080621 – The Curious Case of a Missing Keyboard

A write about a keyboard that has gone missing from the matchbox that I live in. Help me find it?

7:53 AM. I woke up about 10 minutes ago. Like the last few days, I woke up groggy and all that. Even my back hurts for some reason. I need to really figure this out. Or may not. I mean it’s probably the age. So it’s cool. However the soreness is almost gone, so that’s a good thing. I must say this vaccine shot has made me realize where I stand with my health. I did not have any adverse side effects (except drowsiness that made it impossible for me to stay awake). I need to do a lot if I want to climb Everest and live till 120! Anyhow.

So the thing on top of my head is a Bluetooth Keyboard that I recently bought to help me work better. It’s a Targus keyboard that is small enough that I can carry it in a backpack and big enough to be comfortable. Plus it’s wireless, BT, and doesn’t need a USB connection. With the MacBook Air I use the number of posts is a challenge (just 2, and only USB C type) and thus I needed a BT keyboard. And I got. I even touted it as the best 1200 odd bucks I spent in a long long time.

However, the keyboard is gone missing.

In the 200 sq ft space I live in, all I have is a writing table, some unopened cartons of books, a book shelf and a kitchen. And yet I can’t find the keyboard. Plus I am not the one to lose things often and yet I can’t seem to find it. I have looked at every inch of the place. While I am pissed at my carelessness, the larger emotion at play is amazement – where could this keyboard even go?

As a kid, I really wanted to be a detective. I was very very inspired by Byomkesh, Crystal Maze, Super Commando Dhruv, and all the other early things that I consumed as a child. At that age, I knew that I would go on to become a detective. I think that’s how I probably developed a questioning mind. Maybe that’s the hidden reason why I write crime-fiction. You know, commit a crime and then solve it 😀

I really want to solve this one. The keyboard has to be within this room – it can’t step out by itself. The only person that has access to its space is the domestic help – she comes like twice a week. Of course, she’s beyond suspicion. I have unequivocal trust in her.

No, I dont think there are any trained monkeys that could climb up to the 8th floor and take the keyboard away.

There is no incentive for anyone else. It’s a simple Bluetooth keyboard that is of no use to anyone. It’s just irksome that it has gone missing. It’s a thing now. I really have to find it. Throw me scenarios? ideas? Where could it be?

Moving on…

While I was working late last night, I realized something interesting. Something negative and yet awesome. I can’t work without task switching. In the sense that I was working on a client project and I had to write a memo. While I was doing that, I kept switching to Whatsapp to Twitter to News to Youtube to I dont know what else. This is such a bad way to get things done. With all this context switching, there’s no way I’d be able to get into deep work and deliver better output. In a world where we are known by our output if I cant deliver great work, what’s the point?

I have tried meditation – I used to be a regular (2-3 times a week) till early last month but I haven’t been doing it lately. Maybe I need to get back to it. Let’s see. As I type this post, I am trying to not switch to any other window. Except tinkering with the music playing in the background (which is allowed). I think I must get more conscious and more mindful about being in the moment. I must catch myself every time I spot myself switching tasks.

Oh, I just saw, I’ve put a sticky note on the wall in front of me where I’ve written: “DO NOT SWITCH”! Lol!

So that. Something that needs working on.

Finally, last but not the least, I plan to work from a Starbucks till about 3 today. I dont have any important calls planned today. This means that I am ok with the background noise on whatever other calls I will get. So that’s cool. I was honestly in two minds because going to a Starbucks means spending 400 bucks on coffee that I am anyway trying to abstain from. But then I think the caffeine and the money are the tax I will have to pay to get more things done. You know, anything for higher productivity.

So, let’s see how the day goes. Wish me luck!

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 177
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 2. I plan to work from a Starbucks. And that means I will have a coffee!
  • #noCoke – 89
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

250421 – Morning Meditations

A longish conversation with self on things that I need to more of if I want to reach where I want to.

6:56. Woke up a few minutes ago. The minds blank. Lemme fill in some words and see the direction this narrative takes. Yesterday was a long long day. I did not get time to even see the watch till about 2. And no, I could not do the Surya Namaskars. Neither could I do meditation. No, I did not write on the Roshan story. I did manage 10K steps though. So that’s the only win I have.

The other thing that I have to log is that even though I have been eating clean for more than two weeks now (except that lone mousse that I eat every day, I have not eaten anything from outside), I feel bloated all the time. I think it’s all the soda that I drink. Need to stop for a week and see how I feel.

So that.

Mind’s still blank. Lemme pour more. A million things are open at my end. Both at work and at passion projects. And at things that are important for me. Funnily, I am not slacking. I am actually at it. I am not wasting my time with random content. I am not immersed in reading that much that I lose time. I am no longer active on Twitter. Neither am I just staring at the ceiling! I am just procrastinating on random things for no reason. I have never been this. I mean I say no if I don’t want to work on things but I don’t procrastinate. Plus, the time has never been this important. Each minute is accounted for. Plus there’s no travel anyway. So, I don’t know where the time’s going. I even tried tracking it on all the million sheets I maintain. I know that I did “time pass” but I don’t know where the other time’s going. Even this weekend came and went away in a blink!

I think these are the reasons.

a/ I am part of way too many meetings.
What this does is that I get the illusion of working but no real work happens. I don’t create anything. I don’t get my name out. I don’t build my brand. I don’t plant seeds. Which is ok for most people. But not for me. I have this need to be out there. I need to attract opportunities. I need to do a lot more. And a lot more will happen when I ship things.

So may be, Monday onward, I will reduce the meetings I am a part of. I will rely on emails wherever possible.

b/ I work on way too many things.
Which I have made peace with. What I don’t do and should do is, not switch tasks often. Look at this post for example. I started on this at 6:56. It’s 8:02. In this hour, I have worked on this post, tweaked the Wordpres theme on one of the passion projects that I want to work on, checked email, reviewed a client presentation, researched the meaning of Kun Faya Kun (the right way to refer to it is Kun Fayakun – if you are curious, read this), played a game of chess (I won!), thought about how I ought to create and not waste time, filled 5 liters of water in some 8 water bottles (reused bottles of soda, water, etc) around my house.

Even within this post, I have gone back and forth between various sections. Which I think is ok. That’s my style. Most other writers will probably start with a list of things they want to cover and then they would fill in those. I do the same for work related writing. This is a freeflow text. So that.

The point is, I shuttle between way too many things too many times. I need to engage in one thing at a time. I can’t stop multitasking. The tweak I can add is the one around serialtasking (#note2self – must write an SoG on serialtasking). In its purest form, Cal Newport calls this Deep Work.

c/ I am not a doer per se. I am more of a manager.
I need people to do things for me. Most work I get paid for, I am an individual contributor. Most passion projects, I am the sole worker. I do have someone that helps me but I need to find a replacement. I am unable to do so.

I know that I can think of a million things but I need others to do those. In a typical corporate structure, this is possible. Easy to find resources that help you. Easy to delegate. Easy to take feedback and inputs. In the structure I run (everyone owns, runs, manages things), it is difficult. Different people have different levels of motivation. They have different outlooks on life than I. They need more security. They need more structure. I am ok with ambiguity. I like the idea of chasing the unknown. I like taking things from 0 to 1 (thinking of possibilities etc). I need people that can take things from 1 to 100.

So that.

So action points are…

  1. Find a great team. Now that I can pay a bit. The challenge would be to compete with the insane amount of money that these new-age startups are throwing at young people.
  2. Stop attending meetings. Start using that time to do things. Implement maker-manager.
  3. Stop switching. In one line, stop multitasking. Lol.

The next thing I need to think about is my website. I need to create content that attracts the right kind of people and opportunities. What are these? Here we go…

It’s clear to me that I cant do one thing. I will always be on hundred projects at the same time. If I were to draw a structure, I think a pyramid would look like this…

  1. Top – Enable others, make them successful and participate in the wealth they create.
  2. Layer 1 – These people, these others must come from three disciplines that I want to create impact at – startups, films, education. I have made progress with films. And in some way with startups. I will get onto education at some point in time in life.
  3. Next layer – Get better at these disciplines by talking to more people, attracting more opportunities, doing more, showing the proof of work, delivering impact, becoming an “expert” etc.
  4. Next layer – As an individual, do things I like – writing, photography, talking to people, travel, clean my desk, drink water etc etc. With people I like – strangers, friends, coworkers, family.
  5. The base layer – Become atamnirbhar. AKA financially independent fast. By making money from things like brand consulting, marketing, content, events, etc.

I guess that sums my approach to life well. Sounds very similar to Elon’s masterplan. Wait. Even I wrote a masterplan a few years ago when I was starting C4E.

Lemme reproduce those slides here…

Wrote this sometime in 2016 or 2017. The idea was to create money, use that money to create more people that make more money. And use that money to scale things further. Till I reach a billion people.

And, in terms of tangible actions, I wanted to do the following…

This is how I would expand into other things.

Lemme know if you want access to the entire deck.

Needless to say, I am far far away from these. I did make early moves but I have proven to be a disappointment to myself. But, the thing is, I have not given up on myself. I will never do so.

Wait. I was talking about my website. How did I land on to this self-pity piece?

The point is, I need to work on my website that gets me connected to more opportunities.

Ok. Next?

Nothing is next. It’s 8:45 and I need to get going with the day. Before that, must log that these days, Kun Faya Kun is my default music for each morning as I wake up. This version. And when I sleep. At that time, I listen to this version. I also must log that I hate this block-structure that WordPress has. It’s not friendly for writers at all. To developers, it may be.

With that, over and out.

Here’s the streaks. Also logged here.

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 133
  • #aPicADay – 114
  • 10K steps a day – 1. Did 11K.
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 46
  • #noCoke – 46
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0. Did not do yesterday and broke a 10-day streak.
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Original Work (limited time only) – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

And no, nothing on Roshan today either. Dal Roti comes first.

230221 – Morning Pages

Quickie piece. Woke up late. Running behind deadlines. Hoping to catch the pending todos.

10:09 AM. Yeah 10 AM.

I dont even know if I can call this morning pages. Its like afternoon. But then I just woke up (I slept at 5). So this is technically the first thing that I am doing. So, lets give ourselves some benefit of doubt and consider this is morning pages. But because its 10, there are a million people screaming to seek my attention for things that I need to do for them. Will keep this cute and short and all that.

Yesterday was mad. MAD. The day just didnt end. There was so much on the plate and there is still so much on the plate. This busyness is a good thing. I hope there is some revenue opportunity on the other side. Because the day was so long, I had some 20 cups of coffee. Which is ok, if you ask me. Most Americans are like that. But I realize that I was putting in way too much coffee in my system and its making me lose sleep and get more jittery. I need to fix it. Its not a good thing. Wow, look at me talking like an adult!

So, I made myself a big promise. That. I will quite coffee. I will still goto Starbucks and probably have two bottle of sparkling water (which cost as much as a coffee does). So, in my head, I would have paid for using their services and yet I would have not got coffee.

That’s settled. Let’s see how many days I last. Especially with an event coming up. Oh yeah! I am finally managing an event. The last one I was part of was on the 5th of March in 2020, at Lucknow. Since then, I have done some house gigs and all but this one is a full-blown wedding. Of about 80 guests if I am not wrong. So we are still following the regulations (in Goa, you can have a gathering of 100 I think) and yet it has all the paraphernalia. Yay to that!

What else? Damn the minds so blank that I could very well be in a meditative state. Lol. Kuch bhi!

Oh yeah, I am getting to meet Roshan Abbas (virtually) this weekend. He’s the grand-dad of all event professionals. I’ve always wanted to meet him since I was with Suvi. After all these years, in a different context, it’s happening! This is via Podium’s Spotlight. In case you need more details let me know.

Still tripping on Lootera’s music. I spoke about it a few days ago. Need to get to a point where I do such things!

I think this is about I have. I need to go wash some clothes, get my head shaven (yeah!) and then get about the day. Lol, aur bano nomad 😉

And no, no #book2. Let’s see when I get to it. May be in March. Fuck, time flies!

PS: I know this is not technically morning pages. But I started the day with a piece and that’s what matters. The streak has to remain unbroken!

PS: The mood seems to be better. No? I think so! May be its the coffee and if I quit, the mood will go back to being sucky