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

The day lot of HIV positive people touched me!

My visit to Snehadaan !

Of late I was praying to God to show me his plan for me, rather than materialistic things, and one fine day I reached a point where I could not resist the call to act. I used my smart phone (till now status symbol) to search for opportunities to serve the deserving, and that search led me to snehadaan, an institution dedicated to the HIV positive, functioning in the outskirts of Bangalore (Sarjapur road). When I contacted them, the coordinator there welcomed me with both hands, and I went there yesterday psyching myself to be mentally strong to face the horrible. I went there (that itself is a big miracle), and the coordinator took me around, explained to me the stages of aids, the treatment, how the patients are classified etc. To my surprise, I did not see any horrible sights. All the patients were taken care of well physically, spiritually and emotionally. Of course, they will die one day sooner or later, but they will have a better death, that is for sure. Full credit to Snehadaan and to God. Then they took me to the HIV positive children’s section. It is a boarding school attached to the institute, and there were around 65 of them, all cute ones, well taken care of. Every body could speak decent English, thanks to the very good education they are getting. Then one young boy, may be 4 years of age greeted me ‘Good evening uncle?’ when it was 10.30 a.m, and invited me to share his cup of milk. I wanted to give him something, and unfortunately I did not have anything to give him.

I came back to the Bangalore city, and the first thing I did was to go for shopping, with my daughter to buy some toys for these kids, and today morning we went back to snehadaan to meet these kids, and we had a really wonderful and rewarding experience. We played with these kids with these new toys, and most of them were very clever and intelligent. They could finish off the puzzles in no time. Then we had a small prayer session with action songs. No specific God was highlighted, as there were kids from different religions. We came back by around 12 p.m, and I am sure that I will go back there again.

Dear Lord, thank you very much for using me for a noble cause.Please give me more opportunities like this, because at the end of my life, when I look back, I will remember only these.

Make a trip to snehadaan. All you need is to contact the coordinator there. I can also help you if you want it. One request…dont go there to see them…please go there to know them and to experience their life, and if possible to plant a smile on their faces…not out of sympathy…but out of social responsibility and love of mankind….I am sure that God will plant a smile on your face as well.

Joke of 2009!

Obama wins nobel prize for 2009. Iam unable to recollect a single concrete action from his side justifying this. Is it my ignorance?. Let it be. Is nobel loosing it’s glitter. Is there a single year from it’s inception when the prize was not given due to non availability of a suitable candidate?. Are we equating 0bama with mother thresa?. Hahahaha……joke of the year.

Sent from my Nokia phone

gift

An american ambassador was visiting one of the african countries. He arrived at a meeting of kids with lots of gifts and he told the kids ‘see, with how many gifts i have come here to meet you!’. The head of the village murmured into his ears ‘sir, its almost one week since they have eaten any food’. The american ambassador laughed and said ‘ i will not give any gifts to the kids who have not taken food’.

Do we do this in our lives?.

Courtesy : hridayavayal by bobby jose

Sent from my Nokia phone

PMdistilled Module-1 PMP FAQs

There are a set of standard questions, every PMP aspirant asks. This post along with the video, addresses most of them.

1) What is PMP?

PMP stands for “Project management professional” – one of the most popular certifications for project managers.

2) Is it domain specific?

No. PMP examination is based on the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK), which is general set of best practices which are vendor and domain neutral.

3) After appearing for the 35 contact hours of class, the 35 contact hours thus earned is valid for how many years?

8 years. Unbelievable?…Yes, it is valid for eight years from the date of gaining the 35 contact hours.

4) Once I register for the PMP exam, within how many days time should I write the exam?

365 days ( 1 year).

5) How do I register for the exam?

Once your application is approved by PMI, they will send you the reference code. Using this reference code, you can schedule your exam in the nearest prometric testing center. The complete list of prometric testing centers is available at  www.2test.com

6) Is it necessary that I should have worked as a project manager, before applying for the exam?

Here the general advise is “The day someone starts reporting to you, you are a manager”. Even if your designation is not “project manager”, and if you have worked as part of the project team for the stipulated hours, still you qualify. For the correct and latest qualification criteria, please refer to the PMP hand book, which can be downloaded from www.pmi.org

7) Is it mandatory to become a PMI member, before applying for the exam?

No. It is not mandatory to become a PMI member to apply for the exam. At the same time, if you are a PMI member at the time of applying for PMP certification exam, then you get the following advantages;

  • You get a discount of USD 100 on the exam fees. That means, effectively you are getting the membership for the first year for just USD 29 only.
  • Once you are a PMI member, then you get access to the knowledge database of PMI
  • One year subscription to PM network magazine and PM journal quarterly – both value for money
  • A Complimentary soft copy of the latest version of PMBOK, which is a must for preparing for the exam

To be continued….If you have any specific queries, please post it as a comment.

My feet are off the ground !

From Tyler Perry: writer and actor

This morning I awoke and was so frustrated about all of the stuff that I’m

dealing with in trying to get this studio open. I was about to open my

mouth and start complaining when I remembered something that happened to

me about a year ago.


On that day, I was walking to my car when this woman who appeared to be

homeless started walking towards me. I’m ashamed to say this but I

thought, “I don’t feel like being hustled today.”

I felt guilty so I started digging in my pocket for some money. As she got

closer I noticed that she had the kindest eyes that I had ever seen. As I

was reaching into my pocket she started to speak. I thought, “Here goes

the sales pitch”. She said “Excuse me sir, I need some shoes. Can you help

me?” I was taken aback…instead of a sob story this woman had asked for

something she genuinely needed.


I took her inside the studio and had my wardrobe people find shoes in her

size. As she put the shoes on she started crying, praising God and saying,

“My feet are off the ground! My feet are off the ground!” Several of the

wardrobe people started crying… I was crying. But I never forgot those

words. “My feet are off the ground!”

I thought, “Wow! All she wanted was some shoes.” She quickly disappeared

and never asked me for a dime… I realized that I still had the money in

my hand so I went out looking for her. She was gone just that quick so I

looked all around the neighborhood for her.


I found her standing on a corner looking down at her shoes, still crying.

I was so touched. I asked her how she had gotten homeless. She told me

that she had AIDS and that she was waiting to get into a shelter. She said

that her family had turned their backs on her and that she had no place to

go, but she knew that God would make a way for her.


I said to myself, “He just did.” Her faith and her praise moved me. I took

her to a nearby hotel and put her up until she was able to get on her

feet. After about a month or so we lost touch, but I never forgot her.

This past summer, a woman walked up to me smiling. I didn’t recognize her

face, but her eyes were familiar. She had on a really nice dress and her

hair was done. She introduced herself to me and lo and behold – It was

her! She told me that the little help that I had given her had changed her

life. She was in a house now and doing very well.


I said all of that to say this: After I met this woman, every time I think

about complaining and mumbling I remember, “My feet are off the ground!”

I wanted to share this with you just – when you say you are thankful for

you – mean it.


When you say you are blessed – mean it.

Remember that there are many people whose feet are NOT off the ground so

be grateful that yours are!


“God providentially places us in the RIGHT place, at the RIGHT time, for

all the RIGHT reasons!”


God Bless
Biju & Sheeba

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind – Luke 10:27