• Next Question

    How Are You Today?

    Today, I tried a new way of answering the question “How are you?” I am curious to see how my colleagues react to my response and whether it will spark an interesting conversation.

    I was supposed to answer, “I would say I am a 9.99 out of 10.” to avoid answering follow-up questions. But the silly me typed, “I would say I am an 8.5 out of 10.” instead. 8.5 is pretty good, but not the best.

    I can honestly say that it really started a conversation. Many sent their warm messages. And that alone brightened my day. Hmmm, I love you, guys!

    The pandemic has created a world in which we are unsure of our emotions. I know I am OK but not fine fine. And I do not want to give them the same old, same old boring response: “I am fine, thank you”. It is boring, yet useful when you do not want to engage in a conversation. I would not want that.

    So I made a point of keeping a few more real, funny, and unique responses on hand for the next time they ask.

    1. Somewhere between better and best.
    2. Somewhere between blah and meh.
    3. Navigating the twists and turns of life.
    4. Getting better with every passing minute.
    5. Each day is better than the next.
    6. Living one day at a time.
    7. Sunshine all day long!
    8. Dancing to the rhythm of life.
    9. Taking life one sip at a time.
    10. We age not by years, but by stories.

    Here are some more one-of-a-kind responses.

    1. Medium well.
    2. Under renovation.
    3. Fair to partly cloudy.
    4. 50/50.
    5. Currently on energy-saving mode.
    6. Unplugged.
    7. Fifty shades of tired!

    And these..

    1. Overloaded!
    2. Overworked and underpaid.
    3. Waking up blessed, not stressed. Or other way.
    4. Working on myself, for myself, and by myself.
    5. Excited and intoxicated.
    6. Better days are coming. They are called: Saturday, Sunday, holidays, and payday.
    7. I feel like I’m already tired tomorrow. (me all the time)
    8. I can’t complain! (another me)
    9. I can’t complain, but sometimes I still do. (and me)

    Next question, please.

    So how are you really? I would love to hear from you.

  • Next Question

    How To Stay Focused?

    “Where was I again?” I often ask myself this question after getting distracted. My attention span is very limited. I find it hard to focus on almost everything. It is pretty annoying when I am often troubled by distractions. The more I am interrupted, the less I am able to concentrate. And when I return… I am not sure where I left off.

    How do people manage to stay on track throughout the day? We live in a world filled with diversions. Like today, the stubborn me took over. Instead of working, I am making rounds on my blog, attempting to write about how to focus. It is beyond 7 p.m. anyway.

    How can someone like me with a short attention span focus? Here is how I do it.

    Arrange My Workspace

    Keeping our workspace tidy has a huge impact on our ability to focus. A cluttered desk is distracting most of the time. Before I start working, I make sure everything is tidy and within my reach: my food and drinks. So I do not have to get up to get food or drink in case I get hungry or thirsty.

    Create a Task List

    It became my habit to make a to-do list before starting work, clocking out, and going to bed. I categorize them according to their importance and due dates. Every time I slash out a task, it motivates me to do everything.

    There were times I had to switch from one task to another. Changing tasks makes my brain stay alert sometimes. Oftentimes, it (multi-tasking) is not effective for me. More pending tasks are happening.

    Play Some Music

    Listening to music could calm my troubled mind and improve my performance. It can even make a tedious chore more enjoyable.

    When I am feeling down, I listen to the classics: cellos and violins. When I am bored, I listen to rock music. When you see me wearing my headphones, it means I am either trying to concentrate or I am bored. Whichever of the two. So don’t.

    Work Offline

    I limit my phone use in order to stay focused and complete my tasks on time. I usually put it aside and concentrate on my work. Notifications easily pull my attention away from what I was doing, so setting it to silent mode can have a significant impact.

    Take Mental Breaks

    Short breaks are the best thing to do when you cannot focus any longer. Taking a little rest allows our minds to recharge or reboot. Our brains are not capable of working for 3 hours straight. This is why I set my hourly alarm (even though I am at work). I am training myself to focus on a task for 45-50 minutes, then take a 10-minute break from the computer.

    When you see me stretching away from my desk, I am taking my mental break seriously.

    Distractions are everywhere. And remaining focused is a difficult challenge. Following these can be daunting at first, but with perseverance and dedication, we will increase our focus.