Thinking on Your Feet

Thinking on your feet



Some like to think of life as a journey, some as a test, and some as a movie. Many metaphors and euphemisms can be used for life, but the remarkable fact here is that if life were a journey, it would be one filled with roadblocks, speed breakers, and maybe a few shortcuts here and there, but surely one without a well-defined route. If it were an exam, it would be one where most questions are out of the syllabus, forcing you to think out of the box. And if it were a movie, it would be one without any disclaimer.

Unexpected situations in life do not come with a disclaimer or a warning; they are just thrown at you out of nowhere, and it’s up to you what you make of them.

When life gives you lemons, you don’t necessarily have to make lemonade; you can make margaritas, lemon tart, or a lemon cheesecake, for that matter. In the end, it’s not the situation that matters, but what you make out of it.

And how do you make the most out of every situation? By thinking on your feet.

How to Think on Your Feet?

How to think on your feet

When you are giving a presentation and somebody asks you a question you never could have anticipated, what do you do? No preparation helps you at that time; your own presence of mind, spontaneity, and ability to think on your feet come to your rescue.

1. Staying Cool and Confident Under Pressure:

When something is thrown at you unexpectedly, especially in a high-stakes situation, it’s natural for stress to kick in. However, it is such a situation that staying calm becomes even more important because tension and stress can cloud your judgement and hinder your ability to respond effectively. Rather than panicking, take a deep breath, assess the situation, and remind yourself that you are capable of handling challenges. Confidence is not about knowing all the answers but trusting your ability to find solutions.

How to Stay Calm Under Pressure

2. Be Fully Present:

Being fully present is a powerful tool in a world filled with distractions. When you are present in the moment, you can better focus on the task at hand and respond more effectively. Avoid multitasking and give your full attention to the situation. This not only helps you understand the nuances of the problem but also demonstrates to others that you are engaged and ready to address any issues.

3. Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open:

When thinking on your feet, it’s essential to understand the perspectives of those involved. Pay attention to verbal and non-verbal cues, and ask clarifying questions to ensure you have a complete understanding of the situation. Don’t just pay attention to the person you are talking to but to the people around you: listen, observe, and try to understand. This allows you to respond thoughtfully and appropriately.

4. Keep an Open Mind:

You don’t have to put people and situations into boxes; rather, embrace uncertainty and be open to different ideas and perspectives. Rigidity can limit your ability to adapt to changing circumstances. By keeping an open mind, you become more creative in problem-solving and can explore innovative solutions that might not have been apparent initially.

5. Practise Clear Delivery

Clarity in communication is crucial, especially when thinking on your feet. Practice delivering your responses in a clear, concise manner. Rather than going all technical or trying to sound too knowledgeable when asked a tricky question, speak clearly, confidently, and in a way that your audience understands what you are saying. In short, aim for simplicity without sacrificing substance.

6. Prepare

Everybody covers their syllabus before an exam but how do you prepare for out of syllabus questions? You can’t, and you don’t. Having said that, what you can do to prepare yourself for the unexpected questions is to be thorough with whatever you are presenting and understand it from different aspects.

Tips for thinking on your feet

Tips for thinking on your feet

While preparing isn’t exactly easy in this case, there are a few tips that can help you.

1. Have the Question Repeated

Sometimes, in high-pressure situations, the initial question might catch you off guard. It’s completely acceptable to ask for the question to be repeated. Not only does this give you a few more seconds to gather your thoughts, but it also ensures that you fully understand what’s being asked of you. It’s a simple yet powerful tactic to buy yourself a bit of time while maintaining clarity.

2. Use Stall Tactics

When put on the spot, it’s completely okay to not know the answer immediately. But rather than answering the question with some generic or incoherent answer, try to buy yourself some time. Employing stall tactics can be a strategic move when you need a moment to collect your thoughts. Techniques like paraphrasing the question or acknowledging it before diving into your response can help you create a buffer of time. For instance, “That’s an interesting question; let me gather my thoughts for a moment” can give you a brief pause to organise your response.

3. Use Silence to Your Advantage

Silence can be a powerful tool in communication. Embrace pauses when needed. It might feel uncomfortable, but taking a moment to think before responding demonstrates thoughtfulness rather than rushing into a hasty answer. Pausing also allows you to gauge the situation and respond appropriately.

4. Prepare Some “What Ifs”

Anticipating potential scenarios or questions can give you a mental framework to work with. Consider various “what if” scenarios and prepare rough responses in advance. For example, if you are giving a marketing pitch for a product, it is reasonable to assume that there will be a question about why you and not some other brand; prepare an answer for that. While you can’t predict every situation, having a few fallback plans or responses ready can help you navigate unexpected twists more confidently.

4. Stories are a lifesaver

At times, it is difficult to find the right words to express your point, or you might not have a concrete answer. In such a situation, stories and anecdotes can be really helpful. People often relate better to stories, and they can help convey your message effectively, especially when you’re put on the spot.

5. Engage

Rather than trying to answer every question that is thrown at you, you can answer with another question, or you can ask somebody from the crowd to give their opinion on that particular question. Even if you aren’t asked a question, engaging with the crowd and talking to them helps you get a measure of the people you are addressing.

6. Summarise and Stop

Once you’ve given your response, summarise the key points briefly. This not only reinforces your message but also signals the end of your response. It’s a way of wrapping up your thoughts confidently.

7. Own It Up

Finally, embrace the moment. Even if you feel a bit unprepared, own your response. Confidence in your demeanour can often overshadow any uncertainties in your actual words. If you have made any mistake, own it up and apologise if needed rather than trying to hide it. Even if you don’t know something, it’s okay to admit it gracefully. You are not supposed to be some know-it-all.


While the ability to think on your feet might not conventionally be considered a skill, it isn’t exactly an innate ability either. Thinking on your feet isn’t just about having quick reflexes; it’s also about employing strategies that help you get through unexpected situations smoothly. You need to make a conscious effort to remain calm, focused, and adaptable. By staying cool and confident under pressure, being fully present, relaxing, keeping your ears open, and maintaining an open mind, you give yourself room for creativity and spontaneity.

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How to Manage Difficult Conversations

How to Stay Calm Under Pressure


Riya had dedicated the entire month to her final presentation, rehearsing and perfecting it over time. Still, all the practice and hard work went down the drain on the presentation day. How? Right before the presentation, she started doubting herself, worrying if she would do everything perfectly or not, and thinking about what would happen if she failed. The pressure made her second-guess herself.

She was trying to do her best to live up to the expectations that she and other people had of her, but the amount of pressure she had put on herself cost her her confidence. She couldn’t perform when she needed to because she could not keep calm; instead, she gave in to the pressure and panicked.

What is Pressure?

What is pressure?

In the context of stress, pressure can be defined as the psychological and emotional strain experienced in response to a stressful situation or demand. It is closely intertwined with our mental health and can significantly impact our well-being. When we find ourselves in a high-pressure situation, our stress levels can skyrocket, leading to negative emotions, such as anxiety, frustration, or even panic.

Causes of Pressure

Various factors can contribute to the experience of pressure. One common cause of pressure is being faced with a large project or task that requires significant time and effort to complete. The pressure of meeting deadlines and managing complex workloads can be overwhelming.

Additionally, dealing with negative people or toxic environments can create an immense amount of pressure. Constant criticism, conflict, or hostility can take a toll on mental health and increase feelings of stress and pressure.

Moreover, external factors such as tight timelines, high expectations, or a fear of failure can intensify the amount of pressure we feel. It’s important to identify these causes of pressure to effectively manage and mitigate its impact on our well-being.

The Impact of Pressure on Individuals

The impact of pressure on individuals can be both physical and psychological. When we find ourselves in a stressful situation, our body goes into fight-or-flight mode, triggering a surge of adrenaline and cortisol. This physiological response is designed to prepare us for danger or threats, but when experienced over a long period, it can have negative consequences on our health.

In addition to the physical effects, pressure can also have profound psychological effects. The constant pressure of demanding situations can lead to anxious thoughts, negative emotions, and feelings of overwhelm. This can hinder our ability to think clearly, make sound decisions, and perform at our best. Prolonged exposure to pressure can also contribute to mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression.


The Importance of Staying Calm Under Pressure

Staying calm under pressure is not only beneficial for our mental health, but it also plays a crucial role in our overall success and well-being. This ability, known as emotional intelligence, allows individuals to effectively manage stress, make rational decisions, and maintain healthy relationships.

Scientific research has also shown that maintaining calmness activates the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for executive functions, such as problem-solving and impulse control. Practising mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, can help us stay present, reduce stress levels, and enhance our decision-making abilities.

On the other hand, losing our calm under pressure can have substantial negative consequences on our mental health, relationships, and overall well-being.

When we allow pressure to overwhelm us, negative emotions, such as anger, frustration, or anxiety, can take hold, impairing our ability to think clearly and make rational decisions. Losing our calm also increases feelings of stress, which can contribute to a range of health issues, including sleep disturbances, weakened immune system, and cardiovascular problems.

Techniques to Stay Calm Under Pressure

Techniques to stay calm under pressure

Embracing Mindfulness Practices

Mindfulness involves nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment, allowing us to observe our thoughts, feelings, and sensations without getting tangled up in them. By incorporating mindfulness practices into our daily routine, we can cultivate a greater sense of calm and resilience, even in the face of high-pressure situations. Making yoga sessions a part of your routine helps reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being. Engage in deep breathing exercises and meditation.

Cultivate emotional intelligence through mindfulness, allowing you to approach pressure with a fresh perspective. Use visualisation techniques to manage negative emotions and enhance your ability to stay calm in stressful situations.

By embracing mindfulness, we can tap into the wisdom of ancient practices, such as those followed by Buddhist monks, and harness the power of the present moment to stay calm under pressure.

The Role of Adequate Sleep and Balanced Diet

In addition to mindfulness practices, the role of adequate sleep and a balanced diet cannot be underestimated when it comes to managing pressure effectively. Getting enough sleep is crucial for our mental and physical well-being. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to allow your body and mind to recharge and rejuvenate.

A balanced diet, rich in nutrients, can also contribute to our ability to stay calm under pressure. Ensuring we consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can provide us with the energy and mental clarity needed to navigate challenging situations.

By prioritising sleep and nourishing our bodies with wholesome foods, we can create a solid foundation for managing pressure and maintaining a calm mindset.

Take a Break and Reflect

Sometimes, the best way to stay calm under pressure is to step away from the situation, take a break, and reflect. Stepping away from a stressful situation, even if just for a few minutes, can provide us with a fresh perspective and renewed clarity.

During this time, we can engage in gratitude practices, focusing on the things we are grateful for in our lives. This shift in perspective can help us cultivate a sense of calm and positivity, making it easier to navigate high-pressure situations with grace.

Taking breaks allows our minds to refresh and enables us to come back with a renewed focus and determination to tackle the challenges at hand.

Physical Activity

Engaging in regular physical activity is not only beneficial for our physical health but also plays a significant role in managing pressure effectively. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels, releasing endorphins that boost mood and promote feelings of well-being.

Aerobic exercises such as running or cycling release tension and clear the mind. Practising yoga or Pilates to improve flexibility, mindfulness, and overall well-being.

You can join a sports team or participate in group fitness classes for social support and motivation. Take regular walks or practice gentle stretching exercises to relax the body and quiet the mind.

By incorporating physical activity into our routine, we can reduce stress levels, improve our resilience to pressure, and create a healthy outlet for emotions.

Overcoming the Challenges of Staying Calm Under Pressure

Overcoming challenges to staying calm under pressure

While staying calm under pressure is important, it’s essential to acknowledge that challenges may arise. However, with the right mindset, optimism, and visualisation, we can overcome these challenges and maintain our composure.

One of the key challenges of staying calm under pressure is identifying and navigating triggers that may arise in high-pressure situations. Triggers can be anything from negative people to specific circumstances or situations that evoke stress or anxiety. Recognizing these triggers allows us to develop strategies to manage and diffuse them effectively.

By adopting a growth mindset and viewing pressure as an opportunity for growth and learning, we can reframe our perspective and approach challenges with resilience.

Cultivating optimism and positive self-talk can also help us stay calm and focused, even in the face of adversity. Additionally, visualisation techniques can be utilised to picture ourselves successfully navigating high-pressure situations, enhancing our confidence and ability to stay calm.

Limit interactions with negative people or create boundaries to protect your mental well-being. Seek support from trusted friends, colleagues, or mentors who can provide guidance and perspective. Practice self-care activities, such as meditation, journaling, or engaging in hobbies, to reduce stress levels and improve resilience.

Is it Possible to Always Maintain Calm Under Pressure?

Maintaining complete calm under pressure may not always be possible. However, it is possible to develop strategies to manage stress and reduce anxiety. Deep breathing, mindfulness practices, positive self-talk, and visualisation exercises can help improve your ability to stay calm. Consistent practice is key.


Staying calm under pressure is crucial for maintaining overall well-being and performance. The physical and psychological effects of pressure can be detrimental if not managed properly. By embracing mindfulness practices, prioritising adequate sleep and a balanced diet, taking breaks to reflect, and engaging in physical activity, you can better manage pressure and stay calm in challenging situations.

It’s important to remember that maintaining calm under pressure is not always easy, and sometimes it becomes challenging. However, by identifying and navigating triggers, you can develop strategies to overcome these challenges. It’s also important to acknowledge that it’s not always possible to maintain calm under extreme pressure, and seeking support from others can be beneficial.

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Goal Setting Theory of Motivation


In layman’s language, success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. To achieve success, you don’t just have to work; you have to work toward a particular goal in a definite direction.

That’s why goal setting is essential to personal growth and success. Whether in the workplace, academics, or personal life, having clear objectives to strive for keeps us motivated, focused, and determined.

The Principles of Goal Setting Theory

Principles of goal setting theory

This theory, developed by American psychologist Edwin Locke and his colleague Gary Latham, suggests that setting specific, challenging goals leads to better task performance and motivation. The theory of goal setting asserts that individuals are more likely to be motivated and engaged when they have clear, measurable targets to strive for. By setting goals, we create a sense of direction, purpose, and focus, ultimately driving us toward higher performance and success.

Clarity and Precision in Goals

The concept of setting clear and specific goals is central to the theory of goal setting. Research by Lock & Latham highlights how the clarity of direction significantly impacts goal-setting outcomes, emphasising the importance of measurable goals for goal attainment. Vague goals can lead to conflict and impede performance, underscoring the necessity of setting clear, measurable, and challenging goals.

This emphasises the significance of precision in delineating objectives within the framework of goal-setting theory. Additionally, practical applications such as SMART goals, advocated in Englewood Cliffs’ original article, further emphasise the impact of clear and precise goals in goal-setting theory.

Challenges and Aspirations in Goals

The influence of task complexity on goal commitment and intrinsic motivation is a crucial aspect elucidated by Locke’s goal-setting theory. By promoting the setting of challenging goals, the theory asserts the drive towards enhanced performance. Setting difficult and complex goals leads to behaviour change and high performance.

Commitment and Dedication to Goals

Emphasising the significance of goal commitment, the theory of goal setting underscores its influence on task performance. This commitment acts as a driving force, especially in our fast-paced world, where distractions abound. By staying dedicated, you maximise your chances of success. Implementing smart goals and ensuring enough time for goal achievement are crucial aspects for commitment and dedication to goals.

This commitment acts as a driving force, especially in our fast-paced world, where distractions abound. By staying dedicated, you maximise your chances of success.

The Role of Feedback in Goal Setting

Role of feedback

The efficacy of feedback in goal setting has been widely studied and remains a pivotal aspect of the process. It not only aids in achieving high performance but also influences behaviour change. It is crucial for individuals to receive timely and constructive feedback to recalibrate their goals effectively.

Feedback, when used appropriately, can lead to positive behavioural and ethical outcomes, preventing unethical behaviour. Incorporating feedback mechanisms that align with the principles of SMART goals ensures that individuals have enough time to assess their performance and make necessary adjustments.

Importance of Timely and Constructive Feedback

Timeliness and constructiveness are pivotal aspects of effective feedback. When aiming to achieve specific goals, receiving feedback in a timely manner is like having a compass that guides you on your path. Timely feedback allows for adjustments and corrections while the information is still relevant. Furthermore, the constructiveness of feedback is equally essential. Instead of just pointing out shortcomings, constructive feedback offers insights into areas for improvement, providing a roadmap to navigate challenges. Embracing such feedback becomes a catalyst for enhancing performance.

Influence of Feedback on Performance

Feedback acts as a powerful catalyst in shaping and refining performance. When individuals receive constructive feedback aligned with their goals, it reinforces them. This reinforcement helps individuals navigate their journey by acknowledging what works well and requires enhancement. In a world where productivity is paramount, leveraging feedback as a tool for improvement maximises the effectiveness of goal-setting endeavours. Through this feedback loop, individuals can consistently refine their approaches and strategies, ultimately maximising their potential.

Importance of Task Complexity in Goal Setting

Importance of task complexity in goal setting

The theory of task motivation emphasises the need for setting clear and challenging goals to enhance high performance, which supports behaviour change and encourages ethical behaviour. Practical field studies have shown that breaking down complexity into manageable goals not only improves performance but also minimises unethical behaviour.

Setting smart goals within a manageable time frame, especially in customer service, promotes enough time to achieve the desired outcomes and maintain a work-life balance. This highlights the importance of understanding the impact of task complexity in goal setting to implement a practically useful theory for personal and professional success.

Managing Complex Tasks

Establishing clear and measurable goals is essential for effectively managing complex tasks. Regular feedback plays a crucial role in ensuring progress and success. Implementing effective goal-setting practices reduces the occurrence of goal conflict during task performance.

Challenging goals significantly impact decision-making processes when managing complex tasks. By incorporating these elements, individuals can successfully navigate and conquer even the most challenging and intricate tasks, thereby achieving high performance and productivity.

Breaking Down Complexity into Manageable Goals

Enhancing task performance is crucial when facing complex challenges. The breakdown of task complexity is heavily influenced by goal orientation, as setting clear and precise goals plays a pivotal role in transforming complex tasks into achievable key results. Clear commitment to these goals significantly improves task performance and productivity. Receiving constructive feedback is instrumental in breaking down complexity into manageable goals, leading to enhanced performance.

The Impact of Goal Setting on Performance

Impact of goal setting on performance.

Enhancing Employee Motivation

Practical goal setting not only boosts employee job satisfaction but also impacts their motivation and high performance. When employees have clear, well-defined objectives, it instils a sense of purpose and direction. The clarity in goals acts as a motivational beacon, guiding individuals through their tasks and responsibilities.

Instead of navigating a seemingly endless array of tasks, employees can focus on specific targets, making their efforts more purposeful. This sense of purpose enhances motivation, creating a positive cycle where achievements reinforce commitment. Organisations can maximise the motivational impact of goal setting by avoiding vague language and clearly articulating goals.

Boosting Individual Performance

The influence of goal setting on personal growth cannot be overstated, as it drives individuals to pursue clear and challenging objectives. Clear goals provide a framework for action, allowing individuals to precisely navigate their responsibilities. As aspirations and challenges are integrated into these goals, they become catalysts for personal and professional growth.

The emphasis on constructive feedback further refines performance, creating a continuous improvement cycle. Avoiding repetition and ensuring the alignment of goals with individual strengths and aspirations enhances the efficacy of this process, resulting in sustained high performance.

Work-Life Balance Through Effective Goal Setting

Effective goal setting isn’t solely confined to the professional sphere; it extends its influence into achieving a harmonious work-life balance. Setting realistic and achievable goals allows individuals to allocate their time and energy more efficiently. This prevents burnout and exhaustion, promoting a healthier equilibrium between work and personal life.

It’s crucial to recognize that work-life balance is not a static state, but a dynamic interplay, and thoughtful goal setting contributes to this delicate equilibrium. Language that resonates with the individual’s priorities and values facilitates a more effective integration of work and personal life.


In conclusion, goal-setting theory provides a framework for achieving success and motivation in various aspects of life. By setting clear and precise goals, challenging ourselves, and committing to our aspirations, we can increase our chances of reaching our desired outcomes. Additionally, receiving timely and constructive feedback is crucial in improving performance and staying on track toward our goals.

It is also important to consider the complexity of tasks and break them down into manageable goals to maintain focus and prevent overwhelm. By implementing goal-setting theory in our personal and professional lives, we can enhance motivation, improve performance, and strive for a healthy work-life balance.

So, start setting meaningful goals and take steps towards achieving your version of success.

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Importance of Time Management



“Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.”

Thomas A. Edison

In today’s fast-paced world, time management has become more important than ever. With numerous tasks and responsibilities vying for our attention, prioritising and completing them all effectively can be challenging. However, by managing our time effectively, we can be more productive, achieve better work-life balance, and reduce stress levels.

Understanding Time Management

Understanding time management

Time management, as the term suggests, refers to the ability to manage and utilise time efficiently. It involves prioritising tasks, setting realistic goals, and allocating an appropriate amount of time to complete them. With good time management skills, individuals can accomplish their daily tasks, meet deadlines, and make progress toward their long-term objectives. Effective time management is not only about completing tasks but also about making the most of the time available for personal and professional growth.

Defining Time Management

So, what exactly is time management? Time management refers to the practice of organising, planning, and allocating time to different activities in order to complete them efficiently. It involves identifying important tasks, setting priorities, and utilising techniques and strategies to make the most of the time available.

Effective time management skills enable individuals to accomplish specific tasks within specific time slots. It allows for smaller tasks to be accomplished daily, leading to steady progress and productivity. With proper time management, individuals can avoid feeling overwhelmed by their workload and ensure that important tasks are not neglected.

Time management techniques play a crucial role in helping individuals effectively manage their time. Some popular techniques include the Pomodoro Technique, which breaks work into intervals followed by short breaks, and the Eisenhower Matrix, which helps prioritise tasks based on their urgency and importance. By implementing these techniques, individuals can better manage their time and accomplish tasks more efficiently.

Why Time Management is Essential

Good time management is not just a desirable skill but an essential one, particularly in today’s fast-paced world. Effective time management, by organising tasks, setting realistic goals, and allocating enough time for each allows individuals to make the most of their time, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.

Good time management skills are crucial for maintaining work-life balance. By prioritising tasks, individuals can allocate time for both professional and personal commitments, ensuring that neither area of life is neglected. This balance contributes to overall well-being and enhances the quality of life.

Poor time management, on the other hand, can have negative consequences. When time is not managed effectively, tasks pile up, deadlines are missed, and stress levels rise. This can lead to poor work performance, decreased job satisfaction, and a negative impact on personal life.

The benefits of time management extend beyond individual productivity. In professional settings, good time management skills are highly valued, as they demonstrate reliability, efficiency, and professionalism. Employers appreciate employees who can manage their time effectively, complete tasks on time, and contribute to the overall progress of the organisation.

Overall, time management is essential for individuals to thrive in both personal and professional life. It enables better time utilisation and work-life balance and reduces stress levels, ultimately maximising productivity and goal achievement.

Benefits of Time Management


Boosts Productivity and Efficiency

One of the key benefits of time management is its ability to boost productivity and efficiency. When tasks are properly planned, organised, and executed, individuals can accomplish more in less time, allowing them to make progress toward their goals.

Here are some specific ways time management enhances productivity:

Effective time management involves prioritising tasks and emphasising the importance of focusing on key responsibilities. Setting realistic goals and organising work into manageable steps contribute to efficient work organisation. By allocating specific time slots for tasks, individuals optimise productivity.

Identifying and prioritising important tasks minimises time wasted on less significant activities, enhancing overall productivity. Improved time management not only allows individuals to accomplish more in less time but also leads to increased job satisfaction and career growth.

Enhances Quality of Work

Time management not only boosts productivity but also significantly enhances work quality. Careful planning allows individuals to dedicate ample time and mental energy to each task, resulting in improved outcomes. Good time management facilitates a balanced work-life dynamic, preventing burnout and fostering a fresh perspective for higher quality work. Strategic time allocation ensures tasks are completed with attention to detail, as individuals can work when most alert and focused.

This skill contributes to better work organisation, allowing proactive planning, timely task completion, and a reduction in last-minute stress and errors. Overall, effective time management, achieved through realistic goal-setting and task breakdowns, promotes work of higher quality by ensuring adequate time, attention, and energy for each endeavour.

Reduces Stress Levels

Stress has now become a common challenge impacting mental health. However, effective time management serves as a potent tool to alleviate this pressure. Improved work organisation and productivity, achieved through well-planned and prioritised tasks, reduce the stress associated with last-minute work. Strategic time management allows for regular breaks, acting as stress-relievers and enhancing focus upon returning to tasks.

Moreover, maintaining a proper work-life balance through realistic boundaries and leisure activities prevents burnout, reducing overall stress levels. Techniques like task prioritisation and goal-setting contribute to stress reduction by avoiding feeling overwhelmed and promoting better mental well-being. In essence, adopting effective time management not only boosts productivity and work quality but also significantly reduces stress, paving the way for healthier and more fulfilling lives.

Opens Career Opportunities

Mastering effective time management skills is a key asset in professional settings, opening doors to numerous career opportunities. Demonstrating reliability, efficiency, and professionalism through timely task completion makes you a valuable team member, earning the appreciation of employers. These skills are crucial for handling demanding workloads, prioritising tasks, and actively contributing to team goals, leading to success in any role.

Additionally, proficient time management allows for dedicated slots for professional development, including skill acquisition, workshop attendance, and networking activities, enhancing your competitiveness for promotions. Moreover, avoiding work-related stress and burnout through good time management enhances job satisfaction and overall productivity, fostering better mental health.

Elevates Confidence

Effective time management not only influences productivity and professional growth but also plays a crucial role in building confidence.

By efficiently managing time, individuals experience a sense of control and accomplishment, fostering overall self-assurance. Meeting deadlines and accomplishing tasks within specific time slots instils confidence, as realistic goal-setting and efficient execution provide control over work and personal life. Breaking tasks into achievable steps enhances manageability, contributing to a sense of progress and achievement that boosts confidence.

Techniques like the Pomodoro Technique or the Eisenhower Matrix offer structured approaches, enhancing productivity and confidence. Good time management promotes work-life balance, prevents burnout, fosters well-being, and cultivates a positive mindset, all contributing to increased confidence. Ultimately, effective time management empowers individuals to gain control, achieve tasks, and maintain balance, elevating their confidence levels significantly.

The Role of Time Management in Personal Growth


Time management not only impacts professional life but also plays a vital role in personal growth and overall well-being. By effectively managing time, individuals can achieve work-life balance, foster self-discipline, and develop a positive outlook.

Achieving Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is crucial for personal well-being, happiness, and personal growth. Effective time management enables individuals to allocate time for both professional and personal commitments, ensuring that neither area of life is neglected.

By properly managing time, individuals can prioritise important tasks, avoid overworking, and reserve specific time slots for personal activities, hobbies, and time spent with loved ones. By setting realistic expectations and establishing work-life boundaries, individuals can prevent work from encroaching on personal time, enhancing work-life balance.

Fostering work-life balance improves personal well-being, mental health, and job satisfaction. When individuals have time to relax, recharge, and engage in activities they enjoy, they experience reduced stress levels, increased productivity, and a positive outlook, ultimately contributing to personal growth.

Fostering Self-Discipline

Self-discipline, a fundamental trait for personal growth and success, finds a valuable ally in time management techniques. Clear goal-setting and prioritisation in time management create a roadmap, fostering the self-discipline needed to navigate distractions and obstacles. Breaking tasks into smaller steps contributes to self-discipline, allowing individuals to focus on incremental progress.

Time management tools, including calendars and productivity apps, act as guides, aiding organisation and discipline in daily life. Limiting distractions, a key aspect of effective time management, requires self-discipline to resist temptations, ensuring sustained focus on essential tasks. By integrating these techniques, individuals cultivate self-discipline, enabling consistent progress toward goals, effective resource utilisation, and overall personal growth and success.

Developing a Positive Outlook

Time management techniques contribute not only to productivity but also to fostering a positive outlook and mindset, promoting personal growth and mental well-being. Prioritising tasks allows for better stress management, providing individuals with a clear plan and ample time for each task and instilling a sense of control and confidence, ultimately reducing stress levels.

Realistic goal-setting and breaking tasks into achievable steps generate a feeling of progress and accomplishment, contributing to a positive outlook, sustained motivation, and personal growth. These techniques advocate for allocating time for breaks, enjoyable activities, and self-care, preventing burnout, enhancing mental health, and cultivating positivity.


In conclusion, time management is not just about getting things done; it’s about maximising productivity and achieving a better quality of life. By prioritising tasks, setting goals, and eliminating distractions, you can boost efficiency, reduce stress levels, and open up new career opportunities.

Time management also plays a crucial role in personal growth, helping you achieve work-life balance, foster self-discipline, and develop a positive outlook. However, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges that come with managing time, such as overcoming distractions, tackling procrastination, and balancing multiple tasks.

But with determination and practice, you can take control of your time and reap the benefits. So, start implementing effective time management strategies today and watch as your productivity soars to new heights.

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Speak Clearly: Overcome Barriers to Effective Communication

Overcome Barriers to Effective Communication

Whenever you hear the word barrier, what is the first image that your brain conjures?

A speed breaker on the road, a fence around the garden, or a brick wall?

That’s because we understand that a barrier is something that creates hurdles in our way.

Similarly, a communication barrier is anything that obstructs communication.

What are Barriers to Communication?

Communication simply refers to the exchange of information or the flow of information, messages, etc., from one entity to another; anything that obstructs that flow is a barrier to communication.

Anything that prevents a communicator from delivering the right message to the right person at the right time or a receiver from getting the right message at the right time.

Types of Barrier to Communication

Types of Barrier to Communication

1. Physical Barriers

These include environmental factors like noise, distance, and technical issues (e.g., poor internet connection) that hinder effective communication.

2. Semantic Barriers

Stemming from language differences, jargon, or ambiguous words, these barriers lead to misunderstandings due to varying interpretations of words or symbols.

3. Cultural Barriers

Differences in cultural backgrounds, customs, and communication norms can result in misinterpretations and hinder effective cross-cultural communication.

4. Psychological Barriers

These include emotional states, preconceived notions, biases, and selective perceptions that affect how a message is received and understood.

5. Organisational Barriers

Hierarchical structures, lack of proper communication channels, and bureaucratic red tape can impede the flow of information within an organisation.

6. Interpersonal Barriers

These relate to issues between individuals, such as personality clashes, lack of trust, or poor listening skills, which hinder effective communication.

7. Cognitive Barriers

Differences in knowledge, education, or mental models can make it challenging to convey complex information effectively.

8. Technological Barriers

Issues related to the use of communication technology, such as unfamiliarity with tools or technical glitches, can hinder communication.

9. Physiological Barriers

These are related to physical limitations, such as hearing or speech impairments, that affect communication.

Language as a Barrier in Communication

Language can be a significant barrier when individuals speak different languages or do not share a common understanding of a particular language.

This language barrier can manifest in various ways:

1. Language Differences: When individuals or groups speak different languages, it can impede effective communication.

2. Limited Vocabulary: Even when people speak the same language, differences in vocabulary, dialects, or regional accents can lead to misunderstandings.

3. Technical Jargon: In specialised fields or industries, using technical terms and jargon can create a language barrier for those unfamiliar with the terminology.

4. Cultural Context: Languages often carry cultural nuances and context-specific meanings that may be lost on non-native speakers, leading to misinterpretations.

5. Translation Challenges: Translating from one language to another can be complex, as it involves both words and cultural and contextual nuances. Translation errors can lead to misunderstandings.

To address language barriers, use plain and simple language, provide translations and visual aids, be patient and encourage questions.

Psychological Barriers to Communication

Psychological barriers are obstacles that arise from individuals’ mental states, emotions, perceptions, and cognitive biases.

Some common psychological barriers are:

1. Emotional State: Strong emotions like anger, fear, or anxiety can disrupt one’s ability to process and convey information clearly, leading to miscommunication.

2. Selective Perceptions: People tend to filter information through their beliefs and interests, clouded by prejudices and biases, which may cause them to hear what they want and disregard conflicting information.

3. Communication Apprehension: Some individuals experience anxiety or apprehension about communicating, particularly in public or formal settings, inhibiting their ability to express themselves effectively.

4. Cognitive Overload: Too much information or complex data can overwhelm individuals, making it difficult to absorb and process the message.

5. Lack of Attention: Poor listening skills, a lack of focus on the part of the sender or receiver can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication.

6. Defensiveness: When individuals feel criticised or attacked, they may become defensive, making it challenging to engage in constructive dialogue.

Addressing psychological barriers involves fostering self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and active listening skills.

Encouraging an open and non-judgmental communication environment can also mitigate these barriers and promote effective interpersonal interactions.

The Impact of Attitudinal Barriers on Communication

Attitudinal barriers stem from an individual’s attitudes, beliefs, and predispositions.

These barriers often result from negative or inflexible attitudes and can include:

1. Resistance to Change: Stubbornness and an unwillingness to accept new ideas or information that challenge existing beliefs or routines make conveying innovative concepts or changes difficult.

2. Prejudices and Stereotypes: Deep-seated biases and stereotypes can lead to judgments and assumptions about others, preventing open and fair communication.

3. Cultural Insensitivity: A lack of cultural awareness and respect can result in insensitivity toward others’ cultural backgrounds, making it difficult to connect with people from diverse backgrounds.

4. Closed-mindedness: People unwilling to consider alternative viewpoints or perspectives may block meaningful dialogue and collaborative problem-solving.

5. Ego and Arrogance: Excessive pride or arrogance can hinder open communication by diminishing the willingness to admit mistakes or collaborate effectively.

6. Negative Attitudes: A generally pessimistic outlook can discourage constructive communication, as individuals may focus on problems rather than solutions.

Developing emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and empathy can help individuals overcome these attitudinal barriers and engage in more effective and constructive communication.

Systematic Barriers in Communication

Systematic barriers refer to obstacles arising from an organisation or system’s structure, processes, or policies. These barriers can include:

1. Hierarchical Structure: A rigid and hierarchical organisational structure may impede the flow of information between different levels of management, making it difficult for employees to communicate with higher-ups or share feedback.

2. Bureaucracy: Complex bureaucratic procedures can slow down decision-making and communication processes, leading to delays and inefficiencies.

3. Inadequate Technology: Outdated or unreliable communication technology and inefficient communication channels can hinder efficient communication, particularly in today’s digital age.

4. Poor Policies: Policies that discourage open and honest communication, such as punitive measures for raising concerns, can prevent employees from speaking up.

5. Geographic Dispersion: If an organisation has multiple locations or remote teams, geographic dispersion can create challenges in coordinating communication and ensuring that all employees are informed.

Addressing systematic barriers requires organisations to assess and improve their communication processes, adopt efficient communication technologies, encourage open feedback, and create a communication-friendly culture.

Physiological Communication Barriers

Physiological communication barriers are obstacles that arise from physical limitations or conditions. Some common physiological barriers include:

1. Hearing Impairments: Hearing impairment can make it challenging for individuals to understand spoken communication. In such cases, sign language, hearing aids, or alternative communication methods may be necessary.

2. Speech Impediments: Speech disorders or impediments, such as stuttering or lisping, can hinder a person’s ability to clearly convey their thoughts or ideas.

3. Vision Impairments: Visual impairments, including blindness or low vision, can affect an individual’s ability to read written communication, facial expressions, or body language.

4. Nonverbal Communication Challenges: Physiological conditions that limit an individual’s ability to use nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, gestures, or body language, can hinder their ability to convey or interpret messages effectively.

5. Physical Disabilities: Mobility impairments or physical disabilities may affect an individual’s capacity to engage in face-to-face communication, navigate communication technology, or participate in group discussions.

6. Mental Health Conditions: Certain mental health conditions, such as anxiety or social phobias, can create physiological responses (e.g., increased heart rate or sweating) that interfere with effective communication.

Addressing physiological communication barriers involves using appropriate assistive devices or accommodations, modifying communication methods, and ensuring that communication environments are accessible and inclusive.

Additionally, patience, empathy, and understanding on the part of communication partners are essential in facilitating effective communication with individuals facing physiological challenges.

Strategies for Overcoming Communication Barriers

1. Active Listening: Pay close attention to the speaker, try understanding their perspective and feelings, ask clarifying questions, and show that you are engaged and interested in what they are saying.

2. Clarity in Message Delivery: Use clear and concise language when conveying your message, as all parties might not understand jargon or technical terms.

3. Adapt Communication Style: Be flexible in your communication style to suit the needs and preferences of your audience. Adjust your tone, language, and approach as necessary.

4. Use of Multiple Communication Channels: Utilise a variety of communication tools and channels, such as face-to-face meetings, email, phone calls, and video conferencing, to choose the most appropriate method for different situations.

5. Simplify Complex Information: Break down complex topics into smaller, more digestible pieces of information. Use visuals, examples, and analogies to enhance understanding.

6. Respect Differences: Recognise and respect differences in opinions, ideas, and perspectives. Encourage diverse viewpoints as they can lead to richer discussions. Also, be aware of cultural differences in communication norms, customs, and non-verbal cues, and show respect for diverse backgrounds by adapting your communication style.

7. Address Psychological Barriers: Build trust and rapport to minimise emotional barriers by encouraging open conversations about feelings and concerns.

8. Eliminate Physical Barriers: Reduce noise, minimise distractions, and ensure that the physical environment is conducive to effective communication.

9. Promote a Communication-Friendly Culture: Organisations can create an environment that values clear and open communication by establishing effective communication policies and encouraging employees to give feedbacks, voice their opinions and concerns.

10. Use Technology Wisely: Ensure that communication technology is reliable and user-friendly. Provide training and support for the use of communication tools.

11. Practice Patience: Recognise that overcoming communication barriers may take time and effort. Be patient and persistent in your communication efforts.

By implementing these strategies, individuals and organisations can improve their ability to overcome communication barriers and facilitate more effective and productive interactions.

Examples of Communication Barriers

1. Language Barrier: A person speaking English may have difficulty communicating with someone who speaks only Spanish, leading to misunderstandings.

2. Noise Distraction: High noise levels in a crowded office can make it challenging to hear and understand a conversation, causing miscommunication.

3. Cultural Differences: Different cultural norms and customs may lead to misunderstandings. For instance, a nod in some cultures signifies agreement; in others, it may indicate understanding but not necessarily agreement.

4. Technical Jargon: Using complex technical terms or industry-specific jargon in a conversation with someone unfamiliar with the terminology can hinder comprehension.

5. Information Overload: Receiving an overwhelming amount of information can lead to confusion and difficulty in processing essential details.

6. Assumptions: Making assumptions about what others know or understand can result in incomplete or inaccurate communication.

7. Lack of Context: Providing information without proper context can lead to misunderstandings. For instance, if a manager gives an order without explaining its rationale, employees may not fully comprehend the purpose behind it.

8. Generational Differences: Different generations may have distinct communication preferences and styles, which can lead to conflicts or misalignment in the workplace.

9. Physical Barriers: Physical distance, such as when team members work in different locations, can hinder face-to-face communication and lead to misunderstandings.

10. Organisational Policies: Bureaucratic or rigid organisational policies may slow down the flow of information and impede open communication.


These examples illustrate the diverse range of barriers affecting communication in various contexts.

Identifying and addressing these barriers is crucial for effective communication in personal, professional, and social contexts.

A combination of strategies and approaches, such as active listening, cultural sensitivity, clarity in message delivery, and appropriate communication tools, helps mitigate communication barriers.

Overcoming communication barriers is vital because it ensures a clear, effective exchange of information, fosters understanding, minimises misunderstandings, and enhances relationships, productivity, and collaboration in personal and professional contexts.

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Mastering Focus: Strategies to Stay Productive and Achieve Your Goals

How to Stay Focused in a Tech-Driven World

Do you often find yourself struggling to stay focused on a task?

In today’s fast-paced world, maintaining concentration can be quite challenging.

However, there are several strategies you can implement to improve your focus and boost your productivity.

In this guide, we will explore some effective techniques to help you minimise distractions, create a productive environment, and develop a focused mindset.

So, if you’re tired of constantly getting sidetracked and want to BOOST your ability to concentrate, stay tuned…

Minimising Distractions

In our technologically advanced society, distractions are everywhere. From social media notifications to the constant buzzing of our phones, it’s no wonder that our attention spans are becoming shorter.

In a span of only 15 years, our attention span has dramatically declined, research reveals. Back in 2000, it stood at a respectable 12 seconds. However, fast forward to the present day and that number has plummeted to a mere 8.25 seconds.

Surprisingly, this means our attention span is now shorter than that of goldfish, which can concentrate on a task or object for a solid 9 seconds.

Minimising Distractions

One of the first steps to improve FOCUS is to minimise these distractions.

Put your phone on silent or in another room, close unnecessary tabs on your computer, and create a designated workspace free from clutter.

When you eliminate these external interruptions, you’ll be able to better direct your attention to the task at hand.

Plus, practising mindfulness and meditation can help train your brain to stay focused.

Learn to be present in the moment and letting go of distracting thoughts, you can enhance your ability to concentrate and skyrocket your overall productivity.

Don’t get, you won’t see results in a week or so. It takes time and practice to develop a focused mindset, so be patient with yourself.

Over time, you’ll find that your ability to concentrate will improve, leading to increased productivity and success in all areas of your life.

Set Up A Productive Environment

Set Up A Productive Environment

To create a productive environment, you’ll need to set up a space that supports concentration and enjoyment.

Start by decluttering your workspace and organising everything in a way that makes it easy to find what you need.

A cluttered and messy environment can be distracting and hinder your ability to focus.

Keep only the essentials on your desk and remove any unnecessary items. This will help create a clean and clear space that promotes a sense of calm and focus.

In addition to decluttering, consider the lighting in your workspace. Natural light is the best option as it is known to boost mood and increase productivity.

If natural light is not available, opt for bright, white lights that mimic natural daylight.

Avoid harsh and dim lighting as it can strain your eyes and make it difficult to concentrate.

Another important aspect of creating a productive environment is minimising noise.

Find a quiet area where you can work without interruptions.

If you’re unable to escape noise completely, consider using noise-cancelling headphones or playing soft background music to drown out distractions.

When you build a productive environment, you are providing yourself with the ideal condition to sharpen your focus and concentration.

Key Takeaways:

  • Declutter and organise your workspace,
  • Optimising your lighting
  • Minimise external noise

When you follow all the above things, your focus will improve.

One more thing, personalise your environment to make it enjoyable.

You can add some plants, artwork, or anything that brings you joy and makes you feel motivated.

When you’re in a well-designed and organised workspace, you’ll find yourself able to focus more easily and accomplish tasks with greater efficiency.

Practising Mindfulness and Meditation

Practising Mindfulness and Meditation

Create a peaceful and centred mindset by incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your daily routine.

You might be wondering, what is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present and aware of the current moment. It involves focusing on your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgement.

Through mindfulness, you can train your brain to stay focused on the task at hand and minimise internal distractions. This can greatly improve your ability to concentrate and increase your productivity.

Meditation, on the other hand, is a technique that involves training your mind to achieve a state of deep relaxation and heightened awareness.

Set aside a few minutes each day to practise meditation, you can clear your mind of clutter and improve your ability to stay focused.

Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, improve cognitive function, and increase mental clarity.

Meditation can also help you develop a stronger sense of self-awareness, which is essential for maintaining focus and avoiding distractions.

Key Takeaways:

Leverage mindfulness and meditation into your daily routine to create a peaceful and centred mindset that will greatly improve your ability to focus and be productive.

Breaking Tasks into Manageable Chunks

Breaking Tasks into Manageable Chunks

Break down your tasks into manageable chunks, allowing you to tackle each one with ease and efficiency.

When you have a large task or project ahead of you, it feels overwhelming and difficult to know where to start.

However, when you break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks, you can approach each part with a clear focus and a sense of direction.

This not only helps to alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed, but it also allows you to prioritise and allocate your time and energy more effectively.

Instead of trying to tackle the entire task at once, you can focus on completing each chunk one by one, which can help to boost your confidence and motivation as you see progress being made.

Breaking tasks into manageable chunks also helps to improve your focus by allowing you to concentrate on one specific aspect at a time.

When you have a long list of tasks to complete, it’s easy to become distracted or lose focus as your mind jumps from one thing to another.

However, by breaking the tasks down, you can give your full attention to each chunk, preventing your mind from wandering and improving your ability to stay focused.

This approach can also make the task feel less daunting, as you are only focusing on one small part at a time.

Key Takeaways:

Breaking down tasks into manageable chunks, can improve your focus and productivity, making it easier for you to complete tasks efficiently and effectively.

Utilising Time Management Techniques

Maximise your productivity by utilising time management techniques that allow you to effectively manage your schedule and accomplish tasks efficiently.

Time Management Techniques

One important technique is prioritising tasks based on their urgency and importance. This involves creating a to-do list and categorising tasks into different levels of priority.

Focus on the most urgent and important tasks first, you can ensure that you are using your time and energy effectively.

Additionally, breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks can help you stay focused and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

This technique, known as task batching, involves grouping similar tasks together and allocating specific time slots to complete them.

By doing this, you can eliminate distractions and stay focused on one task at a time, which can greatly improve your efficiency and concentration.

Another effective time management technique is the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working in short bursts of focused activity followed by short breaks.

This technique can help you maintain concentration and prevent burnout.

To implement Pomodoro technique:

Set a timer for 25 minutes and work on a specific task without any distractions.

Once the timer goes off, take a short break of 5 minutes to relax and recharge.

After completing four cycles of 25 minutes of work followed by 5-minute breaks, take a longer break of around 15-30 minutes.

This structured approach to time management can help you stay focused and avoid the tendency to get distracted or procrastinate.

Key Takeaways:

Use the above time management techniques into your daily routine, and you’ll see improvement in your focus and productivity.

Prioritising tasks, breaking them into manageable chunks, and using techniques like the Pomodoro Technique can help you stay on track and accomplish tasks more efficiently.

Effective time management is not about working harder, but rather about working smarter and making the most of the time you have available.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I improve my focus when working in a noisy environment?

To improve focus while working in a noisy environment, try using noise-cancelling headphones or finding a quieter space. Plus, practising mindfulness techniques like deep breathing or meditation can help you tune out distractions and stay focused.

Are there any specific colours or lighting conditions that help improve focus?

Specific colours or lighting conditions that help improve focus may vary from person to person. However, in general, cool colours like blue and green and bright, natural lighting tend to promote a more focused and alert state of mind.

What are some strategies for maintaining focus during long work sessions?

Some strategies for maintaining focus during long work sessions include break down tasks into smaller, manageable chunks, take short breaks, remove distractions, stay organised, and set specific goals to stay motivated and on track.

How can I prevent digital distractions from affecting my focus?

To prevent digital distractions from affecting focus, it’s crucial to establish a distraction-free work environment. You can do so by turning off notifications, using website blockers, and practising self-discipline to resist the urge to engage with distractions.

Are there any recommended techniques for overcoming procrastination and staying focused on tasks?

To overcome procrastination and stay focused on tasks,you break tasks into smaller, manageable steps, set SMART goals and deadlines, eliminate distractions, and use techniques like the Pomodoro Technique or time blocking.


Improving focus is crucial for increasing productivity and achieving goals.

To enhance concentration, minimise distractions by turning off notifications and creating a designated workspace.

Additionally, practising mindfulness and meditation can train the mind to stay focused and present.

Breaking tasks into manageable chunks and utilising time management techniques, such as the Pomodoro Technique, can also help improve focus and productivity.

Don’t forget, developing focus is a SKILL that you can practise and improve consistently.

So, take the time to implement these strategies and witness your focus and productivity soar.

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How to Find Your Ikigai in 3 Steps? A Step-by-Step Guide

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How to Find Your Ikigai in 3 Steps? A Step-by-Step Guide

What is Ikigai?

Must have heard the word Ikigai being thrown around these days? What is it exactly, ever wondered? Well, it is a life-changing philosophy just waiting to be discovered by you.

Understanding Ikigai

Ikigai is a truly traditional Japanese life concept that has stood the test of time and is now here to make waves among the 21st-century populace.

Understanding Ikigai

Iki means life, and Gai is the value of something. Loosely translated, it means “life purpose”. What job is it that invokes joy in you and also helps you find meaning & purpose in this world?

The fundamental question above that humanity has been struggling with is what Ikigai aims to answer. Ikigai is your reason for being – why you get out of bed each morning.

But, in a more practical sense – the philosophy is being used to help find all professionals their dream careers.

The Resurgence in Modern Ethos can be traced to a recent literary phenomenon that has taken the world by storm.

The book ”Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” has successfully brought the philosophy to a larger audience.

As a result, more and more people are striving to attain this zen of life.

Finding your Ikigai: 3 Essential Steps

Finding your Ikigai: 3 Essential Steps

A difficult, difficult task indeed. Let us simply it for you. The 3 quick steps to discovering your Ikigai include:

A. Few Questions For You

B. Brainstorming

C. Studying Deeply

A. Few Questions for You

Note down your answers to the following questions:

  • What do you love doing?
  • What are you good at?
  • What does the world need?
  • What can you be paid for?

These are the 4 components of Ikigai.

Once you note down the first answers to these 4 questions, delve deep into the details.

  • Does your work excite you, or does your hobby excite you more?
  • Are you the best at what you do, or are you aiming to gain expertise?
  • Do people love your craft?
  • Is there a demand for it in the marketplace?

You will need to picture the next 10 or 100 years and see where your vocation is placed in terms of value. Are you solving a problem for humanity?

And will you be paid for it? If your answer is Yes to all that you are currently doing – then you should continue to do the same.

But if you feel your hobby drives more passion from you – then it’s high time to turn that hobby into a living.

B. Brainstorming

Oh no, don’t worry. It is not the usual kind but one where you are needed to visualise your day in synchronicity with your surroundings and how you feel placed in it.

It’s your ideal day. Where are you, and what are you wearing? Who are you talking to, and what tasks do you have? Do you feel good? Do you feel burnt? Make sure to write down immediately what you visualised.

Take a look at the questions you answered ‘No’ to. Are there changes you can make to these, so your dream aligns with your ideal day?

Don’t let the fear or negative thoughts creep up before exhausting every possible strategy that can make you feel at home in your dream job—bored at work. Want to leave?

What about applying for a leadership position that challenges you?

C. Studying Deeply

Extensive research and experimental dabbling will help you find your way to your Ikigai. Take as many classes as needed, attend workshops, and sign up for new hobbies.

Learn to code, bake, or apprentice under photographers and designers. The more you live the day-to-day humdrum of your dream, the more your understanding of it becomes clearer.

You will then not hesitate to make a call – is this really what you want to do for the rest of your life? The answer will be a simple Yes or No.

Repeat the steps time and again till you find your Ikigai.

Keep experimenting till you find that sweet spot of fantasy meets reality. Your work needs to speak to you.

Remember – you need to be ready to embrace the kinks of your career too! Once you find your Ikigai, it is not necessary for all elements of it to make sense or be enjoyable.

Applying and Embracing Your Ikigai

So you found your Ikigai and now can’t wait enough to have it reflect in your life? How do you go about that?

Applying and Embracing Your Ikigai

What to Do:

1. Make your Goals Small and Actionable

For you to eventually make that great, big leap – you need to start small. First, note down the annual goal that you have envisioned for yourself. Done? Now write down smaller monthly goals that are within your grasp.

Example: If you see yourself becoming the manager within a year, you need to set monthly goals that align with them. Meet your district manager, take up a leadership development training course etc.

2. Make a Blueprint for Your Plan

This is where you go even smaller. The monthly goals need to be broken down into weekly or even daily goals.

Smaller goals help you create a plan and schedule your life around it. You can organise using a Google calendar, a chart, journaling apps, or even a notebook.

The plan is to dedicate each day to a task and follow through. Make a paper copy of your plans and keep them in front of you.

The more you see them each morning – the stronger the efforts to manifest them.

Example: Your Leadership Development Training course goal for February requires you to start searching for such courses from January, zoom in on one and sign up.

You can divide your weeks into attaining upskilling, meeting potential mentors, and expanding your research base.

The weeks will start filling up, and your annual goal will be one step closer.

3. Make sure to have a Support System

It is invaluable to have the correct kind of people surrounding you as you start on your Ikigai journey. It can be your friends, family, colleague, gym bro or even a stranger.

What’s important is that they share your understanding, acknowledge the rough journey ahead and help you as an accountability partner.

How do you find one? Reach out to your close friends, mentors in college, or teachers from back in school.

Teaming up with colleagues with similar goals can also be an effective way to create a sound ecosystem for yourself.

Foster these relationships, learn from them and use your network to your advantage.

5. Make Methods to Test your Plan

Ready with the plan? Time to test it out.

A couple of questions you need to answer to be able to test this.

  • Is your plan helping you achieve your short-term goals?
  • What about your long-term goals?
  • Does all seem ok with you?
  • Or do you feel overwhelmed?

You need to re-assess your plans depending on whether you can answer positively to the questions that matter.

So often, we face a dilemma between what we ought to do and what we want to do. This is a good time to get clarity on it.

What Not To Do:

So, what are those tiny little hiccups you need to be wary of? Those challenges that you will need to overcome to win the day?

1. Do NOT Feel Overwhelmed

It is utterly terrifying to re-discover yourself – we understand.

But to give up easily or let yourself be overcast with the clouds of under-confidence?

We can’t let that happen, can we?

  • Do not let anxiety get the better of you.
  • Identify mechanisms to recover from moments of breakdown and make them your armour.
  • Do not stop, no matter what.
  • You are allowed to make mistakes, take breaks, and recover. What you are not allowed to – not keep moving forward. You must.
  • Do not go big; go consistent.
  • Your action steps need not be grand statements. Afraid that your small steps will matter? If the small wins each week will surmount to something tangible? They will.

2. Do NOT Fight for More Time

Again, it’s not the amount of your efforts – but the intensity and continuity of it that will bring in palpable changes.

  • Do not be too strict to be dynamic.
  • Let your creativity find avenues to fit into the daily steps and efforts. It needs not to be set in stone as to when and for how long you practice methods of Ikigai. Find a way to organise your plan within your schedule and in alignment with your needs. The harder you try – the more chances of you getting overwhelmed.
  • Do not be afraid to try the new.
  • While traditional methods do reap in returns – one should always try the road less travelled. Not able to practice Ikigai at work? No worries, listen to that podcast while travelling back home. Fuse in imagination, the risk to try, and the willingness to learn – and what you get is the dynamic flow of life you were seeking.

3. Do NOT Let Fear Get The Best Of You

Our brains are wired to protect us and survive – instead of taking fancy leaps into the unknown.

Let it do its job but only up till it restricts your agency from exploring the new and wild. You will feel afraid – terrified at times.

But to let that stop you from moving, trying, getting up back again – is not allowed.

  • Do not let your survival instincts get the better of you.
  • There might be false alarms when you try to delve into new avenues. You will need to balance out the logical ones from the panic attacks.
  • Do not let intuition be the boss of you.
  • Rarely do our intuitions lead us astray. But when it comes to reinventing yourself – you need to make it take a back seat. Your goal is within view; all you need is a little practice. The last thing you need is the impulse to slide back into your comfort zone.


The Ikigai philosophy can help you discover your life’s purpose and lead you to your dream career.

The key to discovering your Ikigai is to ask yourself a few questions, brainstorm, and study deeply.

The 4 components of Ikigai are:

  • What do you love doing?
  • What you’re good at?
  • What does the world need?
  • What can you be paid for?

Through extensive research and experimentation, you can find the sweet spot of fantasy meets reality and make a call on whether this is truly what you want to do for the rest of your life.

Once you find your Ikigai, you need to be ready to embrace the kinks of your career and realize that not all elements of it may make sense or be enjoyable.

So embrace your Ikigai and be ready to find a new you.

You now have the complete guide to arm you in this quest to find your Ikigai. So start right now and find your true calling.

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below. I will answer!

Recommended reading:

Top 12 Essential Interpersonal Skills You Ought to Master

7 Effective Tips to Improve Your Communication Skills

Nowadays, having effective communication skills are important to build a solid career.

Read our guides on communication & interpersonal skills.

Top 12 Essential Interpersonal Skills You Ought to Master

Top 12 Essential Interpersonal Skills

The greatest of ideas are sold on the belief of the person selling them. The behemoths of It and retail, Software and Industries – have all sailed smoothly for decades on the wings of great interpersonal skills.

The bedrock of stakeholder management – these traits can make or break an organization vis a vis the assets involved.

Whether out and about extroverted jobs or remote work by an introverted skilled workforce, the stakeholder in each vertical requires finesse in handling their personalities, temper, quirks, sudden mood swings and much more. This makes know-how of interpersonal skills an absolute must

What are Interpersonal Skills?

What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills are all about the features of your persona that you leverage to successfully build communication grounds with others.

More popularly known as “people skills” it is the arsenal of verbal and non-verbal communication elements you put into action as you attempt to put forth your ideas and emotions during face-to-face interaction.

How do you interact with your team to have a meaningful collaboration? Collaboration is the single most sought-after skill looked for in fresh graduates. It is a parameter of your team’s efficiency and your own performance.

Oh! So., you have excellent technical skills? Sorry to break the news, but these skills, if not complemented with good relations methods, will not translate into high-paying jobs or appraisals.

List of Interpersonal Skills

List of Interpersonal Skills

Oh, there are many! The list is quite endless when it comes to soft skills that corporates look out for in potential recruits. But what are some of the most sought-after ones?

The following list attempts to embody the core areas interviewers look out for.

  1. Active listening – Listening to words without hearing the intent and showing genuine interest is quite useless. Active listening comprises a deep understanding of what is expressed by being present in the moment and alert.

    Want to make your employees feel valued? Learn to listen when it matters.
  2. Dependability – Well-prepared, punctual, and effective. This is who your company needs you to be. Talent only gets you that far unless you bring in the results. Deliver each day, every day and back it up with a work ethic that people resonate with.

    It is definitely the fastest route to getting promoted.
  3. Empathy – Whether you are top of the ladder or just starting out, the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes always pays off.

    If you lend a compassionate ear, people pay the thoughtfulness back.
  4. Communication – Effective communication – verbally, non-verbally and in writing is a sure-shot way to build rapport and charisma, irrespective of your field.

    Remember – everyone appreciates clarity in communication.
  5. Collaboration – People cannot and should not work in silos. Individual brilliance will not matter if the team is not in sync. Learn to make cross-functional alliances, share critical knowledge in due time and help verticals to establish dominance.

    Companies love those who exhibit this skill.
  6. Conflict Resolution – Foster the patience and diligence to speak to people in disagreement. The ability to de-escalate situations and solve root problems is a major chunk of managerial skills.

    If you are the one to nip all miscommunications in the bud – you have shown prowess in conflict resolution.
  7. Decision Making – Is communicating unpopular decisions your forte? It often takes courage and wisdom to understand the impact of personal decisions on teamwork. One who presents a balanced viewpoint – considering all pros and cons- shows mastery in decision-making.

    You’ll have to be ready to be held accountable for these decisions.
  8. Leadership – Emotional intelligence, patience, responsibility, and dependability – all come together to forge this one. It can be learned, and seniority is often surpassed by virtue of it.

    It is to motivate others into action.
  9. Negotiation – It is the innate ability to carve out a win-win situation for all parties involved in any interaction, deal, or collaborative attempt. The art of persuasion is a special kind of talent which if mastered, will take you far.

    Try to tackle each opportunity to mediate with respect, trust, and active listening skills. A mutually beneficial creative problem will soon emerge.
  10. Self-Confidence – The imposter syndrome exists within each one of us. And it is no wonder then how the adage of ‘Faking it till you make it’ makes sense to the entire milieu of millennials and Gen Z fighting it out on the work front.

    Believe in yourself first if you want others to do the same. Pretty simple rule, we’d say.
  11. Positive Attitude – An infectious virtue – this one really tugs at your heartstring, doesn’t it? Behavior that is conducive to the workplace environment is lauded by colleagues and management alike.

    If you are someone who has an affinity to help boost the morale of others – you are in for an appraisal pretty soon.
  12. Constructive Criticism – Feedback needs to be presented well – else it steers dangerously close to gossip. Help your peers o focus on areas of development without the air of someone who ‘knows it all’.

    Brutally honest? Try to tone it down next time.

Make sure to weave these keywords into your resume and cover letter while applying for the job, as also to drop in a few during the conversation. How you view yourself and represent yourself is key to cracking such interviews.

Scenarios where you Use Interpersonal Skills: Some Examples

Interpersonal Skills Examples

Perhaps a couple of examples that better portray the actions in day-to-day life would help you better visualize how interpersonal skills come into play.

Let’s take a look right away.

  • Active Listening: How do you prove you are engaged as the person speaks? Put away your phone, close the laptop, and look straight toward them. And yes! Don’t forget to ask questions and give answers if presented with a prompt.
  • Dependability: Are you always on time? Do you manage to pull off all tasks entrusted upon you without fail? These are the ways you demonstrate dependability. Be punctual. Close deals. And you’ll be the go-to guy in no time.
  • Empathy: If people automatically gravitate towards you to vent workplace stress or brainstorm ideas – you can be sure to have been giving off an air of emotional intelligence. Positive environments within concrete buildings are made possible by individuals like you – thus making you a recruiter’s delight.
  • Leadership: Listen to all ideas presented towards you. With patience and kindness. Kudos! You are now a manager with leadership qualities par excellence. Want to steer your team in the correct direction? Make sure everyone gets a chance to speak. Pivot conversations with respect and alacrity.
  • Teamwork: Combine all of the above and you got teamwork exemplified. If you often find yourself entrusted with team-building activities – congrats! The management sees you as the perfect team leader with great active listening skills, an empathetic approach, and exceptional communicating abilities.

Tips to Develop Interpersonal Skills

Tips to Develop Interpersonal Skills

No matter how big of a master you are of your domain – no one would really want to work with you if you are a disaster as a co-worker or teammate, would they?

Thus, brushing up on existing interpersonal skills and getting acquainted with those that are lacking in you is a great step to upskilling yourself for your job and becoming indispensable while doing so.

How do you develop your interpersonal skills, you wonder?

Once you know which traits you want to focus on and which ones will really help in your career curve – make a beeline for methods that are tried and tested when it comes to achieving finesse in these.

There are several techniques and nothing is generic for each and all.

Well, take a look at these tips and tricks:-

  • Practicing: What good is your checklist if you do not use every opportunity to practice the same?

    1. Chat up with your team, colleagues, co-workers whenever you get the chance. This is the greatest place where you can employ your new learnings while noticing growth over time.

    2. Practice the art of active listening. Make sure to always repeat back what they said in the course of an interaction.
  • Monitoring: No matter how exhaustive or how small your list of interpersonal skills you want to work on – without tracking the daily improvement and scope for growth – there will be next to none growth to your sore skills.

    1. Make it a point to monitor your body language every day. Make a note of changing expressions or reactions with a change in your demeanour. This is a great way to understand your prowess in non-verbal communication.

    2. Avoid certain actions considered to be aggressive by most. These include crossing your arms, looking around too much when the other person speaks, avoiding direct eye contact, general fidgeting – especially in conferences etc. They have a tendency to make you seem disengaged.
  • Apply: Create chances where you can put into application your newfound skills. Putting yourself to the test and challenging yourself is the best way to learn and also progress.

    1. There’s a Friday presentation that your boss wants someone from your team to lead? Raise your hand and be the first to volunteer. Lead meetings whenever you can and prove your mettle to yourself and others.

    2. Lead meetings, workshops, and seminars. If you can step up to the dais, don’t shy away.

General enthusiasm and engagement while interacting will people will show in your conversations, and soon, people will start taking notice.

The image you project is what people will latch on to. So, you need to project an image of sheer confidence and approachability.


Keep in mind that hiring managers are quite the stickler for the interpersonal skills we took you through. Candidates lacking these would not really catch their attention. The more likable you are – the better your chances of functioning in a team.

And this is what makes interpersonal skills crucial for employment. It is not uncommon for these interpersonal – or rather- employability skills – to become the decisive factor of hiring when it comes to two equally qualified candidates.

Most companies are fine-tuning their recruitment policies, with the hire-for-attitude approach being the basis for this recalibration. So, you better buck up and keep up with the times!

Further reading:


7 Effective Tips to Improve Your Communication Skills


Confidence building

Confidence is a realistic feeling of being sure and thinking what you are doing is right gracefully.

Are failures important?

Are successes important?

Focusing more on successes and less on failures can boost self-confidence.

Confidence can be innate or inborn, but it flourishes and deepens the meaning of confidence in your life over days and time. Confidence might come and go.

Someday you might be way too confident, and somedays, you’ll feel drained.

Feeling the essence of confidence is more important than being confident.

One way to realize this is that confidence is like building up a part of your muscle — the more you work hard on it, the easier it will become.

There might be days when you know the answer, but you don’t have the confidence to say it aloud. This causes a turmoil of stress or anxiety and also some heavy flow of hormones in your body.

It is very much normal to face them but making it a habit can pull you down somewhere.

Confidence is not something that you’d achieve in a day or two, it is a practice where relaxation is important as well as knowing yourself like the weaknesses and strengths.

Confidence can make you feel very strong both from outside and inside, with peace and happiness. Because in the end, it is only you who is going through that roller coaster phase.

So here we come,


A person develops confidence when they believe they can successfully do something by their proper judgment, knowledge, and past experiences.

For example, if You’re sitting for a job interview, it’s natural to be nervous and feel anxious, but the feeling of impressing people on the other side of the seat is important.

Okay, let me ask you to think about a situation,

Imagine or think of a time when you felt extremely confident in any scope of work?

Did you feel that electricity in your body? That adrenaline rush? That sense of conquering the world?

You know self-confidence can bring so much goodness to you. Self-confidence does a lot and plays a significant role in our life. It boosts our self-esteem, tones down stress, and often pushes us to do better. But most importantly, it makes us feel upright about ourselves.

How can self-confidence impact your life?

Your happiness and self-esteem will increase: What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is one’s evaluation of worth and value.

So, self-esteem and self-confidence are not the same but are closely related. Your self-esteem and confidence increase when you believe in your talents, capabilities, worth, and potential.

Self-esteem increases when you believe you’re worthy and capable of fulfilling your desires and dreams—accepting your failure and making that your power tool for success.

So if you feel good about yourself and your decisions in life, you’ll be happier than ever, which increases your self-esteem and confidence.

  • You’ll feel more motivated to act:

If someone is confident in any particular field of work, they are more likely to take responsibility to complete a task than someone less confident.

If you’re confident in your abilities, you will feel more motivated, and also the people you’re working with will also want to trust you more.

This takes us to our next section:

  • People will trust you:

When you are confident in your abilities, people are likely to listen to you, trust you, and follow you.

You’re working on a group project, and one had to be a leader.

Person A says, “I know I can and will work hard for this group, plus I got better ideas.

Person B says, “I don’t really like leadership roles, but I could try if you all want me to.”

So here we take a look at two different people. We would work with person A

anytime because he seems more confident and convincing.

If you are confident, you’re more likely to be followed and looked up to.

Many ways you can build your confidence:

  • Knowing yourself: Get to know yourself, meaning knowing your strengths and weaknesses and accepting them not as imperfections but as something to improve.
  • Be prepared: When you are ready to do something, you’re more confident in accomplishing a task successfully.
  • Stay positive: Positivity is a key component of building self-confidence. It keeps you from beating yourself up after a setback or mistake.
  • Knowing the worth: Know what is actually making you feel less confident, and work towards it. Focus on the variable and know-how that variable can add to your life because once you start getting the right responses from that worthy variable, you feel happy and good about working towards it.
  • Body language: sitting upright, with a smile on your face, that positive energy around like you own the entire property, and also moving your hands freely, and eye contact make you feel confident.

Don’t we say fake it till you make it?

That is exactly what am saying; let the world know you’re a serious competitor and very proud of your work. If the world knows it, you will get half of your confidence.

In the end, I’d like to conclude that, Self-confidence is not always that easy to achieve, but it’s something that everyone deserves to experience.

It is something that everyone should know how it feels to be confident.

Do you know how fuel works? Although it eases your travel, you’ll need people who inspire you to get that fuel.

There are several reasons why confidence is very important in our professional lives and in our daily lives.

To sum up everything, it affects your happiness, self-worth, and self-esteem. Most importantly, SELF.

Try being the best version of yourself every single day, but don’t forget to love yourself.

How To Make The Best First Impression?

How To Make The Best First Impression_

Individuals rush to decide when they meet somebody; it takes under five seconds to frame a supposition about the individual.

So, it’s incredibly significant that at whatever point we meet somebody, we establish our best first impression.

First impressions are tough to change.

Regardless of whether you need it for a conference, a meeting or any parties. Creating a decent first impression is hugely significant.

Here are a few hints that may support you: –

1. Don’t be late

When you are meeting someone for the first time, he won’t be interested in your “running late excuses.” 


Instead of planning to reach on time, think of reaching a couple of minutes before. 

If you are meeting the person in a new place, chances are there for taking a wrong turn or traffic issues.

Arriving early is a lot better than reaching late.

2. Smile Winningly

When it comes to making a good impression, the facial expression is significant. 


When you smile while conversing with them, they can feel positivity within you.

Now when I say that smile, it doesn’t mean that you are supposed to paste a plastered grin over your face.

The smile must be a decent one. The smile must not be a wide one as this one is a sign of nervousness.

So, smile but in a suitable manner.

3. Appropriately introduce yourself

As much your inner positivity matters, likewise your physical appearance matter as well.

Now the person you will be meeting, there are almost least chances that the person will know personally.

So how you have dressed is probably going to frame a picture of you in their minds.

Now the most important thing is that it doesn’t mean that you have to over-accessorize yourself. Remember, less is more is the principal thing.

When they introduce themselves to you, it’s better saying “Nice to meet you, Mr.Gupta. I am Sakshi.”

It is much better than an overstated introduction, and you can carry the conversation in a much better way. 

4. A posture while conversing

Research recommends that 80 per cent of our correspondence is done through non-verbal communication, implying that individuals will get a specific impression of you before you even open your mouth.

To ensure it’s a decent one, attempt to look after “open” non-verbal communication – for example, uncrossing your arms and legs and calculating your body towards the other individual – which will cause you to appear to be progressively agreeable, loose and open to discussion.

Avoid nodding in every one minute. This will create awkwardness, even if you agree to them, speak in between as well.

5. Pay Attention to them

It might sound self-evident.

However, a significant advance for establishing a decent connection is to ensure you appear to be occupied and intrigued by what the other individual is stating to you. 

As opposed to rolling out a rundown of questions or discussion subjects you have arranged ahead of time, ensure you tune in to what the other individual needs to state and tailor your reactions likewise.

While there is no compelling reason to accumulate enough data to have the option to compose their Wikipedia page, reviewing things that they have talked about and utilizing their name in the discussion will show that you are intrigued and focusing.

6. Ask Question

Nerves can make us act in odd manners. A few people quiet down completely when meeting new individuals, while for other people, it can trigger apprehensive blabber. 

In case you’re feeling restless about gathering another person or establishing a decent connection, you can reduce these issues and prevent your anxious ramblings from ruling the discussion by setting up specific questions to ask.

The vast majority like to discuss themselves so that they will be prevailed upon by your mindfulness and great listening aptitudes, while you will have some an ideal opportunity to assemble your notions.

Ask open-finished questions to help keep the discussion streaming.

7. Stay out of the gossip

In all actuality, we as a whole like hearing a little tattle. 

We as a whole like hearing a little filth.

The issue is, they don’t like – and they certainly don’t regard – the individuals who dish that filth.

Try not to chuckle at others.

At the point when you do, the individuals around you wonder if you at times chuckle at them.

8. Be Real, Be Yourself

Indeed, establishing a decent first connection implies you have to “fit in” somewhat.

Be that as it may, it doesn’t mean losing yourself or professing to be somebody else.

The ideal approach to make a decent impression is by being your real self.

Doing this will cause you to feel progressively confident, help you to fabricate trust, and procure the regard and uprightness of the individuals you meet.

9. Be Positive and Confident

Your mentality shines through in all that you do.

In this way, venture an inspirational mindset, even despite analysis or on account of apprehension. Endeavour to gain from your gathering and to contribute suitably.

At last, show that you are receptive by keeping up the confidence and smiling!

10. Don’t Be Full-on Yourself

The main individuals who are dazzled by your stodgy, egoistic, bombastic self are other tedious, self-absorbed, grandiose individuals.

All of them aren’t intrigued.

Individuals get bothered, put off, and awkward. Also, individuals don’t like much when you stroll in the room.

When a person always boasts about his achievements and success, he is not liked much by the person he is meeting.

So, avoid bragging about yourself. 

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