years off from work to raise their toddlers. “If they are confident and talented, they will always find employment. Corporates lose big time when trained talent stays at home,”Jayanthi said.

Yesteryears superstar, Sridevi came back recently from a 15- year break while she raised her two daughters and says she enjoyed the process, getting the kids ready for school, preparing lunch for them and being there when they returned home.

Both Girotra and Jayanthi insist 50% of the new recruits at the organisation are female. Capgemini provides mentoring programmes for women to seamlessly get back to work after a break.

Most women leaders who I interviewed for Leading Ladies, including Axis boss Shikha Sharma and HSBC India head Naina Lal Kidwai credited the loving support of parents and in-laws for their successful journeys.

Girotra has a useful tip for working women doing their trapeze act – Take each day at a time, put support systems in place to step in for you and keep going. Be stubborn, be strong and you will eventually master the act of being boss and mom all in one!
To Mom, with Love! This May, we at iDiva.com, are going all out to show our moms we care; and we want you to do the same! So join in the celebrations as we show you how to make this Mother’s Day super special with the best gifts for your mom, the best places to treat her, great mother-daughter bonding ideas and more. While you’re at it, write a letter to your mom to tell her how much you love her, and get featured on iDiva.com!

Courtesy: © idiva.com

The Secret to Balancing Career Success and Happiness

the_secret_to_balancing_success_and_happiness

While work is important, you should not let it encroach on personal time.

All work and no play never made a bright professional! This may be a slightly different take on a popular saying, but holds very true in the life of most professionals today. Never-ending work hours, ever-increasing work-load, being on-call 24×7, the smartphone syndrome, lack of exercise, little or no existence of a social life are the most common reasons for working professionals burning out at a very early stage in their career.

As long as you’re working, juggling the demands of your career and personal life will probably be an ongoing challenge. Consider these ideas to find the work-life balance that’s best for you.

Maintain a to-do-list: If you start your day at work by listing down the tasks on your plate, it will help you prioritize and get time-consuming tasks out of the way.  Taking a small break before moving on to the next big thing on your to-do-list works wonders and increases efficiency. Remember, late hours in office, don’t always reflect as hard-work and may be an indication of low efficiency.

Strike a balance: To be successful and happy at the same time, it is important to maintain equilibrium in all aspects of life – time for work, family, friends and most importantly, yourself. It’s all about prioritization. While work is important, you should not let it encroach on personal time. After exiting office try not to check your email every few minutes. Make a conscious decision to separate work time from personal time. Show the same amount of dedication towards quality time with family and friends as you would do at work. This gives your mind a much needed break and is sure to leave you relaxed and refreshed for the next day.

Find your calling: Work might be your first love, but what about that one hobby or interest that you always wanted to chase in your school/college days? Whether it’s pottery, gardening or a new dance form, identify and develop that interest and pursue it over weekends. By doing this you can avoid undue stress, unwind yourself and more importantly have something to look forward to over weekends.

As you move up your career ladder, always stay connected to the real world. One way of doing this is by attaching yourself to a social cause that is close to your heart. Make your weekends productive and meaningful by dedicating time to volunteering for a specific cause. Leverage your association with a social cause by displaying it on your resume. According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, one out of five hiring managers in India agree they have hired a candidate because of their volunteer work experience.

It’s OK to say no: When you are already loaded with work and struggling to finish everything on time, it is perfectly OK to re-assess your current tasks before accepting a new one. If the new task is of a higher priority see what you can put on the back-burner and inform your team about it. Agreeing to take up additional workload out of guilt or a false sense of obligation will leave you with little time for self-nourishment and may affect the quality of your work.

Time away from work: Nothing rejuvenates the heart, body and soul like a little time off from work and getting away from the hustle –bustle of city life. While long vacations are mostly annual affairs, plan weekend getaways more often with family and friends. During this time away, switch-off from work completely.

It is encouraging to know that according to LinkedIn’s What Women Want @ Work survey, 93% Indian women believe that they can have it all in terms of career and family life. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance requires continuous effort as your personal and professional interests change. Periodically exam your priorities — and make changes, if necessary — to make sure you are in total control.

Courtesy: © idiva.com