Sunday, 23 October 2011
Make a difference
Do you feel that time has flown by and you do not recall how? Are you saying to yourself “It seems just like yesterday I got my first job?” or “I feel that I finished college only a week ago?” Where has all the time gone? What have you done with it? When asked “How’s life?” many say “Chaltha hai.” or “Getting along.” or “OK.” Life seems to have become mundane, from day to day and from week to week.
Experts, who have analysed the patterns in life, have explained that if we feel that time has flown, it is we who are to blame. If we fall into a very simple routine, on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, then our brain compresses the information into a single occurrence. There is no difference between 1 day to next, and it compacts days into 1 day and weeks into 1 week. Voila, suddenly you feel time has flown by you, and your memory just holds a week’s information – everything else is just a repetition.
Change: Make a difference
What should we do? It is in our hands to voluntarily change the patterns we follow on a daily basis. Do something different everyday. Put some effort to learn new things every so often. Bring in interesting changes to plans everyday. Stimulate the weekends with variety from one to next. Change the routines on a regular basis, without affecting your priorities and values.
You will find that when you start doing this, you keep good memories. Do not stick to very strict routines from morning to night, on a day to day basis. Have minor variations to the general routine – and be conscious of your actions and routines. Then, every day will be different and will be recorded as such. Every week’s learning, fun & joy will be remembered for weeks, and maybe years, to come. Spend time with children & younger people, as they teach us a lot of simple things that we forget as we grow older.
Another aspect is reflected, now-a-days, in many companies’ policies. The reason that more and more companies are forcing people to avail their vacation days within each year is that it makes a difference in morale for us. We break out of the standard course we set for ourselves. Avail your vacations at an appropriate time and enjoy with some exhilarating or relaxing activities.
But . . .
The first question that many may ask is “In my organisation & planning classes they asked me to create a clear plan and stick to it, so that I can become more efficient.”
Yes, we should plan and then stick to the plan. The modification should be in the plan itself, on a regular basis, so that the days and weeks do not become monotonous. We can come early to work on some days. We can leave a little early on those days and add some activities to the evenings. Come to work or go home using varying routes on some days, consciously. Those are the differences that will make the weeks colourful and your life memorable.
“But if we have to change routines and check-lists, then what happens to ISO and CMM.” This is a very valid question indeed.
It is important to follow a method / routine in small sets of activities within a short period. This will help us accomplish the task in an efficient & correct manner. It is the bigger scheme of things that we should change. We should juggle the tasks that we do everyday. On some days, let us finish our tasks quicker and spend the spare time in helping others, or reading / learning things.
Here is another point of view. If we fall into too strict a routine, we start believing our memory and methods. Soon we do not consciously follow the routine / checklist. That is precisely when mistakes creep in. Hence, even in following routines and / or checklists, it is important to change things consciously, slightly, ever-so-often, so that it does not become dull and involuntary.
Past Experience with these thoughts
Many of my friends, after discussing the above ideas, have come back with positive comments on how small differences on a day-to-day basis make things more long-drawn and enjoyable. They believe that time has been utilised well.
It seems like it has been years since I went to Ooty (went in April 2011), because every day is unique, either at work, home or external activities. Every activity is done consciously with a difference and it makes a difference.
Make a difference, in your days, weeks and career.