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Old 29th December 2011, 08:39   #76
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Default Re: Reclaiming my life - one day at a time

Interesting situation today morning.

The wifey had to start for work at 7AM today (instead of 9:30). I go to walk around 7:45AM. The kids were peacefully sleeping. Looked like I have to skip the brisk-walk today. Can't leave sleeping kids alone at home.

Around 7:30, decided to at least try. Thought I will wake up my 7 year old son and ask him to take care of his 4-year old sister for 20-25 minutes. Tried to wake up the 7-year-old, he did not budge. In the mean time, the other one woke up. So made the 4-year-old in-charge of the house for next 30 minutes

Went for brisk walk, walked/jogged a little more briskly than usual and came back in 20 mins. Reached home to see both kids awake and playing games on my mobile.

Last edited by SDP : 29th December 2011 at 08:46.
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Old 29th December 2011, 23:19   #77
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Default Important but not urgent thing #2 -> Reading

Important but not urgent thing #2 -> Reading

I don't ask the question "what is your hobby?" any more to people. When you know that the answer is "spending time on facebook", why bother?

A few years back, 8 out of 10 would have listed "reading" as one of their hobbies. Even then, a follow-up question like "what is the last book that you have read?" would get "Ummm..." as the answer 6 out of the 8 times.

Anyways, coming to the point, I have always enjoyed reading. Reading was a primary method of 'exploring' and 'experiencing' things when radio channels existed primarily for songs and a bit of news, TV (aka Doordarshan) was just about picking up steam and internet was not even heard of in common circles. Didn't even realize when initially TV and afterwards internet monopolized the spare time. Instead of 'reading', I started 'consuming content'. I understand that, what you watch on TV and which sites you spend time on the internet, would differ from person to person. But at least for me, moving away from reading and getting onto TV and internet was like moving from healthy eating habits to munching junk food. (A few blogs, TBHP and a few articles have been notable exceptions on the internet.)

Books and in general reading has played a key role in developing my vocab, my ability to express myself better, my communication style, my thinking, my views and to a decent degree even my personality.

Books have been such a pure source of joy and enlightenment right from the first book I read. I still remember reading my first English book - King Solomon's Journey - at the age of around 12-13 and having to refer back to a dictionary quite often. I remember discovering Wodehouse and finding it quite boring initially and later forgetting myself in its special variety of humour. Its not LOL, it just tickles you lightly and plasters a huge smile on your face.

With the ever increasing tempo of work and family pressures over the last decade or so, somehow books and the reading habit has been left behind. I still buy books, quite a few of them. But I seem to be just adding them to the book-shelf rather than actually reading them.

Cutting the long story short, as part of reclaiming my life, I have taken up reading as the second "Important but not urgent thing". I would be reading a book for at least 15 minutes everyday, at least 5 days a week.

After Vivekiny2k and MileCruncher's brilliant suggestion of not waiting for new year to start new things, I have restarted reading for 15 minutes everyday from 27th Dec 2011. Read the chapter "why your boss is overpaid" from the book "The Logic of Life" on 27th. Its amazing. Made my day!

Going forward, on every Monday, besides weight control, I would be updating about getting back the reading habit as well. Wish me luck, please.

Last edited by SDP : 29th December 2011 at 23:37.
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Old 30th December 2011, 00:37   #78
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Default Re: Important but not urgent thing #2 -> Reading

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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Books and in general reading has played a key role in developing my vocab, my ability to express myself better, my communication style, my thinking, my views and to a decent degree even my personality.
Couldn't agree with you more SDP. Books have been my life long friends. And as you say, reading gives you excellent command over the language.

My only regret is that Iam completely illiterate in my mother-tongue Malayalam - can't read, can't write. And there is a vast treasure trove of malayalam literature waiting for me to explore.

Maybe some day ... sigh.

Last edited by WindRide : 30th December 2011 at 00:38.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 20:07   #79
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Default Re: Reclaiming my life - one day at a time

Update for last week:

#1 Weight-Control
1. Went for brisk-walk on 6 days in last week.
2. After going through Alex Vero's documentary (shared by MC), realized that I am being just too kind to my body with very generous recovery times. Started breaking into a jog earlier than last week and there were no complaints from the body.
3. Attended a one and half hour meditation session on Monday.

#2 Reading
1. Read a book on 3 days during the last week. (Started on 27th Dec)
2. Started going to the office library post lunch. Picked up different books on 3 days and then realized that it is equivalent of channel surfing.

I am going to broaden the definition of "reading" to include listening to audio books. Downloaded "Atlas Shrugged" and started listening to it in the car during the journey back to home (which takes upwards of an hour). Suddenly the journey is no longer painful.

PS: I have a paperback version of Atlas Shrugged that I bought almost 16-17 years back. I have started reading it 2-3 times and it did not go beyond first 60-70 pages. I am going to finish it this time.

Last edited by SDP : 2nd January 2012 at 20:09.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 21:18   #80
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Default Re: Reclaiming my life - one day at a time

New year resolution:

Recently I have been spending just too much of time on TBHP. So the new year resolution is "No TBHP during office hours (may be just once for 5 minutes post lunch)"
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Old 3rd January 2012, 13:44   #81
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Default Re: Reclaiming my life - one day at a time

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I am going to broaden the definition of "reading" to include listening to audio books. Downloaded "Atlas Shrugged" and started listening to it in the car during the journey back to home (which takes upwards of an hour). Suddenly the journey is no longer painful.

PS: I have a paperback version of Atlas Shrugged that I bought almost 16-17 years back. I have started reading it 2-3 times and it did not go beyond first 60-70 pages. I am going to finish it this time.
The first time I read The Fountainhead it took me 6months whereas 2nd time it was only 3 weeks. I think Ayn Rand needs to be read and not heard. Reading allows you time to contemplate and philosophise!
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Old 3rd January 2012, 14:06   #82
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Default Re: Reclaiming my life - one day at a time

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New year resolution:

Recently I have been spending just too much of time on TBHP. So the new year resolution is "No TBHP during office hours (may be just once for 5 minutes post lunch)"
good luck with that


i usually finish novels within a day or two but the one i recently bought - Frederick Forsyth's The Cobra - has been dragging along. i've finished the book 3/4th but the 1/4th i'm struggling with. every night i open the book and within a span of two-three pages i would have dozed off

i'll try to finish it today!
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Old 3rd January 2012, 15:12   #83
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Default Re: Reclaiming my life - one day at a time

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Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
The first time I read The Fountainhead it took me 6months ...
I thought I held the record for reading Fountainhead in 6 months .


SDP,

Thanks for this thread.

In the same boat here (well you have moved ahead), let it books or the waist line or setting wardrobe right... or all things waiting for weekend... or photography... travel/driving... the feeling that "not challenging enough" ... that your organization is wasting your capabilities... or AOL class...... All of it.

Just started on my journey for course correction rather reclaiming my life as you aptly put it and yes this is not just about weight loss though with me its a very important 1st step need to reduce 30 kgs.

Well I had all the things needed to get started including the landmines as Vivek puts it.

So I just started today. did cycling for 30 min on the stationary recumbent cycle (I have disc prolapse or commonly slip disc, so cant walk/jog or stand for long)


Hope you don't mind me sharing my activity report along side with you?


All the best to all of us on this journey.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 16:54   #84
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Default Re: Reclaiming my life - one day at a time

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...
Being an email slave:
...
Here is the process that has worked very well for me.

1. Got rid of folders one fine day two years back
1.a. I have three folders only
1.b. Folder #1: To Do (more about it shortly)
1.c. Folder #2: Archive (this is for retaining email for only a month/once in a month I just move the emails to the PST)
1.d. Folder #3/Set of PST files: I have one PST per 6 months/2 quarters (dont exceed pst files more then 2 GB, they can crash) And I dont keep more then two PST actively attached to Outlook. I have been with this company for 5 years now so I have 10 PSTs.

2. So my emails are in Inbox, To Do, Archive folders or in the PST files
2.a. I use search a lot to get to my emails
2.b. I use Outlook's different sort options
2.c. Most used is the Conversation feature

3. As I reach my desk I quickly read through "every" email - not the entire email, just the Sender, (some time other recepients), Is my name in To or CC or in a Distribution List (DL), Subject, and some times the first few lines to know the releveance & importance of the email, then I do either one of the folloing:
3.a. If info only I move it Archive folder.
3.b. If it needs my response/action/follow-up I move it to the To Do folder. I DO NOT REPLY IMMEDIATELY. This is perhaps the biggest learning I have had.

4. My Inbox is always clean
4.a. Once I have cleared my Inbox - yes cleared it. (Check my mail box 15 min after I come in to office its empty - only my To Do folder has a few emails.) Now, I get to the To Do folder
4.b. Now that you have read the subject or identified the sender or the relevance of the emails in the To Do folder, I decide which one to respond to first and and to which later. I have some times emails sitting in To Do folder for more than few days as it needs my response/action but there are other important things/email to attend to. (once actioned, I move them to Archived folder)


I get anywhere between 80 to 100 email through the night. After I have processed them like above, I am only left with less than 20 email that actually need me to read completely or response/action/...

During the day as well, I dont reply to emails immediately, as they come in, I do #3 above and if the email needs my action it is in my To Do folder...



I have a forward of my personal GMAIL to my company id. so all those including notifications from TBHP & one other forum that I am active come in. Only those have a Rule and automatically move to Folder #4 (Me @ Gmail) for a later reading. (I hardly ever log in to GMAIL now a days, I only do to clean it up some time) And have a separate PST if there are emails that needs to be retained.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 18:08   #85
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Default Re: Reclaiming my life - one day at a time

There was a time when I loved riding my Rx100, till docs said stop using the bike, as i got the 1st hit of Spondi.

I have the bike still with me, 1988 model Rx 100, but not maintained. One resolution for me is to get it back to pristine form and take it on ride over weekends.

I will do that
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Old 3rd January 2012, 21:58   #86
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Default Re: Reclaiming my life - one day at a time

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajitkumarlb View Post
....
Hope you don't mind me sharing my activity report along side with you?
....
Be my guest, Ajit! Would love to have you (and others in the same boat) share their experiences and regular reports here. Pretty sure we can keep each others motivated.

All the best!
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Old 4th January 2012, 13:11   #87
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Default Re: Reclaiming my life - one day at a time

Happy New Year everyone!

One thing that amuses me no end these days are "New Year Resolutions". Resolutions are all good and fine but why on New Year's Day?

It was so funny to find the gym packed when I walked in on Monday Jan 2nd. I had to actually wait for a treadmill! But I know that come Friday, the crowd will be back to normal levels!

I am thoroughly in favour of making resolutions, but not time-binding them. My most successful resolutions have happened in December (or June, or whenever, doesn't matter). Just not January. If the realisation strikes you that things need to be different, go ahead and do it right away. Why wait till Jan 1st?
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Old 9th January 2012, 16:40   #88
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Default Re: Reclaiming my life - one day at a time

2nd Jan Week
  • 3, 4, 6, 8 - 30 min on the bike
  • 5 & 7 - landmine

Also last week, I signed up for company cab facility that was recently introduced, though it removes the flexibility considering that with my own transport, I could drop & pickup my daughter from school and then reach office by noon. Now drop & pickup has to be done by my wife as I have to board the cab by 8:30 AM. Another catch, as its shared cab sometime I end up doing partial Bangalore darshan.

The the major benefit I see apart from the fact that I am not at the wheels is the time I get during the drive - the photography book I had borrowed from the library was sitting there for 4 weeks with no page flipped and in the last one week has moved past half way mark.

Another benefit is the cost. I used to spend easily 4-5k on fuel, this costs only 250/- per month.

This week plan:
  • From today I have increased the time on bike to 45 min.
  • Planning to work on the diet - to make it practical, timely and balanced.

Last edited by ajitkumarlb : 9th January 2012 at 16:43.
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Old 9th January 2012, 21:57   #89
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Default Re: Reclaiming my life - one day at a time

Update for last week:

#1 Weight-Control

1. Went for brisk-walk on 6 days in last week.
2. Attended a one hour meditation session on Monday.

#2 Reading
1. Atlas Shrugged is keeping me busy and I am loving it. Completed the 8th chapter "The John Galt Line" today morning. Since I listen to this audiobook during my to and fro office travel, I no longer dread the traffic jam.

PS: Ajit, thanks for the update. Keep it up!
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Old 10th January 2012, 11:42   #90
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@SDP
Your thread is immensely inspiring. Will start my own karma towards physical fitness from today.
On reading - Currently about to finish "Immortals of Meluha" and in parallel reading a technical book related to work. It really relaxes the mind.

My schedule is pretty much balanced that way
700 walk the dog (have a lab)
730 breakfast
800 kiddo on school bus, start for office
1730 start for home
1900 dinner
2100 sleep else read
No TV throughout the weekdays at all, unless India is losing

Need to add exercise regimen, preferably in the evening hrs, so that I can utilize the day fully.
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