A Matter of Importance
Almost mid year, its time for the half yearly meeting and the usual targets and quotas will be discussed. It’s a busy time now making presentations and making up numbers wherever possible, atleast for those who haven’t any in reality! All sales staff stuck at their PC peering through excel sheets and woprd documents – that scene is when the boss sits on the sales floor. Over 8 out of 10 staff have a social networking site, some music app, video streaming in the background. That’s just the computer. Their phone is constantly pinging messages and images on mobile social apps, personal emails through the email client, notifications of all types flashing and pinging on the screen. The mobile battery could die anytime, so its always plugged to the laptop or the DC socket. Just one second, a call from an unknown number just came in …. Some telemarketing person wanting to sell me insurance through my credit card. Anyways, where was i?…. ah yes, the mobile apps…no.. the battery running low… oh, wait, I better tell my wife to bring along the power bank later tonight when meeting at dinner. And yes, I have to take the printout for the movie ticket I booked online. And on the way over there I need to pay my bills, right after I get that free coffee from the newly opened stall at the mall. Or maybe I’ll do that tomorrow. Which means I need to leave early ….. buzzzzfffpt
That‘s what goes in the head all at once and every second. And everything seems to be important and urgent. Everything needs to be decided now… like Now Now! The brain is in a constant state of overdrive. Decisions decisions all the time. Funny thing is, I’m sitting in this nice chair with a reclining back and adjustable height; I technically haven’t moved an inch and yet I feel tired and drained out. I know what I’m going to say when I get home to my wife : “Darling, I’m tired and I’ve had a long day. Just get me dinner and I want to get to bed early”. Bah!!
Now I hate such stress – as they say, there are better things to worry or think about. I say, there are better things to decide about. But how does one get around these decisions which I invariably have to make at some point? How can I not make these decisions? Are these even decisions? Charging my battery and having free coffee cannot be decisions! But. They are! I think about them and plan to action them, therefore they are decisions.
There is that old joke where the Husband says he lets his wife decide what and where to spend, what school should the kid go to, what dresses to buy, what car to buy, what TV show to watch, which maid to hire,. Etc., while the husband decides on all important matters like who should form the next government, which actor should be paired opposite which actresses, whether nuclear testing should be allowed… etc.
Maybe not at the extreme level of the joke, but atleast on a practical level one can have a system or process to help make decisions without stressing over them much.
Lets call it the PPD Method (Pre Planned Decision Method)
Decisions which will form part of your everyday life should be pre planned and executed accordingly without deviating from the action already planned. This will ensure when the pre planned situation or decision time does arise, you know what you will do or say about it. This method will ensure speed and accuracy of the decision already taken. This will free up mind-space for other decisions yet to come.
For instance, Ryan goes to office 5 days a week. Friday is generally casual day (no flip flops, no singlets and no shorts!). So from Mon to Thurs, Ryan has to wear formals in office. Every morning Ryan wakes up, stares at his open wardrobe wondering “what he feels like today”, holds up a few shirts against himself and checks himself in the mirror, finally figures which one he wants and gets to ironing it. This entire process consumes 26mins at the minimum – ironing it takes only 6 minutes! By the time Ryan is done with this what-to-wear-business he has no energy or time left to think on what to have for breakfast! And the spiral continues for the rest of the day.
Under PPD, Ryan would’ve already decided on Sat/Sun what he will wear on Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs & Friday. Ryan will then ensure the shirts are ironed on Sunday (6 mins x 5 days = 30 mins total) and hung up in the order of the days forthcoming. So on the day of work, all he had to do is reach into the wardrobe after his shower and just put the dam thing on!!!! Effectively, Ryan has saved 20mins each day (20mins x 5 days = 100 mins). The net effect of this is 70mins of free time for the brain to do something else or just relax (100 mins – 30 mins). Now if the same was done for Breakfast and other things, Monday (or any day) wouldn’t be so blue after all.
Real World Applications of PPD:
Obviously there are people already doing this everyday, successful people that too. By mere observation, I narrowed down to some examples.
- Politicians: The best example would be Prime Ministers (Shri Vajyapee, Shri Manmohan Singh, President Putin, any other high ranking official for that matter). Whether in office or on the podium or at a rally or an UN meet, they all wear what it looked like they wore yesterday. Can you imagine these officials fretting over what to wear every morning? No, not with my vote you don’t!!
- CXOs: I think the only thing they’d probably spend some time figuring out is which tie to go with what shirt – that too pre decided at the beginning of the year! Belts and Shoes are typically easy to match. Even women in higher office will have their sarees or dresses all figured out with makeup (if using) which needs minimum touch up and a preset look for office.
- Uniformed personnel: (Ok weird example, I know) I was visiting a Japanese company in Jakarta. I noticed the security guard and the President Director had the same attire on. The company policy enforced uniform for all levels of the organization. Although I thought this maybe boring in the normal sense, the President Director assured me they have efficiency and productivity per person at a higher level than other organizations in the area! In fact the time when they allowed casuals on Friday as a one-off, they found people slacking and distracted.
So PPD everything you possibly can.
Free your mind and the rest will follow!