At the risk of coming across as a slacker, I am still going to write about another month of failed/not-followed-up goals and little business activity.

Here’s what I had published in the beginning of March : Click here

And here’s what I did:

I spent 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, doing work related things. These included commuting to office, sitting and writing product descriptions, surfing the internet, chatting, eating, working some more, researching into personal ideas and business plans, and watching sitcoms.

That’s roughly 200 hours of work of which I am not too proud of and won’t be getting much credit for anyway. I spent about 12 hours in the whole month working out which is less than half of the 30 hours required. The most productive and fruitful part of the month I guess was my reading upto three books!

I have achieved such a reading target after quite some time!

I managed to read:

  1. The Story of My Experiments with Truth – by M.K. Gandhi
  2. The Reluctant Fundamentalist – Mohsin Hamid
  3. The Magician – W. Somerset Maugham

And I wasted god knows how much time fearing, regretting, complaining, whining, planning, analyzing, talking, etc. mostly about things which I wanted to change in my life or which I had been planning to do. Now that I sit down and reflect what most of these things were I realize that they included the following:

Fears about personlity issues and flaws, about the ‘career’ (Now that I have a 9-5) and the future.

Regrets and complains about various things that happened in the past, often as long back as 10-12 years ago. (Now that is just plain foolish)

However, I am writing this to illustrate to you the fact that we all go through such times and that (I guess), it’s perfectly alright to do so.

Then I must have spent another few hours a week lying down in bed in the early hours of morning or late hours of night when you are being mysteriously deprived of sleep.

All in all, not that productive a month.

Lessons which I have learnt in March

1. Concentration and focus

This is perhaps the single biggest skill that I need to work on. I have to build a solid focus around certain limited things. I was recently reading “The Magician” by Somerset Maugham and happen to come across a line characterizing a character which struck out to me. It went:

Diversity of interests adds charm to one’s personality and makes one a great talker, it also weakens him.

Leonardo Da Vinci also noted once:

As every divided kingdom falls, so every mind divided between many studies confounds and saps itself.

And personally, this has to be the sole reason why I am so distracted and confused. I find that I am continuously involving myself in numerous pursuits. And I don’t mean some small tasks like changing the radio while driving or reading a magazine while pooping. I mean larger things – which take up hours in a day. For example, instead of purely focusing my attention on studies during college, I somehow got involved in setting up a business, dividing my time between the two. While the work was relaxing and a pleasant change from the skull-numbing math problems, it was distracting. As a result, I could not become a good mathematician or build a great business. Common sense I know, but this has been my experience.

Now that I’m working, I’m again dividing my attention between my work during the day and freelancing during the night.

So one of the goals for April would be to work on my focus and concentration.

2. Creating and setting up a business

I have been blessed to have experience which few people have had I guess – The chance of creating, managing and enjoying the benefits of one’s own business. However, the business that I had sort of dried up due to complacency, evolving complex ideals and stressful exams. I have been mulling over the setting up of a new business again but I am not quite sure of what it will be. Currently, I am just collecting and looking into various ideas.

Today was a relatively free day so I spent a lot of time reading up blogs, experiences, articles, etc. about creating and managing businesses. I came across three interesting case studies, a website where one can get funding for creative ideas and projects if the ideas are sound and some other random things.

Lesson learnt is that the key to setting up a business is to first test it out and see if it gets traction amongst potential users. This is called validation. Before you hit the gold mine with one good idea, be prepared to fail with 20 lousy ones.