The best people move fast.

The best people move fast.

One productivity tactic I’ve been aiming to get better at is following up with people immediately after they contact me.

If they email me I answer it right away once I open it.

Short and imperfect is better than wasting time deliberating what to say.

Out of mind, out of sight.

Apparently this is also the the #1 productivity tip of Sheryl Sandberg, the un-official CEO of Facebook. You can google it.

I’ve also been doing this when people text me.

Now of course if I’m at the Arcade Fire concert or in a movie or driving in my car there will be a delay. Because that activity is the priority.

You gotta figure out what’s the priority for you. Maybe it’s based on the relationship.

Getting back to people has been one of my weak spots. Maybe no longer after this.

Let’s see how this evolves. The point is to make decisions faster.

Easter Weekend Shenanigans

Guess what I did over Easter Weekend? Cross country ski.  My first time since 2002. And it was  unreal. Why haven’t I taken advantage of this before?

I did it in Canmore, which is only 45 min drive from Calgary. Cost only 20 dollars to rent the skies/boots and you’re off! Okay also 20 dollars for the ski pass. But that is still quite the bargain compared to any Ski resort. Not to mention no lift lines.  Most importantly of all,  it was a lot of freaking FUN (once you get the hang of it).

It was a beautiful day with the sun shining on us. My good friend Justin won a silver medal at the Asian games for cross country ski racing a few years back. He has been bugging me and all us friends to try out this rather pedestrian looking sport for god knows how long.

Anyways, he finally persuaded us enough to do it. Some friends from Vancouver also joined us.

We got 1 hour lesson from him on the basics and boom we were off to the races. I won the relay.  The back of my arm muscles were aching the next day.

Coming down the hill paths was extremo fun. Not snowboarding or skiing downhill fast, but still super fast.  Some of us crashed and bailed. Landed on my ass few times, but once you tell yourself you won’t fall, you don’t fall.

Will consider again. The rocky mountains of Canmore were a spectacular setting. Need to go on more “holidays” within my locale.

A couple photo’s.

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Stretching:
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Keep it loose,

Nishant.

Mental Health event in yyc

Hola.

Last night I listened to 7 min talks on mental health by eight thinkers including Margaret Trudeau.  (She’s the Prime Minister’s mom!)

It was a well run event by Walrus Magazine. They were serving tenderloin appetizers on toothpicks afterwards at Theater Junction.  Delicious.  I had about 6.

Some golden nuggets from the talks:

  • Having a single friend you see during the week is as good for your health as making an extra $100,000 a year
  • Weak social connections is equivalent to smoking two packets of cigarettes a day for your health
  •  We should develop brain retirement plans (like RRSP) to prevent dementia. As you grow older, you have a diversified portfolio of stimulating activities.
  • By 2040 150 million worldwide will suffer from dementia.
  • Physical activity three times a week can reduce the risk of dementia by 35%
  • Cognitive bias in our health system and the adverse affects in indigenous people
  • Facts: 1 in 5 Canadians experience some form of mental illness and half a million people aren’t at work due to mental illness

All in all a fun and informative night out for 25 dollars.

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creating tiny habits

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I have been inconsistent with my blogging.   This is a quick one to get back in the habit.

Appropriately this one is about creating tiny habits.

Back in April, I did this free online course called 3 Tiny Habits offered by Stanford professor BJ Fogg. He’s behaviour scientist who I actually met once at a conference in NYC – Behaviour Con.

This whole course is devoted to creating skills needed to create new habits. I’m interested in this because let’s face it  – everything you do in this life is made up of habits. It’s not necessarily self-help either. It’s also about designing solutions for others.

I would argue success for most businesses depends on creating habits in customers . It’s a topic that can change the world. A lot of innovative companies like Google are successful because it creates new habits for million of people.

Anyways, in this post I want to describe his course and what I got out of it. He asks you to pick 3 new healthy habits that you want in your life.  The 3 tiny habits I chose to focus on were:

1. After I brush I will floss one tooth.
2. When I get to work I will write one line in my note book.
3. After I put my head on the pillow . I will think of one good thing from the day.
Now if you notice, these 3 new habits are pretty simple.  And they are created after I do an existing habit.  He calls these ‘anchor’ habits.
For instance I wake up in the morning and automatically brush my teeth. I hope you do as well.  He mentions for you to create a new ‘tiny’ habit it must be these 3 things:
1. you do it at least once a day
2. takes you less than 30 seconds and
3. requires little effort.
He’s found that motivation can’t be relied on for creating new habit. It’s not sustainable, because it requires work.  Yet everyone thinks they need more “motivation”.
Here’s a quick real life example – do you remember how busy your local gym was in January? People had new years resolutions to get more fit, sexy, etc and they have all this motivation. Then what happens at the gym? 2 weeks later it’s back to it’s normal level of people. 
What the hell does this MEAN?
Motivation is great for getting you started, but it’s horrible to get you finished. Hence why you need GOOD habits.  (Btw: I don’t think motivation is bad thing. You should have something that gets you excited in the morning).
This is the reasoning behind his simple methodology.  It should be as effortless as possible.
He also talks about feeling victorious after you do each habit.  So I actually mentally rehearsed all these habits once and said “victory! or “nailed it!”  to myself before even doing it. He explains what you say to yourself is key for rapid habit formation. I definitely found that to be true. Humans seek pleasure and avoid pain.
This online course is a 5 day session structured that  I had to email him  YYY or YNY or NNN ( yes – y and no – n) to completing these three tiny habits at the end of the day.
Below is a screen shot of an email I’d get each day.
tiny habits email
Take aways / What surprised me?
That I needed to be make my habits super simple for them stick. Also I needed to change the anchor.
For instance my last habit – thinking of one good thing after put on my head on pillow –  was something I should have changed to  – write one thing down in my notebook I feel grateful for. That felt more concrete than just thinking about it. Also, once I’m in bed I fall asleep pretty quick. Not a time for thinking.
For my 2nd habit –  ‘when I get to work I will write one line in my note book‘ – My anchor was a bit vague. It needed to be more specific. When I sit down at the desk, take out my lap top and my notebook from my bag THEN I will write one line down in my notebook.  It needs to be more precise to get done. Writing one line is super easy too.
If I said write for 5 mins in my notebook –  that time interval would make it 10x harder to implement.
One thing actually he stresses is that revision is part of the process.  He gives a lot of helpful hints to make this all easier in his emails too. I will try it out again and maybe you should too.
If you want to get a deeper understanding of this topic check out his website – tinyhabits.com
 Hope this got you EXCITED to create new habits!!
Till next time,
Nishant (Trying to create new habits) Mehrotra

how to make hot cocoa – video

I’ve been a little obsessed with my vitamix machine ever since I bought it about 2 weeks ago. I’ve been making delicious smoothies twice a day with anything I can find my fridge. And I mean freaking EVERYTHING.  Every conceivable vegetable/fruit combination you can imagine.

I haven’t thrown up yet. God bless America.

I decided to make one of my favourite hot beverages of all time last night.  Hot chocolate. Yes this machine is even capable of making hot soups (that’s next!) and hot beverages such as hot cocoa.

Here’s a quick how-to video from last night. Fun times.

check it out:

 

 

Ten apps that I’d like to use

What’s up?

I’ve been reading a new book called Idea Machine by Claudia Altucher.  The whole point of the book is write to 10 Ideas every day to make your brain sweat. Get your creative juices flowing. Once done consistently, say after 180 days, you become an Idea Machine.

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Why do you want to be an idea machine? Because ideas are the currency of 21st century. Not money. Money can run out. Good ideas can buy you experiences, etc….

She does a terrific job selling the idea on why writing down ideas are important! It got me pumped and you may wanna consider this exercise too. It’s only 1 dollar on the Kindle.

BTW this book is more of a worksheet than a proper book. And I like that!  And doesn’t necessarily have to be business ideas. It can be ten  ideas about how to practice gratitude in the day.

I liked Day 2 of the idea worksheet. These were my ideas.

List Ten Apps That You’d Like To Use, doesn’t matter that they already exist or not, think of what would be helpful for you in particular:

  1. App Reminder System for your friends/family to return items.

  2. App that changes your ringtone based on the weather. Ie: Thunderstruck by ACDC when a rainy storm hits.

  3. App that gives you flirty text suggestions you can send to girls via text.

  4. App that gives you Indian or Paleo food cooking instructions every day.

  5. App that tells where free parking is in any city.  A sort of Airbnb for parking.

  6. App that give you new clothing suggestions every month for men. Based on whats trendy and links to stores nearby to you.

  7. App for food delivery to your door – one click – sent to your apartment door.

  8. Tinder like app for doing actual fun activities. Matches you with people who play soccer, tennis, run stairs up in Crescent Heights, right here in Calgary. LOL. Why not? Coffee dates are boring.

  9. App that gives you the Top 10 Rok’n’Rol  tracks of the week suggested from Bands you already love. Ie Noel Gallagher writes them out on a daily basis on his blog!

  10.  App that gives you guitar chords after you Shazam the songs to find who it was.  Godsend. What about Ukulele chords?

Shots of Awe – Video

Over the summer I stumbled upon a wicked video series on YouTube called Shots of Awe by Jason Silva.

Jason is a guy I  would call an Idea DJ.  He talks SUPER fast. He mixes so many so ideas and spits them into 2-3 min videos.  He has a knack for making these life affirming videos that will feel make you feel you need to do more after watching them!!

This is one of my recent favourites – How do we create serendipity?