Tag Archives: stress

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. – Mark Twain

Quote of the Day

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The beginning is the most important part of the work. – Plato

Quote of the Day

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On presentations, boardrooms and cultural differences

We were asked to repeat our presentation to the board at headquarters on a Tuesday morning.

What happened that day still blows my mind. We arrived exactly 15 minutes early, so as to have plenty of time to chat before our presentation. Assuming our 10-minute presentation + discussion should take no longer than half an hour, we expected to be on our merry way back to the city for our second lecture by 11am…

Instead, we were ushered into a holding area and kept waiting… for 45 minutes. I am not kidding.  “The board is still in their weekly meeting.” Sure. We were fuming.

This was not the first time we were kept waiting. This was also not the first time we were made to feel like our time wasn’t very important because, let’s face it, we are only ‘students’ with (what they assume) ‘nothing better to do’.

I decided to take a stand and make it clear that this kind of treatment was unacceptable if we were to continue an equal and respectful relationship. When one of the secretaries (who, bless her, had no fault in this) decided to check up on us to see if we needed anything, I had to let someone have it.

With the fires of Mordor snaking at my nostrils from within, I explained, in a level yet firm tone, that we had already sacrificed an important lecture in order to repeat a presentation (as a favour to them, no less) at their headquarters in the middle of nowhere on a weekday morning. Making us wait the better part of an hour for (what was later confirmed) no good reason whatsoever was, simply, rude and disrespectful. Finally, if they did not see us within the next five minutes, we would be leaving because, yes, we actually had other commitments (lectures to attend).

This whole time my fellow English teammates said nothing, a non-reaction I did not quite understand until my housemate Henry later explained that the Brits rarely say what they mean and that my reaction must have been more than enough on its own. And hey, it worked, because (lo and behold) 30 seconds and countless apologies later we were welcomed into the boardroom, nailed our presentation and were out of there in fifteen minutes. Like a boss.

Boom. That’s all I have to say on presentations, boardrooms and cultural differences for the time being. I will write again soon, until then I hope your have an awesome time! Wishing all the very best in 2012!!!

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Easy Math

Good luck on exams!

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InternLife: The Busy Curse

Once upon a time, there were four summer interns, curious as can be. They each had their strengths: one loved to call people, one loved to email, one loved to write and one loved to do all kinds of little jobs.

It was the beginning of the summer, on one fine morning, when the one who loved to write found herself in a pickle. “I have way, way, WAY too much work!” she said. “Oh fellow intern, you don’t have as much as me. Won’t you help me please?”

But the one who liked to call said “No. I have too much of my own work. I can’t help YOU.”

So the one who loved to write asked another intern, “Oh intern who likes to email, I have way, way, WAY too much work. You don’t have as much as me. Won’t you help me please?”

Just like the caller, the one who liked to email said, “No. I am too busy with my work. I don’t have time to help you.”

Poor, poor intern. Who will help you do all this work? Are the other interns being selfish? They couldn’t possibly have as much to do just.calling or emailing…

…Or could they?

Finally, the writer asked the one who liked to do all kinds of things. And he replied, “yes I will help you. As long as you divide your tasks into manageable to-do’s, there’s nothing you can’t do all by yourself!”

So the writer and the organizer made a plan that allowed the writer to clearly see what she had to do.

“Wow, I guess I’m not that busy after all. I even still have time to help the other interns!” said the writer.

“Yes,” said the organized one, “But don’t forget to do your tasks first. Being busy doesn’t always mean being productive.”

The writer nodded, “I guess you’re right. It’s like I was under the busy curse and thought that having way, way, WAY too much to do meant that I was being productive. Thanks kind intern.”

“Anytime young one,” said the wise organizer. “Break the busy curse and get more done! Off with you now, writer, I have work to do!”

The End

Moral of the story: busy work does not equal productive work.

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