Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Going into Business with the Techie

We are finally done with the public launch of our company and I can get back to squeezing in some blogging time. I've just realized how hard it is to write again when you have been on a break. The ideas are there, however, the flow is not smooth. Any tips there? So here's my attempt at putting my thoughts down on paper (virtually).

When people realize that the techie and I run a business together, the first thing they ask is "What's it like to work with your husband? Don't you get tired of each other?" I used to wonder about the same thing when I heard of such situations, before we started our little venture, and now I finally have an answer.

I hate it, however I wouldn't trade it for the world. Confused, well so am I, so you can keep me company.

The techie handles marketing and projects, while I run operations and finance. Point is we are always fighting over our different areas of operation and can't help discussing work to the exclusion of all else, except our daughter. This means we have absolutely no personal time. Secondly, at least in the near future, we cannot take a holiday together. Due to the size, nature and newness (pardon the word) of our operations, one of us has to be on hand at all time. This means we take separate breaks, if we do get to take a break. Plus, we have to be completely reachable and ready to take decisions (with all relevant updates and information) even when on holiday.

The benefits are that we though work long and unusual hours, we can support each other in all aspects including child-care (though the onus for domestic arrangements falls on me and business arrangements fall on him).

At the end of the day, I don't know if I can ever go back to a regular job, were we see each other only at the end and beginning of the day, even if we get to take family vacations.

Example, last week the techie went on a break with the boys for two days. I had loads of work since I had to cover for him as well. However, I was bored out of my mind since I couldn't pick-up the inter-office phone and pick a fight with him!

Don't try to understand me, I'm too complicated even for me. All I can say is, it's literally a 'partnership' in every sense of the word for us.

P.S. - Have just decided that this will be the first in a mini-series of posts on working with your spouse. Who knows what enlightenment I may get from the introspection and my fellow bloggers.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Experience - Press Meet

Just wanted to share this with all of you. 

We had our first big press meet today. It was scary and exhilarating. Scary, since we have officially announced our name and  plans to the world and now have to deliver big time. Exhilarating, since all the work of the last one year is starting to taking shape. 

I will post more on this later. This entry was a quickie, just to share my 'high' with all you wonderfully supportive people. 

Stay tuned and keep rooting for us. I will definitely return the favour. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Philosophy - Who makes the rules

I'm not a philosopher by nature, nor do I enjoy politics, thought I love debating. However, there are times when I come across a certain type of thinking that makes me stop and ponder. Today, I decided to share one of those points of view that affect me a lot.

I read this in a Wilbur Smith novel*:
"There is terrorism from above - as well as from below...... If you define terrorism as extreme physical or physiological coercion used to induce others to submit to the will of the terrorist - there is the legal terror threat of the gallows, the religious terror threat of hell fire, the paternal terror threat of the cane - are those more morally justifiable than the aspiration of the weak, the poor, the politically oppressed, the powerless victims of an unjust society? Is their scream of protest to be strangled... Laws are made by man, almost always by the rich and the powerful - laws are changed by men, usually only after militant action."
What do you make of this reasoning? Especially when so many of us are parents?

Once your through thinking on that, read what comes later on, it's on the same topic:
"This is the test. No matter how much we personally feel the demands are just, yet we must oppose to the death the manner in which they are presented. If these people win their objects, it is a victory for the gun - and we place all mankind in jeopardy."

Writing is an art and writing which makes your readers think is a gift to them.

*I've reread all his novels at least 3-4 times and I learn something new every time. This guy writes from the heart and knows his subject intimately. I started reading his books when I was about 12-13 years old and still can't get enough.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Law and Order

I finally had an epiphany on why I haven't been able to blog regularly for the last month (excluding the vacation). It's because I don't manage my time well! Fine, I know it's not a a groundbreaking discovery, however, it does put me on the right path to getting rid of a lot of my stress.

What basically happens with me is - I start the day of fine, noting done all my tasks in order of urgency and importance. I even start working on the list with full concentration (I love striking of tasks from my list, so satisfying) and the best of intentions. Where I flounder is when an employee or family member interrupts and asks for my attention. I am totally unable to tell people to come back later. I have to resolve everybody's problems for them and before know it the day is over and I have over 70% of my incomplete list (to which loads of other stuff has been added during the day) staring back at me. In addition to this, I tend to get so involved when I have a writing task that I lose all track of time.

So basically at the end of the day, I rush home, feed my baby, play with her and put her to bed. The time I spend with her I'm totally focused on her, however if she takes time to doze off I get impatient because I still have to tackle my list and get it all done before the next day dawns.

See this is where I go wrong. I should be pressurizing adults to keep to a schedule, not a two year old who just wants some extra cuddle time with her mummy! So, I decided to bring in a clear time management technique to handle my day. Let me tell you there are so many techniques out there that you need to make a schedule just to go through all that information. I finally settled on two major tools that seemed simple and efficient.

The first one was pretty obvious, set out fixed time slots for:

  • Internal meetings
  • Interviews  
  • Meeting with visitors
Obviously, family members will be highly offended if I set out a time for them to get in touch with me. So had to accept those pleasant distractions as they were.

The second tool I stumbled across purely by chance and almost dismissed. It was managing your time in minutes! Come on I work 12-14 hours a day, that's an average of 780 minutes. I was pretty skeptic about this, until I read that the world's best lawyers, who bill their clients by the hour use this technique to track and manage their time. I was sold, come on, if it's good for top-notch lawyers, it's good enough for me.

This is how the concept basically works. You split your hour in batches of 7to 10 minutes and then assign parts of a schedule task for each slot. Over the course of the day you finish all your tasks. Apparently this method keeps your mind fresh and alert since you spend limited time focusing on each task at any point of time. Obviously, if you have pressing deadline you need to tweak the system a bit.

Anyway, I've listed out my major tasks for today and am all set. Obviously, the first ten minutes are up, since I use them to write this entry. Wish me luck and I'll let you know how things work out. Who knows maybe I'll  use this to manage my mommy/wife time as well!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Back on Track

I haven't forgotten my bloggy world. The muchkin and I just had an unexpected holiday. We took off on the spur of the moment for my parent's home and things just got more and more hectic from there.

Well, we are back now and I'm going to start reconnecting, so please don't walk away and forget about me. This world is what keeps me sane on the regular days.

Here are the highlights of our mini-vacation:

  • The munchkin and me had a playdate with another blogger friend (her's is a private blog) and her adorable tot.
  • We visited Atlantis and another underwater zoo with the grandparents. I was more excited than the little one!
  • Shopped, shopped and shopped
  • Watched "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "The Joneses
  • I lost about 7 pounds with no effort! Unfortunately have put back 4 of those in the last two days.
That's the round-up for now. Watch this space for regular posts from tomorrow.