Archive for the ‘tips’ Category

17 productivity tips

This is one good thing I came across from my beloved person Mr Robin Sharma, who is a well known author for his  books ‘Who Will Cry When You Die’, ‘A Monk  who sold his Ferrari’ etc.,

I think we would agree with most of this items and it is simple to follow :)

Here you go…


One of the modules is on “Doubling Your Productivity in 30 Days”, based on my work with some of the most successful entrepreneurs in business.

I wanted to share 17 of the tactics I’ve learned that I know will help you lean into your productive best in this age of dramatic distraction:

17 Tips To Double Your Productivity In 14 Days

1. Turn off all technology for 60 minutes a day and focus on doing your most important work.

2. Work in 90 minute cycles (tons of science is now confirming that this is the optimal work to rest ratio).

3. Start your day with at least 30 minutes of exercise.

4. Don’t check your email first thing in the morning.

5. Turn all your electronic notifications off.

6. Take one day a week as a complete recovery day, to refuel and regenerate (that means no email, no phone calls and zero work). You need full recovery one day a week otherwise you’ll start depleting your capabilities.

7. The data says workers are interrupted every 11 minutes. Distractions destroy productivity. Learn to protect your time and say no to interruptions.

8. Schedule every day of your week every Sunday morning. A plan relieves you of the torment of choice (said novelist Saul Bellow). It restores focus and provides energy.

9. Work in blocks of time. Creative geniuses all had 2 things in common: when they worked they were fully engaged and when they worked, they worked with this deep concentration for long periods of time. Rare in this world of entrepreneurs who can’t sit still.

10. Drink a liter of water early every morning. We wake up dehydrated. The most precious asset of an entrepreneur isn’t time – it’s energy. Water restores it.

11. Don’t answer your phone every time it rings.

12. Invest in your professional development so you bring more value to the hours you work.

13. Avoid gossip and time vampires.

14. Touch paper just once.

15. Keep a “Stop Doing List”.

16. Get up at 5 am.

17. Have meetings standing up.

Stay Productive and Make Your Work Matter!


Opinions on Best Ebook Reader

Hi Friends,

It was a mail thread I had for asking the opinion on the best Ebook reader, among my friends. As usual with my own style, I am collecting all the replies and posting it here so it will be useful to all!

Here you go…

Question :

Hi Friends,

Are you using any Ebook Readers? If so which one do you use and what is the best factor your feel out of your ebook reader? I am thinking to buy one and I thought I can get your opinion on the same.

If I google out, there are so many and I am slightly confused on which one to choose.

What are the parameters one should look at before buying a device?

Which one do you think stands at its best these days? I know this is very subjective and depends on various factors.

Kindly share your views.

Thanks in advance.


Sowmya says :

I got a Kindle just the WiFi version… I think it is very good and serves my purpose. The cost has also come down. I really love it. If you are keen on reading colourful magazines then nook is fine. Kindle has the e-ink technology that has less strain to the eye. So my suggestion go for kindle. But irrespective of opinions do an extensive research and find out what you need the most (between kindle and nook) 🙂

Upon asking about the price of Nook,

I got it from amazon for $139.

Nook is a product of Barnes and Noble… the book sellers.

Vivek Juneja says :

Hey Raghs,

I currently use the Kindle from Amazon. The 3rd generation one is pretty amazing device. Awesome battery life, great to read on for long hours, WiFi, 3G options. Plus bonus : Text to Speech (natural speech), Webkit Browser, MP3 / Music / Audio books player, On board QWERTY keyboard.

I am using this for last 3 months, and pretty happy with it. The form factor is easy to carry. I am pretty amazed by the battery life ( around a month of decent usage).

So my best bet for you would be a Kindle. Currently its a B & W with 16 shades of gray. Color is missing, but it really does not count if you are not reading colored books. It supports quite a good number of file formats including PDF, Word, MOBI, EPUB etc. PDF rendering is neat, but I support converting the PDF into the native format for all the benefits.

Overall a nice device. Ring me if you want more details.

Arunkumar K says :

best one is the kindle as it is the best for the eyes.. ipads and sony readers arent as good..

battery life is awesome as well and it is also reasonable pricewise!!

Anupama Biswas says :

i have a kindle too and its good 🙂 No complains so far 🙂

KrishnaKumar says :

You sure want just ebook reader? And seriously, noone to recommend Adam? Of course, it cannt compete with Kindle as an ebook reader, but it should do the job pretty well and much much more than Kindle in other regards. Just for the heck of it, I would wait till Adam goes to full fledged production. It has been disappointingly delayed already. It does have eInk display (along with other options). It should cost a little more than Kindle, but its worth it.

Ramya Anandan says :


I agree with below comments about Amazon kindle, go for it.

Jeevan Kumar says :

I never used a Ebook Reader so no idea which one is best in category.

Sriram Kailasanathan says :


I would suggest you a high end android mobile where you can install kindle software for free, with which you can double your mobile as a reader also and dont have the worries to carry 2 devices.

I hold a HTC desire, and installed the kindle on that, works fine for me

Rekha Balasubramaniam says :

Raghavan,I heard about Amazon e-book reader kindle but not sure how far it is worthwhile buying J

Ramesh VG says :

If just a Ebook then go for Amazon Kindle, but if u want more than a reader but a tablet, wait for few more month, where new tablets are coming to market.

Thank you all 🙂








Get A Trial, Get a TShirt

You can give a trial if interested. It is from VersionOne, an Agile Project Management Plan.

You can get a free T-Shirt 🙂

Friends and Acquaintances

Friends and Acquaintances

There is a difference between being an acquaintance and being a friend. An acquaintance is someone whose name you know, who you see every now and then, who you probably have something in common with and who you feel comfortable around.

It’s a person that you can invite to your home and share things with. But they are people who you don’t share your life with, whose actions sometimes you don’t understand because you don’t know enough about them.

On the other hand, a friend is someone you love. Not that you are ‘in love’ with them, but you care about them and you think about them when they are not there. The people you are reminded of when you see something they might like, and you know this because you know them so well. They are the people whose pictures you have and whose faces are in your mind and heart regardless.

Friends are the people you feel safe around because you know they care about you. They call just to see how you are doing, because a friend doesn’t need an excuse. They tell you the truth, the first time, and you do the same. You know that if you have a problem, they are there to listen. Friends are the people who won’t laugh at you or hurt you, and if they do hurt you they try hard to make it up to you. They are the people you love, regardless of whether you realize it.

Friends are the people you cried with when you got rejected from something you really wanted in life and during the last song at a farewell or funeral. They are the people that when you hug them, you don’t think about how long to hug and who’s going to be the first one to let go. Maybe they are the people that hold the rings at your wedding, or maybe they are the people who give you away at your wedding, or maybe they are the people you marry. Maybe they are the people who cry at your wedding because they are happy or because they are proud.

They are the people who stop you from making mistakes and help you when you do. They are the people whose hand you can hold, or you can hug or give them a kiss and not have it be awkward because they understand the things you do and they love you for them. They stick with you and stand by you. They watch you live and you watch them live and you learn from them.

Your life is not the same without them.

Courtesy: Thanks to my friend Viji Rajesh for sharing this through an email and I just could not stop myself from sharing the same here!

I believe you agree with me not just in the way you enjoyed reading through and also you find out how many friends Vs acquaintances you have got! Aint I? 😛

Keyboards are dirtier than toilet seats

Courtesy: Thanks to my friend Meera for sharing this through an email.
LONDON: Did you know that computer keyboards often harbour more dirt than an average toilet seat? Shocking but true!
The findings of a research carried out by a microbiologist published today in Which? Computing magazine shows that keyboards house millions of bacteria which can cause diarrhoea and vomiting.
James Francis examined samples from 33 keyboards and found bugs including E coli and S aureus which can cause skin infections and make people ill.
For comparison the scientist swabbed a toilet seat and door handle in a typical London office and found that in the case of one keyboard it was five times dirtier than the lavatory seat. “I haven’t seen a reading like that in a very long time — it was off the scale. It was increasing the risk of its user becoming ill,” said Francis. The keyboard had to be removed from the office because it was home to 150 times the acceptable limit of bacteria.
Two other keyboards had “warning levels” of bacteria, while a further two showed high levels of coliform bacteria which are associated with fecal matter.
“These results are generally typical of offices up and down the country,” said Francis.
The chief culprit for contamination was people eating at their desks and dropping crumbs that lodge between keys and encourage the growth of millions of bacteria.
Other causes include people not washing their hands after using the toilet. Dust, which traps moisture, also provides ideal conditions for the growth of bacteria.
“Most people don’t give much thought to the grime that builds up on their PC, but if you don’t clean your computer, you might as well eat your lunch off the toilet,” said Sarah Kidner, the editor of Which? Computing. The magazine suggests giving the computer a regular cleaning.
 The survey showed that 22 per cent cleaned their keyboard and 27 per cent their monitor on a monthly basis. Just over one in 10 said they never cleaned their keyboard, which 20 per cent said they never cleaned their mouse.
 It recommended that computers be shut down and unplugged before being gently dusted with a soft, lint-free cloth and wiped with an approved computer cleaning fluid.
 The magazine also warned that headphones could ferry germs between people and transfer headlice.
 Atleast from now on shall we be careful and responsible to keep our environment clean and virus free?
  I somehow tend to clean my home PC on a regular basis which includes keyboard.  🙂 Anyways, it is again justified with the news.
   So lets continue the good work.. 

A request to fellow bloggers

I think this very well deserves to be a post!!

I have been intimated in the comments either for having been given an award or tagged. Some samples are below.

Shalini’s Award ->

Pria’s Tag ->

I am sure neither me nor the individuals can easily track the post and its url now. Not just to divert the responsbility but a sincere request. As i could not immediately take it up by then, now i feel something is lacking! 😦

I would definitely thank you for having considered me :P, but it would indeed be of much help if the individuals just take a little effort to just paste the corresponding URL as well :).

Hope you agree with me. If you are game, kindly follow the same henceforth! 🙂

Drive for Excellence

A gentleman was once visiting a temple under construction.
In the temple premises, he saw a sculptor making an idol of God.
Suddenly he saw, just a few meters away, another identical idol was lying.
Surprised he asked the sculptor, do you need two statutes of the same idol. No said the sculptor.
We need only one, but the first one got damaged at the last stage.
The gentleman examined the statue.
No apparent damage was visible.
Where the damage is asked the gentleman.
There is a scratch on the nose of the idol.
Where are you going to keep the idol after it is done?
The sculptor replied that it will be installed on a pillar 20 feet high.
When the idol will be 20 feet away from the eyes of the beholder, who is going to know that there is scratch on the nose? The gentleman asked.

The sculptor looked at the gentleman, smiled and said, “The God knows it and I know it “.
The desire to excel should be exclusive of the fact whether someone appreciates it or not.
Excellence is a drive from Inside not Outside.

I believe you must have well agreed with it. Is nt it?

I would like to thank my friend Varadharajan R for sharing this through an email.

utilities to recover the shift deleted files

All of a sudden you encounter a situation wherein you either knowingly or unknowingly but unfortunately happened to lose some of your files in the OS permanently. I could have better named it as ‘permanently deleted files’ rather than ‘shift deleted files’. But just to match with the naive user’s search query, i have termed it as such! That’s how generally people may search for it.

Day before yesterday one of my buddies faced a scenario and was feeling bad that he had lost his 6 hours of work because of an accidental shift+delete by his colleague.Not to blame anyone but the situation, he had not have the back up of the files as well. Suddenly i remembered that a couple of years back one of my ex-colleagues had sent a mail about such software utility but it was mainly to recover the mails from Microsoft Outlook exchange doing something with Registry.

With the thought, i had mailed my buddies and asked for a solution if they had also faced this situation. A couple of good responses i have got. Just Listing them here. Hope it would be of some use to the people in need! It is mainly for Windows OS as my requirement was for that.

Prior to this mailing attempt, got suggested by my colleage about one utility called ‘GetDataBack’. What a beautiful name? 🙂 You would never forget it! But as it was a shareware(!), i was able to just see the list of files got deleted but could not proceed further in retrieving the files as it was saying “copying of files is only allowed in premium edition” :). 

NOTE: Please make use at your own risk. Kindly go through the notes/documentation given in the software/crack.

Here you go….

(i) Please try this link for getting the deleted files.

(ii) [FAT system]


(iv) try the software ‘undelete’..definitely it helps..i have recovered many files using it myself..espicially .jpg and .txt java code resides on repository..i hope he lost it before commit:)

well, windows xp with FAT? first he should change to NTFS..
btw, how did he delete it? using a tool like eclipse? or from explorer?


(vi) I think i have used recovermyfiles.exe… i think its available in the net.. u can download and try..

(vii) [I got it through Google webclip when i was replying to this mail thread!]

(vii) Get data back , Data recovery [names of the software]

(viii) As i do not have a portable media, I am giving you the link from where it can be downloaded. Before installation disable Internet connection and Anti virus Programs because we use a Key gen to activate the software.

This gives a success rate of 65% for all the files. This is not file recovery software. It recovers Entire partition. So make sure u select the appropriate file types you want to recover in order to speed up the process. It works well for all the types of windows file systems.

Please do share this with all the folks you know.

Password :

(ix) Caution:HI.. anna.. One needs to be very careful in trying such tools… for recovring the deleted files…..
Most of the time it leads to HD Crash… i have lost 2 @ home… while recovering my dads account files….
Beware… n take care too!

All the very best! 🙂

I thank all my  buddies who have responded in time! 🙂


Are we perfect?

A man and his girlfriend were married.  It was a large celebration. All of their friends and family came to see the lovely ceremony and to partake of the festivities and celebrations.  A wonderful time was had by all. The bride was gorgeous in her white wedding gown and the groom was very dashing in his black tuxedo.
Everyone could tell that the love they had for each other was true.

A few months later, the wife comes to the husband with a proposal: “I read in a magazine, a while ago, about how we can strengthen our marriage.” she offered. 

“Each of us will write a list of the things that we find a bit annoying with the other person. Then, we can talk about how we can fix them together and make our lives happier together.” 

The husband agreed.  So each of them went to a separate room in the house  and thought of the things that annoyed them about the other.  They thought  about this question for the rest of the day and wrote down what they came up with. The next morning, at the breakfast table, they decided that they would go over their lists..  

“I’ll start,” offered the wife.  She took out her list.  It had many items on it.  Enough to fill 3 pages, in fact. As she started reading the list of the little annoyances, she noticed that tears were starting to appear in her husband’s eyes. 

“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“Nothing” the husband replied, “keep reading your list..”

The wife continued to read until she had read all three pages to her husband.  She neatly placed her list on the table and folded her hands over top of it.  “Now, you read your list and then we’ll talk about the things on both of our lists.”  She said happily.  

Quietly the husband stated, “I don’t have anything on my list. I think that you are perfect the way that you are. I don’t want you to change anything for me. You are lovely and wonderful and I wouldn’t want to try and change anything about you.”  

The wife, touched by his honesty and the depth of his love for her and his acceptance of her, turned her head and wept.   

IN LIFE, there are enough times when we are disappointed, depressed and annoyed. We don’t really have to go looking for them. We have a wonderful world that is full of beauty, light and promise. Why waste time in this world looking for the bad, disappointing or annoying when we can look around us, and see the wondrous things before us..?   

I believe that WE ARE HAPPIEST WHEN we see and praise the good and try our best to forget the bad. Nobody’s perfect but we can find perfectness in them to change the way we see them.   

– We are not trying to condone what is bad. Correction does much, but encouragement does more.

“The blue of heaven is larger than the clouds . . .” 

Courtesy: Thanks to my friend Archana Muralidharan for sharing this through an e-mail.

Need i say anything more? I am sure you would have definitely enjoyed reading it. Though to all of  us, it looks so nice while imagining the husband’s role with us, it definitely comes through PRACTICE! Not just by thinking and accepting. Aint I? So, lets start….

Interactions with American Clients – Useful tips

 1. Do not write “the same” in an email – it makes little sense to them.
        Example – I will try to organize the project artifacts and inform you of the same when it is done     This is somewhat an Indian construct. It is better written simply as:
    I will try to organize the project artifacts and inform you when that is done

2. Do not write or say, “I have some doubts on this issue”
    The term “Doubt” is used in the sense of doubting someone – we use this term because in Indian languages (such as Tamil), the                  word for a “doubt”         and a “question” is the same.
    The correct usage (for clients) is:
    I have a few questions on this issue

3.The term “regard” is not used much in American English. They usually do not say “regarding this issue” or “with regard to this”.
    Simply use, “about this issue”.

4.Do not say “Pardon” when you want someone to repeat what they said. The word “Pardon” is unusual for them and is somewhat formal.

5. Americans do not understand most of the Indian accent immediately – They only understand 75% of what we speak and then interpret the rest.         Therefore try not to use shortcut terms such as “Can’t” or “Don’t”. Use the expanded “Cannot” or “Do not”.

6. Do not use the term “screwed up” liberally. If a situation is not good, it is better to say, “The situation is messed up”. Do not use words such as “shucks”, or “pissed off”.

7. As a general matter of form, Indians interrupt each other constantly in meetings – DO NOT interrupt a client when they are speaking. Over the phone, there could be delays – but wait for a short time before responding.

8. When explaining some complex issue, stop occasionally and ask “Does that make sense?“. This is preferrable than “Do you understand me?”

9. In email communications, use proper punctuation. To explain something, without breaking your flow, use semicolons, hyphens or paranthesis.
    As an example:
    You have entered a new bug (the popup not showing up) in the defect tracking system; we could not reproduce it – although,
    a screenshot would help.

    Notice that a reference to the actual bug is added in paranthesis so that the sentence flow is not broken. Break a long sentence
    using such punctuation.

10. In American English, a mail is a posted letter. An email is electronic mail. When you say
    “I mailed the information to you”
    , it means you sent an actual letter or package through the postal system.
    The correct usage is:
    “I emailed the information to you”

11. To “prepone” an appointment is an Indian usage. There is no actual word called prepone. You can “advance” an appointment.

12. In the term “N-tier Architecture” or “3-tier Architecture”, the word “tier” is NOT pronounced as “Tire”. I have seen many people pronounce it this way. The correct pronunciation is “tea-yar”. The “ti” is pronounced as “tea”.

13. The usages “September End”, “Month End”, “Day End” are not understood well by Americans. They use these as “End of September”, “End of Month” or “End of Day”.

14. Americans have weird conventions for time – when they say the time is “Quarter Of One”, they mean the time is 1:15. Better to ask them the exact time.

15. Indians commonly use the terms “Today Evening”, “Today Night”. These are not correct; “Today” means “This Day” where the Day stands for Daytime. Therefore “Today Night” is confusing. The correct usages are: “This Evening”, “Tonight”.
That applies for “Yesterday Night” and “Yesterday Evening”. The correct usages are: “Last Night” and “Last Evening”.

16. When Americans want to know the time, it is usual for them to say, “Do you have the time?“. Which makes no sense to an indian.

17. There is no word called “Updation”. You update somebody. You wait for updates to happen to the database. Avoid saying “Updation”.

18. When you talk with someone for the first time, refer to them as they refer to you – in America, the first conversation usually starts by using the first name. Therefore you can use the first name of a client. Do not say “Sir”. Do not call women “Madam”.

19. It is usual convention in initial emails (particularly technical) to expand abbreviations, this way:
We are planning to use the Java API For Registry (JAXR).

After mentioning the expanded form once, subsequently you can use the abbreviation.

20. Make sure you always have a subject in your emails and that the subject is relevant. Do not use a subject line such as HI  .

21.Avoid using “Back” instead of “Back” Use “ago”.Back is the worst word for American.(for Days use “Ago”,For hours use “before”)

22.Avoid using “but” instead of “But” Use “However”.  

23.Avoid using “Yesterday” hereafter use “Last day”.

24.Avoid using “Tomorrow” hereafter use “Next day”

Courtesy: Thanks to my friends Archana Muralidharan and Viji Ramakrishnan for sharing this through an electronic email.

Hope it would be useful to buddies in IT and especially whoever deals with American Clients. 🙂