Work Success Open Secrets

A Normal Time Waster

  • 8 am: So I want, just like you, to recreate the world by 5pm today. I want to do exactly what I plan to; uninterrupted and efficiently. I want to solve a major problem, or at least a chunk of it to a point of satisfaction.
  • 1 pm: Okay, I shall not panic. My to-do list is untouched and I have 30 emails in my sent items list. My inbox has 15 unread emails. I’ll read all of them as I eat lunch. I’ll have plenty of time for my main tasks at 2pm.
  • 5 pm: I feel cheated by the clock. Where has my day gone? Why is it that only 1 thing got done? Why is it that my sent items list is now 60 emails long yet I feel so unfulfilled? Why is it that I can’t account for my day confidently and I feel like the absolute opposite of what I set out to feel when I woke up?
  • 6.30 pm: Stephen is late. No, no coffee, just a cold coke please. Sigh. I’m so tired. Googles, ‘how to be more effective at work’.
  • 10 pm: Tomorrow shall be different. I will wake up early and be in the office by 7 am. I’ll get more done, I promise. Presses play on ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 8, Episode 2’.
  • 12 am: Logs into Facebook.
  • 1 am:Sleeps.

OR perhaps you simply had a binge watching sort of day.

* * * * * * * *
I didn’t even factor in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snap Chat time!

It’s a vicious cycle. Each day we do a series of things that pushes us further away from effectiveness. Then we turn to Google.

  1. 5 things highly productive people do every morning.
  2. 10 things highly effective people do
    every day.
  3. 7 things to do to have an awesome day.
  4. 20 little things to put on your to do list.

Enough already! Surely by now you know what to do to live like an above average human being. Bloggers haven’t let you forget it! Heck you’ve subscribed to, haven’t you? So have I. Yet I know what ails you because it ails me too. Can we simply focus on being average, simple, honest and cliché phrase-free?

I am not attempting to convert a simple analogy into something fancy to impress you. I’m simply saying, let’s focus on being normal. Also, learn to forgive yourself. It is alright to have ‘lazy’ days.

Being Employed · Work Success Open Secrets

Can I Have Your Job?

If you are fortunate enough to be employed by an organization that you actually like, there is someone in that place that has a role you want and I dare say, one that you feel you could do better if you were given the chance.

Hopefully, this person (be it your immediate supervisor, a peer or even a person working in a different organization) is not making a mess of things but they are actually making their work look easy. There in lies the major challenge and opportunity. Take time to really study them. Get to know them. Don’t wait for an ‘HR Department’ type of opportunity. Ask this person direct questions like:

  • Do you have a succession plan for your role? Tell me more about it over coffee later, perhaps?
  • You make what you do seem so interesting! What is the secret?
  • Hello, you look nice and bright today! What have you got planned? Anything I can support you with perhaps?

These are questions that will surely get you learning and noticed. Even the most reserved person can ask at least one of these. You deserve the best kind of career the world of work has to offer. Refrain from filling yourself with  defeatist thoughts. You can do it. You really really can!

All the best!

Blended Thoughts

Reboot – 59 Minutes and 9 Seconds

Saturday night I had a long telephone chat with a friend. Yes,  Ian, I’m going to talk about it.

We were talking about what is really important in life and he was giving me flack over my intention to focus on my career as opposed to taking my mother’s advice of looking for a husband (yes, my mother thinks husbands are looked for so I have been trying to make sense of that – future post ideas!).

Ian thinks careers come and go and that they end, leaving you only with your pension if you’re lucky. He thinks life is to be enjoyed by drawing inspiration from the old days  (he challenged me to research ancient Indian culture and relate it to our lifestyles today – another future post idea!).

Anyway, my thoughts are drifting. My intention is to evoke thought as to what exactly careers are. It’s been four years since mine formally began although Malcolm Gladwell has convinced me that it began when I was born (another future post idea!).

I have been living quietly. It’s time I started sharing my exhilarating adventures with you. I’m not writing for anyone else, just for you. Because I know we both have a lot riding on what ever our daily experiences are. We both really want to make it and we both really want to be happy. We have so much to learn from each other. No need to reinvent the wheel as they say.

You have Ian to thank for this! Thanks Ian for the 59 minutes and 9 seconds of laughter. You are a great friend.

Being Self-Employed · Blended Thoughts · Experts I Know

The Very Best of Matt Chong

Matt Chong is a fantastic writer. I can’t quite remember how I found his blog but it sure was my lucky day!

Follow and enjoy and learn just as I do!

The Pinstriped Suit


When we were growing up, our parents told us that taking the time to “Find Yourself” was a waste of time. As if “Finding Yourself” meant joining a hippie band and running away from home on a dilapidated school bus. (Not that hippie bands aren’t cool) Or that doing a Liberal Arts Major in University was a waste of money because it would be impossible to try to get a practical job with your Classical Studies degree.

I frankly disagree with anybody that tells me that “Finding Yourself” isn’t important. What could be more important than discovering who you are at your core? Or finding out what your stand for? Or discovering what you’re really passionate about?

The moment you start living life on your own terms and nobody else’s is the day you really start living.

When I was 19, I went away to a 12 day Vipassana meditation…

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Blended Thoughts

Returning it all

I recently read the reflections of Ken Blanchard in ‘One Solitary Life’. This little book is simply priceless. It could make a great gift! Below is what stood out for me:

“How can we attain spiritual significance? We can do it by not focusing on earthly success such as wealth, recognition, power and status. instead, we should look at the opposite. For example, rather than focus on the accumulation of wealth, we can focus on the opposite: generosity. And when we talk about generosity we’re not only talking about giving treasure, but also giving our time, and touch. Charlie Tremendous Jones, author of  Life is Tremendous, finds even the notion of giving ridiculous. “We should stomp out giving,” he says, “Returning is the answer. After all, He owns it all – it’s not really ours in the first place.”

Isn’t it a high time that we turned our focus on returning? We are blessed with so much and it is only ideal to  give back to He who has given it all to us: by being the best version of ourselves. Our lives are His after all. Psalms 139 :-).

Blended Thoughts

When the four quarters shall

Turn in and make one whole,

Then I who wall your body,

Which is to me a soul
– Jay Macpherson, The Boatman

Margaret Atwood: Year of the Flood

Jay MacPherson was a rare creature — one of a kind. Everyone who knew her would agree.

            Eleanor Cook has spoken about her poetry. I can only add that those few who heard her read it have never forgotten the experience. She was not a person who was interested in poetry as a “career” – she wrote poems only when impelled – and that is clear from the poems themselves.

            I first met Jay in 1957 because she was my English professor at Victoria College – which did hire women then, unlike some colleges at the University of Toronto and very many universities and colleges throughout the English-speaking world.  Jay must have been a mere twenty-eight years old, but she seemed to me very experienced and accomplished – she had, after all, just won the Governor General’s Award for The Boatman, at the unprecedented age of twenty-seven.  At…

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