About a month back I called up my cousin and said, “Dude, I think I’m gonna have to stop Shah Training.” He asked my why. I said, “Well, my day is split up between family stuff, marketing work (I’m a marketing consultant), Shah Training, and looking for a job. The main problem here is that is just so much to do in terms of family, that I don’t have time to look for a job or Shah Training. And you know that I’m not motivated to go and look for a job, which makes the process even harder.”
So there I was, walking around the neighborhood with my cell phone. My cousin and I were going back and forth trying to solve this problem of how to better manage my time and what I could to focus on the more important things in life: Shah Training.
The problem here was the my family did not know about Shah Training. They expected me to just do what all the other kids do after the graduate and join some big export/import or marketing firm, work there for the rest of my life, and supposedly retire in style. For those that have been reading this site for quite some time, you know I’m not devoting 8 hours of my day to someone else’s business, especially if it’s not something I enjoy doing.
Living a Life of Appeasement
The whole concept of Shah Training is to devise fast, intense workouts that get the job done in a limited amount of time. Ok, so my workouts were going great, but the rest of my life was just insane. I was angry because I didn’t have to do what I loved, and at the same time I was playing appeasement with my parents. Just please them so they don’t ask any questions. When the questions do come, use the work that you do around the house as a weapon to guard your secrets.
Wasn’t working. Never works. I know each of us does something similar to this on a daily basis, either to a big or small extent. We use one thing to hide another. And for myself, I was hiding something productive and a possible career path, not some skeletons in my closet. I didn’t have some crazy affair, nor did I eat meat, nor did I steal money from anyone. No, I’m a normal kid with dreams and passion. The only issue here is that I was afraid my parents would not approve.
Taking Back My Time
So about a few weeks back, I decided to do something about this. Just as I would cut out all the isolation exercises from a training program, it was time to cut out all the junk. But before I did so, I would have to do some really deep brainstorming and get my priorities in order.
Well, Shah Training was important to me and I wasn’t ready to give it up. But Shah Training is the first thing that I can actually control. This is where I need to start from in order to get my time management system back into place. So I sat down one day and made a huge list of everything that I needed to do in order to promote and grow the website. I then created a point system using excel based on the amount of time I spent behind a particular task, what the potential pay off would be, and how much this activity would cost me. Then I hit data sort and all of a sudden I had a categorized list of tasks with the best time to benefit ration, to the least time to benefit ratio. Obviously those items on the bottom of the list I would probably never perform.
Using this valuable information, I then developed a hypothetical 30-day plan in which I only spend one hour per day on Shah Training. The chart I had developed really helped me use that one-hour the best that I could.
Now I was ready to tackle the real problem. My fear was that if I went up to my father and started telling me about Shah Training, he would tell me to focus my energies on getting a job. In fact, I’ve tried this before, and that is the exact answer I’ve received. My mother just says, “I don’t know anything about websites. All I know is that you need to get a job.”
So here was my plan: talk about Shah Training when I’m around my parents. Don’t tell them to check out the site, but make them want to check out the site. Tell them about the interactions on the site. Tell them about the fact that you will be using Shah Training to express your Jain views at the YJA convention. Tell them about how you’re using it on your resume to show experience.
The results came fast. On the third day my father checked out my site and was thoroughly impressed. He had no clue that I could do that. He felt as though my website was just some simple HTML format that I was just wasting time one. My dad was impressed with the content, graphics, and all the videos I had made. His only complaint was that they were too dark. I explained to him that they were that way because they matched with the rest of the site.
Being a business man himself, my father started giving me advice on how to target people like him: Indian, 50’s, looking for a trainer, not very proficient with the internet.
Finally, some breakthroughs
Later on, we also started talking about how much time it takes for me to do the chores around the house, Shah Training, and job search. Although we did not make up any specific parameters in terms of what I should handle or how I can same more time, my parents did start making some basic changes in terms of how they handled their own chores. One thing my father did was that instead of giving me all the “go to the bank” chores, he only told me to deposit money in those bank accounts that were near our house. He took the other half to his store in the city, where there were other branches near his store. He could easily tell his maintenance guy to drop off the deposits.
My mother on the other hand no longer tells me every little thing. She asks me. There is a huge difference between telling and asking. And if I can’t do it, then she just does it herself.
The next big task I had to handle was this whole business of searching for a job. Once again I sat down with myself one night and really asked myself, “ Why don’t I want a job?” Well, the usual answers spat out:
1. Not wanting to work 9-5
2. Do not want to give up my time to someone else’s project/ business
3. Do not want to be stuck in the same work for the rest of my life
4. I have too many of my own ideas to waste time
5. I need freedom from everything!
When I made a pro/con list, I began realizing that perhaps getting a job was not such a bad idea after all. Here is the primary reason why I decided that I really did need a job: The majority of successful bloggers out there have spent 12-36 months building up their blogs. My blog is only seven months old, with about two months spent behind actual promotion. But now that I have all this information about blogging and marketing (remember the excel chart I made) I no longer need to spend countless hours researching how to promote and maintain a blog.. I know what to do now. I know what works.
So my goal in terms of finding a job was something that I would be interested in, and something I could learn from. Once I knew what I wanted, I only spent a half hour per day (maybe even less) going after that goal. Within a week I got a response from a really big company in the field of my choice and a great position. I have not gotten the job yet, but this just shows you how important self-analysis and goal setting is when you want to get stuff done.
The last piece of the puzzle was my consulting job. I honestly was not hearing much from my boss, so I just sent her an email asking her if there were any problems or new assignments I needed to take care of. Her response told me that I had already achieved my goal of getting her company organized. She was checking her leads every day, going after them, and making sales. Now it was time to focus on other aspects of the company. I currently am not doing any busy work for her, and am just waiting on a meeting with her so that we can take her business to the next level.
So there you have it.. A simple plan to re-work your busy life. The lesson here is that there are certain things that you are doing that do not really need to be done. I suggest reading 7 habits of Highly Effective People, and The 4 Hour Workweek to really help you go after that one passion in your life, and teach yourself how to reorganize your life so you have room for things that you love doing.
A Sample Day
I want to end this post by showing you guys what an average day for me is like:
7:00 AM – I usually wake up naturally around 7 – 7:30. After those morning “duties” I do a few rounds of Surya Namaskar. Surya Namaskar is the basic Yoga pose that stretches literally every muscle in your body. I realized how inflexible I had become after doing the morning Yoga sessions at the YJA Convention.
8:30 AM – I drop my dad off to the bus stop every morning at this time. This is really the only chance we have of having some conversation. It’s usually him talking and me trying to ignore him. The reason being is that he just talks about things that don’t interest me. However, lately if there is a problem or something I’m having I’ll usually bring it up at this time.
9:05 AM – After dropping off my dad it’s all about drinking my morning Chai and checking my email. Chai is a very important aspect of my life as it basically tells my body that it’s time for me to wake up. It’s also the time I have to myself to organize my day, to think of any problems or concerns I may have that I need to tackle that day, and to just reflect on the day before.
9:30: AM – Time to do my daily job search. The goal is to find one job that fits into my criteria: something I will love in a field I love. It’s funny how difficult it can be, but I’ve basically streamlined the process by diversifying the type and number of websites I search. Keywords are another important aspect.
10:00 AM – So I do have an interview coming up in a position and company that I think is the perfect fit for me. All I do is I practice my interviewing skills by randomly choosing a handful of questions per day and answering them. I also time my answers and try to keep them within five minutes. I don’t want to keep rambling on like a maniac.
10:45 AM – I check my email once again, specifically looking for any messages from my boss. Usually I’ll hear from her once a week. Right now there’s not much I’m doing for her so this doesn’t take much time.
10:50 AM – Time to hit my dad’s chores. It’s usually just going to the Bank Of America and dropping off a deposit. This usually takes about 20 minutes time.
11:10 am – By the time I’m back home my sister is up and watching Spongebob Squarepants on TV. This is where the brother genes kick in and I have to tell her to go brush her teeth and eat. I usually like to sit and watch TV with her and play some game or something with her.
12:00 – Workout Time. Lately I’ve just been winging my workouts. So I go down to the backyard. I have one or two exercises in mind . When I go down it’s just a matter of figuring out how to do “work” and putting it together. I’ve been coming up with some crazy intense things lately.
12:30 PM – Dominic usually strolls by towards the end of my workouts. This is great because I can spend some time training him and don’t have to worry about getting my workout in. Dom’s a fast learner, so the sessions last about 30 minutes.
1:00 PM – I eat my first meal after my workouts. This gives me great energy during the morning. Often times when you eat food, your body slows down and just wants to rest. However, after an intense workout, your body needs foods and nutrients to help it recover. This is the best time to eat.
1:30 PM – Now it’s time to work on some Shah Training stuff! I’ll start off by working on my training manual, which almost complete and will be released on the website soon. Then I write a post, followed by some time spent on forums and social media sites. This usually takes one to two hours, depending on the type of post I’m writing.. During this time I may eat some of my other scheduled meals. My current meal frequency is five, eaten every hour and half.
3:00 PM – Time to hit the shower. Yeah I know. If I got nowhere to go, then why take shower in the morning?
3:30 PM – Time to tackle mom-related chores. This may be anything from laundry, clean the house, get groceries, or just make some copies for her. I usually do the dishes throughout the day so that she does not have a full load of them after dinner.
5:30 PM – My cousin and I usually talk around this time, after he’s off from work. Sometimes we talk earlier in the day, and sometimes we just chat online. I consider this to be an important part of the day as neither of us are just sitting there and complaining about our day. Our conversations are open, positive, and progressive. We often bounce ideas off of each other and help each other grow and excel in our individual lines of work.
6:00 PM – This is my meditation time. Meditation is designed to clear my mind, work on my breathing, and to just calm my soul. I usually do this for 10-15 minutes per day.
6:15 PM – I like to keep my room clean, but it gets dirty so fast. Evenings are the best time for me to clean up the clutter in my room. In a way , this is an extension of meditation. Meditation is cleaning up the mind, and now I’m cleaning up my environment.
6:30 PM – I am trying to transition into a two-session training program where I lift in the afternoon, and jog in the evening. The extra cardio is just there to help me burn off a few calories. The back fat is slowly disappearing, but I want to do everything I can to get rid of it for good.
7:30 PM – After my 3- mile run, I collapse on the bed and wait for dinner. Well, not really. The rest of the day is just about doing things I love and enjoy. I may spend time with my sister, or work on Shah Training. I may go take another shower after I run. I may help my mom in the kitchen, or I may just sit there and watch TV . It just depends on what I feel like and how tired I am. I usually hit the bed at around 12:00.
There you have it. A time management system that works and something that you can use to clear up all the clutter in your life.