Posted in Experience, fitness, learnings, Life

The art of POWER nap

Power nap and their benefitsTechnically a short sleep taken during the working day to restore one’s mental alertness is known as a power nap. It’s just like speed dating you don’t know whether it will be successful or not but still you want to take a chance and do it.

Good power naps are told to improve alertness and help a person to awake directly without the detrimental sleep inertia. I have had the naps from 10-30 min duration. According to me, 30 min is the best time for a nap as more that this the body starts moving into the sleep inertia and you start feeling disoriented.

Benefit’s

  • Promote performance and learning capabilities
  • Ability to restore the hormonal imbalance caused due to sleep deprivation
  • Help to increase productivity

How to do it?

  • Find a good place to nap – You may get distracted by your surroundings a lot so a comfortable place with not much disturbance so you can gather yourself is needed.
  • Choose a dark room – You tend to sleep faster in dark rooms. Keep eye mask with you always, it helps a lot in blocking light and helping us to get asleep fast.
  • Make sure the room temperature is normal – Too hot or too cold temperature will make body relax and will tend you to take deeper sleep and hence no power nap.
  • Turn on slow music on earphone – It helps us get into a right state of mind. This also helps as a noise cancellation mechanism and hence better sleep and power nap.
  • Please say not to mobile phone or any other alarms and gadgets. They are the biggest killers of a power
  • If you are not able to sleep try counting 1-100 slowly and I bet you will have a good sleep.
  • The hardest thing is for the people to realize that napping is not sleeping and hence people tend to feel as if they cannot do it.
  • Next is you have to experience it once by trial to see what it feels like and once you get that experience it eventually becomes easy to make it a habit.
  • Relax enough before you think of start taking a nap and get everything out of your mind. It is easier said than done.

If you stay down, you risk going from the REM sleep mode into slow-wave sleep, which would need you to stay in bed for 90-120 minutes before your sleep cycle is complete. If you get up, the drowsiness will vanish in a minute or two. So, paradoxically, napping longer makes you drowsy, not rested.

With 3-4 power naps through the day, I’ve found that I could, on occasion, drastically reduce my need for sleep. I’ve done it for a week or two at a time, basically sleeping only about 2-4 hours a night, without any clear ill-effects during the day. I’m still undecided whether that’s something that I can or want to pursue a longer term lifestyle change.

Another point worth highlighting is that napping is not just a cure for drowsiness. It’s also simply a way to make yourself more alert. If you have a choice between drinking a strong coffee or having a 20-minute nap, always take the nap – you’ll feel more alert and smarter after the nap, and its after-effects will last longer.

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Posted in Life, Story

An Unsaid Love Story : When she said “OK”

She said OK.

But not on Valentine Day. She did not believe in all this show-off. But who will make him understand that she is not like other girls?

Ira always had a different approach to life. She was too rational in everything she would do. She always said that it is the rationality that will survive and emotions are for fools. This behavior of her’s did hurt Arjun a lot of time but he was also adamant and always made sure to make his point. And hence they would always fight on one thing or other.

It was just another day in their life. Being in the same college they would spend a lot of time together. And when you spend a lot of time you start expecting certain things from the other person. That’s what happened, It was a holiday at college and they had not met.

Arjun’s father gave him a surprise and gifted him a bike. He was too happy and busy to share it with everyone but didn’t share it with Ira. That was it, a long heated argument started. She was mad at him for not letting him know in person and she had to listen to it from someone else. Arjun tried to be rational and mock Ira that he forgot and its ok, what’s the big deal here if he didn’t tell.

“We are just friends as you always say” and this sentence created Stir in Ira’s mind and she cut the phone. It was 11 in the night, he couldn’t call her back and then started a WhatsApp war.

There was a lot of argument over what is the relation they are in? What should they expect from each other? What is the future? Will things work out? And many more things. He tried and gave an answer to each question but, yes she was a rational being, how can she understand emotions. But that day Arjun saw a bit different of always strong and independent Ira.

The thoughts are her mind echoed, there is much more to know about her. He finds her personality very different. Arjun was occupied in the thoughts, it was 1:00 AM in the night and there she said it

“OK”

And it all started… An Unsaid Love storythats-how-it-all-startd

Posted in Experience, fitness, learnings, Life

Master these morning rituals to master success

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, its lethal”

“You are what you do every day, not once in a while.”

morning-rituals

It has always been an open secret that most of the successful people start their day early in the morning. The early morning hours offer concentration, solitude etc.

I’ve always known this and have seen this in my family yet it took me more than 23 years to acquire the discipline necessary to join the prestigious “5am club.”

There must be a strong reason to get up early in the morning, as when you get up this will be the first question you will ask yourself. For me is was to go to Gym so I become smart enough to impress her.

Hence ,you must be working on something really important that you’re willing to give up sleep to make your dreams a reality. If you are still reading this I will share what I do in order to stay motivated and get up at 5 am every morning.

I’m writing about how I use the different aspects of this morning routine to wake up inspired, motivated, and ready to take on the challenges of the day.

morning-mediation

  • Get out of bed

This is the biggest challenge on faces and a battle that all of us fight daily. First thought that crossed our mind that 5 more min and then 5 more and this goes on. The first thing I do is jump out of bed and walk towards the kitchen and hence other things follows.

  • Drink water and Go Washroom

Our body gets dehydrated and hence the salt content in blood increases and hence drink enough water to keep you full for a while. This helps us in increasing oxygen content and reduce the salt concentration in the body. Then spend next 15 min in the bathroom. By this time you will at least wake up from your hardcore sleep.

  • Yoga and Meditation

I walk towards terrace and start my day with a bit of stretching and then prayers. These prayers are during meditation and focus on important things in life and what you have to achieve today. This helps in increasing concentration and you will start getting clarity in thoughts.

  • Write a Page

I generally write about what I learned the last day and the time I give myself is 15 min so that you don’t think too much to write and it comes straight from your heart. Spend 5 min in again reading it and then again write what I want to learn today.

  • Task List

I generally prepare a task list for the day and then rank them on the basis of difficulty and priority and a multiplication of the two gives me a ranking of tasks. I try and finish the first in the list before hitting the gym so that my day looks much more manageable as I already finished the most important and toughest thing for the day.

  • Gym time

Off late, I realized that I should invest time in myself and only then I can do something in life and hence I hit the gym daily working out on a schedule to get myself in shape but I never diet to achieve results.I don’t need to explain the benefits of fitness to you or do I have to ?

Conclusion

Establishing these habits took time and discipline. If waking up at 4:45 am is too much for you, find a time that’s more doable. Slowly set your alarm earlier and earlier until you reach your desired time.

Lastly, don’t try to add these habits at once. Focus on one at a time. If you want to change something, do it. This is about finding what works for you.

Have fun, enjoy, and may all your dreams come true.

Posted in Experience, learnings, Life

When my mobile phone lost me…

 

life-without-a-mobile-phone

On a regular Friday morning, I had just returned from the gym. I was having breakfast and getting ready for office. I got a call from the boss that there is some urgent work and soon I left for office. As I reached half way I realized that I don’t have songs playing under my helmet and soon I realized that I don’t have my phone with me.

The meeting was urgent so I decided to go ahead to the office. The meeting was over and I came to my desk, till then it was normal as I was occupied. I then started searching for the phone as realized that I don’t have it.

mobile-app-user-insight

 

Some statistics from around the world.

 

 

Following were my observation about myself and I learned a great deal about me –

  • I have this habit of checking WhatsApp and Facebook time and again to connect with friends. I used to think that this is my way of saying them that I am always there for them but only DIGITALLY (:P). Hence I started feeling handicapped and started feeling restless.
  • I was feeling as if somebody has pumped in adrenalin in me and everything is going very slow and I was able to do everything in so less time.
  • As I was not having my phone I finished my work pretty fast and did some work which was planned for the next day. My productivity suddenly increased.
  • I actually started conversations with different people. Some conversations were interesting and I realized that all this while I was never paying attention
  • I actually spend time with me and got to know what I have missed in the day-to-day life and actually made a to do list for it.
  • I started observing nature while driving and people while I was in office. These small things tell a lot about a person and help you to learn and grow.
  • I actually completed my long pending diary log and posted it to someone.

A strange sensation shot through me. Instead of jubilation, I felt humiliation. I didn’t like how “owned” I felt by this thing. I thought back to the freeing nature of my adolescence when I wasn’t tethered to anything.

Even a few years ago, technology didn’t have the impact it does today. Back then I had morning chats with family as I would get ready for college. Now everyone’s eyes in the family are constantly glued to their phone.

a-day-without-my-cell-phone

Much of the population struggles to put down their electronic devices. In fact, studies show that Phone separation anxiety is a real condition. “Measurements showed that the participants were much more anxious while separated from their phones and had higher heart rate and blood pressure.”

Physical activity. Fresh air. Fun conversation. It all sounded more inviting than a strong Wi-Fi signal towards the end of the day and hence I decided to do the same when my loved once are around me.

 

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Startups

Why Entrepreneurship has become a style statement but it shouldn’t be…

entrepreneurThe word Entrepreneurship has changed its meaning in the recent times. From few entrepreneurs in traditional business to many of them in new age business. I think entrepreneurship is in vogue  because of a few factors:

  1. It’s been glamorized.
    IPL glamorize cricket and similarly movies, media coverage and platforms to massage one’s ego glamorized the field of entrepreneurship. The rise in the number of young billionaires starting from Mark Zuckerberg to Bansal and Goyal’s changing the way industry works sound pretty awesome, isn’t it?
  2. Entry barriers have greatly reduced
    Easy access to capital from VC’s and Angels, start-up and networking events, the rise of the smartphone population and increase in the user appetite for experimentation and ease has greatly reduced the entry problems in the business world.

There are books, articles, blogs written on what are the steps to become next Elon Musk. Also, the rise in a number of incubators and co-working spaces which give a cost-effective way to start and hence further reduce the entry barrier.

Today to prototype and test an idea it is very easy. Platforms like WordPress, Magento gives you all the basic work done. You just need to carry out the idea and move on.

The risk used to be a big reason to stop people from entering this field has been mitigated with many people sharing the load together.

  1. There are a great number of success stories (Selection Bias)
    Facebook, Instagram, Groupon, Ola, Flipkart etc now dominate our day-to-day life and their success is enough to push people towards this field. They’re a plethora of stories we can tell that glamorizes entrepreneurship and inspire ourselves and others that entrepreneurship ‘doesn’t look that hard.’ The stories we’re exposed to seem to make the recipe for success seem effortless.But no one tells us the other side of the story.
    Just add Uber in your idea as Uber of X, with a bit of funding and incubator and here you are on a journey to become next Steve Jobs.

Unfortunately, entrepreneurship has been commoditized which was once a rare possession one could boast of. Wannabe entrepreneurs think they just need an app and a website get a funding and then sell themselves off. If we are starting with this mindset are we building a long-term business?

People seem to miss the true meaning of entrepreneurship. It has to be more challenging, taking risks, solving a true problem and build a sustainable business. Yet today anyone will learn coding start something, we have turned it into a commonplace and not something original and creative.

We hear only good things about start-ups and we forget to understand that it’s a choice bias as only 1 in thousand start-ups is successful. The other 999 do not see the light as they don’t make the stories which sell.start-ups and we forget to understand that it’s a choice bias as only 1 in thousand start-ups is successful. The other 999 do not see the light as they don’t make the stories which sell.

The dark side of entreprenureship

As a result, people have a rosy picture that everyone becoming an entrepreneur are succeeding and getting millions . This leads people to assume that start-ups are easier than they are and that if you just worked hard, you could become rich and famous. It’s kind of like why people want to become successful movie stars. But trust me, it’s not.

Posted in Life, Story

An unsaid Love Story – Valentine’s Day

The day when everything changed and it was valentines day

 

Let’s get into how ” An unsaid Love Story with different endings ” unfolded.

 

 

Ira was getting ready for college she was very tensed as today was valentine’s day and she kind of knew what would happen but she was thinking that she is not ready for all this. All she wants to do is enjoy her life without any liabilities. Another thing that was bothering her that Arjun was not picking her calls since last 2 days and was not coming to college as well. She was thinking that it was the ‘calm before the storm’ situation. Maybe she was reading between the lines too much.

She somehow got ready and kissed her mom goodbye and started for college with a very nervous heart. On a normal day, Ira used to drive at nothing less than 60 kmph was now driving at not even 20 kmph. A lot of things were crossing her mind.

She was thinking about the day when she joined this college, 2 years had already passed. She was relishing old memories of how they became friends, all the rides across the city, sitting on the lake side and hours of talking, all of it seemed like yesterday.

A Honk disputed her thoughts. She came to life and started driving fast.

She was already late for the class. Nervousness was very evident on her face as she entered the class as her eyes started searching for Arjun, but he was seen nowhere. She settled on the last bench and started enquiring about him to others but no luck.

The lecture was over and there was a 2-hour break before the next class. She started calling him but still no luck. She was totally confused on what she was feeling. She wanted her best friend beside him but at the same time, she was too nervous to be with him.

Megha noticed it and came up to Ira and asked ‘Is there something you want to talk about?’ The answer as expected was no. Suddenly her phone ranged and her heart was beating faster than Rajdhani. It was Arjun, she let it ring for a while and the call gets disconnected and suddenly she regrets it. She tries calling again but the phone was busy.

She starts moving to the canteen for a quick bite. With all kinds of thoughts running through her head, she didn’t know what she wanted and was she ready?

The day was coming to an end she was happy-sad but still she didn’t meet him today. He didn’t come to class.

Will Arjun propose her today? Will Ira tell him what she feels? Or it will just be just another day in their life as it has been since last some days since Arjun confessed that he likes her?

Stay Tuned.

Posted in customer service, Marketing, Startups

Building Brands through Emotional Bonding

Business today generally spend a lot of time and money in the brand building which in a true sense is a huge cost and according to me is not completely justified. In today’s world, it is the emotions which sell a product or service, not ads. If the business doesn’t connect with the prospective customer at an emotional level, then the probability of sales reduces drastically.

According to research published in the Harward Business Review:

“Brands put billions into boosting awareness, satisfaction, and loyalty, but they often overlook the most powerful driver of customer value: emotional connection.

Our research involving hundreds of brands across dozens of categories shows that consumers who are emotionally connected with a brand are anywhere from 25% to 100% more valuable in terms of revenue and profitability than those who are “merely” highly satisfied with it…”

We generally measure customer satisfaction or net promoter score and focus our efforts on increasing these numbers which in my opinion is a waste of time and effort. Rather, we should focus on emotional connections with customers making them feel that we are always there for them. We should learn from our past for better customer experience.

How do you emotionally connect with customers?

Only you can have the answer to this question for your business. Find that one thing which will help you make that connect and then focus on it to build an emotional bond.

A study by UK Nielson states that referrals are the most cost effective way to get business and it is quite evident what we should focus on. If you serve your existing customers better and make sure they are emotionally connected, then you are surely going to get long term benefits from it.

Some of the things which help create emotional connect are

STORIES, your brand should have a story and it surely sells

Storytelling is something which helps you connect with people much faster and has a long lasting impact. If you go back to history to a certain time all the education was passed from one generation to another in the form of stories and everyone used to remember it. There were no books and that still, holds true if you sell a story you don’t need anything else.

storytelling creates brands

What people like to hear is our stories, it doesn’t matter whether it is a success or failure, but the impact that it can have on one’s life is great.

I will share a small story, I was diagnosed with diabetes and then I started working out lost30 Kg’s in 6 months and the continued my routine and achieved a transformation in my life and got myself cured and if I say that I will start marketing a cycling brand with this story will it work? Think.

People don’t trust the branded content all they want are real stories. A branded content doesn’t offer anything valuable and exciting.

Currently, people who do content marketing write a lot about “GYAN” thinking that it is what people want to listen, but we make a mistake at a point when we just start repeating what others are saying and do not engage customers. Storytelling helps you quickly connect with prospects and hence drive your business.

king is storytelling

Be an exciting brand

People in today’s time always look for something interesting, adventure and that’s what we should offer. We should have an element of surprise and should be lively in everything we do.

If I ask you about the brand Wildcraft how will you describe them and will you buy from them?

People generally don’t connect with a brand that is dull. Let’s take an example If you go to a website of a brand and find it dull how do you feel? In general, people will not explore much and switch to any other website which is more interactive and hence will end up making a purchase.

There is always a face behind a brand and that face should be interesting. Let’s take the example of the apple. Now Steve Jobs was an interesting personality and hence he created an interesting brand that now is one of the best in the world. They are not boring and they always do a lot of interesting stuff.

 Just be curious.

Do something interesting that your competitors are not doing, some ideas will sound silly but its ok to go out there and try it.

We used to drop visiting cards at places, stick cartoon stickers about my brand at places where we used to visit in order to create that curiosity among people. We also started video blogging instead of content as in today’s time everyone is doing that.

The videos were interesting solutions to a lot of the problem people phase in a day to day life and hence it garnered a lot of views and even became viral.

We ran a testimonial video as ads on the Facebook brand page and immediately got 3 customer leads within 20 min of posting it.

We also started using Quora which was not used by my competitors and hence garner awareness for the business.

There are other platforms like snap chat, Instagram, Buzzfeed, medium, etc., which have an audience of their own and can be leveraged to create an emotional connect with the brand.

Use a lot of Images

“A picture speaks a thousand words”

images speak 1000 words

Those images make their content super-cool. And their articles are far from boring because of this.

Ask yourself what do you majorly see and understand when you read a long post on a topic. The answer has to be imaged, infographics etc.

Human touch to a brand and hence every brand needs a Face people can associate with

Imagine your request to see a house do multiple hops and then you are conveyed that people will get back to you versus A person taking your call and immediately accompanying you to the house. Which one is better.

I think it’s the latter. Isn’t it?

It becomes annoying if we don’t get a person to talk to before trying the product or service. It can differ from companies to companies, but it holds true for the majority.

Today, it’s all about Engagement with customers and does a consultative selling which solves all the problems of the customers.

To go shopping with people you need to become their friends and once you are, your opinion matters and influences the purchase.

People should have a sense that they have a person sitting somewhere who can help him out if he is stuck anywhere while using the product and that helps a lot. Here people need immediate gratification and this what helps them to make a decision.

I am not saying that founders should be the face of the company, it can even be a level 1 employee.

We started putting photos on live chat on our website to make sure that people on the other side know who they are talking to and this greatly increased out engagement and the satisfaction scores spiked up immediately.

As long as people can trust you, you’ll have a better chance of connecting with them.

Deepak Kanakraju is a well-known digital marketer and has developed a brand for himself on digitaldeepak.com.

Now there is a face behind the brand and people trust and follow him and his opinion. People know that whatever he says will hold value and hence this trust can help a great way in building your business. That’s the power of putting a face behind your brand. It makes it easier to connect with prospects emotionally. By emotional connecting with prospects and customers, sales will increase.

Hence we should always try and create that bond with our customers to reap great benefits and create a great business and brand.