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Showing posts from March 28, 2010

Flow - The Psychology of Optimal Experience

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This is a very interesting book by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Have you ever wondered the difference between pleasure and enjoyment?

Pleasure : 


When you are involved in a pleasurable activity - it takes your mind out of the worries you are having ( watching TV to escape from stress ) and satisfies the needs of the moment ( drinking coke to quench thirst ).

Enjoyment : 

An "enjoyable" activity, not only gives you pleasure - but gives you the feeling of fulfilment, the feeling of joy and living life.

You need to put some effort to "enjoy". Playing a guitar, compiling linux, playing badminton - all these are very enjoyable activities. It takes effort, requires skill, practise and is extremely rewarding in the end.

There needs to be clear goals and feedback in such activities. 0 errors, 0 warnings is the reward in the end - till then you should keep tweaking,do more research, try different approaches.

You lose your self-consciousness and sense of time. Your entire concentration…

How to handle Developers!

Here are a few tips if you get pushed to managing a team of code monkeys..err..developers.

1. Deadline is 8 hours away and they are whiling away time by reading Joel Sposky or watching a South Indian actor dancing in a superman costume.

Ignore this - they are just warming up.

2. After the above intellectual stimulation they go for coffee.

Again, be patient. They are refueling.

3. Call them for a meeting to explain how grave the situation is. Only 6 hours is left.

Stop stop. Don't call them for a meeting now, it will just drain the warm up and caffeine effect they are having now. They are about to enter their "zone" where things will start "flowing".

4. How to know what the status is?

Hmm..it is a difficult thing. If you send an IM or an email it will interrupt their flow which will make them very angry, or they might mistake you for micro managing things. Wait for one of the developers to go for a bathroom break and follow them there. Of course you should be of the sam…

Earth hour is a sick joke on us

So you participated in the Earth Hour? Good for you - this will encourage Bescom ( or TNEB or whatever entity ) to give more power cuts - Oh so our customers don't want power - lets cut some more. 
There are so many power cuts in a day for varying durations. Our office UPS beeps almost the entire day - and I have started getting "flow" when I hear the beeps. At times when the beep stops ( because power is back ) I start browsing and cannot concentrate on my work.
We have placed an order for one more home and lighting UPS - Jan Feb we were able to manage without a fan, but now it is unbearably hot. The term "sweat equity" takes a different meaning for us! 
Anyway, I applaud the western world to interrupt the power for an hour in a year. Great. I wish they do it every week. And also they switch off the AC and lighting on weekends when they leave office. 
And we Indians - let us see how to increase power production. I initially thought I will go with the flow and part…