Monday, March 30, 2020

Count your blessings

To all my friends who are complaining about this lock-down - count your blessings!

  1. We are amongst the lucky few who can continue to work from home (make a living, earn money) while we are locked down at home
  2. We can absolutely survive (and thrive) from home (everything is available online - entertainment, essential foods, pharmaceuticals, capital goods etc. - you name it you can order it!)
  3. We can entertain ourselves (video games, card games, board games, Netflix, Amazon Prime, TV, YouTube etc.) You name it you have it!
  4. We can study any subject we like online and even get some certifications! (Coursera, Udemy etc.)
  5. You can virtually talk with anyone around the world at anytime through video chats (use it!) No friend is far away. We can do high-quality HD video calls with people tens of thousands of miles away! That's unprecedented in the history of mankind.

The best outcome of this pandemic has been that most of my prospects are now open to doing video conferencing without having to physically see me in a meeting room! All the IT security measures have magically disappeared as now I can login remotely to most systems (which they earlier didn't allow). I hope this sustains after all this is over. I am hoping we finally end up reducing global business travel and reduce our carbon footprints!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

The COVID-19 Cut

So Singapore is not yet technically under a complete lock-down for COVID-19. We are still allowed to go out as long as we maintain social distancing and do not form large groups of people. But looking at the pandemic situation worldwide, I think (personal opinion), it's wise to stay at home as much as possible and only step out for essential services. That would mean - grocery shopping (if you can't buy things online) and an occasional walk or a run in a not crowded open area to get a feel of the nature. Again I repeat, we are not under a lock-down yet and things might change till you even read this blog post.

One of the monthly necessities that men like me have is a haircut. I had been delaying my haircut for a while cause you can't socially distance yourself from your barber. While robots can perform complex surgeries already, they still can't style you up. I guess we will have to wait a decade at least for robots to develop a sense of fashion.

So finally last week I succumbed to my unruly hair and went to the hair dresser. And I decided to cut my hair as short as possible so that I won't have to go to the hair dresser again - at-least for 6-8 weeks. So here I am presenting my new COVID Cut. I ain't interacting with anybody so it suits me well while I am holed up in my home working my bottom from home.


Saturday, March 21, 2020

The global work from home experiment

As the virus situation evolves, I am guessing a lot of us have now officially started working from home. While working from home in the IT sector (my industry) is not something new, continuously working from home is a bit of a new experiment for all of us this time!

My job involves working with remote teams across Asia during the day and Europe in the evening so I am stuck to communication devices most of the times. Life is getting intense and my day starts around 07:00 AM and ends after 08:30 PM almost everyday juggling multiple time zones and people.  I also realize I take little or no breaks when I work from home.

There is a general sense of business as usual though everyone has the virus at the back of their minds. It seems like it is here to stay longer than anyone of us expected it to be. I am sure there is also a serious economic downturn on the horizon and I hope we come out of it strong.

It's 2020 and I am thankful that we have 24 hours reliable, stable bandwidth and always-on internet connectivity. We can share our desktops, do video calls and talk to each other almost as if we are together (without the human-touch factor!). I hope this comfort with working remotely with each other prevails even after this threat is gone. Will save a lot on business travel (time, money, inconvenience)..

I hope you all are coping well. After working from home for almost a week now, I have started appreciating the little things in life. E.g. - I love how airy and bright my home is if I open up all the windows and doors, I love the sparse look, I love my sit-stand desk, I enjoy using my blue-tooth headsets and I feel I am 10 times more productive because of no cross chatter from my colleagues or people dropping by my desk asking for something that is urgent for them disrupting me from my urgent and important tasks!

Take care, stay safe, stay healthy and be happy!
And, its time now we actually called our long-lost friends and spoke to each other!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Body weight exercises

You don't need a gym membership to be fit. All you need is determination. I know I sound like a "guru" there, but after spending thousands of dollars over several decades on gym memberships that I hardly utilized and didn't see much of a difference, I can tell you that I see more progress (relative to where I started) in a year of only doing "body weight" exercises than more than a decade of pumping puny weights in gyms.

So let me get started. These are the exercises that you can easily do at home (or hotel room, or at office when no one is looking) without any equipment whatsoever:

  1. Burpees
  2. Push-ups (and other upper body variation exercises)
  3. Squats/ Lunges (and other lower body variation exercises)
  4. Planks (and other core exercises)
  5. Sun Salutations (and other stretching/ Yoga exercises)

All you really need is 30 minutes (or 3 - 10 minute intervals) or (10 - 3 minute intervals) or 20 minutes or 10 minutes or just 5 minutes a day. I hope you get what I am hinting at - you need to "make" time and the discipline to do it even if you don't see any progress for weeks together.

If you are currently unfit and can't even do a single set of any of these exercises, then try their regressions. Start from what you can do.

Repeat. Everyday.

Eventually you see progress and that's what should keep you motivated on your path to fitness! So if you have been a lazy bum like me, drop whatever you are doing right now - and try your first push-up, or your first squat (if you are in a public place and can't push up!). There you go! Now let's start.