Wednesday, May 4, 2022

The joy of breaking rules

I dont consider myself a rebel. In most cases my preferences are strictly average and I may be an outlier in a couple of things- but am sure thats true for evryone.  Based on those few outliers, we may like to classify ourselves as off-beat but I rid myself of that delusion years ago. Now I am happy to be average - not happy to be mediocre, but a person with average taste/ opinions rather than eclectic ones. 

I mostly follow rules without much thought and that includes general home cleaning rules. But sometimes I stumble upon something that works for me, that is the opposite of whats recommended. One such recent discovery was that I like cleaning the house in the morning before work, rather than do it in the evenings or weekends. 

I love a productive morning as much as the next person and I used to consider any morning without either reading or exercise as unproductive. But lately I have been getting such a kick out of cleaning , even if it is just for a few minutes that I cannot believe I hadnt discovered this before. 

It feels like such a waste of time and yet I know that it isnt. It checks all the boxes - I enjoy it, Its always better after the activity than before, and there are insta pages dedicated to it - what can be the problem doing it in the morning? 

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Productive Netflix

 An oxymoron if there was ever one. 

I have been addicted to The Home Edit on Netflix recently -  where two home organisers go to a celeb's house and a normal person's house and organise their mess. Its like what Masterchef is to cooking- its vaguely in the area of interest, you may get a couple of tips, but end of the day its just drama. I know it and yet I cant stop myself from watching those two women clean out, organise and give a makeover. 

I love makeover/transformation stories- my fav movie is The Devil wears Prada and my fav montage is the one right after Anne's transformation. I wonder if this speaks to some subconscious desire of mine to transform, but until I figure that out I will rewatch the intro and the transformation montage to no end. 

The Home Edit is similar, except it is for rooms/closets. Watching that doesnt make my room any more organised and there are barely any usable tips that I can immediately implement- what they do is pretty much my current system. I dont find the women super interesting ( they arent annoying, but I dont particularly watch it for the banter). I am currently cleaning my house draw by draw and I thought its a nice complementary thing to watch. Thats how it started but what has happened is that I am now watching the show instead of cleaning my house

Ah-- the best laid plans of me! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Micro reading

 There are some books that I never end up finishing. I start, and then read 20-30% and then just forget about it. Inspired by Laura Vanderkam who read one chapter of War and Peace everyday to finish it by the end of the year, I have decided to do the same. My books are The Gene, The Ancestor's tale and Behave, by Sapolsky. I aim to read a few pages every day, much less than what I usually can read. That way I hope I can sustainably finish these books.

I will continue to read other books at my usual pace, but finish 2-3 pages of the big one that I am tackling. Gene is by far the easisest and I am starting with it. I guess I will be done by Mar- Apr. After which I think Ill get into the Ancestor's tale, I am hoping. 

Monday, January 10, 2022

Things I miss in Bangalore

 Road side tailor- for those little tears, simple alterations and random stuff 

Roadside cobbler. - I remember fixing the zipper on a couple of my handbags in Chennai. What do I do with non working zippers now? 

Simple 5 min walk to buy whatever- kind of clears your head. 

Zepto, Instamart all are superb and extraordinarily helpful. But am a lot more productive with mindless stuff like fixing things in Chennai. Could just be muscle memory of going out and doing? 

I had been wanting to go to Westside in blr for so long and kept putting it off. Chennai I stepped out to buy something basic and decided to walk for a few more minutes to the store. 

Is it a coincidence then that I have also been writing more in Chennai? Despite extenuating circumstances? 

I seem to have only questions these days. 

Sunday, January 9, 2022


 We feel less guilty when we are personally exploiting something rather than indirectly benefiting from a systematic exploitation. 

For example, we dont feel guilty about utilising a hospital COVID ward, where HCW put their lives at risk to help you. But I feel so guilty asking for a personal attender to help our family as we are going through COVID, with concerns like what if he gets it? What if we cause him more pain than the benefit we offer him etc.

But logically its no different from a situation at a hospital ward, where its likely that the ward boys take up the job purely for money. it feels different when its institutional than when it is personal. Why is that? 

Social proof? Distribution of responsibilty?

Monday, January 3, 2022

Stolen focus

In the near future, one way to differentiate the rich from the poor will be to see who is immersed in their phones. The rich will have come out of phone addiction, with their meditation apps and retreats and Nir eyal led workshops. 

The poor meanwhile, will be caught in the spiral of free Facebook and glance and tik tok equivalents, whichever might come up. 

I dont know what the solution to this is. I suppose democratising meditation and philosophy is one way. But its not an easy one to implement. Who is solving for this problem?

Saturday, January 1, 2022

When should companies think about Olympics 2024

 Around the time of Olympics we see a lot of think pieces on how we should become a Olympics superpower, how its a shame that the best athletes dont find sponsors, how they would love to sponsor some athelets, some paralympians etc. 

And then you dont hear from them about this until the next Olympics. 

Perhaps I have been reading too much Laura Vanderkam, but if you want to contribute effectively to Olympics 2024, the time to think about it is now. This year is when the finalists will likely be finalised ( unless its already done? I dont know). So this year will be when they need to train rigorously to ensure that they can make it. This year is when they will need the support of training facilities, coaches and everything else. Sometimes a great player comes through this and still needs support for the last leg, which usually goes viral. 

But if you want your very good athletes to become world-class, this year is when you should go after sponsoring opportunities. 

Everyone can congratulate PV Sindhu and do moment marketing after the Olympics, but few will work for it. 

As I wrote this I realised I must be missing out a lot this way in my professional and personal life too, until its too late. So much for advising people on Olympics!