How to Organize your Personal Space and Recharge

Hello November! 

So, its been crazy busy here and as you might have figured with the lack of posts. Days and weekends just breezed by and at some point I just had to stop myself and breathe. Hows your schedule lately? 

My space (both headspace and personal) is always very important for me, to recharge myself thats what I have been trying to do. 



And thats what I am sharing with you today- How to Organize  your Personal Space and Recharge.

I didn’t have the luxury to take time off, however its a continuos cycle for me, so I figured I can just get on with my checklist organise myself  and take a step back.

 And if thats what you would like for yourself, keep reading. 

1. Clear out the Space- The mental cluttered space which hasn’t had the time to allow you to move about freely. When I have a lot going on, sometime I am really very organised/productive  and sometimes I just crash. I crash primarily when I have no time to recharge. 
    1. So, I tried to not clutter my mental space more and just let myself breathe. I just ensured my energy level was fine for my job and home (priorities). Rest had to wait.
    2. I tried doing something I enjoy- listened to some music, decided to go back on track with my wellness journey and again focus on basics
    3. I also got some flowers, added a new rug to the living room and got a French press. Small things that make me happy and bringing my attention and awareness back to myself- mindfulness. 
2. Find Myself and Purpose in Life- We are constantly changing because of the environment we are in, the people we are surrounded by. With time we change and thats a wonderful thing, so the goal you had for yourself even 6 months ago might not be something you want now. So, I really had to look within and figure what I wanted and what my next 5 years goal was and then re-orient myself. So, if it didn’t make sense for me in the 5 year plan scenario, its not worth stressing for. 

3. Take Couple of Hours off- Well, I couldn’t take a day off, but Saturday afternoon I just did nothing. Spent on my couch watching Youtube  and ordered Pizza. 

4. Keep the New Goals Visible- So it can always been seen, use a planner or just write it down in your mirror anything that works for you. Create a morning routine around this and feel good about yourself. That just might be the trick of getting the focus back and of course…….

5. Try New Things- There are plenty of reasons why trying something new is scary for a lot of us;  however try out without putting a lot of pressure on you. So, don’t just change quit your current job because you want to go globe trotting. Take time to plan, consider the future and then go for it.  

I hope this evens out things for you as it has for me. If you need a planner to get back to your new schedule you can download one here for free.



Have a wonderful week ahead!

(Pic Courtesy: Pinterest and Soma Bhattacharya)

Happy Weekend!

Nov 3, 2018 | 0 comments |
Have a playful weekend:)




(Pic courtesy: Soma Bhattacharya)

Guest Post: Dhaval Panchal on Satir Change Model

Oct 22, 2018 | | 0 comments |
This is a guest post by Dhaval Panchal an experienced executive, Agile Coach, and Organization Design consultant. He is also the  founder of Evolve Agility, a Texas based coaching and training consultancy, read more about him here.

The Satir Change model applies to individuals as well as systems of individuals. It is one of the cornerstones of the family therapist Virginia Satir’s work on how change takes place.




Late Status Quo

A fairly stable system (individual or groups) with predictable familiarity and comfort. Actors in late status quo system may not be comfortable with “the way things are” but they have familiar solutions to common problems. Organizations in late status quo is a balancing system (systems thinking archetype), where different parts of the system pay different prices to maintain balance. The organization system has stayed the same for a long time. Actors in organizational system know ‘what to do’, ‘how to do, understand where they fit, and know what they can get away with. These ‘games’ or dysfunctions are part of the routine for actors these are indistinguishable from real work.

Examples:

Individuals working long hours compensate by not exercising or spending less time on family matters. “This is very important TPS report, I will take my evening walk tomorrow”.
Teams support low-performing members by everyone else doing a bit extra or tolerating dysfunctional behavior and nobody says anything about it.
Organizations ask for thorough cost-benefit analysis or business case to justify change initiative. Instead of assessing where we are at and where we need to be, organizations ask for proven case-studies and success stories before they consider changing.

Foreign Element

Systems favor self-preservation, this survival instinct is necessary condition for systems to continue to exist. Something happens that people in the system can no longer deny – this foreign element is generated internal or external or just plain old randomness. Ignoring, or ejecting, or neutralizing impact of alien elements are systems’ defense mechanisms. Actors in the system try to accommodate using delaying tactics, or try to encapsulate foreign element within the “normal” way of handling things, or may find somebody to blame.

Example:

After reading newspaper article on impact of stress, a workaholic blames their partner for not supporting their career goals.
After attending an agile conference, team-members acknowledge importance of cross-functional work and demand full management support before they are willing to try pair programming.
Organizational leadership takes note of stealth agile implementations and appreciates their success. As a result, mandates organizational agile transformation by a fixed future date.
Organizations in late status quo are closer to breaking point. Actors who are compensating and sustaining late status quo find their situation is no longer tenable. Systems in late status quo can learn to deny, ignore, or accommodate foreign elements developing unhealthy dysfunctional behaviors for a long time. Just waiting out organizational change initiative is a veteran tactic to diffuse energy and support in organization systems.
It is not possible to predict, but one of these many foreign elements knocks late status quo systems off balance. This could be increasing attrition rate of customers/employees or difficulty getting new ones, or perhaps a sudden change in technological landscape that threatens organizational survival.

Chaos

With critical mass around the foreign element, internal or external, late status quo system tips or gets knocked off balance. This is disorienting. The experience is similar to children’s game of being spun around while blind-folded. Usual ways of getting things done are challenged and there is confusion about ‘what to do’ and ‘how to do’. People react in a number of different ways: by engaging in random behavior, by seeking stability at any cost, or trying to revert to earlier patterns of behavior.
“Familiarity is always more powerful than comfort.” – Virgina Satir
It is common for people to seek for silver-bullet solutions, or seek for complete description of end state, to pursue order in midst of chaos. The uncertainty inherent in chaos zone is unsettling. Even when people realize that old status quo is not where we need to be, they seek the familiarity of old status quo. Loss aversion – losses loom larger than gains, tendencies kick-in.

Example:

Faced with intervention from their child, who is upset at not seeing parents at his favorite school play may tip a family into reevaluating their work life balance priorities or hire a very expensive nanny.
Teams attempting scrum, may discard it and switch to kanban or vice-versa. They may continue to chase the next big agile thing like devOps or server-less in endless pursuit of a quick silver bullet. They may end up blaming organizational culture and continue to operate worse than before.
At the all hands meet (AMA), CEO’s declaration of Agile transformation initiative to be completed by end of fiscal year was received with muted murmurs and extended break room conversations that impacted overall effectiveness. Many managers reported to executive committee that Agile is not working and we should revert to the way things were before.

Transforming Idea

People change, people change all the time. People buy houses, get married, have children, relocate and can cope with the changes all the time. They resist being changed or coerced into it. Everyone cannot be skilled at coping with chaos in all realms of their life.
Organizations often attempt to direct change in behavior and expect that results will follow. This almost never works, because the experience of people trying new approaches is negative they do not alter their core belief systems. At its best, leaders get compliance or in worse cases rebellion. Leaders skilled at surfing chaos set clear guardrails and focus on developing compelling experiences that lead to transforming ideas.
Leaders recognize that transformation must first start from within. So they create an environment where good ideas can get recognized and implemented. They focus their energies of creating a context for learning and recognize that many good ideas will have to be discarded before a transformational idea is recognized and tried.

Example:

Parents decide to set clear boundaries at their work place so their colleagues are respectful of their family time. This helps them to find time for physical exercise, and taking care of their family.
Team members recognize that they have been too insular and decide to get help from ‘coaches’ (internal or external).
After six months into Agile initiative, executive committee convenes an off-site where under guidance from expert facilitator they are able to discuss real issues, build upon each other’s ideas and agree to run focused controlled change ‘experiments’ instead of asking people to fall into line with the ‘big-picture’ Agile scaling framework.

Integration and Practice

During integration stage, there is excitement, energy and things seem to be improving. The feeling is so good that people mistake that this is the change. But the journey has only now began. This is a phase where leadership has most influence and gets tested all the time. There is strong temptation to declare “mission accomplished”, collect laurels and march on to the next big thing. This rush of excitement energizes people to try out other new ideas, many of which do not work out. So the system, is thrown back into chaos. Many organizational systems are stuck oscillating between chaos and integration, never fully realizing full benefits. Desire for quick fixes and leaders aspiration to make their mark, forces regime changes that desensitize employees to management. It is fairly common for veteran’s to list all the management thinking changes from Lean and TQM movement, to Agile and DevOps that have come and gone while never delivering on promised benefits.

Example:

With new found family time, they impulsively adopt a puppy. Excitement around new member in the family is mixed with feeling of anxiety around lack of attention to work and growing needs of family dog.
Team members identify many new ideas in initial sprint retrospectives and after a few sprints find that most of the actions items from previous retrospectives are repeating themselves. They are struggling to find time to implement most of their action items in light of higher delivery expectations (now that they are agile). They think retrospectives are a waste of time.
While the energy and excitement within organization is palpable, the executive committee is not seeing improvement in its traditional productivity measures. So they decide to intervene by asking for company wide rollout of Agile life cycle management tool. This will help them to get accurate data, because clearly this much fun (and engagement) is not justifiable if we are not able to quantify.
During integration and practice, people are learning to use new practices and tools. Appropriate training, coaching, support, and most importantly space to integrate new practices into people’s way of working is needed. Do not rush to quantify benefits, metrics have their own tendencies to look good even when the actual performance may be nose-diving.

New Status Quo

Integration of new ways of working results from many tiny changes to the system at work. These cannot be rushed. With sufficient information, support, and structure the actors within a system arrive at new status quo. There is now familiarity with new way of working, people are at ease and relaxed. A new vocabulary, mental models and belief systems emerge. “How we do things around here” – the culture that emerges from the dip, through chaos and integration, stabilizes to become the new norm. The organization is no longer viewed as the obstacle. And the cycle continues.
Change is inevitable, it is happening whether we like it or not. Organizational anti-bodies that attack all foreign elements, need to be developed to pick out beneficial foreign elements from the harmful. A leaders role in learning organization is not ordained, it is earned. From their organizational position and from resources they posses a leader adapts themselves and influences the climate around them so that people become empowered to change themselves and the environment around them. The only business of being a leader is to create other leaders.

Like what you read? Read more similar content at Evolve Agility

Registrations Open- PMO Virtual Summit

Oct 11, 2018 | | 0 comments |
If you haven't been following the earlier blogposts before, you can read it all here.

Before you read, the PMO Virtual Summit has opened up for Registration. And its FREE.

Learn from the global thought leaders over 3 days from the comfort of your couch. The speaker list can be found here.

This is being organised by Toronto based Parwaz Consulting Group.


PMO Virtual Summit+ Template Giveaway and Discounted All Access Pass

Oct 8, 2018 | | 0 comments |
How was your day?

If you are getting started for this week, so am I with some great news about the PMO Virtual Summit that I talked about last week.



Did you get a chance to download the free ebook? If not, you can still click here. 

So, PMO Virtual Summit is a three day virtual event (yep, no travelling involved), where the world global thought leaders on PMO will be speaking. The dates are October 16 to 18. 

If you are looking for the list of speakers, wait no further, click right here. Registrations are not open yet, watch the space. 



However, you can still get something today, a template bundle for you. It has everything you need to help you get started in setting up your own PMO office.
  • Productivity checklists for project managers
  • Productivity for project managers
  • Project status reporting made easy
  • PMO stakeholders identification guide
  • Timesaver deck for creating beautiful presentations quickly
  • Resource guide for change communication


Registration haven’t opened yet, but you can access the discounted price of $97 for the All Access Pass which allows you lifetime on demand access. 

This is best for those learners who want to learn form the industries best and hear it over and over again, or group of friends who are joining the PMO soon or already are part of it. If you have happen to have a team or lead the PMO- what better way to get your educated under less than $100. 


So, if you are still up for lifetime of learning, grab your passes before the prices go up.  

The registrations open up on October 11. 

( Disclosure: This post contains Affiliate Link)

Pic courtesy: Google Images

Happy Weekend

Oct 6, 2018 | 0 comments |
Hello there, hows the weekend going.

If you are looking for some weekend read, heres one published in Knowledgehut: Agile Adoption- Should it be data centric?

Want to bring some sparkle back in your life and you think you never take the leap, watch the video below thats why you are probably scared  and thats okay. Here are ways to you can fight it back. Hope you enjoy!




If you haven't still looked at the last post and got your ebook copy, here it is one more time.

Giveaway: Free PMO Ebook +Exciting Announcement

Hello October! 

So, lets just say this Fall is starting with some exciting news.  In collab with Toronto based Parwaaz Consulting Corporation, we are bringing you some great stuff meant for anyone interested in PMO or entrepreneurs working towards your scaling business goals.

So, lets say you’re a project manager, portfolio manager, or an operational manager that’s had an amazing opportunity fall in your lap. 

You might be thrilled to have the opportunity to head up a PMO in your company. Its said that 60% of PMO managers have had someone question their value in the company and 50% of project management offices are shut down within three years. 

Hussain Bandukwala of  Parwaaz Consulting Corporation; has run Project Management Offices responsible for multiple eight figure projects  He hasn’t just done it, he’s taught it, and helped establish them for small and mid-sized organizations. And in doing that, he’s seen the best and the worst of the PMO world and made some amazing contacts. 

So now, he’s is giving way the knowledge that took him years to get all for free.

Take a look at PMO Success: Under The Hood -  a free e-book that has over 20 Project Management Office experts, collaborating to give the strongest possible start to anyone interested in being part of PMO. 


Inside the ebook, you will find:
  1. The one skill you MUST master before getting the top PMO role - and the one that’s entirely overrated
  2. How “three cups of coffee” can make your job as leader so much easier (Hint: don’t drink them in the morning!)
  3. The very first thing you should do when you’re on the job officially
  4. How to respond when someone says “show me the value!”
  5. There’s no PMO tool at your organization (or the current one is really bad). Which tool would you get?


He is also coming up with the PMO Virtual Summit (details coming soon) that brings in experts from all over the world. 
Information about All Access Pass and tickets coming up.

(Pic courtesy: Google Images and Parwaz Consulting Corporation)

Happy Weekend

Sep 29, 2018 | 0 comments |
Keep you inner light shining and you will find your way. If you are looking for a free printable goal setting template click here (no email required)

Watch this space for some exciting news and announcement on Monday (Oct 1)



(Pic courtesy: Soma Bhattacharya)

Link Round Up- September

Sep 24, 2018 | 0 comments |
This is my favorite read for the last 2 months, Instead of posting Link Round Ups every month, I thought I will do it on alternate months. Here are some of the reads I enjoyed.





Happy Weekend

Sep 22, 2018 | 0 comments |
No matter how busy you are, I hope you have the time to nourish your soul this weekend. 




Free Download: Simple Goal Setting Planner

If you are reading this blog, the goal is to ensure your are your best version.

This means, here you are encouraged to grow, be yourself and find out what the best in their domains do and how they work. 

Pick up your vibes from success stories and articles here and none of them really stick for long unless of course you have your own goals pinned up in your mind.

So, I thought why not we take this journey together- me and you and the journey through the remaining months of 2018 and see what we can achieve. 

Here’s a planner for you that will help you focus on your goals. The goal setting planner can be download it right here (no email required) and its FREE! 

How you can use the planner- this is one way of using it. The planner has 3 pages when you download. 

  • Page 1- is for your Month, your goals and your motivations (12 copy for a year)
  • Page 2- is your Daily Planner (so you can print 30 copies of it if you want one for each day)
  • Page 3- is your Monthly Retrospective , where you peek into your achievements and spill overs every month(1 for every month)

I hope this helps you plan better and keep it handy with you everyday. 

(Pic courtesy: Pinterest)


Not a Regular Post (heart to heart talk)

Sep 17, 2018 | | 0 comments |
If you have been reading this blog for a while I am sure you have noticed that there have been a few changes in the blog. If you are relatively new to the blog, very grateful that you stopped by and decided to be part of this community.

As you know I have been writing this blog for the last 10 years ( to read my first post- click here) and I don’t have a team, I do it all alone. So, when my schedule gets busy am sure you notice the posts stop or are barely there. So, if you are still there as a reader I cant be more thankful for being so kind and understanding that sometime it gets difficult for me to sustain the posts. 

The blog started as a hobby, as a means for me to vent out my emotions, my failures and sometime success. For the last 10 years I have continued this and started another and this year I have realised the even with all things happening around me wether its moving or having my kid I still love coming back to this blog and writing. The free time that I once had is limited now, and I genuinely want to continue. 

So, the thought automatically was- what next? Can I really do this seriously enough where I know I can sustain the blog and every other expense doesn’t need to come from my pocket (like the domain, hosting, hiring a designer or developer when I need to)? Coincidentally I was the same time reading blogs and income reports of so many bloggers who are successful at generating their income from their blog and creating something of their own. 

Last month was the first month, I wanted to try. The design of the blog was changed- it was very simple. Then there was decluttering, followed by adding new sections. The goal was simple to ensure the blog gave more value to the reader. It wasn’t just for me anymore, it was being created for you. 

Last month I had my first ad in the blog, I have never put one before. I wasn’t sure if it would be taken positively by you, I gave it a shot because I had to try. I don’t know how many advertisers I will have…. What I do know is I try my best to work with a brand that adds value to the blog and helps me sustain as well. 




I also got into Affiliate Marketing for the first time, it was exciting to be working and learning with amazing people and the fact that all income reports coming from blogs mentioned affiliate marketing income was the highest sources of income. I am trying and hence some ads in the blog now. 

Before everything else, its the blog and the content that needs to be created consistently. I also have a master sheet for my blog right now, for the first time in my ten years of blogging because I am trying to remember multiple things that I am doing and also plan a little ahead so I don’t miss a post. 


The focus of the blog has also gone through some major changes and I rarely write about Project Management right now. This is because I don’t work directly in Project Management any longer. I currently work as an Agile Coach. I have noticed over the years that apart form my interests in the domains I have worked in, I have always loved reading about personal development, psychology and similar things. And no matter your domain and job title these are things that everyone reads or should know to be successful in their career. My focus has shifted for the blog and it mostly focuses on personality development and I like the fact that the writings can be much more personal, so are the interviews. For me its fascinating to see people grow through the years and what they did to achieve that than knowing their specific titles and not the story behind it. So, I do hope that you will like and enjoy this new shift. 


There are mostly three posts happening on a week- Monday, Thursday and Saturday. This also means my twitter presences has a dipped a bit, theres now Instagram and YouTube happening. If you must know I use my social accounts for different purposes, not always to promote the blog. 

Twitter is mostly for me to read the latest articles and researches coming out. My article round offs which I also recently started are mostly sourced from there. Instagram is my creative outlet and a visual diary for me that shares my real life and behind the scenes; like I posted about the tomato blooming in my balcony garden… something I will not post in twitter. Youtube is a scary venture that I recently started to shift my mindset, when you focus on learning something new the energy is more focused than trying to sabotage ways of not doing it. I enjoy watching YouTube, I love creating so it was a natural match (in my head). Filming and editing and actually publishing it is scary because I am always thinking that no one will watch it :)

Are you still reading, well theres another thing coming up very soon. And thats the SIPM Executive Club Membership- its a newsletter that you can sign up by clicking here (you get a special offer when you sign up for the next 20 days only) you get to know about anything new thats coming up, you also will be the first to be notified about offers and discounts when I work with other collaborators. You will not be spammed and can unsubscribe at any point if it doesn’t suit you. 

I feel refreshed and energised; now that I know I really want to work towards this blog to the point where I can sustain it independently. I hope you share the excitement and let me know how you feel about this shift and this journey. 


I wanted this post to tell how how thankful I am for you to read my blog  and support it everyday....I just had to tell it to you. 

(Pic courtesy: Google pic for the first one, rest by Soma Bhattacharya)



This is How I work- Dhaval Panchal (Executive and Agile Coach)

Experienced Executive Agile Coach and Organization Design consultant - Dhaval Panchal is founder of Evolve Agility, a Texas based coaching and training consultancy. Dhaval is ScrumAlliance Certified Enterprise Coach® (CEC), Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST), Certified Agile Leadership-Educator (CAL-E). Dhaval Panchal is actively involved in local Houston Agile community. Dhaval has led large scale Agile transformations for companies in Oil & Gas, Banking, Insurance, Gaming, and Medical business domains. He has more than 17 years of Agile implementation, coaching, and transformation experience.


When do you wake up every day? What’s your alarm set to? 

I do not have a fixed time for waking up every day, but there is a pattern. I workout two or three times per week. I get up early by 5:30 am on workout day and other days including weekends, I wake up later at 7:00 am. 

2. Tea or Coffee? 

Both, but my preference is black tea.

3. Any rituals to set the tone for the day in the morning?

I like to sip on my tea, before I am ready to think through rest of the day. I like working out early in morning, so by 8:30 am, I am energized and ready for rest of the day. I also have long commute (40+ m) and listening to spotify playlists feels good to get oriented for day.

4. Where do you work? 

I work at client site, or at my home office. 

5. What do you listen to while working?

At client site I am mostly leading workshops or working with teams so I am listening to people.  When I am working at home, I listen to songs on Spotify. Choice of music varies greatly on my mood. My default is Sufi Qawwali, and at times when I need to concentrate I prefer Hariprasad Chaurasia, his mastery of flute is flawless. I have a few curated playlists that have songs from hip-hop, Bollywood, reggaton, country, pop, heavy metal, Jazz etc..

6. What are you currently reading?

I generally have two or three books that I am reading at any time. Unlike while at school, my personal reading habits are for pleasure. Currently, I am reading 
1) Influence: The psychology of persuasion
2) Godel, Echer, Bach : an eternal golden braid
3) 1Q84 

7. How do you organize your work life?


I use a kanban board, and have post it notes hanging from my desktop monitor. It is very important for me to make a list of all tasks that I want to complete before I start working. This simple step takes me less than a minute, but it helps me to let go of worry and focus on task at hand. I also have a timer on my computer, where I typically set 25-45 m timer that allows me to stay focused for that time. I force myself to take a break, by walking around or some thing different, I am not always successful.


8.Any hacks you prefer for work? 

A few:

#) Never send long emails. If necessary call or talk to your email recipients first. Face to face conversations, or even on video conference/phone are far more fruitful than exchanging emails.
#) Listen more, talk less.
#) Don't blame others and circumstances.
#) Expect that I will make errors and trust that I will learn from them.
#) Show up on time, don’t make others wait. 


9.What are your favorite gadgets?

#) Jaybird BT headphone, these have lasted me many years and are very good, especially when I am working out.

10.do you have any must have apps in your phone?

# ) Twitter : I spend lot more time on this app than I should.
#)  Mail & Calendar

11. Any new addition to your routines? 
Don’t think I can fit any thing else in day to day.

12. How do you recharge?
Playing & goofing around with my children, long motorcycle rides, and reading books.

(Pic courtesy: Dhaval Panchal)


If you enjoyed this, you might also like another This is How I Work with Linday Scott of Arras People.