Happiness and Worry.

The two conflicting words that make up the title coincidentally showed up on lifehack.org on the same day. Wow. There are two nice articles on “How and why you should be happy” and “How to stop worrying”. I think these are important things that everyone should know.The first article (read here) talks about why you should spend some time and analyze what makes you happy. And then work towards getting into these situations or achieving such things that will make you happy. One good tip which I strongly agree with, is to surround yourself with happy people. Good read.

The second article (read here) is from Anxiety Culture. Very nicely written piece on why one should not worry. Nice intro.
We’re raised to worry and aren’t considered “grown up” until we perfect the art. Teenagers are told: “you’d better start worrying about your future”. If your worries aren’t at least as frequent as your bowel movements, you’re seen as irresponsible, childish, aimless. That’s a “responsible adult” game rule.

Gives a couple of nice tips. One that seems plausible is to “postpone” worrying. At any given time, if you start worrying about something trivial, write it down on a worry sheet, so you can mull over it later. The author says that, eventually most people forget about it.

GTD ! using Yahoo !

Chris Wright explains in his blog an cheap, simple, and elegant way for Yahoo ! users to leverage on the suite of tools that Yahoo ! provides to implement GTD. Defenitely a good read. There are two parts to it. Not sure if there is more coming, but it is no doubt a fairly comprehensive document (with screenshots). He goes by David Allen for most of the time – but for some exceptions like ‘keeping the tickler file digital’. He says it is because of his liking to move away from paper.

Read Part 1 here .
Read Part II here .

Do presentation styles matter ?

I think it does. One of the best presentations I have seen are from Steve Jobs. Again, my humble opinion is just from the slides that I have seen, and the rave reviews that I keep seeing on the web, on how fantastic Steve presents the slides. There was recent criticism of how bad Bill Gates did the presentation for Windows Live. I did not attend this event either, but I can just picture how it would have been, by just seeing some of the slides.A beautiful comparison is done in Garr Reynolds blog – Presentation Zen.Check out these two pictures below for a preview and then go to the presentation zen for some more good analysis.
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(Both pictures courtesy : http://presentationzen.blogs.com)

IE inside firefox ?

Wow. If you are one of those professional website creators and one of those people who are paranoid (and should rightfully be) about UI/appearance differences between mozilla and IE, your ears should perk up N.O.W. These guys have a firefox plug-in where you can invoke IE inside a firefox tab ! How is that for interoperability ?

Check it out at the mozilla add on site here.

Low tech solution for maintaining your Contacts List

If you are totally into low tech stuff like the Hipster PDA and printing out planner pages from diyplanner.com etc, consider this. How do you maintain your contacts ?

Kevin Kelly has an exteme-low-tech solution (which I incidentally use too) for maintaining your contacts. Slip that visiting card into a clear sleeved rolodex visiting card holder. You can sort it and slip it in (like me), or just slip it in chronological order (like Kevin does). It is easy to look up and extremo-cheapo. Try this before you get that expensive card reader for your palm.

Read Kevins full entry here.

Make sure your blog is read …

Paul Stamatiou has a very good writeup on how to get your blog read by other people.

I used to have a personal blog at one point in time, and I had a very loyal readership. Lots of people commenting. Lots of people writing in to me etc. Due to circumstances in real life (as opposed to my cyberlife), I had to terminate that blog. Recently I started this blog hoping to write every day and archive some of the finds that I make on this topic. And since this is a very niche and upcoming topic for a blog, I do not think I have readers yet. So I went and had a peek. Paul has a nice write up on how to build readership. First and biggest thing I noticed was that it was almost essential to get into technorati (and yes I did it :)). I now need to figure out if there is a way of getting out RSS feeds from blogger.

Read Pauls full article here.

I am back ….

Howdy all ! I am back. Hope everyone in India had a safe and fun Diwali. I got back to reading some of the older articles (a week old) today morning, and the first thing that struck me as worthy of posting here was the following article on “How to avoid Monday Morning Blahs” (well fondly called blues). Almost everyone that I know have monday morning blues – all the way from Computer Engineers to CFOs to Executive Directors. The below article points out 5 super duper tips to “possibly” avoid or optimistically put, reduce monday morning blues. The best two points that I liked were :

3. Start something on Friday that you can finish on Monday.
Many times we dread Monday mornings because we know that there are certain projects that we have to tackle for the week. Why not get a headstart on Friday and begin something? That way, you don’t have to overcome the initial procrastination tendencies that are present when you are starting something. You’ve already got momentum started from the week before.

and …

5. Get up earlier than normal on Mondays.
Mondays can be hectic enough without feeling like you have to race everywhere or feel like you’re already behind because you slept in. Get up a half-hour to an hour earlier and take your time. Have a leisurely breakfast. Read the paper. Exercise. If you start out the day racing, it will have a negative effect on the flow of your day.

Read the full article here .

Brief Hiatus

I will be on a brief hiatus for the next 7 days. Leaving for home (Chennai) for Diwali holiday. For non-Indian viewers, Diwali is called the festival of lights and is probably the hindu equivalent of the holiday (christmas) season in the US. Houses all over India have brightly coloured lights decorating their frontage.Read the wikipedia entry for Diwali.

I do not think I will be posting for the next one week or so.

Ciao !

4 great presentation tips

Gen Taguchi over at lifehack.org gives 4 great presentation giving tips (these are not totally just powerpoint hacks). One of his key points is that, several presenters do not get the amount of applause they deserve. And this is not because of a bad presentation, but he/she did not set up the audience correctly for applause.I agree. There is nothing more gratifying to a presenter than a hearty applause (not a half-hearted one). All is well that ends well right ?

Read the tips here.

Ask Metafilter to the rescue …

Read the following thread for a touching account of how a man living in Washington DC posted on AskMetafilter to find out the address of where his grandfather lived in Vienna before he fled (during WWII). Someone from the Holocaust Museum (another reader of Ask Mefi) responded within 32 minutes of posting. He and a colleague of his, were able to trace down a large amount of information about the grandfather. A very touching story, – only that it is real.Read the full thread here.