New Indian Woman: Letter 2
On planners, careers, an interesting article and tip on setting reminders
Planner season starts soon
It is that time of the year when one starts looking out for planner announcements. It is quite exciting. But, why should one look out for these ? In today's world where anything and everything is available online, why is this important ? For one, in India, there are very few planner options available. And some of the good planners, especially the ones catering to women, are published by small individual run businesses who print small quantities. Maybe they are testing the waters. And most often they are not available in the large online platforms like Amazon/Flipkart etc. So, one should look out for these planners and closely watch their announcement dates. It is like waiting for the first day, first show tickets. If you miss the opening day, that's it, gone. You will have to wait one more year for that specific planner. So, if you are a planner lover like me, do bookmark the sites of the planners you want to consider buying this time for 2022 and keep checking their launch dates.
Yes, I have bookmarked my favorite planner sites and am also keen on finding new brands this year around, for the planner I want to use for my Personal and Home contexts.
If you are wondering what a planner is - well, it is like a diary, but so much more. If you want to start this journey, but you aren’t sure yet about spending Rs 1500/- or more for this, you have three options.
One, is to buy a diary that has a page for each day - what they call the Executive diary in the online platforms .
The second option is to look for planners that were launched last year but still available at heavy discounts - when you buy an undated planner, it really doesn’t matter.
Or, another option is to start with a notebook. This photo is of a notebook I bought from a Farmer market recently - made by a Women's Self Help group - very beautiful and made of good quality paper costing around Rs 250/-. I plan to start using this as my time block planner for my office work from next week. Ooooh, I am so excited to start a new one.
To know more about what a planner is, how it is different from a To Do list and how to use it, suggest you listen to this episode. I do a walkthrough of how I use my planner.
Happy planner buying..
Job vs Career
In today's world, very often we tend to believe we are modern in our thinking and progressive in our outlook. Are we gender biased ? Most of us would answer, No. We all feel comfortable talking about gender discrimination that happens somewhere else, somewhere far away. Like in villages or in some households where they do not think girls need to be educated, where boys are given better nutrition than girls - we believe and rightly so, that these practices should stop. Are we ready to look at a mirror on the wall, at ourselves, in terms of how we perceive job opportunities for our own boys and girls ? Do we look at them as jobs or careers ? Are we gender neutral ? If we are not, what makes us gender biased in this context ? What do we do about it ? What is it that we as individuals can do ? And what should rest of the society be doing ? I wrote a small piece on this, in my monthly column "Mirror on the Wall" in Deccan Herald - do read and let me know.
Look before you quit
Are you struggling with the burden of running the house, making sure you are there for your children and the constant demands on your skillset to prove yourself at work ? Are you seriously considering leaving the workforce for now ? Well, chances are that you are one amongst the tons of women considering this decision right now. I came across a recent survey on Women @ Work: A global outlook, by Deloitte, wherein they report 26% of approximate 500 Indian women interviewed are considering leaving the workforce, leave aside talk of job or career! And guess what, this is making organizations seriously examine options to ensure the experience for women is better. It is important for you to be aware of this, aware of what your rights as an employee are as well as take help from organizations on techniques to lighten this burden. We discussed this in the 2 episodes of the New Indian Woman podcast in August. Apart from increasing your awareness on what organizations are doing, there are lots of interesting and actionable insights for you. Do give these episodes a listen:
What I came across :
What does Savita Punia, the goal keeper of India's hockey team at Tokyo Olympics, have to do with Rukhmabai ? Yes, the same Rukhmabai who became a doctor in the 1890s and a well known feminist and before that fought a legal case that helped the historical Age of Consent Act ? Is there a connection ? None, if you look at it objectively. Absolutely connected, if you connect the dots! And that is what this article by Uma Mahadevan Das Gupta did! She connected the dots and the result is a beautiful picture. Let us remember we are all dots in this universe and what we choose to do or not do can influence the picture.
We all know how to set reminders when we use our phones or laptops - be it for tasks or for appointments or even for emails. But do we actually know the most effective way of using reminders ? More specifically, when to use and when not to use ?
First and foremost, use reminders only when it is specific date or time based - where it is absolutely required to happen by that date or time - I call them hard reminders. For example, payment of insurance premium by a certain date - Pay xxx premium latest by 30th May should be the description and set the due date for, say a week before the deadline. If you do this as a task or reminder within Google calendar, do remember to make the calendar appear on your phone's home screen so that you know very clearly what you need to do. The description should have the hard deadline so that you are aware how much time you have when you snooze the reminder.
For something like Get the Water Purifier serviced/Pay school fees by May/Get dental checkup done - I suggest do not add this as a reminder - because there is no actual due date. If you put this as a reminder, you will tend to take reminders not so seriously. For these kind of tasks you need to be reminded but they are not exact date based, I call these indicative reminders. I have one sheet in my planner where against each month I have tasks to be done, but I know it is OK if these tasks get pushed a bit.
Do not overload your reminder system with both hard reminders and indicative reminders. This is absolutely critical for you to take your hard reminders seriously and have indicative reminders for reference and action.
Until next month, take care, and have fun.