Monday, July 21, 2008

“Early to bed and early to rise!”

This is an old saying, which our parents and grand parents say it to do every day. However, I wonder sometimes how many of us manage to go early every day to rise up early in the morning. In this age of Information Technology, when so many of us software professionals find ourselves busy whole day and night, it becomes really difficult to got to bed early, and with the tight deadlines and weekly calls from the US makes our life utterly miserable. Its not that we like it but it has made our bodies stiff, and thus increasing to lot of problems such as high blood pressure, blood sugar, etc. So, what do we do? Can we say “NO” to our dear client just because we have to go early to bed and rise-up early? What shall we do so that we remain fit? It’s a hard nut to crack because it is very difficult to say NO to the client, and more so when our project manager will not like more than the client itself. Then, the best thing to do is to manage our time judiciously. Its easier said than done as “managing the time is tougher task for most of us today.” But, this is also a reality that Time is only what we need to manage. It is only us who can decide how to manage our time. Just think about those tasks you do throughout the day and that are meaningless. If you think those tasks are taking your lot of time, cut down upon them. See if you can manage to convince your client to have the daily/weekly calls a little early so that will allow you to reach home early. Just think what difference it will make to your lives when you reach home early, and go to bed early. It will make your life a whole lot better. Once you rise early, make it a habit of going for a morning walk. You can start with a 30-minute morning walk or even a brisk walk. This will make you will feel fresh and energized throughout the day. It is said that if you walk daily in the morning, it stretches your mind and your soul. I want to quote the following lines from an article about walking, “It is dynamic mind & body process which creates a sense of rhythm. As you listen to your own silent rhythm, the pulse of life, your own heartbeat - you become whole, a complete man - fit in Mind, Body and Soul.” Source:

A daily walk helps you to not only relax your mind but it also allows you to reduce weight and build lean muscle. It promotes positive mental health, including higher levels of confidence. While a daily walk in the early morning is really helpful, you can also go for other techniques once you rise up early such as Yoga.

For those who can’t find time to walk in the early morning, you can still make the benefit of walking. You can make use of the stairs instead of the regular lift in the office or you can prefer to use a public transport, and it is better if the house is pretty far away from where you need to take the public transport. Walking is the most natural form of physical exercise that gives you strength both physically and mentally. It allows you to stay fit and swift and itinerant.

Make it a habit of walking daily in the early morning. Write it down in your agenda list, and bring it to the top of the list, and make it as a high priority. So, what are you waiting for? Start walking now. After all, it’s your life, and you have to take care about it. No one else will come to rescue you.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

When the Market shall seem to stabilize, thou shall be the day for technical writers!

“Arre yaar! Fir se gir gayi! Market to yehi hai haal”

No, these are not the words from a new Hindi movie but instead these are words of a person who is a keen observer and follower of stock market.

With the market crashing each day, and every day you hear that stock market is going down and declining, it has become an immense cause of worry for any individual whether salaried or self-employed. A salaried individual has their own worries as they feel what their company will do to them in the current market scenario. With the current market scenario, it seems to me that an employee needs to stick around wherever they are. Gone are the days of job hopping with high salaries. In addition, gone are the days when you might have earned through stock market. The people who earned a huge amount of money were lucky enough. And, then the news comes about the high-rise in inflation rate. So the worries are not to be stopped. They in turn pile one on another. And, they keep on coming, one by one. The day starts with a good morning sun rise, and we wish that the stock market will get up today but only to realize the worse is still to come.

The experts though believe that nothing is lost as the market is now for those who are willing to take risks on a longer term. The current market trend is not for those who want profits through short-term investments. But, still, as a common man, I feel that if my money is on stake then will it going to recover the losses in the long run. I feel the pinch of heat going upon me when I see the amount of losses I have incurred until now.

But, with the current market scenario, where do I as a technical writer stand by in this industry? Sometimes, I realize that are there any jobs in the market to offer for technical writers. It’s that time where the companies are cutting down their costs to save each and every penny of money. And, with Technical Writing being still considered as a support function, I feel that why will a company want to spend so much in hiring a technical writer. They would instead want to hire a technical writer on a contract basis or pay the technical writer on an hourly basis. But, this is not good for technical writers. Today, the jobs for technical writers seem to be in scarce and it seems that now the attrition rate will go down in the companies. It is that time where we need to specialize in certain skills or even cross-train ourselves in different areas within the industry. There is so much to do, and there is so much to offer in the industry. Remember the saying, “Jack of all and master of none.” So, now the time has come to be a jack of all the tools and principles because you can’t be a master of one technology as you may never know whether that technology will be of use tomorrow. The market has become really unpredictable and with this unpredictable nature you can never be sure what’s in store for the near future. But, let us not be pessimistic. As, they say that there are always the dark side in a life.

So, lets be positive and move ourselves towards the building a better future. The economy will recover one day or other, and return with a bang; it will take time though. Meanwhile, the time has come to sharpen our tools and get a formalized education. This is a lesson for all those who have wanted to earn money with a bang. That’s not the case now as it is high time to make ourselves worth it, and prove that we really deserve to be there in this industry based on our experience and skills. Last but not the least, I would like to quote the few lines from a Hindi song of the latest Hindi movie released last Friday:

“beete kal se hum ko seekh jaana
naye kal ke kal-2 se pal-pal sajana hai”