Stoa Digest #81: 🌼By Yours Truly🌼
What do we talk about if not for our brain farts.
Don’t let the world fool you into being productive and organized all the time. Creativity stems from boredom. Next time you feel stuck on something, try taking a break and consciously do nothing.
- Param Shah from Cohort 10 woke up today and chose to spill some facts for us.
What brought you to Stoa?
Just before joining Stoa, my co-founder had given me the feedback, - “Raj there is a trade-off between vulnerability, humour and boundaries. You need to be more aware of boundaries.” I felt embarrassed and was trying to find an answer for that when I came across C5 Stoa scholarship posts by BeerBiceps and the Better VC guy on Linkedin. Stoa seemed like a good place for me to get a better understanding of what professionalism meant, get better with my social skills, make new friendships and take another crack at standardized education. I felt really good that they did not have a CAT-type test, as at the time, I was struggling with being able to focus too! It was a tough time mentally for me. I applied and luckily got in!
Once the C5 classes started the banter with Aakash, Kshitij, Manish, Bhavya, Pranav, Pranay, Vrushali, Shreya, and the rest of C5 during the lectures felt awesome. For the first time in my life, I wasn't zoning out in sessions! It was an electric feeling.
Along with setting up 1-1s, attending meetups and my first case weekend group, I really started to feel confident and remembered what it meant to listen and have great conversations. I was able to have fun conversations with demographics I previously, subconsciously avoided - loud extroverts, married people and people over 40. Yep, I am less close-minded now (very glad about it).
What inspires you in life?
For decades it used to be visuals of people amazing at their craft. Visuals of Federer's backhand, Tendulkar's straight drive, Kurzgesagt YouTube videos come to mind. Then, I had a phase where escaping and reading amazingly written books like the Inheritance saga, Harry Potter series or weird books like Freakonomics, Quiet by Susan Cain, Dr K's guide to mental health by Dr Alok Kanojia felt inspiring. Most recently, it's been conversations!
By spending time with people on discord servers like Stoa, HealthyGamerGG, etc. and Stoa coaches like Saurabh - I just learnt how to actively listen. It's like my spectacles have been taken away all over again - human connection has never felt so awesome! At Stoa, I didn’t get judgement, I found acceptance. Grateful to the team and community.
What’s your favorite season and why?
Having lived in Mumbai all my life, I really like winters here. I like the wind on my nose when 14th January rolls around, travelling in trains without feeling like being in someone's armpit and, I appreciate being able to taste carrots that don't taste like cardboard. When in school, winter would also be the time, when I wouldn't be cooped up in school classes. The syllabus would be over, there wouldn't be any water logging on school grounds and teachers' would give less of a damn when I raised hell. I have very fond memories of revising harry potter and other fantasy sagas under bedsheets covers during winter mornings. I love winte - oh hang on, I just remembered alphonso mangoes. I take it all back, I like summers more.
Haha, I’m sure most of you can relate.
You can connect with Raj on Linkedin. 🤘🏻
-This, very intimate and beautifully drafted fellow spotlight story is brought to you by Yagika Goel of Cohort 5.
💬Your Voice, We Listen💬
Shweta Murali from Cohort 9 decided to share some of her learnings during her Stoa journey and professional life. I am sure this will make a lot of us pause and introspect about our lives. Let’s grow together, folks!
Do you manage your time or does it manage you?
Are you also one of those people who keep saying “there is never enough time to do anything, ever.” If so, well, we’re in this together.
Time management has been and continues to be one of my biggest challenges in life. We all get the same 24 hours and yet, it is hard to comprehend, compartmentalize, access, and get work done when there are more things to do in a day than the number of hours. Of course, it is a skill you work on, and eventually, with discipline and practice get some of it right, something that works for you.
This is what a friend of mine and I were talking about today; how you can manage time and not let it manage you. Why should time have that power over us, right?
I’m not the best person to talk to about this because clearly, I have managed to write this in the middle of the night while wasting all my time during the day. But, having said that, my friend gave me some great insights that I would want to start applying in my life and thought it would help you all as well. Here are some tidbits that might help you get started if you don’t know where to begin.
Prioritize your work into three parts - High, medium, and low priority. Very basic, but helps you get started. Put on some sticky notes on your workspace, table, notebook, literally anywhere. Keep put it somewhere that will always be around you, acts as a reminder when you go off the mark, and help you keep yourself in check.
3 tasks under each section - We always think everything needs to get done ‘now’, but it does not. Not everything has to be figured out on a Monday morning. Analyze, assess, and then make sure you put 3 tasks under each one and work accordingly.
When are you most productive? - The best way to be efficient, don’t quote me on this one, is to figure out what time during the day are you the most productive and when you’re not. During your best work hours, you can get your ‘high priority’ tasks done and during those ‘meh’ hours, get your ‘low priority’ tasks sorted. The ‘medium priority’ can be figured out between those.
Of course, this is not one size fits all, but it is something that can get you started and hopefully, help a little bit. If you have better ways to manage time and have awesome tools up your sleeves, do let us know!
Happy managing time, especially with the Charter coming up :)
Good luck, família!
// Hope you liked today’s Digest. Do like and drop in your feedback below. Would love to write for our masses, just the way they want.//
Hasta la vista, fam!