Meaningful Work


Questions to manage your schedule
  • First ask yourself: Which end is your job skewed - Schedule Making or Taking?
  • Are you burned out and troubled with frayed nerves and broken relationships because you’re overwhelmed with work?
  • Doesn’t your manager have any idea of how much work you’re doing because you’re managing your own time?
  • Learn to ask the right questions to yourself and to the one who gives you work.
srividya g (@srividyag) - Profile Photo



To make life better

“Just Say No” Is Bad Productivity Advice
  • Usually, all productivity advice says: “Say NO often, make time for other things.
  • This sounds smart but isn’t always practical
  • Eg: You can’t always say NO to your boss. You can’t always say NO to your partner in doing household chores.
  • What to do instead? : Learn to ask a better question.
Instead of Saying “No,” Ask “When?”
  • Instead of saying “no” to your boss or family member, try schedule-syncing.
  • Make sure you block your calendar for meetings and specific work. Sync this calendar with your boss or family member.
  • Make sure you have time sheet to report on what you’re doing during your working hours.
  • After this, if someone gives you work, ask politely: “When?”
Schedule makers have more trouble..
  • Schedule Takers have less decisions to make since they are paid for their time. If you put in an hour of work, you’ll be paid accordingly.
  • Schedule Makers have to decide what to work on, when and how. They apparently have more flexibility but since their managers don’t know how they are managing their time, they are often over-burdened.
  • If you do the right things, you can save yourself from this.
Figure Out What Kind of Worker You Are
  • There are two kinds of workers: Schedule Makers and Schedule Takers
  • Schedule Makers make their schedule. They have flexibility of time so long as they get the work done. Eg: most white collar jobs- engineers, designers
  • Schedule Takers have their schedule made by someone else. They are paid hourly and don’t have control over their hours. Eg: blue collar jobs
  • Most jobs are a combination of Schedule Makers and Takers.
🤝 9. Delegate

Once you have given power to others, included them in groups and meetings, and documented your knowledge, they’ll be ready to take work from you. Delegate work that can make them grow and focus on the things only you can do.

🏁 2. Document your long-term plans

People should know what’s coming up in your projects and/or team by looking at those plans, not by relying on you to tell them “in real time”. Plan a few months ahead so, if you leave, your peers won’t be lost from day one.

🎥 3. Document your meetings

Keep (public, within the team) notes for all meetings you attend, listing who was there, what was discussed, and any conclusions. Reference those notes from design documents. Your replacement will need these to catch up.

🤔 Imagine leaving your job on short notice

A good philosophy to live by at work is to “always be quitting”. No, don’t be constantly thinking of leaving your job 😱. But act as if you might leave on short notice 😎.

Counterintuitively, this will make you better at what you do and open up growth opportunities.

↩️ 6. Identify and train your replacement

In the same vein as training others, to switch roles you’ll need to replace yourself. Identify who that replacement might be and actively and continuously coach them.

👩‍🔧 5. Train people around you

The goal is for them to be independent (what is usually considered “seniority” in a typical engineering ladder). Familiarize them with the plans and technologies and make sure they know how to use the documentation.

🙅‍♂️ What does it mean to "always be quitting"?
  • “Making yourself replaceable”
  • “Deprecating yourself”
  • "Automating yourself out of your job”

In short, being disposable to free yourself to grow into a higher-level role and make it easier to change the projects you work on. Confused still? Here are 10 specific things you can do 👇

🔑 7. Give power to the people

Trust them to do the right thing. If you are in a leadership position, don’t make it so people come to you asking for permission. Let them make their own choices. Guide them so that their choices are based on the right data.

🧠 10. Always be learning

Take the chance to grow your knowledge in any area you are interested in, and keep it fun. Bonus points if that area aligns with the future path you want to take.

📌 8. Do not make yourself the point of contact

Establish mailing lists or other forms of communication that can accommodate other people, and then grow those groups. (The exception is when management needs names for accountability.)

📕 1. Document your knowledge

Every time someone asks you a question, they are highlighting a gap in the documentation. Take the chance to write the answer down (in a document, sheet, note, code, comment, etc.) so that the next person doesn’t need YOU.

👬 4. Bring others to meetings

If not a 1-on-1 and you are the only person from your team attending a meeting, involve someone else. Different perspectives are useful, but more importantly, you are avoiding becoming the only point of contact.

Reach out to the right people
If you’re striving to do something big, you will not be able to do it alone.

Reach out to the right people. People who won’t let you fail. Or, who will at least give it to you straight when you’re going the wrong direction. And you will go the wrong direction, from time-to-time, because egos, money, time, and other things are on the line.

  • Is to spend more than half of your work day in a semi-conscious state, in-and-out of focus
  • to be addicted to technology, stimulants, unhealthy eating, and distraction
  • to lack purpose in your life
  • to be apathetic
  • to not really believe in anything with enough conviction to sacrifice for it, invest in it, and fight for it.

This investment is almost always what triggers a "point of no return moment". It’s that point in time when a person becomes truly committed.

Once you make an investment in your decision, you solidify your new identity. Your role changes. You become a leader of the cause you’re about.

Because no one care about your success more than you do. Most of the people around you will hold you to a lower standard - they are too busy with their own goals to care about yours.

Hence, you need to put people around you who will hold you to the standard of your decision, or an even higher one.

Richard Marcinko

“The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.”

When you make a definitive decision to live differently, you need to continually re-create the experience that spawned the decision, because there will be resistance to your living out that decision.

You need to act consistently from the peak state that formed your decision. So, you need to develop a routine of regularly getting yourself into a peak state.

... means you’re operating at the level you want to be, so that you can achieve ambitions beyond anything you've done before. You can reach this state by: 

  • Getting your body moving and breathing deeply (some of the easiest ways to get into a peak state).
  • Listening to music that motivates you.
  • Giving a genuine compliment or being kind to someone.
  • Learning and expanding your mind.
Morning rituals

They are what triggers a peak state.

The core purpose for having a morning routine is to put yourself into a peak state in the morning — so you can then operate from that state for the rest of your day. Rather than being reactive, addicted, and unconscious in your morning — it’s far better to proactively put yourself in a peak state in a ritualistic manner.

“Self-made is an illusion. There are many people who played divine roles in you having the life that you have today. Be sure to let them know how grateful you are. Example: the person who introduced you to the person who introduced you to your spouse or business partner or client. Go back that far.” 

Most long-term goals are intimidating, and the mind can feel overwhelmed, resulting in demotivation. If the goal is too easy, the mind feels bored.

The optimum state of productivity, known as ‘flow’ occurs when the activity in question is reasonably challenging, but not too hard. Slicing the larger mission into smaller milestones which have the right amount of challenge makes one enjoy the process and stay on track.

  • Failure is generally looked down upon but is necessary for success.
  • Failure is a learning mechanism that eliminates what didn’t work and provides a clear path towards a way to achieve success.
  • Fear of failure is what kills motivation, as we believe it is an outcome to avoid, and do not look at it as a tool to harness.

Elon Musk shows the world how big, audacious goals can be achieved by dividing them into smaller milestones and embracing failure and negative feedback.

His goals are not something he is doing for the media circus, but something in which he is emotionally committed. Goals work when they are bigger than ourselves, enhancing our commitment and responsibility towards them.

  • Right from childhood, Elon Musk preferred books over people, often devouring them at one go.
  • He was an introvert and a deep thinker and began to gather deep insights about life and how to shape humanity and the future of mankind.
  • Musk eventually developed a practical and efficient approach towards goals and carried the drive to follow through.
Failure As A Tool

If we look at the number of failures and setbacks in Elon Musk’s life, we begin to see why he is so successful.

The Tesla and Space X CEO uses failure as a tool towards eventual success, if at all. It is a non-linear path to innovation, which involves starting from the first principle, which is obtained by breaking down all the unessential parts and getting down to the fundamental truth.

Carlos Castaneda

"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same."

Seth Godin

"Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from."

H. Jackson Brown Jr.

"Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein."

Helen Keller

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us."

Mahatma Gandhi

"A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes."

Lily Tomlin

"The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat."

Jean-Luc Picard

"Someone once told me that 'time' is a predator that stalks us all our lives. But I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment because it will never come again."

Jim Rohn

"Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present."

Denis Waitley

"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them."

Walt Disney

"A man should never neglect his family for business."

John Maxwell

"The Pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails."

Steve Jobs

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do."

Thomas Edison

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

Dr. Seuss

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."

Charles Darwin

"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."

© Brainstash, Inc

AboutCuratorsJobsPress KitTopicsTerms of ServicePrivacy PolicySitemap