Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Testing post

This is a testing post only

This is to troubleshoot the problem.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Self Mastery - Multitasking

One of the important skill of a successful person, is that he or she is able to handle several things at the same time or is able to wear several hats or responsibilities at the same time. Gone are the traditional roles of mom and dad. Dad just need to bring home the bacon and mom just need to take care of the house and children. In the modern society, mom now need to work and dad plays a bigger role in bringing up the kids and sometimes as a homemaker too. The role of this multitasker multiples in a single parent home. It started when you are getting an education and continues on when you start to take home an income and start a family.

It can be overwhelming especially when it seems like you can't handle all the tasks at hand. Productivity suffers and nothing seems to get done.

An article "How to Multitask" by Catherine Bush. Shows us a way to effectively multitask.

1. Don't think you can actually do two things at once. Even when you think you're doing more than one thing simultaneously ...... Unlike a computer, the brain isn't structured as a parallel processor. It performs actions, even very simple actions, in a strict linear sequence. You must complete the first task, or part of that task, before moving on to the next. What we call multitasking is actually task switching......

2. Prioritize. To know when to switch tasks, you must distinguish between the tasks you must perform and those you can afford to blow off......

3. Immerse yourself in your immediate task, but don't forget what remains to be done next. To switch tasks successfully, the brain must marshal the resources required to perform the new task while shutting off, or inhibiting, the demands of the previous one.......

4. Depend on routines -- and compare new tasks with old ones. Multitasking becomes easier, scientists believe, when you make parts of the process routine......

5. Make schedules, not to-do lists...... For those of us who find multitasking difficult, Burgess claims that the simplest aids -- like timers and alarms -- are the most effective. When the American astronaut Jerry Linenger was working aboard the space station Mir, he wore three or four watches with alarms set to notify him when to switch tasks.......

Do read the complete article at The New York Times online.

A great example of an effective multitasker is a good pianist playing with an orchestra. He has to follow and listen to the rest of the orchestra and follow the conductor while listening to himself playing the piano. At the same time, looking at the score which contains 2 lines of music symbols, interpret them and uses both of his hands, each play a different lines which may contrast greatly while watching all the intonation symbols on the scores and matching his playing to those intonation. And with all these going on, he has to feel the music and expresses himself through the playing of the music.

Another modern example is when you are a team member in an online multiplayer game. Each of the team member has a specific task to perform. But generally, each player has to coordinate and play his own role well for the team to win. He has to be aware of the surrounding terrain, know where the enemies, his team members and his allies are and what are them doing and their life and mana status, watch the communication window, communicate with each other, follow the leader instruction while performing his own role like going after the enemy, protect or assist his own team members, heal his team member, etc.

These 2 examples exemplified that one has to be an effective multitasker to play his role well. The 5 steps above clearly explains how a person is able to all these task well. My interpretation of an effective multitasker are these 5 steps;

1. Tasks switching in a quick succession.
2. Prioritize.
3. Focus on the task at hand while be acutely aware of the ongoing or other tasks.
4. Practice makes perfect and let the brain handles those that need less cognitive awareness.
5. Schedule and follow a list.

Another way to be a more effective multitasker is to make good use of technologies. An article "The Art of Multitasking" by Alison Overholt in one of the Fast Company Magazine issue shows how and technologies are favoured by several multitaskers.

Generally, it has to has a PDA like function which allows you to prioritize your tasks, make a list and follow it. As the name implies, it acts like a Personal Assistant. Enabling you to focus the tasks at hand while be aware of the next coming task and not be afraid of missing out any task, especially the important ones and do it with a right order, in terms of priorities or time aligned task.

It has to have the ability to let you communicate with other people, instantly, leave a message, talk to multiple people at the same, look at each other and maybe at a great distance or just next door. This will allow you and other people to be aware of what they or you are doing. It lets you keep abreast of things going on around, awareness. This may comes in the form of instant messaging, teleconference or webinar, email, fax, handphone, Internet, etc.

Another important ability is that it allows you to streamline your task. Able to let you do each task efficiently and fast, and lined them up so that you can switch from one task to the other quickly and smoothly. Organised the task in a manner where all or most can be done efficiently and timely.

The skills, knowledge and technologies to help a person to multitask in this modern society is important. This is why there are people who take strides in being a successful single parent who raise good and capable children while having a successful career in a fast pace corporate world without feeling winded but may becoming even more energetic. Well, when things get done and task accomplished, the rewards comes back in the sense of achievement and it will further nurture the inner you. Feeling winded in the modern society? Learn to multi-task well.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Self Mastery - Mindset

There is a Chinese proverb which goes;


A quick translation, "an old man lost his horse, it maybe a blessing in disguise" , "old man gain an extra horse, there maybe an impending disaster"

A detail background to this Chinese proverb goes:

An old man lost his horse as it went wild and ran away. His neighbour came to console him for the lost. But the old man instead calmly said that this is a blessing. So, months after the horse ran away, it came back with another horse. His neighbour now came to congratulate him for gaining an extra horse. But the old remarked instead that this is a disaster. True to what he said, his son fell from riding this new wild horse. Broke his leg and became a disabled person. His neighbour again came to console him for this bad fortune that befell on his son. The old man unmoved and said that this is a blessing. A year later, a war broke out and all abled man are drafted into the army. The lost is great and many man lost their lives. His son who was disabled was not drafted into the army and was spared. Both he and his son were able to live a peaceful life.

The lesson learn here is that sometimes a lost can be a blessing in disguise. Something good happened may take a drastic change in fortune. In short, good happenings may take a bad turn to become a disaster and bad happening may lead to something good.

So, when all things goes well, do not take it for granted as things might took a nasty turn. And when things are going south, stay positive as you may likely to find an opportunity in there.

This has happened in history time and time again. A good example is how the richest Chinese Li Ka-Shing made his fortune. In 1967, Hong Kong properties prices plunges as a result of Cultural Revolution riots in China. Confidence in Hong Kong future has plummeted. Things looks bad. But Li staying positive that this is only temporary and bought many properties at rock bottom prices. Properties prices did eventually rises.

A similar event has happened in US which we know it as the subprime crisis. Things are looking good in pre-2006. Economy is booming. You can get loan easily to purchase the house of your dream. Causes for it varies.

One important lesson learned here is that things looking may not be actually good and things can turned south. This is to stay cautious when things are good. On another note, one should stay positive when things looks bad. The economy will probably be able to recover from this crisis as there are still many sectors in the economy that are doing well. So, properties is probably a good buy now. Then again, one should stay caution and use the usual common sense and other usual methods to find out whether a property in a certain area will rises again in the near future.

Stay cautious when things are going well. Stay positive and look for opportunities when things aren't going well.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Blogging as part of your Business Strategy

Instead of Blogging as your main source of business, blogging to support and give value to your main business. So what are the ways that blogging will help in your business.

1. Propaganda - Promote your main business.
This business strategy can work in a few ways.

a. Provide information of your product. This can comes in the form showing the nuts and bolts or inner working of your product. Show how to use your product. Show the features of your product. Basically, promote your product.

b. Tell people that how good your product is. The effects and benefits you get when you use the product.

c. Educate your customer. Not just those things that mentioned in a and b about your product but also related knowledge that will be helpful or simply make them more knowledgeable.

2. Offer extra value to your customer.
This business strategy will help to endear your customer to your products and turn them into your loyal customer.

a. Show what are the ways or recipes you can use to create something or do with your product.

b. Show how to "pimp", customise or modify the product to suit the customers taste or preference or to improve or change the functions of the product.

Examples of how blogging help with a certain business.

A. eBay business. Make good use of the About Me to let your customer know more about you. But this is probably limited in terms of the amount of things you can share. So, let them know about your blog.

i. Do announcement of new items of for sale on eBay. You can create loyal customers by having subscribers to your blog and they can know immediately through the subscription that you have a new item for sale.

ii. A more detailed description of the listed sale item. This way you can also educate your customer the history and the value of the item, especially the collectibles. Gain in doing this is that your customer will happy to know they are collecting or buying something of maybe sentimental or historical value and other gain is that you maybe able to sell the item at a much higher price.

iii. Create special promotions for your loyal customers who will subscribe and give them value and saving by staying loyal.

iv. Let your customer to get to know you better and your history of all the listed items. This can help to gain a reputation of things you are able to source to sell. It will work like a charm if you are specialised in certain collectibles and maybe they are able to get a similar item from you in the future.

v. Research on your customer by maybe using polls.

vi. Gain extra useful feedback from your readers using the comments.

vii. Create loyal customers using the above methods.

viii. Spin off in doing this, you might earn a tidy income from the ads in the blog. So in this case, having a blog works both ways and the bottom line is that you can use it to increase your sales in eBay and as well as profiteering from the ads in the blog.

B. Kitchenware business

i. After making a successful sale, you can further engage with your customer by letting them know what other useful things kitchenware you are selling.

ii. Educate your customer and let them know, how to use of your product in best possible ways. How to maintain your product. Possible problem and how to troubleshoot them.

iii. Give extra value like providing recipes that will use one of your kitchenware.

iv. Show your customers how to create a theme in the kitchen with your wares as these things are able to not only function to help to prepare or cook your food but also it can help to decorate your kitchen to your taste. Customisation of the look of the wares may even be possible to match overall theme in the kitchen. This help to make your kitchenware not to stick out like a sore thumb among the nicely coordinated kitchen furniture and wares and might even compliment the overall theme.

v. An additional way to promote your wares which you can draw in an international customers on the Internet.

vi. Research on your customer by using tools like polls.

vii. Gain extra useful feedback from your readers and maybe also further interaction by using the comments.

viii. Create a loyal group of customers using the above methods.

ix. Spin off in earning ads revenue with the blog.


Friday, December 7, 2007

Bulletin Board 07 December 2007

This is where I will be making announcement pertaining to this blog and announcing of others blog that I will be setting up in the future. The bulletin board will probably be non-related to the main focus of this blog. After all, this will be just an announcement and to let you know what is happening.

Just did a total revamp on the whole website yesterday to give a more professional look and as well as to add a new column so that there will be space for more navigation tools and as well as ads for the blog. From a 2 column green and dark blue theme to become a white, grey and red theme. Having white as the background for the main content should make reading a lot more easier.

In the process of changing the template, I have lost several widget tools and as well as the expandable function of each post. Right now, I am in the process of further refining the blog to make it more user friendly and will probably add a search tool in the future.