April 3, 2018 2:26 pm

Book Review: When: Perfect timing for everything?


I must admit, This is the very first book I read within 5 days. I just couldn’t keep the book41z0sxekubl-_sx329_bo1204203200_ down. A great book to read and refresh some of the forgotten thoughts and lessons. Yes, several of the tips and concepts explained in this book made me recall what my dad used to tell me in my childhood. What is fascinating to me is, the studies years after have revealed some of these concepts.  This book is insightful, factual, and surprising at some areas when your understanding might be opposite compared to the research data among the masses.

If you don’t know of Author Daniel Pink – I would recommend you watch this Video about DRIVE – What motivates individuals –  https://youtu.be/u6XAPnuFjJc. I have also read his book “DRIVE” before.

With this background of the Author’s work I had, I enjoyed reading “WHEN” cover-to-cover. “Timing is Everything!” was what I thought. As Author repeats at the summary towards the end, that I realized  – “Everything happens is Timing!”  True, it is. What helped me read this book within 5 days even out of busy schedule was part of 2 things. (A) Set myself a goal to read within a week (B) An external factor, that I had to return this book back to the Library within 2 weeks. At times, borrowing books helps you keep that self-accountability and motivation to read instead of procrastinating for years. Again – “Timing” ! Now that I have read this book, I will add a copy for my home library.

This book is structured in 3 parts, in a way.  Beginnings, Mid points and Endings, Plus the Intro and summary on either end. I tried to implement the concept along the way around the areas of Beginnings, Midpoints and the Endings.

If you don’t have time to read the entire book, I would recommend to read at least the “Hacker’s Handbook” sections at the end of each chapter. They have good takeaways you wouldn’t want to miss.

If you are a research and analytical kind of person, you will enjoy seeing the comparisons and numbers of the culmination of umpteen number of surveys and analysis.  Some examples include – Average time that people wake up or/and sleep, average age people feel the peak and drop of their career, Times the schools must start, average age kids that like being early risers or the night owls, Time of the day that works best for Math and English tests at schools, the kind of students fair well depending on the time of the tests, and so on and so forth.

I felt some disconnects or at least I got distracted when I saw some mix hypothesis made at several areas in this book. Yes, those were the survey results, but at the same time some concepts were shared again as counter observations. Both the evidences were placed leaving readers to make a choice instead of book providing a recommended approach. In a way, I think it was probably a good intent to let people to figure out what works best for us given this new set of observations of 2 extremes. So for those analytical thinkers, it is a good exercise to connect the dots between the studies and get the gist of those.

Such survey results are gathered into these categories listed above – Beginnings, Midpoints and Endings. The School context blew me away to take me back into my school days, relate these into my Kids’ routine, what liked the best and worst and so on.

Have you heard of Mumbai Dabbawaala story ? It has been depicted to an extent highlighting the Leadership, flawless execution, Project management, and emotional touch points, Synchronization, Customer Service in the busy hours of Mumbai communities.  This service has been on for over 120 years. They deliver over 200,000 lunch boxes every morning and deliver them back to their respective households. They commute on Trains and Bicycles for this daily routine.  If you would like to take a quick glance of Mumbai Dabbawala story – see here: https://youtu.be/yjqZhJfKses


This TEDx talk gives some testimonials of this service. https://youtu.be/N25inoCea24


Overall, I immensely recommend reading this book “WHEN” for 2 reasons:

  1. Understand some basic concepts , forgotten concepts and refresh to regain your productivity with a better perspective.
  2. Share what you have learned with others for having the community (work place, team work, family life, etc) in synchronization of thought process.

Happy Reading,


January 22, 2008 8:45 pm

Webinar: Product Management – How to get twice as much done in half the time.

Filed under: Productivity,Professional skills,Project Management — ramsblog @ 8:45 pm

280 group is organizing a webinar on Friday Jan 25, 2008 about “How to get twice as much done in half the time“. For pre-registration and more details see here. 280 group conducts web seminars sharing productivity and other related topics.  There are bunch of upcoming webinars scheduled on Product Management View site. you may find many archives there as well.

December 20, 2007 2:27 pm

Product management webinars online …

Filed under: Agile,Process Improvement,Productivity,Project Management — ramsblog @ 2:27 pm

There are several webinars both upcoming and an archive of past webinars available on Product management blog site here

 I was just going over a past presentation about productivity – getting more things done [flash presentation] — provides top 10 items that the presenter does in his daily experience. There are are many valuable presentations up available online.

May 29, 2006 7:16 am

Communication is the key…

Filed under: Process Improvement,Productivity — ramsblog @ 7:16 am

I have realized few years ago, that in any process development, be it a technical implementation, communication is the key ingredient in a team environment. Now-a-days, I often try to be open on what I work on or what I intend to work on, to my co-workers, my family, etc. Being open / transparent yielded greater results.  Inspite, I often get caught in surprises. I know most people don’t like surprises. Especially, it is not a good sign when person C mentions about the person B’s tasks that person A had talked about. Person A had never communicated to Person C. That’s not an ideal situation, in my mind.

Well, anyways in project management, it is a greater deal about being open on what is required, what is supposed to be done, and the necessary time and risk management. Today, as we talking about agile methodologies like SCRUM, and other types, the kind of relationship between the project management and the development teams play a big role. I was looking for an answer on how some of the teams using agile development being able to get things done where most often the tasks are ambiguous, and not really be able to say how long a task takes. David Anderson, agile management guru, has further explanation in terms of agile management and the trustworthy project management.

May 3, 2006 11:35 pm

Work Essentials….

Filed under: Productivity,Tech — ramsblog @ 11:35 pm

I was looking for office updates on Microsoft website and noticed this section titled Work Essentials. This site has tons of information, templates, best practices, demos, etc for various different kinds of professionals viz., Administration, real estate agents, consulting, Education, finance, marketing, etc.,

I am sure those templates are really handy and one doesn't have to re-invent or re-design unless needed for customization. Its pretty cool…..

take a look ….

April 27, 2006 4:42 am

Getting Things Done – David Allen

Filed under: Books,Personal Development,Productivity — ramsblog @ 4:42 am

Okay – I have been reading / listening to personal organization related materials these days such as managing emails, Time Management, using other productivity tools etc.,

So, I am listening to a CD-set "Getting Things Done" by David Allen.  Back in school days, we were asked to memorize everything and be ready with the tasks that we needed to do, keep thinking about etc., Later on in the past few years as i read more books and be more practical I am hearing that "keep ToDos out of mind and put it on paper or where ever we have access so that it can be dealt closely". It makes so sense today – once we put those Todo items on paper we can allow our minds to think important things. David Allen puts it as "mind is like water" allow it to flow and be creative and not be limited to tasks that can be stored and retrieved when needed.

I found this summary notes wiki that would be really helpful since I am listening to the CD and not writing it down :), mentions about 5 point work flow processing.

  • Collect
  • Process
  • Organize
  • Review
  • Do – Take Action

One of the points he makes is – every task needs to have the Next Actionable Step and then it can be channelled to appropriate bucket. Just about few weeks ago, I cleared my personal email msn account inbox from over 1000 items to about 250 items – What did I do with 700+ emails that I had in my inbox?
– deleted unwanted emails
– read what was needed and deleted them
– moved to appropriate folders
– replied / forwarded appropriate emails (follow up items) and deleted them
It is so relieving – and wished if I had done it a long time ago instead of writing to people that I haven't checked my emails 🙂

3 line summary from the notes wiki page:

  1. keep everything out of your head
  2. decide actions and outcomes when things first emerge on your radar, instead of later
  3. regularly review and update the complete inventory of open loops of your life and work

 {technorati tag: Productivity tools}

Workflow processing with MS Outlook

Filed under: Books,Personal Development,Productivity — ramsblog @ 3:30 am

I was recently reading a book "Workflow Processing using Microsoft Outlook" by David Allen. i have been using microsoft Outlook for many years now, and I am sure many others do – but how many of us really use it to the full extent. Alright, I agree it is a huge product and there are many things that can be done. Yes, I have used some of them like Notes, Tasks, Calendar, Contacts etc other than Inbox. I also know many people limit the usage to inbox and not more. Well, I just said i have used tasks and notes – But not really to an extent of improving productivity. As I was reading this book, it makes me think I haven't really used these features better to the fullest yet.

if you are interested to know what more can be done using Microsoft Outlook, check it out….

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