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 25, 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.

Happy Weekend

Sep 8, 2018 | 0 comments |
Hello you all, I hope you are happy in your current space. don't forget to get some sunshine this weekend and if possible make plans to travel. 

This pic is from my travels last year. Have a wonderful weekend!

(Pic courtesy: Soma Bhattacharya)

Staying Positive When going Through Change (Personal or Professional)

Change is supposed to make us feel uncomfortable because of the unknown factors of moving to a new job, site or life makeover.

In this video, I try to talk about it and provide tips on how you can ease into the process and turn it into a positive event.

If you like what you see, feel free to like and subscribe to my channel.

if you like to read more about positive change, click here.

Staying Positive: Blogs I Read Every Week (Pt 2)

My reading list has evolved over the years, right now for 2018 I have had big goals and one of them was to turn around my attitude towards life. Be definitely more positive and see the potential of things I can achieve. My reading list obviously is very important because of I want my subconscious mind to keep on thinking positive thoughts. 

So, here are some of my favs:
  • Techmeme - Every single morning this is the first thing I read except weekends (because on Saturday and Sunday I don’t open my laptop first thing in the morning). This one obviously is everything tech and how the industry is doing. Apart form the fact that I work in IT, I sort of like following the industry, its my way of getting the news to me. 
  • The Financial Diet - So, I was introduced to the channel via YouTube, however the website has a very different vibe. It publishes tons of posts by real people living real lives and I love the variety it brings. I definitely love the stories it brings about individuals and since the style of writing is very personal, I really enjoy these writings. This is mostly my lunch read.
  • Natalie Bacon- She wrote an article for Financial Diet and I checked her website and was hooked forever. Apart from the fact that she writes about her career and how she is a blogger making 6 figures, she also interviews people who are dong the same. And that for me is so positive to meet these people virtually who are creating their own dream life and to know thats so possible.
  • Penelope Trunk - I have been reading her blog for years now, she apart from being a celebrity blogger is the only person who can come up with topics that no one can even think about  and she knows her links. The amount of research that goes into her blogs is amazing from someone like me who also writes. Talking about something that seems very casual and then building it up with tons of research from such credible sources is absolute bliss to read with a cup of tea. 
  • Tim Ferris - This one I am sure every reads or knows about. I almost forgot about the website for a while and then came back to it again and love hearing interviews of these amazing people. And all of them are so good that you should literally binge on this, heres what I heard this weekend and its life changing for me  If you have ever thought if aggression should be part of your repertoire, specially if you are a women, you should listen to this one. You can thank me later. 
  • Chalkboard- I adore how going through his website makes me feel, its more like a relaxed vibe and the feel along with the amazing photography erases away the dark thoughts easily. If you also are remotely interested in well beings, self care and health trends, you will absolutely like this. 
  • James Clear- Its a recent find and if you like reading articles for value and understand more about yourself and habits and changing the current status to a better version of yourself, this is what you should bookmark. 

This is what consists of my list, if I remember something else, I will update it at some point. 

My reading list if you have figures out by now doesn’t include project management and agile and the reason being is I consciously keep the work reading list and casual reading list separate. This is more of a personal reading list. 

For someone like me who really enjoys reading and have always done it since I was in school, I prefer it over watching television or going to movies. My idea of a perfect day would be to be me in the couch with uninterrupted reading time with a cup of tea. And if you need research to nudge you to read more and how it changes the brain, heres something for you 

I am always for looking for some great read, so if you have something in your list thats been life changing - leave me a tweet at @Soma_b 

(Pic courtesy: Pinterest)

Happy Weekend: Giveaway (10% Off Coupon)

Hello there, I hope you can take some time off today and relax.

If you are looking for updating your certifications for learning, adding to your resume or looking for a new job, try the 10% off coupon. 

You can use the coupon for both the trainings via SprintZeal. 

1. PMI- ACP (6755 students currently enrolled)
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Offer available till Sept 30, 2018.
(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links)