Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Manage your Mailbox

I have already done a post on effective emails before. 

I recently realized that as one goes up the hierarchy, the need to manage the electronic mailbox effectively is more urgent. The count of emails to be worked upon on a daily basis goes up to 100s (may be 1000s, even). And thus the skill to have and maintain an organized mailbox is a must-have.
  • Anything email that may be worked upon and finished in less than 120 seconds should be done there and then. 
  • Have a strong folder structure in your mailbox and move the email to its appropriate folder immediately after you have read it. 
  • Archive mails regularly depending on your daily usage. I do it fortnightly.
  • Any email that needs follow up should be flagged immediately with a subsequent date. 
  • Delete any emails that you are confident you would not be getting back to. They clutter not only space, but take up a lot of time later when we are trying to look for something more important. 
  • Refrain from sending mails like Okay, and Thank you. Before hitting the send button, think if you would send this mail if you were charged 1$ for it. If no, then probably the mail is not needed. It is a a good idea to include Thank you in your signature itself.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The Shopping Ban

I have joined Tanvii (its the same blog which inspired me to start one of my own) in the shopping ban. Read on to know more.
  • What? No Shopping – No clothes, shoes, accessories, bags, cosmetics, books, gadgets, basics, linen. Exhaustive enough? I think so. Fingers crossed. Food, toiletries, medicines, fuel are the allowed items.
  • Whys – Part 1? Every Saturday, more than an hour goes into organizing my stuff. Each time I do that, I realize I have too many options of everything. Many items are underutilized, and I really do not ‘need’ anything more. Of course, these voices silent themselves each time I walk into a store with a dazzling display. I want this conflict to stop.
  • Whys – Part 2? An important personal goal for 2013 reads ‘Towards a Sustainable Lifestyle’, which in essence means to lessen my operating cost on an ongoing basis. A shopping ban may just be the first step towards achieving this goal by the end of this year.
  • When?  I will do it for a month to start with. I have chosen the shortest month, i.e. Feb-0 1- 2013 to Feb-28-2013.
  • How? Like all the anon-forums advertise, I will not make it a goal of 28 days. I will make no-shopping a one day goal that I need to meet for 28 consecutive days. Weekends would be the most troublesome, but I am confident I shall row through. Wish me luck.
  • The Result - What I think it will lead to? My wardrobe will be better utilized. I will learn some self-restraint. Hopefully, I will have something more in my bank account. I might step upon some new things to do in the time that I end up saving.
Anyone who wishes to join the ban may tag themselves into it. Let us bring it on! 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


Darlingji is the biography of Nargis and Sunil Dutt, each of their lives before and after they met each other and their life together as man and wife.


Not only is it a book about two people's lives, but also about the world of cinema 50 years ago. Many worthwhile movies of that genre are described in detail. A lot of light is thrown on the sociopolitical scene within the industry, a lot of which may hold true today too.

The book, interesting at the start, somewhere becomes very information based, thus difficult to read and enjoy.

the plot
To write about someone's life is one of the most difficult tasks one can undertake as you need to do full justice to the people involved without being judgmental or making it sound biased. The book has interesting facts from the lives of both Nargis and Sunil Dutt. Time and again, it seeps in how all that glitters is not gold, and every human, big or small, has his or her own share of struggles and problems. And how, at the end of the day, a movie star is but human, made of blood and flesh.

Darlingji is worth one read if the world of Cinema fascinates you.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Movie Review - Inkaar

  • Inkaar is today’s movie - the reality genre’, done with oodles of panache.
  • Both Rampal and Singh play their parts perfect – each of the characters convinces you that the other is at fault. The screen presence is strong, dialogue delivery and voice modulation absolutely accurate and arguments valid and logical. Visual appeal makes it an eye treat. Chitrangada looks too hot to handle in every piece she dons.  Arjun plays an achiever and a sensitive male from behind his nerd glasses. Both are perfect examples of how some people only get hotter with age.
  • The movie touches upon many aspects of the corporate environment in today’s times – be it cracking borderline jokes to keep pace with the high pressured work environment, or getting attracted to a great senior. It also touches upon some important lessons how its more important to be ready for a role before taking it up, how not to cross lines at workplace, how turbulence at the workplace can make you feel like the world has ended on all fronts. The movie also touches upon the fact that there is really no well-defined line between flirting and sexual harassment. The director picks up a sensitive and serious issue of sexual harassment at the work place, which deserves a better treatment that what it gets in the flick.
  • The music is good, but not something which will stay with you for more than a couple of days. ‘Alla tu maalik hai’ is hummable and shot very well.
  • Many parts of the movie were not needed – like backdrops of both the parents, or the unnecessary boyfriend who flies in for New York. The side characters could have performed better. Other than Deepti Naval, all of them do more harm to the movie than good. 
  • The emotional part is predictable. Very underplayed throughout the movie, and popping up suddenly in last five minutes.
The movie builds up to seem like a masterpiece, to fall flat on its face when the audience expects a well-deserved climax. You may enjoy watching two good looking people on screen but the end would leave your mouth sour. 

My rating is two stars.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A Lame Comeback, and some Work Type Tips

Sixx weeks exactly since I had last written. I am sorry, for not been able to update this space. Thankfully, the silent visitors are still coming in, day after day, reminding me gently of a pending promise.

So we have entered into 2013. Happy New Year, friends! In some way, we - You and I, are friends. Aren't we?!

So where I have been? I have been busy with work, travel, social engagements, thoughts. And though I cannot promise how frequently will I be able to communicate, communicate I will.

So today is Wednesday, the day for WWTT. And even though I have started to type, I have nothing concrete on my mind. Even as I write this here, I am still making up my mind on one of the two work type topics which I can share with you. Let's see where the balance bends.

This year, I have resolved simply - I will be present wherever I am. I will do what makes me happy. I will cut out the negative area when I can, and develop from it when I cannot. Easy? Let's see.

So here are my six work tips that I collated from few of those zillion articles which get published at year end, and make the newsletter copies expensive.
  • Any email that can be replied to or worked upon and finished in less than 120 seconds should be handled there and then.
  • Communication is 20% content, 40% choice of words, 40% choice of tone - choose yours optimally.
  • Your Yes's to assigned work should far exceed your No's - we all love Yes's, don't we?
  • 'Do what you love, love what you do.' Because any work done halfheartedly would not be done to the best of ability.
  • Be approachable to one and all, all the times.
  • Invest time in sharpening your axe - spend regular time to build on new skills or expertise which may aid your profession.
While all these may seem obvious to many, I am sure there are few who would benefit. And now that I have chosen the topic for today, the other topic would follow next Wednesday. :-) 

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