Many people ask me how I am able to produce so much content. Aside from work-related research, I maintain two websites, one is this site, where I write on topics that enhance our living and another that contains my twice weekly curated lists of the best free articles on the web. I’m also putting the finishing touches on my own podcast channel (Deep See With Bilal). Besides of all of that, I still get time to read one or two books a week, spend time with family and friends and still feel like I have free time.
So how I do it? It really comes down to having a good system and being ruthless in removing time-wasting activities from my day. But to show how it works in real life, here’s a taste of my system on a typical day:
There I was thinking whether I should buy a new smartphone or stay with my ancient Nokia when the repair shop called to say my I-Phone was fixed! I had mixed feelings. As my recent blog showed, I was quite enjoying a smartphone detox. But there are some things I really do need a smartphone for.
It happened while on holiday. I dropped my iPhone in the salty sea, my phone got soaked, end of phone. I’ve been iPhone-less for over a week now. That means no WhatsApp, no social media, no Google Maps, no newsfeeds and no camera. I’ve had to resort to using my “back-up” old-school Nokia (pictured) – it can make calls and its battery lasts forever, but that’s about all it can do.
I’m always intrigued by how one succeeds in industries outside of finance. Take the creative sector, it is filled with photographers, designers, artists and directors, surely they need a different ethos to us desk-bound numbers-obsessed financiers. It turns out the fundamentals could be more similar than one would think. I came across a set interviews of “creatives” in a publication produced by “Lecture in Progress”. These interviews were aimed at giving advice to other creatives, but they could just easily work for any industry: Continue reading “What Creatives Can Teach Us At Work (5 min read)”
I’ve been thinking a lot of about how I can learn better. While I’ve “learnt” lots of subjects at school or at work, I’ve never really learnt how to learn. I’ve written about this topic in the past, yet I’m constantly looking to learn new techniques. One new technique I’ve recently learnt was from an interview of Jim Kwik, an expert in accelerated learning. He talks about how “to learn anything faster, you just remember FAST”, where FAST stands for: Continue reading “How To Make Your Brain Run FAST (2 min read)”
Spring is here, the sun is out and days are getting longer. There is something special about this time of year. Most cultures mark this time as the beginning of new things – we have Easter (Christian-influenced cultures), Nowruz (new year, Persian), Passover (Jewish), Holi (festival of colour, Hindu), Qingming (Tomb-sweeping, China), the spring equinox (usually March 20th when day and night are of equal length) and of course the new fiscal year (!). So rather than using Jan 1st as the time to make resolutions for the year ahead, I think spring is a much better time to begin afresh. The trick is to pick small changes that have outsized impacts on your life, and here would be mine: Continue reading “Spring Cleaning For the Mind, Body and Soul (4 min read)”
We spend a lot of our lives learning, but we never really learn how to learn. As it happens, I recently came across a book called “How We Learn” by Benedict Carey, which synthesises the latest thinking on just that. The book feels a bit padded out, so can be read quite quickly, but it has some great points, the main ones are: Continue reading “The 8 Essentials of Learning (2 mins)”
I often get asked what the best books are to help one at work. As it turns out, I give reading lists to whoever works for me. One list is focused on developing good character and “soft skills” and is relevant for whichever line of work you are in. The other list is on more technical knowledge related to the finance industry. Below is the first list, I’ll post the second one next week: Continue reading “My Reading List For Success At Work (Part 1)”
As for working all hours of the day or excess travel, this can seriously affect our sleep. This in turn has a major impact on our general health and decision-making abilities. Lack of sleep leads to greater pangs of hunger, more inclination to diabetes, higher blood pressure, poorer immune systems and higher stress levels. Not a great starting point for good decision making.