How We Write…

 

Graphology is the study of handwritings. Everyone writes differently – how you cross your t’s and dot you i’s is unique to you and some suggest, says a lot about your personality.

 

Graphology has also been labelled a pseudoscience, since independent studies have found many loopholes in its theories. Nevertheless, we find it fascinating that a simple paragraph could offer insight into what kind of a person one might be!

 

So go on, write some sentences and see this video to find more about yourself, or your friends and colleagues.

 

Now that’s one way to perk up a Monday work routine! 


Chasing After Facebook ‘Likes’

 

How obsessed are you with people liking what you post on facebook? Life was simpler before this feature was introduced in February 2009.

 

An Italian street painter, Mister Thoms made this time lapse video that perfectly captures our chase for getting maximum likes on our postings.

 

A cartoonist, painter, writer, sculptor and filmmaker, Mister Thoms has other works on his website and tumblr accounts, that are an apt social commentary on our tech-infested lives.

 

What do we say? Guilty as charged?


Bring Back Happy

 

There are very few things in this world that can rival the killjoy a Monday morning is! The very thought of it drains away the spring in our steps that saw us through the weekend. What makes us happy though? What is real happiness? In an article for Time magazine, Javy W. Galindo shares four ways to bring more happiness in our lives.

 

As a Humanities and Social Science professor at the John F. Kennedy University, he has had the opportunity to engage with young minds and seek their opinion of the emotion.  A list of the common approach to happiness, he writes, includes ‘food, shopping, a new car, a better job, money, sex, an honest spouse and nice teachers’.

 

Galindo says that all these are external elements. They ‘refer to something outside of us.’

 

We strive to change the external conditions of our lives and treat happiness like buried treasure.

 

“Instead of enhancing our happiness, the common approach may be a detriment, since shortly after attaining our pursuits we may begin craving even more of it in order to recreate our previous emotional boost. We can become trapped in what positive psychologists (those who study human happiness) refer to as the hedonic treadmill—the non-stop desire for more or greater pleasures: the bigger house, bank account, sound system, etc…

 

It’s no wonder some of us never feel truly fulfilled. If we think getting more will make us happy, we can never be happy, since there’s always more to be had.”

 

His four tips to condition happiness from within, and foster it for longer suggest thinking in the long-term. How we choose to think and what we choose to think about influences our happiness more.

 

Be Kind – To Yourself

Most often, we are our worst critics, if something goes wrong, we tend to mull over it for long periods of time, re-creating and experiencing all those bad feelings repeatedly. It is important to let go of these feelings and focus more on ‘neutral or joyful thoughts’.

 

Be Thankful

There is so much in our day that we could be thankful for, instead of focusing on why you had such a bad day, Galindo advocates that we look for things to be thankful for. Even the most trivial of everyday matters can be something you could be more thankful for. For instance, the presentation you were supposed to give was cancelled at the last moment, your efforts did not go to waste entirely, and instead you got some more time to perfect it even more.

 

Prolong Joy

The most mundane of things in life can be savoured -  reaching work on time, without getting stuck in traffic, your morning coffee being just the right temperature and taste. There are many things to take joy in, re-think them and build on a ‘repertoire of positive memories’.

 

Optimism

The glass is half full! Why worry about the future we have no control over? Instead, it would be better if we could think of positive outcomes and plan for them. We have to train ourselves to exercise more optimism, a more positive outlook on life.

 

Staying happy and being ‘happy from within’ is a choice we have make deliberately. It is a matter of ‘how we choose to experience our life’.

 

So think happy thoughts and stay fabulous, Vasanti fans!

 

 

photo credit: gtall1 via photopin cc


Five Ways To Work Smart

 

You know that adage: Work hard, party harder. The weekend is just a day away and we all feel like dragging ourselves to the finish line. But what is it that sees us go through a slump as the week works on? Are we taking work a bit too seriously and still not seeing worthwhile results? Is our work defining us and we don’t have enough of a life? Should we change our strategy?

 

Belle Beth Cooper, co-founder of Exist, shared her five- point ‘Work Smart, Not Hard’ memo with Inc. recently. A lot of what she says makes sense to us.

 

1. Take a break, or two

One of Stephen R. Covey’s iconic Seven Habits of Highly Effective People was ‘Sharpen the saw’. He shared an allegory of a woodcutter spending all his time and efforts on cutting down trees, without taking any ‘off’ time to sit down and sharpen his saw. The result, a blunt saw and reduced productivity.

 

The saw, Covey said in his book, is our own self. It is vitally important to take a few breaks, refresh the mind and body, then tackle any task with renewed energy than to keep dragging ourselves to the finish line.

 

This is also backed by scientific studies that suggest that our brains can focus on a task for 90 minutes, followed by a 15 minutes ‘break’ or ‘off’ time. In this time the mind and body resets itself for another burst of productivity to last another 90 minutes.

 

2. Nap time

It’s not just infant and toddlers who need a nap time to stay fresh, adults do too! Again, this is backed by scientific studies and researches that show that naps improve brain functioning. Taking a nap helps ‘solidify memories’ by pushing anything we may have learned into the brain’s neocortex, ‘permanent storage’.

 

So when your body signals tiredness, instead of pushing yourself further, consider taking a break and sneaking in a 15 minutes power nap. Win-win!

 

3. Connect with nature

Again, this has more to do with relaxing the brain and cutting out excessive stimulants. A leisurely stroll in a park, or any ‘natural’ setting clears out all the cobwebs in the brain and sparks creativity. We can vouch for this actually. Some of our best ideas have come to us while taking a walk!

 

4. Work blocks

Instead of a to-do list, consider chunking together similar tasks in a block. It is easier to accomplish more this way, you can take a break after completing one chunk of work, take a break and start on another set of tasks all fresh.

 

5. Get inbox out of the way

Before starting the work day, it is worth the while to check on email first. If the world had momentarily stopped spinning while you slept, you can set it right before taking on other tasks! Jokes aside, if you can rein in your browsing habits and focus on just checking emails, you can identify any important issues and changes that might be needed on previous projects. Once you know that the work you have already done is all set and good to go, you can start on a new task list, work in blocks, take breaks and get more work done in the day.

 

You will actually find that you coasted through the day breezily.

 

It’s not always about how hard you work, it should be how smart you work.

 

Image: voronin76 / 123RF Stock Photo