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My ‘other’ pair of shoes

“Hey man, can you believe it has been five years already since this?” It was a message from Chirag. Yeah, we had kept in touch.

The picture was one of us five friends standing on a wall with Edinburgh beach at the background. Besides being a sweet pic, one realization struck me the most. The absence of colors in our dresses.

That got me thinking.

Kiran: My best friend for life. He was wearing a pink(ish) jacket, yet not looking gay. Always the giver & ringmaster. He isn’t in the pic because he was the one organizing us for the pose & taking the picture.

 

The rest of us, in order.

Kathir: He wore black. He always wore black. Super fun to be with. He is one of those that can make you cry, or cry out of laughter if he decides to make fun of anyone.

Chirag: Powerful eyes, he gave you the impression of a serious guy. But wasn’t. Don’t remember what color jacket he wore.

Sanket: Laddoo. A funny, plump guy. We did not keep in touch, no apparent reason why.

Me: I think I wore a grey jacket. Bought for 8 pounds. A wise purchase that lasted 4 years.

Mayuri: A sweet girl. Fun to be with, unassuming. I don’t remember what she wore as well.

 

The more I think back, I remember a lot of events and people that have been memorable. However, what they wore has never really stood out to me. They were all different. Sure, they had their own style which was unique. But then, they were all the same – I liked them for the person that they were, not what they wore that day.

 

Hence the question, “What do I do with this other pair of shoes that I have had for years but seldom wore?” Have I given it too much importance? Does it deserve the space in my rack? If not, does the shoe rack deserve as much space as it currently occupies?

Keen to know your thoughts!

 

 

PS: The reference to pair of shoes is a metaphysical one. It could be replaced by any item that you consider to be a ‘spare’ or ‘back up’

Stayfocused in, Gmail Out – Increase productivity, reduce distractions.

Ok, one month into trying minimalism & simplifying my life, I have been making significant strides. For starts, I have felt bored more often in the past two weeks than I ever can remember. I am creating free time, which is good.

I am also through 300 pages of the first ever book I read since Harry Potter!

While minimalism at home makes sense, I have realized there is much more than physical objects that clog up our lives and work. My major breakthrough has been in using the chrome extension called “Stayfocused”. This app allows you to add websites that you are addicted to and allocate only few minutes to them per day after which they are blocked off on your device.

I have used this for the past couple of weeks and almost stopped looking at Facebook, goal.com, bbc sports and a few more of the sites I am addicted to. I now have the choice of channeling the additional time towards work or writing.

Though Facebook has taken a large amount of bashing for being unproductive, I also believe we need to look at another deterrent – GMAIL. When was the last time, you got a personal email on this platform?

For me, it was about 6 months ago. Yet I have not only had the app installed on my phone, also allowed it to auto sync continuously but also allowed it to throw up a prompt for every new email.

Over the past week, I have unsubscribed to all marketing emails. For those that do not allow me to unsubscribe (WTF man!!), I have created a rule to mark them as read. I have also muted the mail app and turned off the Autosync. I have experienced peace!

You can try this out too 😊

 

 

 

Feel free to comment some tips to increase productivity.

What is one thing you always thought you wanted, but then, once you got it, you no longer wanted it?

The first thought that came to my mind when I saw the question was, “That bad haircut” and “Every mustache I tried to keep”…

I recently (read as yesterday) chanced on the concept of Minimalism. Minimalism is what my math teacher Mr TMS used to say “Less is more”. It is about retaining the things and practices that add value to your life and removing those that do not. The website though gives quite lofty claims.

“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.”

I am yet to be sold on this concept just yet, however I am quite convinced minimalism is quite required for us as a generation to get back to the basics of living life.

So here is my top five things that I wanted pretty badly and when I got it, I realised I did not want it at all.

1. VR device: I have a Samsung VR device. Brand new condition. Costs about 12000 INR. Only works on Samsung phones. Though I loved the experience and love showing the device off to whoever comes home, I have used it for a total of 20 minutes since I bought it. Any takers?

2. Football: I have always taken pride in calling myself a football player. However being a team sport, I see no sense in owning my own football. When I spent on my own football, I did not really have the heart to take it out and play in the abrasive sand. It is best to just pool in money & buy a team ball!

3. Power bank: I thought I was a traveler and needed one, just in case. I own two power banks and use neither. I dont see why these are a thing.

4. A promotion: Moving away from physical things. I realised a role change, salary change and change in enviroment meant more than a change in designation.

5 The engineering degree: Enough said. Totally useless!

If you are curious about minimalism, check out this TED video by the founder. Though I believe our parents would remark that their lifestyle has always corresponded to minimalism, I believe we have drifted quite a bit due to 21st century technology.

 

I am keen to see you take a shot at this question, “What is one thing you always thought you wanted, but then, once you got it, you no longer wanted it?”