Oh, I Juggle!

Home, Family, Success, Peace… Can a woman really have it all?

Archive for the month “September, 2012”

Five Great Ways to Trick Yourself into Feeling Motivated

Let’s be honest, there are many things we need to do but don’t really want to. I know I feel that way about household chores. I swing from feeling great when I get the housework done to wishing I could get myself a wife. No, don’t say we are all equal. Any married woman will tell you, we are not. Since I am the one staying at home to take care of the kids, I am not really complaining. Not all the time, anyway.

In the meanwhile, I have devised some fun ways of not only making the process enjoyable, but also seeing that the job gets done well. This can be applied to any task or job that you don’t feel like doing but have to do anyway.
Follow these steps to trick yourself into feeling motivated:

1. Move with quick purposeful movements. Your energy and enthusiasm will soon catch up with your physical movements. Straight spine and shoulders back can work wonders for word count too.

2. Imagine this to be your dream task and pretend to love the process. When you have fun working, you will be more efficient. Work will also get done much faster this way.

3. Pretend that you know exactly what needs to be done next. Sometimes motivation levels are low because of the complexity of the task at hand. You may not know how you will accomplish all the steps required to complete the task. When you act with confidence you may find that the steps were not so difficult, after all.

4. Don’t aim for perfection. Have a basic quality threshold which needs to be met. Once done, move on to the next step or task that you need to do.

5. Play a game and complete the task within a designated time frame. Remember my friend, the timer? Use it to mark time. It will help you focus and finish the job at hand before moving on to other things.

Try these steps on tasks you don’t like and see them transform into satisfying accomplishments.

Tell me, tell me, did it work?



Book Reading at Hyderabad- The Taj Conspiracy

I met Manreet Sodhi Someshwar at the Hyderabad book reading session of The Taj Conspiracy on the 12th of this month. I have been meaning to do a post on that since. But, lots of challenges cropped up on the home front needing my complete attention. Some of the excitement from the memory has died down. I still hope to capture that feeling here.

On the day of the event I logged into twitter early in the morning to check if any further details had been posted about the event. Manreet tweeted that there would be a book reading at Pune. My heart stopped for a second. I had been planning this day for the past two weeks. I quickly called Landmark, Hyderabad and they confirmed that the event was on. It had been a simple error. The Pune book reading had been the day before. What a relief!

In the evening, I walked in with both kids tagging along. My parents had kindly agreed to accompany me to help entertain the kids while I focussed on the event. I found the beautiful Manreet Sodhi Someshwar sitting with two others, chatting. All the other chairs were unoccupied. I walked up and introduced myself. She was charming and gracious. She patiently answered all my questions on writing and publishing. She advised me to keep going even when things got tough. With young children around it will be more difficult, she said. You just have to keep working.

My little girl was smitten. She wanted to know all about the dolphin bracelet that Manreet wore. Manreet’s daughter had made it for her and wanted her to wear it to all book promotional events. It was her special good luck charm.

The discussion started and I kicked myself for not completing The Taj Conspiracy as I had earlier planned. A young man in the front row had and thanks to him the discussed was evenly balanced. T.S. Sudhir asked her about the research, writing and her plans for the next book. Manreet was her eloquent best in answering all the questions. She told us that she had gotten to know Mehrunisa Khosa, the protagonist, so well in these past five years that she wanted to write more books with her in them. This book was therefore the first in a trilogy.

My daughter whispered to me asking why I didn’t hurry up and finish my book so that I could be on stage too, discussing my story. I informed her that it took Manreet five years to complete The Taj Conspiracy, conveniently leaving out the fact that my novel didn’t require as much research.

The discussion was over too soon for me. Manreet had an international flight to catch. Some people were getting their copies of the book signed. I had mine signed earlier.

Just before leaving I walked up to Manreet to say goodbye. I asked if there were plans to promote The Taj Conspiracy internationally too.

“Inshallah”, she smiled.

Manreet, for your dreams and mine, Inshallah!

Cleared Some Space and Feeling Energised

What does being organised mean to you? To me it means that I can find what I want without feeling stressed and living in a space which radiates peace. Being organised is much more than being neat or clean. It is a state of mind. If you can find what you are looking for quickly and be able to instruct someone else to do so, that space is organised. Knowing the what, where, how and most importantly, the why are the first steps to getting organised. When you are organised it becomes a firm foundation for all the things that you want to do well in life. It is like a backbone of structure running through the many things that shape your life. When you organise your physical space, your mental space gets organised. Your thoughts become clearer.

For me organizing is fun because part of it is establishing systems and logic underlies the entire process. If you have been following this blog, you know that I thrive on theory. It just makes everything more interesting for me.

Why am I going on and on about it? You guessed it! I cleared a major lot of books and papers yesterday. What a day it was! I started with a bout of allergy. So I was sneezing and sniffing the entire time. But since I had planned this, I just forged ahead. It was definitely worth it. I cleared a lot of stuff I had been holding onto for quite some time.

I find purging books so much more difficult than clothes. I have a more functional relationship with clothes. With books (and diaries, and papers with my daughter’s scribbles) there is a deeper emotional connect. So this pile had been growing and growing while every time I wanted to throw/ give something away ( remember the decluttering plan?), I would conveniently go to the clothes shelf, take a few pieces out, put it in a bag and give it off the very next day to my household help.

Yesterday’s decluttering put me in a wonderful head space and I woke up a good 5 minutes before the alarm rang at 4 am. The writing went very smoothly and I wrote down 1.5 times my usual number of words in that time. It really is simple. Momentum in one area of life livens up the other areas as well.

Whenever you feel stuck in the middle of any project, it is a wonderful idea to go organise a space. It clears up a lot of energy. Not just the subtle kind. You actually will feel physically more energetic. Declutter before you build a logical system into the space. You could also use symmetry to create a visual appeal. That well ordered look is what I call neat. But neat does not automatically imply organised. Although if you are organised it is easier to be neat.

How do you define clean, neat or organised? Do you use these words interchangeably?

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