Time to do things? – Art of doing more of few things!

Recently one of my clients wanted a training program on the ‘Key habits of successful project managers’ and this made me to revisit the ‘7 habits of highly effective people’ course ware, which was gathering dust in my small library of books which I have read completely or partially. This may be the answer to many of my project management workshop participants, who do not have the time to prepare for the exam, after investing their money and valuable time for attending the workshop. Most of them complain about external factors, for their inability to prepare for the exam, and get those credentials, which can give a boost to their career, if not protecting their career during recession time.

Stephen Covey, in his master piece ‘7 habits of highly effective people’ talks about ‘Put first things first’. First things are those things that you, personally, find most worth doing. They move you in the right direction and help you achieve the most important goals of your life. Time is constant. All of us have only 24 hours / day. It is all about managing your priorities. That is the only thing possible. Time management is out. Self management is in.

If we analyze the activities we do, during the day, they can be classified into;

Quadrant #1 Urgent & Important stuff

  • Crises
  • Pressing problems
  • Deadline driven projects and meetings, preparations etc

Quadrant #2  Not urgent and important

  • Preparation
  • Prevention
  • Values clarification
  • Planning
  • Relationship building
  • True-recreation
  • Empowerment
  • Higher studies

Quadrant #3 Urgent & not important activities

  • Interruptions
  • Some phone calls
  • Some mails, some reports
  • Some meetings
  • Many proximate pressing matters
  • Many popular activities

Quadrant #4  Not urgent & Not Important

  • Trivia busy work
  • Some telephone calls
  • Time wasters
  • Escape activities
  • Excessive TV
  • Chatting
  • Pointless surfing etc…

Quadrant#2 activities, important&not urgent activities  are the most critical. These are the activities which will give you maximum leverage towards your goals achievement, and at the same time Quadrant#1 activities cannot be avoided, they are the urgent and important stuff. By focusing on Quadrant #2 activities more and more, the time spent on Quadrant#1 will automatically come down. Unfortunately, the problem with Quadrant#2 activities is the fact that they are not urgent. That means, even if you do not do them, nobody is going to question you, and at the same time these are the ones, which will give you maximum benefit.

We can easily find out time for Quadrant#2 and Quadrant#1 activities, by eliminating / reducing quadrants 3 & 4.

When I was a smoker, smoking around 10 cigarettes per day, despite the ‘SMOKING is injurious’ signs, per day I was spending approximately 2 hours/day  in smoking only, which amounts to 14 hours/ week.  Smoking is a typical not urgent and not important Q#3 activity. By quitting smoking, I get an additional 14 hours / week to spend on Q#2 and Q#1 activities.

Dear friend. Stop the ‘blame it on circumstances’ game and start taking responsibility of your actions and time, because time is constant, and you can manage only your priorities.

So I already spent 44 minutes in blogging, and I hope, it is a Q#2 activity, if it is impacting you positively, else even this post is a result of Q#3 or Q#4 🙂

Suggested reading ‘The seven habits of highly effective people’ by Stephen Covey

Mega Indian Projects # 3 Delhi Metro

The concept of a mass rapid transit for Delhi first emerged from a traffic and travel characteristics study carried out in the city in 1969.[5] Over the next several years, many official committees by a variety of government departments were commissioned to examine issues relating to technology, route alignment and governmental jurisdiction.[5] In 1984, the Delhi Development Authority and the Urban Arts Commission came up with a proposal for developing a multi-modal transport system, which would consist of constructing three underground mass rapid transit corridors as well augmenting the city’s existing suburban railway and road transport networks.[6] While extensive technical studies and search for financing the project were in progress, the city expanded significantly resulting in a two-fold rise in population and a fivefold rise in the number of vehicles between 1981 and 1998.[6] Consequently, traffic congestion and pollution soared, as an increasing number of commuters took to private vehicles with the existing bus system unable to bear the load.[5] An attempt at privatising the bus transport system in 1992 merely compounded the problem, with inexperienced operators plying poorly maintained, noisy and polluting buses on lengthy routes, resulting in long waiting times, unreliable service, extreme overcrowding, unqualified drivers, speeding and reckless driving.[7]

To rectify the situation, the Government of India and the Government of Delhi jointly set up a company called the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on March 5, 1995.[8] Physical construction work on the Delhi Metro started on October 1, 1998.[9] After the previous problems experienced by the Calcutta Metro, which was badly delayed and 12 times over budget due to “political meddling, technical problems and bureaucratic delays”, the DMRC was given full powers to hire people, decide on tenders and control funds.[10] As a result, construction proceeded smoothly, except from one major disagreement in 2000, where the Ministry of Railways forced the system to use broad gauge despite the DMRC’s preference for standard gauge.[11] . The first line opened on December 24, 2002 and the entire Phase I of the project was completed in December 2005, on budget and almost three years ahead of schedule, an achievement described as “nothing short of a miracle”.[12] Dr. E. Sreedharan, the Managing Director of the Metro during the Phase I construction, was declared “Indian of the Year for 2007” by CNN-IBN news channel.

For the complete article, click here.

Courtesy : wikipedia

Mega Indian projects # 2 Chandrayan

Chandrayaan-1, (Sanskrit: चंद्रयान-१, lit: Moon-traveller, or moon vehicle[3][4] Chandrayaan.ogg pronunciation (help·info)) was India‘s first unmanned lunar probe. It was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation in October 2008, and operated until August 2009. The mission included a lunar orbiter and an impactor. India launched the spacecraft by a modified version of the PSLV, PSLV C11[2][5] on 22 October 2008 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh, about 80 km north of Chennai, at 06:22 IST (00:52 UTC).[6] The mission was a major boost to India’s space program,[7] as India researched and developed its own technology in order to explore the Moon.[8] The vehicle was successfully inserted into lunar orbit on 8 November 2008.[9]

On 14 November 2008, the Moon Impact Probe separated from the Chandrayaan orbiter at 20:06 and struck the south pole in a controlled manner, making India the fourth country to place its flag on the Moon.[10] The probe impacted near Shackleton Crater at 20:31 ejecting underground soil that could be analysed for the presence of lunar water ice.[11]

The estimated cost for the project was Rs. 386 crore (US$ 80 million).[12]

The remote sensing lunar satellite had a mass of 1,380 kilograms (3,042 lb) at launch and 675 kilograms (1,488 lb) in lunar orbit. [13] It carried high resolution remote sensing equipment for visible, near infrared, and soft and hard X-ray frequencies. Over a two-year period, it was intended to survey the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and three-dimensional topography. The polar regions are of special interest as they might contain ice.[14] The lunar mission carries five ISRO payloads and six payloads from other space agencies including NASA, ESA, and the Bulgarian Aerospace Agency, which were carried free of cost.[15]

After suffering from several technical issues including failure of the star sensors and poor thermal shielding, Chandrayaan stopped sending radio signals at 1:30 AM IST on 29 August 2009 shortly after which, the ISRO officially declared the mission over. Chandrayaan operated for 312 days as opposed to the intended two years but the mission achieved 95 percent of its planned objectives.[1][16][17][18] Among its many achievements was the discovery of the widespread presence of water molecules in lunar soil.[19]


For the complete story click here


Courtesy : wikipedia

Mega Indian projects #1 One terra byte micro chip

1 Terra byte micro chip by Indian engineers

From my latest project management training program

Sent from my Nokia phone