The Most Successful Techniques for Rising Early

‘The proper response to life is applause.’ ~William Carlos Williams

By Leo Babauta

Waking early is one of my favorite things in the world. The morning is quiet as the world hasn’t begun stirring, the perfect time for meditation, writing, exercise and some quiet reading.

Waking early can give you an hour or three of extra time for focus and creativity. While you could do those things later in the day, most people don’t (with exceptions of course).

I haven’t written about waking early for awhile, mostly because my waking time is in constant flux. Some months I enjoy rising with the sun, other times I’ll get up early on purpose for awhile and enjoy the extra quiet time.

I’ve learned a thing or two about how to change your wake-up time with joy, and today I’ll share the most successful techniques in my many experimentations.

The Gradual Method

The best method for changing the time you wake up is to do it gradually — 10-15 minutes earlier for 2-4 days, until you feel used to it, and then repeat. If you get up at 8 a.m. normally, don’t suddenly change it to 6 a.m. Try 7:45 a.m. first.

That might seem too slow to most people, and you’re free to disregard this advice. However, in my many experimentations, the most enjoyable and long-lasting change in sleeping schedules have been slow and gradual.

Sudden changes of an hour earlier or more in your waking time are difficult, and not likely to last. If you get up 1-2 hours earlier, on Day 1, then you’ll have a tough time, and not enjoy it. The next day, you’ll have a big sleep deficit, and it’ll be even tougher (assuming you’re able to do it 2 days in a row). Day 3 is even harder. Eventually you either make it through the tough times (it’ll take at least a week of suffering), or you crash and sleep in late and have to start over or you give up.

Sleeping patterns are difficult to change, and so the gradual method works much better. This is true, by the way, of eating habits, exercise habits, clutter habits and more.

3 Steps to Actually Get Up

So you’ve set your alarm for 10-15 minutes earlier than normal, and maybe got through the first few days, then set it another 10-15 minutes earlier, and soon you’re at 30-45 minutes earlier than usual … but now you have the tendency to hit the snooze alarm and stay in bed (sometimes awake) without getting up.

Here’s how to beat that in 3 steps:

  1. Get excited. The night before, think of one thing you’d like to do in the morning that excites you. It could be something you want to write, or a new yoga routine, or meditation, or something you’d like to read, or a work project that’s got you fired up. In the morning, when you wake up, remember that exciting thing, and that will help motivate you to get up.
  2. Jump out of bed. Yes, jump out of bed. With enthusiasm. Jump up and spread your arms wide as if to say, “Yes! I am alive! Ready to tackle the day with open arms and the gusto of a driven maniac.” Seriously, it works.
  3. Put your alarm across the room. If it’s right next to you, you’ll hit the snooze button. So put it on the other side of the room, so you’ll have to get up (or jump up) to turn it off. Then, get into the habit of going straight to the bathroom to pee once you’ve turned it off. Once you’re done peeing, you’re much less likely to go back to bed. At this point, remember your exciting thing. If you didn’t jump out of bed, at least stretch your arms wide and greet the day.

What to Do When You Get Up

First, things not to do with your newfound early-morning time: don’t check email, news, social media, blogs. Don’t waste this new time doing the same thing you always do.

Here are some other things that are better, in my experience:

  1. Drink a glass of water. You’re dehydrated from not drinking any water all night. Drink a full glass of water if you can. It’ll make you feel more awake.
  2. Meditate. Even just for 3 minutes. It’s such a great way to start your day — doing nothing, just sitting, and practicing mindful focus.
  3. Write. Or do some other kind of creating.
  4. Exercise. Go for a walk or a run, or do a home workout. Even just 10 minutes.
  5. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Either one of these makes the morning better.

Sleeping Earlier

You can’t just wake up earlier and not sleep earlier. You’ll eventually crash. So here are some tips for getting to sleep earlier:

  1. Set a bedtime of 7-8.5 hours before you want to wake up. So if you’re waking up at 6 a.m., go to bed between 9:30-11 p.m. Where you are in that time frame depends on how much sleep you need. Most people need about 7.5-8 hours of sleep, though there are lots of variations. I tend to get about 7, but also take a short nap in the afternoons.
  2. Create a bedtime ritual. I like to set up the coffeemaker and clean up a little (it’s nice to wake up to a clean house), then floss & brush my teeth and do a flouride rinse. Then I read myself to sleep.
  3. No computers in bed. That means no laptop, no tablets, no mobile phones. Kindles are OK except the Kindle Fire, which is the same as an iPad. No TV either. Just reading.
  4. Exercise helps a lot earlier in the day. It gets your body nice and tired, so you’ll sleep better. Don’t exercise an hour or less before bed, or you’ll be pumped up. I like a glass of red wine in the evening — it helps relax me and I tend to sleep a bit easier.
  5. Try this method if you have trouble sleeping: close your eyes and get comfortable, then think of the first thing you did that morning — the very first thing, like turning off your alarm. Then think of the next thing, and so on, replaying your morning in as much detail as possible. I never get to mid-morning.

Common Problems

Here are some of the most common problems in my experience and from readers’ questions:

  • Super tired in the morning: If you wake early and just can’t seem to function, that’s fairly normal. My solution is water, move around a lot, and drink a bit of coffee or matcha (powdered greeen tea). I will sometimes take a nap in the afternoon if I’m really tired. Also, it might be a sign that you’re moving too quickly — make sure you’re waking just a little earlier, and stay at one time for a few days until you feel adjusted before setting the alarm a little earlier.
  • Missing out on spouse time: If you are used to spending the evening with your spouse, and going to bed early means you’re missing out on that time, you have a few options. One is to see if your spouse is willing to try getting up early with you, perhaps to meditate or exercise together, or just to have coffee together. That can be really nice. Another is to cut out that together time in the late evening, but find time during the day (if possible), or at least in the early evening and weekends. Finally, you could decide that the together time is too important, and not get up earlier — or compromise and keep most of the evening together time, but wake just 30 minutes earlier.
  • You’re not a morning person: Some people think this but just haven’t given it a try — or they’ve gotten up an hour or two earlier all at once, and hated being so tired. This is why the gradual method is so important — it’s not that you’re not a morning person, it’s just that you tried to change too quickly and are suffering. But finally, it’s true that some people just are better focusing late at night (I have some friends like this) and morning isn’t their thing — and that’s perfectly alright. There’s no need to conform to what others do. I just shared this to show what works for me.

Pankaj Advani | The happiness quotient Think about what makes you happy and go with that because it is only happiness that comes from the process that can deliver any sort of success (Source:Livemint)

In the dimensions of business and sport, we are often met with situations that need to be dealt with rationality, practicality and, sometimes, maybe with a little bit of emotionality. The head versus heart argument may have many flag bearers barraging for the cause of the head. But, when it comes to job satisfaction, it is the heart that rules.
I have recently been under a lot of implications owing to my decision to let go of snooker in the UK circuit. Many critics and well-wishers believed it was not a wise decision. Having to discontinue only snooker in England meant I could come back to India and focus on both my interests—billiards and snooker—and represent the country in all major tournaments. This also meant that I no longer have to be away from my family for extended periods. You could perhaps compare my predicament with a senior executive’s who must either choose an offer to lead a company in another country, or stay back and pursue his or her desire for an own venture.
Both situations have their own set of merits—one that will uphold the cause of ambition and drive and the other that will speak of passion. While one would argue that ambition, drive and passion are all necessary interplays in a professional’s life, the importance of their relevance would depend on one’s own mind space and stage in the career.
I decided to let go of the snooker tour spot in the UK because my goals are rather well defined—my prerogative today is to do what makes me happy. Having received accolades and won championships across platforms in both billiards and snooker, I no longer have the pressure of adding more trophies to the cabinet, but a desire to evolve as a human being with sport acting as the medium. I believe as individuals, we can be proficient in more than one area and I definitely want to continue to prove that to myself by specializing in both billiards and snooker.
Two worlds, one shot
Pursuing snooker and billiards simultaneously poses various kinds of challenges. It is primarily about scheduling and clash of dates of tournaments. Much like an account manager estimating his time on two diverse projects, I am often torn between the two formats and have to prioritize my participation. In 2012, after qualifying through four rigorous rounds of the International Championship in snooker in the UK, I was faced with the dilemma of choosing between that event and the World Billiards Championship, which were around the same dates. I would have been able to play both had the organizers (of both events) agreed to move my dates by a single day (which was all that was needed).
But compelled to choose one, I followed my gut feeling and went ahead with the more prestigious World Billiards Championship. The odds were stacked against me because I had been playing many months of snooker and barely had a month to transition back to billiards. But the decision proved worthwhile as I went on to win the championship. A year later, I decided to give snooker a full-blooded shot and sacrificed the coveted billiards event. While my choice paid dividends again, I wasn’t entirely happy playing only snooker.
Back in the 2006 Asian Games held in Doha, Qatar, the Indian federation had passed a rule that entitled a player to participate in only one sport—billiards or snooker. It was an extremely tough choice to make. I went with my inner voice and opted for billiards and won my maiden Asian Games gold for India. This year, in a span of 45 days, I participated in the World 6-Red Snooker Championship as well as the World Team Billiards Championship. I won the world titles in both, taking my overall world title tally to 10 (the highest by any Indian sportsperson). Had I continued in English snooker this season, I would have missed out on the two latest additions to my world title tally.
But, the biggest challenge I face is that no one is in my position of specializing in both sports at the international level and, therefore, it has been extremely difficult to make one understand the challenges faced when opting to pursue both formats simultaneously. From technique, strategy, stance, cueing action, approach, mindset, etc., I need to make constant changes and adaptations to fare well in both snooker and billiards.
The climb
In sport, as in business, it takes many years of experience before one finds one’s niche. The idea is to keep trying out various things till you find your calling. I realized a few years ago that my calling came from pursuing and excelling in both snooker and billiards. Most well-wishers and critics asked me to make a choice, but my heart would not. When asked about dabbling in pool, I had extreme clarity on it and refused to leave billiards and snooker. If you examine the career paths of many top chefs in the world, you would see that they have worked with various kinds of cuisines and courses before finally specializing in something that is closest to their hearts.
Much like in the corporate scenario, in sport too there is always a climb—striving to get better. It may not necessarily be one to the top from a worldly perspective, but one that has more to do with internal progress. Having won 10 world championships and many more international and national tournaments, my journey now is of a different kind. My definition of success has changed over the years and the quest has become more for excellence and inner growth than anything else.
Sport gives one an opportunity to test his limits, potential, patience and several other facets. Achieving a number is a lot easier than honing certain life skills to an exceptional level. My goals have changed. From every practice session and tournament, personal mastery is my greatest reward.
When to call for change
As a cueist and individual, I have rarely been let down by my instincts. As you gain more experience in business or sport, your crises get solved rather quickly and mostly, accurately. I am very open to feedback and opinions of my close ones. Whether it is about choosing between billiards and snooker in the 2006 Asian Games or joining the English snooker circuit in 2012 or leaving the same in 2014, I consulted and brainstormed with my family when posed with big professional choices.
Think about what makes you happy and go with that because it is only happiness that comes from the process that can deliver any sort of success. If it does not make you happy, pursue something else

Why Wolverine met Narendra Modi

During PM Narendra Modi’s visit to USA, we saw Hollywood Star Hugh Jackman  holding hands with the Prime Minister. Why was he doing that? Maybe,Because he realised that Mutants if at all they exist, should occur more frequently in India and China which between themselves hold 35%  of the Population.The Senator (from X-Men:Days of the Future Past) himself said that Mutants consist of 10th of the 10th of the 10th of the Population. But we don’t get to  see any Indian mutant protagonist or antagonist!!

The journey of my Civil Services Dream

The dream:
My aim in life from my 9th Standard has been to become a Civil servant. Why 9th Standard specifically? That was the time when I was on a high.A high that seems unimaginable now.I used to be a good student back then. What separated me from the others, was my thirst for knowledge amply supplanted by my father who made it a point to correct me whenever he could.
I had just entered a new school for my father thought that it was better to shift to a new school as the former wasn’t focussed enough on studies. This led to some heartburning for me as it led to new group of friends and having to forget my old set of friends.
Although I did not have much friends, my love for General Knowledge books kept me in good company and it was the sole reason for my success in a State level Science Quiz Competition.I came second in the Competition after some intense competition. I got to meet the District Collector who appreciated me.
That was the first time that I made the decision to become a Civil Servant. Although good at studies, I made the quirky decision to join the Commerce group for I thought why to waste time studying sciences when you get to study relevant and comparitively easier stuff in the Commerce group.

My tryst with Commerce:
A very good decision it appeared at that time. And it would have become a good decision had I not wavered from the decision.
I excelled in my Higher secondary exams and secured a seat in the top college for Commerce in South India. I simultaneously enrolled for a professional course as was the wont of my collegemates. I excelled in my College too which prompted me to go for my Civil services dream.

My ongoing journey to becoming a Civil servant:
My dream to join Civil services started in 2009 when I decided that self study won’t take me anywhere and Delhi was the place to be to realise my Civil services dream.
I joined Rau’s Ias and had to pay 1.5 Lakhs and then some for their coaching. I did this based solely on their much vaunted advertisements in Competition magazines.
And then after being in Delhi for about 6 months, I realised I was becoming a notes taking machine and nothing was moving forward in my preparation.I resolved to move back to my hometown and continue to pursue my dream.
My first attempt in 2010:
This was a good move but I was naive to think that just material and self study would help me sail through this exam. Strategy is a crucial part to ace this exam. At this time I came to be addicted to Computer Games which has stayed with me for long. Considering all this I did extremely well to not only write the Mains exam but also came within 17 marks to make interview stage.
Having waited a whole 5 months for my Mains Result , I was extremely disappointed to know that I had not made it to the Interview list. I still had the Final stage to finish in professional course – Company Secretary. I resolved to complete my professional course and then take up my Civil Services dream next year ie., 2012.
In hindsight this proved to be a mistake for Upsc’s back breaking move had not yet set its sights on Optionals in 2011 and my strategy set in 2010 would have been relevant in 2011.
My Second attempt in 2012: Although i did not have the luxury of time thanks to a very uncooperative trainer (training for Cs course)I prepared for my second attempt as hard as I could (from July 20 to October 15) and corrected all the mistakes that I consciously made in 2010.But it was the start of Upsc’s Back breaking move and I suffered because of selective slaughtering of Public administration, my second optional.
I still got an interview call thanks to my above average performance in other subjects where I met my nemesis -Rajni who has the habit of awarding very less or very high marks . Unfortunately I was awarded very less which led to my non selection.
My third attempt in 2013: From the start I was in no mood to study, for I could not recover from the disappointment of not being in the final list of Upsc. Yet I could have made it past the preliminary stage had I gone into the exam hall without a cut off mindset and had revised the basics. Thus I couldnt even clear the Preliminary stage.
Meanwhile having lived off my parents’ resources all my life, I resolved to write other exams with principal focus on Rbi and Sebi.Some of the other exams that I wrote were Group 2 exam of State Public Service Commission (worked for 7 months and resigned as it was getting too hectic) Ssc-Cgl (couldn’t qualify), Ibps -Po (Qualified and allotted Indian Overseas Bank but didn’t join), Capf -Assistant Commandant ( couldn’t qualify), Sebi.
My fourth attempt in 2014: This attempt is being interspersed with my practice as Company Secretary and Rbi Grade B preparation.I made it to the Mains Stage somehow, but couldnt clear it.

And that’s the end of my Civil Services dream.

The Unexpected Consequences of Success by Srini Pillay

Everybody loves a winner, right? No, unfortunately, not always. In my coaching practice, many executives and entrepreneurs vent their frustrations with the unexpected negative consequences of their success — such as their anxiety over being able to maintain their winning streak, the fear that they will be set up to fail, and the envy others feel toward them for their good fortune. Turns out that, according to recent research, these kinds of worries aren’t just in their heads — they’re very real. Here’s a summary of that research, along with suggestions for overcoming these traps.

Don’t do victory laps:  A recent study shows that people judge expressive winners as arrogant compared to inexpressive winners and are less likely to want to befriend them. Being judged negatively for your success is justifiably an implicit fear. As a result, success can heighten ambivalence, even unconsciously, about winning. What can you do about this? Learn to moderate when and where you express happiness about your success. Share the good news with other successful people. And focus your conversation on other things you are developing when you are succeeding so as not to annoy people. Striking a balance between authentically admitting your happiness and pretending to “not care” is important. We should enjoy the motivation that comes from being successful, rather than sabotaging ourselves when we are inauthentic. For example, Ray, a current client, often smiles in a pleased way when he announces good news to his company or the public, but always focuses on the unconquered path ahead. He avoids fist pumps and overt signs of victory even when he is overjoyed, and reserves this for conversations with select people in his life.

Focus on the value you bring, not on winning per se: Another study found that when people are similar but superior to us in their achievements, our brain’s conflict center is activated leading to envy. In addition, when these people fail, our brain’s reward center is activated leading to feelings of schadenfreude (pleasure when someone else falls from grace). When we win, we assume that others will feel similarly, as we project our own feelings onto them. This fear may be unconscious or conscious and may disrupt our confidence, causing anxiety about the effect of our success on other people. To counteract this fear of someone else wishing we would fall, focus instead on the value that you bring to the world rather than winning per se. This will help boost your confidence despite this fear. For example, Cathy, a CEO whose meteoric rise to the top left other people gasping, “distracted” people from their shock by focusing on the value that the company brought to the world.

Stay in the “here and now”: When we anticipate future reactions from others, this may actually prevent us from achieving or maintaining success, and if we think too much about these reactions, they may prevent us from subsequently adequately controlling our emotions.  To manage this consequence of success, stop overthinking the success. Focus on the “here and now.” Let go of worrying about the future and rationalizing the past.  Obsession with the past can be distracting and is not always helpful. Also, it will prevent you from clearing your mind. The study above shows that when we integrate what we are anticipating into the here-and-now, we are more likely to manage our emotions more effectively. This means enjoying, accepting, and motivating ourselves with our successes. Joe, an entrepreneur, always “recalibrates” after each round of funding by setting new goals and focuses on what he has to execute on now, rather than obsessively trying to “psychologize” his prior victories. He chooses a time to let go and moves on.

Reach higher:  Finally, when we are at the summit of our careers, we may become bored to the point that we slow down too much and become disoriented.  This is called “the summit syndrome.” To prevent boredom, you have to always be looking for stimulating ways to apply your mastery. When you have mastered something, ask yourself: How you can innovate around this? Watch out for your own boredom as it can lead you to sabotage yourself, and also watch out for reactive lateral shifts in job hierarchy simply to escape your boredom of mastery. Huang, a fund manager, sticks to his investment process within his company and after a streak of major wins, he raises the bar even more for himself and engages in this “reaching.”

People often prepare for failure, but rarely prepare for what they will do when they succeed. Even when we consciously want to be successful, enjoying that success can be a challenge. By following the suggestions above, you can create a framework for managing success so that you can more reliably sustain your success when it occurs. If you are conscious about these factors, you will create far more opportunities to sustain your success over time. More importantly though, as a society, we are likely to have more sustained wins if we manage our feelings of envy and schadenfreude. If we do this, we, and those whom we care about, will fully enjoy and savor those winning streaks.

9 Habits That Lead to Terrible Decisions(Source: by Jack Zenger)

Nine factors emerged as the most common paths to poor decision making. Here they are in order from most to least significant.

Laziness. This showed up as a failure to check facts, to take the initiative, to confirm assumptions, or to gather additional input. Basically, such people were perceived to be sloppy in their work and unwilling to put themselves out. They relied on past experience and expected results simply to be an extrapolation of the past.
Not anticipating unexpected events. It is discouraging to consistently consider the possibility of negative events in our lives, and so most people assume the worst will not happen. Unfortunately, bad things happen fairly often. People die, get divorced, and have accidents. Markets crash, house prices go down, and friends are unreliable. There is excellent research demonstrating that if people just take the time to consider what might go wrong, they are actually very good at anticipating problems. But many people just get so excited about a decision they are making that they never take the time to do that simple due-diligence.
Indecisiveness. At the other end of the scale, when faced with a complex decision that will be based on constantly changing data, it’s easy to continue to study the data, ask for one more report, or perform yet one more analysis before a decision gets made. When the reports and the analysis take much longer than expected, poor decision makers delay, and the opportunity is missed. It takes courage to look at the data, consider the consequences responsibly, and then move forward. Oftentimes indecision is worse than making the wrong decision. Those most paralyzed by fear are the ones who believe that one mistake will ruin their careers and so avoid any risk at all.
Remaining locked in the past. Some people make poor decisions because they’re using the same old data or processes they always have. Such people get used to approaches that worked in the past and tend not to look for approaches that will work better. Better the devil they know. But, too often, when a decision is destined to go wrong, it’s because the old process is based on assumptions that are no longer true. Poor decision makers fail to keep those base assumptions in mind when applying the tried and true.
Having no strategic alignment. Bad decisions sometimes stem from a failure to connect the problem to the overall strategy. In the absence of a clear strategy that provides context, many solutions appear to make sense. When tightly linked to a clear strategy, the better solutions quickly begin to rise to the top.
Over-dependence. Some decisions are never made because one person is waiting for another, who in turn is waiting for someone else’s decision or input. Effective decision makers find a way to act independently when necessary.
Isolation. Some of those leaders are waiting for input because they’ve not taken steps to get it in a timely manner or have not established the relationships that would enable them to draw on other people’s expertise when they need to. All our research (and many others’) on effective decision making recognizes that involving others with the relevant knowledge, experience, and expertise improves the quality of the decision. This is not news. So the question is why. Sometimes people lack the necessary networking skills to access the right information. Other times, we’ve found, people do not involve others because they want the credit for a decision. Unfortunately they get to take the blame for the bad decisions, as well.
Lack of technical depth. Organizations today are very complex, and even the best leaders do not have enough technical depth to fully understand multifaceted issues. But when decision makers rely on others’ knowledge and expertise without any perspective of their own, they have a difficult time integrating that information to make effective decisions. And when they lack even basic knowledge and expertise, they have no way to tell if a decision is brilliant or terrible. We continue to find that the best executives have deep expertise. And when they still don’t have the technical depth to understand the implications of the decisions they face, they make it their business to find the talent they need to help them.
Failure to communicate the what, where, when, and how associated with their decisions. Some good decisions become bad decisions because people don’t understand – or even know about — them. Communicating a decision, its rational and implications, is critical to the successful implementation of a decision.
Waiting too long for others’ input. Failing to get the right input at the right time. Failing to understand that input through insufficient skills. Failing to understand when something that worked in the past will not work now. Failing to know when to make a decision without all the right information and when to wait for more advice. It’s no wonder good people make bad decisions. The path to good decision making is narrow, and it’s far from straight. But keeping in mind the pitfalls can make any leader a more effective decision maker

India poised to be world solar leader – adding 145GW in 10 years By Sophie Vorrath (Source:Reneweconomy)

India’s raft of ambitious plans and policies to ramp up national solar development have been generating plenty of headlines over the past few months, and new data has suggested tthe best-case scenario for India’s solar sector could boost the sub-continent’s PV capacity by more than 140GW over the next decade

In a report by Tata Power Solar and cleantech experts Bridge to India, analysts argue that India’s solar potential is huge enough to revolutionise the nation’s energy  mix, as long as decision-makers followed the best possible solar roadmap.

The report, How should India drive its solar transformation? Beehives or Elephants, compares four different scenarios, each with a different solar focus – residential rooftops (solar bees); large rooftops (solar pigeons); utility-scale (solar horses); and ultra-mega projects (solar elephants) – evaluating their potential speed of deployment, implementation challenges and job creation potential.

“The realizable potential for solar power generation in India is between 110GW to 145GW across (all four) different types of systems,” said Bridge to India founder and director Tobias Engelmeier. “The four scenarios together could easily create over 675,000 solar jobs in India in the next 10 years.

“But the real issue, is to choose the best way for India to go solar that entails a fair choice between millions of small systems (“bees”) on one end of a spectrum, and a few very large systems (“elephants”) on the other; the former creating a consumer market and the latter an infrastructure market,” Engelmeier said.

According to PV Magazine, the analysts compared each scenario in terms of landed cost of power (LCOP) – the cost to the consumer at the point of consumption – and levelised cost of energy (LCOE).

While LCOE is the more traditional gauge of renewables generation costs, analysts at Bridge to India and Tata argue that LCOP, which can be as much as 30 per cent higher than LCOE, should become the new economic metric for measuring India’s solar potential.

The report calculates that the LCOE for ultra-mega plants in India is 6.6 rupees per kWh ($US0.10c/kWh), with LCOP at 8.4R/kWh ($US0.14c) – already comparable to imported coal (Bloomberg New Energy Finance has predicted that solar PV in India will best both gas and coal on costs by 2020). And with the price of coal expected to increase, the other three scenarios would also be expected to reach parity during that time.

A concurrent report by Deutsche Bank – shows how the levellised cost of solar in India (and China) is cheaper than in other countries. And it shows how India’s solar capacity has jumped from basically nothing in the last few years. Its previous National Solar Mission target was for 22GW by 2020 – less than one sixth of what is now thought possible.

Report finds large rooftop PV systems – the “pigeons” – would prove India’s cheapest option.

Longer-term, the Tata Power report suggests that large rooftop solar systems – the pigeons – will prove the cheapest option, achieving an LCOE of $US0.10/kWh and an LCOP of just $US0.11/kWh by 2024.

The “solar bees” approach – with a focus on small rooftop projects – is shown by the report to have the best outcome for India’s economy, offering the potential to add 325,000 jobs and 25GW of PV capacity.

“Solar is unique in its limitless potential for power generation – from distributed to centralized generation, and residential kW to GW-scale solar plants, the permutations are endless,” said Tata Power Solar CEO Ajay Goel. “To solarize our economy, it is important to find the right mixture of pathways that will have both economic as well as social impact

Jigarthanda: So damn cool



To understand the brilliance of Jigarthanda in totality, you need to know a little bit about how films are made and distributed in Tamil Nadu. And the kind of films that are usually made and how they are produced. You need to also understand where Karthik Subbaraj comes from. Literally.

Hence this post after the film has been unanimously raved about. The only bit of criticism the film has faced is for changing genres halfway – something the film justifies by the end so much that when you see the film a second time, it seems like the only logical way to finish that story.

Now, the context.

The Tamil film industry produces over 200 films a year. About 30-40 per cent of them don’t even release/ get shelved even after completion. Because very few investors are willing to spend on marketing and distribution. Very rarely do arthouse films without…

View original post 955 more words

Schedule a 15-Minute Break Before You Burn Out by Ron Friedman

When you’re racing 90 miles an hour, the last thing you want to do is slow down.


That’s how it feels on those exhilarating days when you’re completely focused, tearing through your to-do list, racking up accomplishments. You just want to keep going.

You might also worry that if you take a break, you’ll lose momentum and find it impossible to regain your stride.

But the research tells us otherwise. Studies show we have a limited capacity for concentrating over extended time periods, and though we may not be practiced at recognizing the symptoms of fatigue, they unavoidably derail our work. No matter how engaged we are in an activity, our brains inevitably tire. And when they do, the symptoms are not necessarily obvious. We don’t always yawn or feel ourselves nodding off. Instead, we become more vulnerable to distractions.

Consider what happens over the course of a typical day at the office. The early morning hours are when most of us are at our sharpest, but as the day wears on, we inevitably lose steam. And it’s at this point that we become more easily seduced by the lure of viral videos, celebrity gossip, and social media. A recent study examined the time of day Facebook users are more likely to post updates. The finding? Facebook usage builds from 9:00 AM through noon, dips slightly during lunch, and then peaks at 3:00 PM, the precise hour when many of us are at our most fatigued.

While tiring over the course of the workday can’t be prevented, it can be mitigated. Studies showthat sporadic breaks replenish our energy, improve self-control and decision-making, and fuel productivity. Depending on how we spend them, breaks can also heighten our attention and make us more creative.

A 2011 study published in Cognition highlights another upside to sporadic breaks that we rarely consider: goal reactivation. When you work on a task continuously, it’s easy to lose focus and get lost in the weeds. In contrast, following a brief intermission, picking up where you left off forces you to take a few seconds to think globally about what you’re ultimately trying to achieve. It’s a practice that encourages us to stay mindful of our objectives, and, as the authors of the study report, reliably contributes to better performance.

The challenge, of course, is finding the time to step away for 15 minutes, or—even when we have the time—getting good at dragging ourselves away from our computers preemptively, before we’re depleted. One approach that can help involves blocking out a couple of planned 15-minute intermissions on your calendar, one in the mid-morning and the other in the mid-afternoon.

Next, find something active you can do with this time and put it on your calendar. Take a walk, stretch while listening to a song, or go out with a coworker for a snack. If these activities strike you as too passive, use the time to run an errand. The critical thing is to step away from your computer so that your focus is relaxed and your mind drifts. (So no, checking Facebook does not count.)

Finally, note your energy level when you return. You are bound to feel invigorated, both because you’ve allowed your brain some rest and because the physical movement has elevated your heart rate.

If this feels like a dereliction of duty, remind yourself that the human brain was not built for extended focus. Through much of our evolutionary history, heightened concentration was needed in short bursts, not daylong marathons. Our minds evolved to snap to attention when we encountered a predator, keeping us vigilant just long enough to ensure our survival. Yet today, we expect far more from ourselves than centuries of evolution have designed us to do.

Ultimately, the question we should be asking is not whether breaks are worth taking – we know they are. It’s how we can better ensure that they actually take place.