Wednesday, December 22, 2010

MANAGING TIME -- CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL

  

This piece on TIME MANAGEMENT is for Masters of ships and top management ashore.

As usual I am leaving it un edited and deliberately disjointed.

Yesterday I bumped into a long haired John Abraham look alike dude at the Forum mall in Bangalore . My 19 year old son had me in tow in his quest for World Cup endorsed Adidas football shoes. The dude sported a T shirt with “ so many gals “ in front and “ so little time” on the rear. .

I reached up and put a patronizing paw on his shoulder and drawled “ Son , you need to learn TIME MANAGEMENT ” . Pretty soon he was breathing down on me —him , with his long haired mean look , sizing mE Sir Henry Morgan whiskers and obscene biceps.

Much to the relief of my pacifist son he decided in all his wisdom not to throw a punch and instead asked “ and how could I do that?” .

I offered instant wisdom “ Use the law of forced efficiency --- MANAGE TIME LATERALLY”

Now--The law of forced efficiency states that there is always enough time to do the most important things. Ok, you cant make time stand still or buy time or reverse time —but you can at least make it run. Like how I used to make the Solankis and Tandels run at sea. It is no secret that Vadakayil got 12 months of work done on derailed Sichem Pearl in 4 months. I’ll let out a huge chunk of the secret now itself . My walkie talkie was on all the time except when I slept—no shipboard travel for conversing was allowed—all official communications had to be on walkie talkie as a primary business tool—conversations had to be to the point and crystal clear like masters orders to the quarter master on bridge while entering port with no scope for please, thank you or yaar shaar type fuzzy talk. In one swift move I heart punched the parasites and middlemen.

The best way for a layman to get a hang of time management is the vision of Michael Schumacher roaring into the Formula One racing pits in his red Ferrari. After exactly 5.9 seconds he roars off. . Just stop reading for a while and relive the scene in your mann- mandir. Did you see focus? Did you see concentration? Could you see finger tip preparation? Did you see any pregnant turkey on the job putting his hands into motion without engaging his brain in gear?. Was the time frame known to all ? Did the team understand the law of sowing and reaping? Was there a honing of key skills? Did every thing count?—did the team understand that everything they did either helped them or hurt them? –was any action neutral? In short was TIME LEVERAGED by the central organizer cum leader ? Was there a bullshit cliché 30% work expansion rule in sight for the usual screw ups cushion? Was there fuzzy conversation?

Vadakayils law: Don’t put your mouth or hands into motion before you put your brains into gear—unless you are a reflex action trained Sukhov 30 MKI pilot engaged in a do or die dogfight with an F16. Action without thinking is the cause of every failure. –and failure is the BIGGEST time waster.

I had written about “humour quotient” – in my vision for the next century. I wrote that no manager would be employed without HQ. Time has come for me to expound for lot of managers are bound to confuse frivolousness and Mr. Bean type buffoonery with HQ. HQ has got every thing to do with a phenomenon called LATERAL THINKING. This is all about using the right brain lobe more effectively. The human brain has 2 lobes—left and right. The left side is used by all and sundry in short the VERTICAL THINKERS– the right lobe by very few who are capable of LATERAL THINKING.

The right lobe deals with humor, creativity , insight, music , color, surprise etc. Logic , reasoning and experience is handled by the left lobe. Humor does not appeal to the sense of logic—only to the sense of interest. Humor management promotes flexible thinking. Humor encourages novel approaches and promotes innovation by making it legitimate to think in illogical ways. It is an expression of freedom of the human spirit. Humor provokes new patterns and generates new ideas. Humor breaks out of the concept prisons of old ideas.

When I talk about a mental hop it is about securing a good connection with the right brain lobe. The Indian Yogis touch their thumb with the middle finger ( instant mudra ) to kick start this mode. Recently a guy by the name of Silva has lifted this millenniums old “DIVING INTO THE SUBCONSCIOUS” Indian yogic concept to ring in his own cash registers “ . By the way Viagra kick starts your other hop—tee hee.

What is this lateral thinking all about---

Don’t shut down your right lobe and your sub conscious and evaluate against experience using the left lobe –for the conscious brain cannot multi task. A top manager who cannot multitask can never be a top notch performer.

Lateral thinking recognises that the approach to a problem is never as important as its solution. It cares two hoots for logical thinking which is the way computer software programs work. The tool of insight is a creative gift called lateral thinking. The good part is that lateral thinking can be learnt—you need not be born with it. Brainstorming is one buzz term all are familiar with—well this phenomenon is closely associated with lateral thinking—I’ll come back to this later ( avoiding time loss due to hasty decision induced firefighting ).

Vertical thinking using the left lobe of the brain is all about being right and logical at EVERY sequential step—it blocks all illogical pathways. Lateral thinking is more concerned with the wealth of thoughts . A vertical thinker and a lateral thinker had to go up a mountain with a large unwieldy piece of baggage. Guess what the lateral thinker did—he went up the mountain without the load ( he took his thinking cap along ) looked down from the peak for the best way to bring the head load up—and went down and brought it up . Well this was what the genius navigator Magellan did. He did not bluster his way through Magellan straits with his band playing “ kadam badhake aage chal” on the forecastle —he would take a small boat ,climb up a mountain and do some mental mapping from a vantage position before he took his ship through. Anybody who has been through Magellan straits will know what a tour-de- force his exploratory path was.

A lateral thinker is never satisfied with the ADEQUATE beaten track. He does not drill his tunnel though logical steps to his goal—rather he will leap frog—opening new pathways. His last few steps is the one which will make his venture a success. Like building a bridge like the Sydney bridge. When the last part fits in at the centre—and voila , the bridge suddenly becomes self supporting and is ready to take on the traffic.

So then the mall attendant approached the vertical thinker and asked “ Sir, may I know what you are looking for” and he will give a within the framework , usual , answer “ Oh, I am looking for this and some of that and more of that” . Then he went to the lateral thinker and asked the same question . The provocative , unreasonable and outside the frame work answer was “ I’ll let you know as soon as I see what I want” .

The much touted and admired EQ of this century is about being right at every step. The misunderstood and much maligned IQ+HQ with its tinge of madness is all about being right only at the end. Sometimes the genius will move to an untenable position to find a tenable solution.

No wonder till now most of the work of the Indian Mathematical genius Ramanujam who died at a young age , is still unsolved. The cracks where he leap frogged across deferring logic is still a mystery. He recognized the wisdom that the need to be right all the time completely shuts out creativity and progress.

Ever heard of making progress forward by moving backward? When this is what lateral thinking NASA did recently when sending a satellite to a far away planet. The satellite went the reverse way and catapulted around another planet to achieve the escape velocity . BRAINSTORMING is the principal tool for lateral thinking--- you can now recollect self brainstorming when I dived into the pool of mentoring to locate truths etched on rock.

The crew on Sichem pearl or Fairchem colt/ North contender will remember the profligate brainstorming exercises we had on the bridge . Lateral thinking is an anti judgement device unlike logic which survives on “NYET” MANAGEMENT or rejection. Here you deliberately delay judgement to save time. What does brainstorming do? It starts a train of thoughts. A group of people not less than 5 or more than 20 give their random thoughts to the chairman. People speak when they want to speak .Every thing goes. Nobody shall ridicule or shoot down somebody else’s thoughts . If anybody evaluates somebody else's thoughts—the chairman is expected to overrule it or expunge it from the minutes unlike a debate . For evaluation kills spontaneity in this group contribution to exploration and novel approach. A train of stimulating and provoking thoughts are generated working outside the frame work of reason—the concern is for change and not for proof or logic. This breaks out of the frame work of rigid patterns and cliche units which our mind is so apt to construct because of the way it handles itself. Judgement or the selective stage is deferred ( procrastinated )to the the next day with the important men of the same group.

Let me give an example of a successful brainstorming session which I held when I was a young chief officer on a hectic product tanker by the name of Visveswaraya. The engineers had their own duty mess where they used to eat in their greasy boiler suits at odd hours. Well –Mickey mouse made a house there. Actually it was a huge vicious looking and fearless bandicoot who would charge at you if you tried to corner him. The master had a mini- crisis as the engineers refused to eat there till they saw the dead body of Mickey. Now Mickey was too large to enter a rat trap and sort of immune to rat poison. For the brainstorming session I called the entire crew list of nearly 60 crew . All and sundry gave their suggestions. The second engineers steward ( who was plain loco ) also gave his two pennies worth which made every body burst into derisive laughter. Actually this man was a big liability—but since he had a past track record of good service and a huge family for whom he was the sole bread winner, he was tolerated . Now what was his suggestion? He said--- take two buckets one red , one blue ( which made me wonder if the bandicoot had colour vision ) half fill the red one with soap water— in the blue one put a piece of salted dried fish. That was all—he looked confused and all were in splits , some even lying on the floor in tears of pleasure.

Before I terminated the brainstorming session I sort of made a judgement remark ( now –you MUST NOT deliver judgement or evaluate during or after a brainstorming session –as a matter of law ) “ I am sure to find a drowned rat in the red bucket tomorrow morning “ . That night I set up the buckets myself and locked and sealed the duty mess door. Full night I could not sleep out of curiosity. Finally after tossing and turning till 5 am I went to the duty mess with the chief engineer and master key–and sure enough the huge drowned bandicoot was floating in the red bucket. I guess the scenario unfolded as follows. Mickey smells the dried fish ( it is the best rat bait, ahead of cheese ) comes out to investigate – the smell is powerful enough to home into the blue bucket— Mickey jumps right in— eats the fish--- gets his olfactory senses briefly overpowered—remembers one more bucket holding a possible treat— dives right into the red bucket half filled with soap water and gets drowned. Success is the bottomline, gentlemen.

So EQ says PROCRASTINATION means poor time management---just dig the well deeper, we will find the elusive water yet and have an adequate well. IQ+HQ says just the reverse ---PROCRASTINATE JUDGEMENT TILL THE NEXT DAY. THE GENERATED ALTERNATIVES ARE SIFTED THROUGH IN THE SELECTIVE STAGE FOR THE MOST OBVIOUS ONE OR AN ALTERNATE STARTING POINT. Dig a few holes here and there –they must be a better and beyond the adequate place to reach the fountainhead.

Time for some light humor---
The vertical thinking tall man with a blood soaked turban went to the doctor. He was traveling in a bus and every time the bus lurched he hit his head on a sharp nail by the side of his head. The doctor cried “ You poor man—you should have exchanged your seat with some short guy ”. The man said “ I tried to exchange my seat all the time—but there were no short guys in the bus—in fact I was down right alone in the bus” .

Compare this with the lateral thinking thirsty crow of Panchatantra fable fame who put tiny pebbles into a deep pot to bring the water up to where its beak could reach. Many onlookers accustomed to cliché stuff would have accused this genius crow of running around in concentric circles .

So then if you want to manage time the lateral way—say good bye temporarily to analysis and judgement rock logic ways of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle--- the mass production factory scenario time saver mentality of the Oxford certificated Industrial Engineer . . . welcome to the wonder world of water logic by proactive design. There is really no substitute for commonsense when it come to managing time laterally. For work mysteriously expands to fill up the available time. And consider this —those you live closest always arrive latest.

Having said so much—can killing time be called time management? It depends on the larger picture. Imagine your football team is leading by a lucky goal against a stronger team and your team is playing 9 to their 11 players due to 2 red cards given by the rogue referee—only 3 minutes are left for the final whistle. Be the master of time—not its victim.

Time is on our side the moment we organize it. Effort X time = constant.

WORK SMARTER –NOT HARDER. Your objective must be to get the best from your subordinates –not the most. Be more concerned with thinking rather than doing. Manage your time pro- actively rather than passively letting time drip on your head. Measure results not activity. Time management means determining what to do, when to do and how long to do. Time should not be measured in minutes and hours and our long haired dude with the fancy T shirt—rather it is the effort invested in the task and the significance of the task. It means doing the most important job NOW. It means dramatic reordering of priorities . It means not misplacing your energies—by spending inordinate indecisive time on low priority tasks ( or the Big Ethels ) , leaving little time for the essential ones ( Aishwaryas and Angelina Jolies ) like our longhaired dude.

Time management is the also the inherent ability to separate chaff from the grain within a dead line. It involves constant choosing between what is less important and what is more important. The lateral thinkers call this CREATIVE ABANDONMENT ( Duh- wha? How can you be creative when you abandon? Duh?) Do not waste time on the impossible just to show that you have 3 full bags of positive attitude and you are THE company man.. A good time manager puts all jobs on a graph with time on the Y axis. He will not get involved in routine and detail. He can juggle 5 or 6 different tasks simultaneously and do them all well. He is effective—not efficient. Effective means—doing the RIGHT job right.

The law of excluded alternative says that doing one thing means not doing something else—as a deliberate choice. The lateral thinker calls this freeing up time so that there is always enough time to do the most important things. I with held this wisdom from the long haired as a matter of choice.

Imagine time management being done by a parcel chemical tanker on time charter or a team doing open heart surgery—you get a general idea, what planning, preparation and OJT ( on the job training or mentoring ) is all about. Inadequate planning and preparation gives the illusion of too little time.

Time is money. Time once lost can never be regained. Time which is irreplaceable and irreversible is a great leveller and treats all the same. Money is safeguarded. Same way time must be safe guarded. Time management is an attitude of accountability , flexibility and a dramatic re-ordering of priorities . A manager who cant manage his time is indeed a real asshole.

I was recently ridiculed by a friend that workers from my home state of Kerala wasted 15% of their time by constantly hoisting up his lungi tying it up loosely which would require retying in another 10 minutes. ( you have to see this to believe this ) The paradox was –yet the job was done better. The answer is while tying up his lungi again—the workers mind was still working –planning , conceptualizing and constantly assessing the overall progress. An Industrial Engineer would never understand this “ discretionary time” water logic.

Treat your senior managers as business partners—not subordinates. Be pro-active. Time is lost by reacting un necessarily. Look forward –not behind at the ships wake. Avoid travel by proper communication. Lack of communication is like cutting off blood supply to an organ—it can cause gangrene. Your crew list is like part of your own body. Good upward and down ward communication is a must like the arteries and veins. Do not use walkie talkies or telephones to discuss sensitive subjects. Punish morons who keep falling into the same dang hole again and again.

Time spent in reinventing the wheel is wasted time. Paperwork is a waste of time. Let your papers mature in a drawer before you file it. You will find that 95% of it is worth dumping. Do not us your box files as garbage bins. Destroy papers which have lost meaning and not required for audits and inspections. Avoid unnecessary CC and auto mailing lists. Have a good information retrieval system. Avoid duplication of work especially paperwork.

Leveraging and enhancing time is the ability to accomplish greater quality and quantity in the same amount of time. Have written goals. Have an external memory white board on the bulkhead in front of your desk when your 24 hour goals are written in order of priority. This white board can be a great stress buster. Reorder your priorities often. Stress and insecurity makes a man defensive and lose creativity. Every ship I have commanded has such white board external memory in the master’s day room.

Have a book where your weekly plans are written down. Give category A or B priority and a dead line for the important ones. Delegate the low priority category D jobs without feedback.

Solve all problems on the drawing board before it is done physically. Say a discharging plan or a dry dock list must have a BAR DIAGRAM HAVING TIME ON THE X AXIS. ONCE THE JOB STARTS THE BAR DIAGRAM MUST BE CONVERTED TO A RUNNING BAR DIAGRAM. This way you avoid biting off more than what you can chew and disaster commitments.. Have a quiet hour for planning every day. Your desk must be functional—not just nice to look at, neatness signifies no great shit.—with the pending work drawers within reach. To complete a job first begin.

Bust big problems into smaller ones—like how the Japanese build ships in their village yards like Usuki using sub contractors. At least this busts the “I don’t know where to start from” syndrome of procrastination. When there is no light at the end of the tunnel the best is to break up the work into smaller units. The sense of accomplishing one thing at a time will help you to stay in the drivers seat.

A job is as simple as navigating across the ocean with limited fuel. Too often we get bogged down by the means and lose sight of the road. The shortest route need not be the fastest or fuel efficient route. The marathon man paces himself till he reaches the destination. He does not sprint burn himself out and then lie down on the CCR sofa with a Joan of Arc type expression on his face. Be the catalyst –once you burn yourself out you have screwed up real good and will lose respect. ENERGY MANAGEMENT and time management is more or less the same if you think the lateral way.

Fatigue is a huge time waster leading to failure to deliver the goods. Self discipline, abstaining from trivia , concentrating on creative work, thinking in terms of objectives are the hall marks of productive managers. Hey! Does anybody care for hardworking managers who spin their wheels and burn spectacular rubber unnecessarily?.

 Does anybody relate sweat on the brow to efficiency? Is there any need to convince others ( unless they are stupid ) and deliver the image that their leader works a lot.

DC—( digression code ) I remember an electrical officer who could not read a circuit diagram always having sweat on his brow—tee hee.

Do not get into the activity trap having lost sight of the larger picture---wherein the activity becomes an end in itself—a false goal. You see such a thing quite often in a ships engine room. The extreme to this is a chief engineer who has brainwashed himself that the purpose of a ship is to take the engine room from point A to point B—not to carry cargo and make money for its owner.

Keep a small diary in your pocket to note down random thoughts and ideas when you are not at your desk—or you may forget it like the fleeting dream of Sigmund Freud. Do not leave important thoughts that are essential to be remembered in the clutches of a unreliable memory.

Creative time spent in planning, preparatory time spent in setting up, productive time spent in doing the job are all worth it. Overhead time spent in paperwork and reporting/ overlapping records is a time waster. And ALWAYS the length of a progress report is inversely proportional to the amount of progress. Time spent in planning is the biggest time saver. I must repeat--Don’t put your hands into motion till you put your brain into gear.

Imagine a chief engineer and superintendent spending major part of their time on nonsense overheads. Imagine a superintendent constantly peeking into the emails of other ships not in his pool to update his curiosity or personal knowledge bank—imagine a ships chief engineer having a similar facility to peek into the correspondence emanating from engine rooms of other ships!! Do I strike a familiar chord?

Move fast on reversible decisions and slower on irreversible decisions—just like the open sea and a narrow channel navigation.

Play the ball—don’t let the ball play you. A small digression here. Recently I went for a dolphin show. It was THE perfect show. It was a revelation when I realised that it was the dolphin who was calling the shots on its own time table. Much before the trainer said “ jump” the dolphin was already in the take off mode.

 Lateral thinkers will sometimes allow the ball to play them—which means letting loose the reins yet being in control. In my career as master many times I had escaped from grave difficulties by applying this method. Allowing a non ice class ship to find its own way to the Belledune berth in heavy pack ice after getting a lead or allowing the ship to find the centre of the mud swamped channel enroute to Rosario in the La Plata river or surfing the icy storm north of Aleutian chain ( oops! Must not reveal all mE secrets and be burnt on the stake by the non comprehenders )

Handle only exceptional problems. Do not be relegated to the job of communication boy—especially in an emergency. I do remember being in the TESMA conference room with a fire raging on Sigloo Espoo—with the master giving a pathetic running commentary on air—instead of command and control.

Avoid holding meetings ( especially unnecessary ones ) in prime time—when everybodys energies are at a peak. Make meetings count. Nobody should depart after a meeting feeling frustrated that it was a waste of time. A meeting cannot be a ceremony where people give each other what they want , politically lying to each other and getting zilch done.

Meet visitors outside your office and converse there.

Work on your ability to recover from interruptions. Learn to live with interruptions. Treat every one on its own merit.

Delegate down wards. Don’t let parasite cum middlemen subordinates do upward delegation . Imagine a master working for the incompetent chief officer and not vice versa--- a scene at Fukuoka shipyard on North Contender.

Avoid perfectionism. Wisdom consists of knowing when to avoid perfectionism. More often perfectionism is nothing but an ego trip—so spake Osho.

Learn to say NO to anything that is not the best use of your time. But be available to your staff when absolutely needed. Imagine a master NOT going up on the bridge when required by the officer on watch.

Keep your waste paper basket well fed. Trivia accumulates fast. Ask yourself this question as you toss the paper—what would be the WCS ( worst case scenario) if this paper was consigned to the waste bin ?

To complete a job—first begin. It takes greater energy to start than to sustain. The unfinished business will act as a stimulus to continue. Unstarted work holds no such catalysis. Setting deadlines is to kick start people to start. Once you have started, have the wisdom and flexibility to change. Inability to stop is called compulsive. Ever heard of a compulsive drinker? TIME MANAGEMENT IS THE ABILITY TO START , CHANGE AND STOP THE TIME CYCLE—cyclic time is different from linear time—like machinery running hours of CSM.

So then what are the time wasters? Travel, crisis management and fire fighting, muncipality type red tape, incompetent staff, excessive turn over ( somebody humming the tune of --please release me let me go—for I don’t love you any more ), involvement in routine and the mundane, making unnecessary progress reports and sitreps.

Pen your goals. Pen and paper force you to be clear and precise –even to yourself. Work on your mental ability to handle projects and multitask jobs.

Handle paperwork at the maximum twice. Keep incoming papers in a drawer to mature. File only stuff worth filing.

Delegate as much as possible and exact accountability. Train crew towards independent , unmonitored action. Delegate skilled tasks to the right people. You should figure out who are the masons and who are the architects in your crew list. Don’t give the mason an architects work and vice versa. And don’t let a mason convince you that he is an architect and vice versa--This way you don’t spend time on undoing. Asking dumb questions takes lesser time than correcting dumb mistakes.

Coffee breaks for crew must be long enough to give brief relaxation—not to just gulp down hot coffee and rush back.

Marlon Hontomins ( reverse delegator of Mutiny on the Conty fame ) first law for the vertical thinkers ---the sooner you fall behind—the more time you have to catch up.

Hontomins Second law: The slower you worketh the fewer mistakes you shall maketh.

Hontomins Third law: The more proficient one is at procrastination—the less competent you need to be in your work.

Hontomin’s legacy: the STUPID shall inherit the earth and its mineral rights.

Now you know why a certain Capt Bligh gave him the boot.

TIME MANAGEMENT IS LIFE MANAGEMENT. When you work with turkeys forget about the happiness of soaring with the condors ( condor is the great wingspan Californian eagle ).

Happiness comes when you believe in what you are doing, know what you are doing and LOVE WHAT YOU ARE DOING and doing it well. You must get a feel that you make a difference in the world you are in. Set peace of mind as your top goal and organize your time around it. There is a certain amount of self respect, self esteem , personal pride, enthusiasm and positive mental attitude you can squeeze out of effective time management. Check out the energy you derive from working smarter rather than working harder. Feel the spring in your step—the confidence you radiate.

Lateral thinking is about starting with the end in mind and crisis anticipation. Crisis anticipation is termed negative attitude by vertical thinkers using the left lobe for whom fall back plans are a huge waste of time.The theory of constraints say that there is a bottleneck for every project—how do you circumvent or rather pulverize this time honoured and “not so inadequate” bottleneck?

Control the sequence of events to get the best ROTI—returns on time invested ( this is different from the roti you have in mind –tee hee ). Leveraging time means doing only the most important things in the available time. This means the worst use of time to do perfectly well what need not be done at all. This usually happens to the turkeys who lose the larger picture. ( I hope SPMCT does not clap on to me –society for prevention against mental cruelty to turkeys )

You could use money to save time ( not buy it )—this is the essence of outsourcing done by multinational companies—basically it boils down to delegation to a company whose overheads and hourly rates are lower than yours.

Look closely at the Yankee law of success---FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT . Before you succeed your must first portray that you are successful. Same way for time management. First visualize and portray yourself as a good time manager—well organized and effective—and wait for the magic results.

Every meeting must have a clear written agenda and a deadline. Start the meeting on time. Assume the late comers wont come. Persistent latecomers MUST feel your heat. For this discipline yourself to be punctual. When you put deadlines you force and energise the system. President Abdul Kalam calls such energizing “igniting minds” – just a misnomer—one of the rare occasions the missile man misfired.

Lateral thinking is about reorganization—continiously seeking better, faster and more effective ways to accomplish the same result. World records are being continuously broken due to such lateral thinking in training. Jumping greater heights using Fosbury Flip is an example.

F1 racing pits law: DO THINGS RIGHT THE FIRST TIME EVERY TIME. This means zilch mistakes—zilch time lost in undoing. Organize and simplify the work. There is no perfectionism here –it is all about every being perfectly in order before the F1 car comes into the pit.

Law of delegation: even when you delegate fully without feedback—order of priority of tasks must be in your hand.

Lateral thinking is about “back to the future” thinking. Project forward a few years and look backwards. You need long term vision combined with short term focus. 

BRAINSTORMING is used to identify all possible causes of a problem before you decide on a solution. The quantity of brainstorming matter you will be quite surprised to discover will decide the quality of your solution. Aaha—quality based on quantity? Well this is called anticipatory thinking. A collision is heavy traffic is all about failed anticipatory thinking.

Spend some time every day to upgrade your skills and hone your intellect with food for thought.

The lateral thinking person can hold two contradictory thoughts and still continue to function. He uses mental flexibility as a time management tool. He has the character to admit easily “ I changed mE mind”

Staying in the wrong company with wrong people around you is a time waster.

A short nap in the afternoon after a heavy lunch is a key time management tool. Treat this time as a recharging battery time. If you have to avoid this nap—eat lightly to keep your mind sharp and clear for the entire post lunch session. Going to bed early when you are tired is an excellent use of time—for you are recharging your only spent battery which is meant to keep you going .

Do not allow television to be a bad master.--- during working hours, barge in into the crew and officers mess un announced once in a while .

Ever practiced COMPLETION BY DELETION?—of low value nonsense jobs, passed on to you by some turkey’s nonsense observation list?— remember my cynical response and dumping of Caltec inspection list of a certain John Bull.?. Simplifying your life is all about eliminating unnecessary tasks and activities. 

Speed reading and speed typing are major time savers. I do know a couple of old masters who take 10 times more time to read or type a page of email than an average guy. If his command of queens English is purrely pedestrrrian then he might need a dictionary to go along with his chore. This reminds me—once my Russian chief officer asked me accusingly “ Kaapthan –why you no spik intherrrnationaal englisshh??” this type English is the subtitle you find in Hollywood movies pirated Russian CD—coined by some Russian for fellow Russians.

After reading all above --Like the longhaired dude--- if you are indeed overwhelmed with too much to do with too little time –it pays to remind yourself—

ALL YOU CAN DO --- IS ALL YOU CAN DO. ( something like—when you got to go, you got to go ) for after all you are human not a superman. 

Altas could hold the whole world on his head –but could not hold his own-- SH#T .

Capt Ajay Prasad or Capt Sanjay Mehta or Capt Anshuman Jain will remember that this was the only piece of wisdom I gave him when handing over 4 stripes to them.

You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it. - Charles Buxton

CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL
..

14 comments:

  1. BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!
    (Though I am too small to comment on such a master piece.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi maninder,

      you will like --

      CHANGE MANAGEMENT VADAKAYIL

      and

      BLUE OCEAN LEADERSHIP VADAKAYIL

      -- better.

      put them into Google search.

      capt ajit vadakayil
      ..

      Delete
  2. Hi Capt.

    It would be appreciable should you can let me know more about ISM for vessel safety management Please.

    Thanks
    SHALIN

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Captain

    The Atlas bit was refreshingly humorous. Reminds one of Newton's case of falling apple joke.. Newton noticed an apple fall to be enlightened on gravity; where did his intelligence disappear when he was crapping !

    Humour aside, this post is superb. Thanks for sharing.

    With regards - Ratish

    ReplyDelete
  4. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you


    Talk PRO Walkie Talkie in Bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  5. Namaste sir, I have been a silent reader of your knowledge blog since last two year. today i saw a post on csection delivery. I need your wise advice and please delete the conversation. I have two sons for my younger one i have completed bf for an year n would continue on baby demand.I am concerned about my older one.Though both of them are born by cs not my choice but you know the way hospitals operate these days. I couldnt bf my older one i tried but not endless as for my younger one.my older son was on nan for an year which i regret most. This baby has grown with fabrile convulsions ..which has stopped now...but has cold allergies,complaints of stomach pain and skin rashes especially in underarms.He is extremely mindfull and intelligent for his age( not in terms of school education only). Please suggest me any treatment and diet to remove all ill effects of cs and formulae food. as for now he eats minimum processed food..started adding cold pressed coconut oil in his diet though he doesnt like it.Your advice can free a mother from the guilt of not handing over natures gift of health and immunity to my sons. thx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi ss,

      keep away your child from plastic burning smoke.

      when your child has even slight fever do NOT send him to school.

      nothing to worry about !

      http://ajitvadakayil.blogspot.in/2013/08/probiotics-prebiotics-friendly-gut.html

      CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL
      ..

      Delete
  6. Thank you sir for your reply.... will strictly follow your advice.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Shruti Khajuria
    October 7, 2015 at 4:53 PM
    Hello captain.
    Today i asked my teacher about the role/power of president to avoid parliament sessions being washed out- like this monsoon session.

    He said that president cant do anything n it is in the hands of speaker(inshort pm) who can do something.

    Could u plz she'd some light on it.

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    Capt. Ajit Vadakayil
    October 7, 2015 at 7:55 PM
    hi sk,

    WHY WAS CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL THE MOST POWERFUL SHIP CAPTAIN AT SEA?

    WHY WERE HIS BOSSES MORTALLY SCARED OF HIM?

    WHY WAS THIS SHIP CAPTAIN LIKE THE "SLAVE MORE POWERFUL THAN CAESAR "?

    OK-- THE EASY WAY OUT IS TO SAY THAT THIS CAPTAIN KNEW MORE THAN OTHERS .

    SORRY-- THE COOKIE DOES NOT CRUMBLE THAT WAY.

    I KNEW MY POWERS VESTED IN ME BY THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA BY A DOCUMENT--THE MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT.

    http://vikaspedia.in/social-welfare/unorganised-sector-1/the-merchant-shipping-act1958

    I ONCE HAD A BOOS WHO SAILED ON MY SHIP FOR 2 DAYS .

    FROM HOUR ONE HE WAS AFTER MY ASS -TRYING TO TEAR IT APART.

    I ASKED MY PURSER TO SIGN HIM ON ON THE SHIPS" ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT"

    LEGALLY AT SEA THERE CAN BE NO PASSENGERS ON A MERCHANT SHIP WITHOUT PROPER DOCUMENTS.

    HE REFUSED TO SIGN IT- SAYING THAT HE HAD NEVER DONE IT BEFORE.

    IMMEDIATELY I TOLD THE PURSER AND CHIEF OFFICER -- YOU ARE WITNESS , CARRY ON.

    THIS MANGY BOSS WENT RUNNING AFTER THE PURSER AND SIGNED IT-- AND NOW HE WAS PART OF MY CREW.

    SO I TOLD HIM--

    AT NEXT PORT I WILL SIGN OFF MY CHIEF ENGINEER AND I WILL ASK THAT YOU BE MADE MY CHIEF ENGINEER TILL I GET A SUITABLE REPLACEMENT.

    ( THOSE DAYS I WAS THE BLUE EYED BOY )

    YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN HIS FACE --HE LITERALLY SHAT AS WE COULD SMELL SHIT.

    ALWAYS KNOW YOUR POWERS.

    THE INDIAN PRESIDENT MUST KNOW HIS POWERS.

    DID NOT TN SESHAN ( ELECTION COMMISSIONER ) POONGI BHAJAO ALL THE HIGH AND MIGHTY POLITICIANS ? SAB KA GAAAN EKKATTA PHAAD DIYA . .

    THEY WERE ALL CRYING MUMMMMYYYYY !

    HE KNEW HIS POWERS.

    IF TN SESHAN WAS PRESIDENT -- THE FUTURE PRESIDENTS WOULD HAVE BEEN ON A BETTER WICKET.

    when i wanted to interpret the merchant shipping act--i would call my wife and ask her to think like a landlubber ( like a lawyer in a court of law ) .

    see, i would be tied down by PRE-CONCEIVED NOTIONS.

    at sea i tool officers and crew who had NIL chemical experience and I moulded them like RAW CLAY.

    dog's tail cant be straightened !

    capt ajit vadakayil
    ..

    ReplyDelete
  8. Namaste Captain,

    I suffer from acute procrastination. On some projects and tasks, I work very hard (so I am not lazy), but sometimes I stall some projects so much that I reach a point of sabotaging the project. I really want to work hard and do well in life, but for some reason, can't get started on the day's work. All day I sit in front of my computer (where I work), but end up doing next to nothing. I am good at what I do and love working in my chosen field, but this tendency is really hurting me financially (I'm a freelancer, and must complete the work to get paid).

    Please help! It's OK if you scold me, but please show me how to solve my problem.

    Thank you very much, in anticipation of your help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Should I change my food habits? Start taking medicines or supplements? Start doing meditation? Is the root cause of the problem somewhere else, where I am not looking? Is it karmic baggage? Or simply bad habits and lack of discipline?

      I work 18+ hours days happily when I manage to get going, but most days, I can't even get started.

      Please tell me how to overcome this. I will follow your instructions to the letter.

      Thank you!

      Delete
  9. Hello Captain. I have posted a few queries on Left handers in India tradition. Id it wrong to do any Holy work with left hand?

    ReplyDelete
  10. THE WAY TO HAVE POWER IS TO TAKE IT . . . .

    FIND OUT HOW-

    READ THE LAST PARA OF THE POST BELOW-- SHADED IN YELLOW .

    http://ajitvadakayil.blogspot.in/2016/01/idi-amin-patriot-who-did-not-care-to-be.html

    WHEN YOU SIT ON A CHAIR , KNOW YOUR POWERS . .

    TN SESHAN HAD ALL POLITICIANS DUCKING FOR COVER AS THE CHIEF ELECTION COMMISSIONER OF INDIA. HE KNEW THE POWERS OF HIS CHAIR.

    LATER THE LEGISLATURE ( all with busted balls ) GOT TOGETHER AND DILUTED THE CHIEF'S POWERS .

    THEY PUT TWO MORE WITH HIM . . NAPUNSAK KAR DIYA USKO !

    The expansion of the Election Commission to include the two Election Commissioners (in addition to the Chief Commissioner) was a move to clip the wings of the chief election commissioner..

    It is very difficult to remove the authority of the Chief Election Commissioner once elected by the President, as two-thirds of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha need to vote against him for disorderly conduct or improper actions.

    TEE HEEEEE !

    capt ajit vadakayil
    ..

    ReplyDelete