Quote 10 Oct 2017

“Truth was a changing display in a shop window, manipulated by hands when you weren’t looking, alluring and out of reach.”

– Colson Whitehead “The Underground Railroad”


No spend days

I really have to get into a habit of “no spend” days. I have been very successful over the past few months of not heading to the mall when I’m down. But it doesn’t help when I have the amazon app on my phone. Retail therapy seems to be very crucial to my well-being. Well sometimes I invent reasons for requiring retail therapy but that’s a whole different story. I realize that I have a problem with spending money unnecessarily and I need to do something about it.

I have decided to start with small steps. The first step is not to spend on something I already have. I have a bad habit of buying variations of things I already have. I have to stop this.

The second step is not to stay away from apps just the way I stay away from the malls. I will trash shopping emails or just un-subscribe from them.

The final step is to institute “no spend” days. I need to make sure that I go shopping once in  two weeks. I know I won’t make it a whole month so this is a decent target to start with.

It would seem like I’m nagging about first world problems. But the truth is, shopping is an addiction just like any other. It doesn’t have to mean spending a huge amount of money but in the end it does add up. We live in a consumer driven society and sometimes I feel like everything points in the direction of marketing. It doesn’t help much when that is also the thing that helps you feel better.


When did I stop writing?

It seems like it’s been so long that I’ve written anything, let alone put up a worth while blog post. I don’t know when this happened and most importantly I don’t know when I stopped writing for myself. Over the last year, I felt like I was struggling to write anything because I felt like I had nothing inspirational or interesting to say. It started to feel a little narcissistic to just write about myself, my updates and my life. So, I stopped writing altogether.

Most days I am so exhausted from work that it feels my brain is permanently blocked. The thought of coming up with a post that has a point or something profound seemed like so much work. Then I realized that it didn’t always have to be that way. I am not writing for a newspaper and my posts can be bad. But, they’re still my thoughts and that’s the point of a personal blog. May one story, one line or one thought can help someone. May be it can make someone laugh. May be it can make someone angry or frustrated. But if it can invoke even a small feeling in someone, that seems like a good victory. And on the plus side… it helps me write again!

Three’s not a crowd for planners

I have often seen blog posts where people detail their use of multiple planners. I have always been quite intrigued with how they managed multiple planners because for me it always had to be one book. These days, I realize that’s not so much the case and I can relate to how a person’s life can translate into having more than one book.

When I changed my job earlier this year, I was quite overwhelmed with the level of information and the number of projects I had to run. There is a need to write down a lot of notes, and the task list was obviously long. However, meetings are fewer. So, there was some major adjusting to be done.

For over 13 years, my work calendar had to be perfect. I had internal meetings, external meetings and conference calls throughout the day. So I had to be very sure about my appointment when I scheduled my time. Now, most of my meetings take place in my office with the rare exception that I have to visit our satellite office. So, there’s no real concern for travel time and to manage my calendar very carefully.

So without much further drivel, let me briefly describe the system I am using right now:

Main System

  1. Filofax Personal (Compact) – Croc: I love this planner. It may be a compact but with use the leather has become very supple and the full length back pocket is so handy. I use it as my main wallet and my planner. I have a lot of lists, reference info and budget that I keep carrying in all my planners. For planning…I have a monthly calendar for forward and big picture planning (deadlines), a weekly calendar for appointments and essential reminders, note pages for to-do list which I keep between by weekly calendar.
  2. Hobonichi Techo Cousin: I love this book and am using it for notes. It has so many different formats of calendars and if you really want, you can plan your whole life (work & personal) and few other people’s lives as well. LOL. But I find this very useful because the paper is so lightweight that it’s got so many pages packed into one. I have the sleek leather cover for it and even though I don’t strictly stick to the date on the planner, I still have a calendar at hand if I need it. It’s easy to carry internally and once in a while when I need to travel or take it home.
  3. Yellow Note Pad: I got some simple ones from Mead and put them in a nice leather pad folio. This is also big enough to carry my computer. I have started using this more in meetings and to carry outside with my computer. I do this for two reasons, I can tear of the pages and file them with documents that I receive and secondly, when I open my pad it’s fresh, so outsiders do not inadvertently see the internal notes I have taken.

So that’s it. I tried combining everything into a Filofax A5, but I realized it got so bulky and heavy. It was a better idea to combine my wallet and Personal Filofax. That way, I could use smaller bags and still have everything essential with me.

So far it’s working quite well and I’m sure I will keep tweaking this but for now I feel quite under control and not so overwhelmed anymore.

I have a few support organizing items that are crucial to staying on top of my projects. I would like to share some good stationery items I have found and will do another post on that.

Have a good day!

Taking a vacation from reality

For me it’s watching my favorite sitcoms. There are number of them that I really enjoy and I think I may have watched some episodes over 20 times. It doesn’t matter even if I know what’s coming next, a good episode always makes me laugh. For the moment, I leave behind the reality of the world and can forget whatever may be causing me stress. I am a happier person and as they say laughter is always the best medicine. 

Image: http://www.clipground.com