Many times your colleagues will rush up to your desk with an alarmed look in their faces, telling you to complete an urgent task!
"This is very urgent, priority number 1!" So they say.
But, have we ever thought of what urgent means? Wouldn't it be better if we do the important things first?
OK, firstly, some definitions.
Urgent - Compelling immediate action or attention
Important - Strongly affecting the course of events or the nature of things; significant
(definitions from dictionary.com)
By simple rule of combinations, we can see that there are 4 extremes of urgency/importance that can be derived:
1) Not urgent / Not important
2) Urgent / Not important
3) Urgent / Important
4) Not urgent / Important
How does this all fit into prioritization?
When we perform a task, we have to ask ourselves under which category will the task fall. Which is the best sequence to tackle tasks?
(3) -> (4) -> (2) -> (1)
Ideally, we should finish things which are urgent AND important. Examples? The immediate numbers needed to produce a sales quotation that needs to be submitted NOW!
If we continually finish all items under (3), we find that soon, we will be left with tasks under (4). And here is where we have to discipline ourselves to complete the (4) tasks instead of dwelling on the (2) tasks. Why?
Because (4) are more important, will have more impact to the results generated. Whereas, you can consider (2) as things which may seem to be screaming at you for attention but wouldn't mind being pushed to a later time. Examples of (4): the final marketing presentation that needs to be completed within 5 days time for the presentation to corporate clients. Just think of it this way: if we postpone (4), sooner or later it becomes
Now we can start to work on those pesky (2), which are time-sensitive but low on importance value. These are: replying to your boss on your birthday for staff parties, answering your instant messages asking you where to go for lunch, replying that SMS wishing you all the best for your upcoming exams.
Finish enough of (2), and your life will be much simpler, less cluttered and less stressful. Because now you are only left with (1), and you can sleaze your way through!
But hold on ... even within (1), you can still prioritize into the 4 categories! The same goes for all the other categories too. This highly disciplined form of time management can seem daunting at first, but with enough practice and diligence, it will become a good habit to keep.
To conclude, writing this blog entry now is at category (1).
Friday, August 26, 2005
Many times your colleagues will rush up to your desk with an alarmed look in their faces, telling you to complete an urgent task!
Yummy! Chocolate! Lots of sweet, toothaching chocolate and candy!
From the imaginations of Roald Dahl and Tim Burton, this highly creative children's tale brings the adventures of Charlie Bucket & Willy Wonka to the giant screen.
The story is about an ordinary kid who gets a chance of a lifetime to visit the longtime closed-to-public chocolate factory owned by Willy Wonka, the eccentric and socially-challenged owner of the Wonka Chocolate Factory.
The factory itself is the main attraction of the movie. From hot bubbling chocolate waterfalls and rivers to edible grass and trees, magical candy-making machines, squirrel squad to remove the walnuts from their shells... the amazingly colourful world is brought to life in an almost cartoonish manner.
Johnny Depp plays Willy Wonka to a likeable level, except when he does his gag of crashing face first into his rocket-powered glass elevator. Charlie's crooked house is an amazing piece of movie prop design. And the supporting cast of the 4 children and their parents provide the avenue for Burton to exercise his gothic flavour of comedy. You will be able to watch the greedy fat boy turning into chocolate, an over competitive girl turning into a giant blueberry, a too-intelligent-for-the-average boy turning into a miniature (subsequently flattened and stretched), and an overly pampered girl covered in rubbish.
While the story is simple in nature, Burton decides to put some depth into the Willy Wonka character by providing a back story to his Freudian slips, charting how his precarious relationship with his dentist father created the Willy Wonka that he was.
Nonetheless, this movie will be a candy fest for the eye, so sit back and enjoy the movie!
Thursday, August 25, 2005
I asked a question in an earlier post, which has garnered 2 responses to my attention.
Are passion and strength mutually exclusive?Response 1
i believe that my passion will drive to the strengthening of my strength. with passion i can drive it towards my strength but with strength, it will not drive my passion. with passion, it will drives me to go another step further, but with strength it will only takes me as far as i want to go.
it must have strong correlation with the co's vision, mission, goals &objectives
becoz to really harness and build a person, the orga plays a HUGE role
to me its not mutually exclusive
make sure there's a balance of both passion and skills
Efficiency+Effectiveness = f(passion) x f(skill)
help ppl identify what is their strength in skills and passion; some ppl think they know, but they actually dont, until someone tells them
Any more responses? Feel free to drop in the comment box
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Meetings are time wasters: myth or fact?
In truth, properly conducted meetings are not time wasters, but are an essential step toward achieving decisions and solutions.
Normally, people conduct meetings with the intent of discussing ideas, presenting information, and brainstorming. While this is not wrong, it is also not efficient.
Discussing ideas can be conducted in small working teams. Information dissemination can be done via e-mail or other forms of communication. Brainstorming will be more effective when done in an informal setting.
So what should meetings be used for?
When a decision needs to be made that require the input of all parties involved, it becomes necessary and more efficient to hold a meeting that gathers all the parties together. By presenting their respective points and options, the meeting participants can come to an agreement on the decision to be made, or the team leader/chairman can decide on behalf of the group. In any case, the meeting should end with the feeling that something has been achieved.
I'm not sure how else to write this, so maybe I'll keep the points for another blog entry.
Monday, August 22, 2005
If you want to be treated like a leader, BE a leader!I may be just an engineer, and the general perception of engineers are people who will work and work and work to solve a problem, will not be very interested in dealing with people, etc.
But just because your title is "engineer", it doesn't stop you from exploring other avenues of growth. Take challenges to lead work teams. Learn management and leadership skills from books, mentors and training workshops. Assume leadership roles whenever difficult situations are presented. Learning how to cope with disaster is key toward effective leadership.
Pretty soon, even though your title is "engineer", people will naturally come to you for guidance, leadership and decisions. You no longer have to work and work and work to solve a problem. You need to make the right decisions in order to make the work happen!
Of course there will be people perfectly contented with being the worker. That is not bad at all; in fact, without workers, a world full of leaders will run into chaos and unproductiveness.
For me? I do like to work. I like to analyse, dwell into the intricacies of problems and solutions, find ways to tackle different situations. But thinking from a different perspective, assuming the leadership role is also work! It's working with people, it's motivating people, it's ensuring that the workers do the work! When you see it from this point of view, nobody has the right to criticize leaders for not doing any of the hard work. Because the most difficult work is to correctly and efficiently assigning work to the correct workers. The most demanding task of a leader is to make right decisions and learn to improvise should the decision backfire.
The most important thing a leader should be is "confident and decisive". Amidst a swarm of engineers who can prescribe 1001 ways of solving a problem, we need ONE good leader to choose ONE good solution and make it happen!
I have never given a comprehensive answer to this question.
Generally, I know that I want to be financially independent by age 35. I also want to have the freedom to do anything I want at any time without any restrictions.
But that is a very long term goal. I have never set any medium term goals before.
For example, where do I see myself within 1 year? 2 years? In 6 months?
I must think of myself as an organization. I must be able to define what is my vision, mission and purpose in life. Only then can I move forward with my marketing plan and strategies, selling my "products" and services. Chart my long term action plans in order to achieve the ultimate goals I have set for myself.
So, from now, I shall try to think of myself as a corporation :P
Friday, August 19, 2005
A colleague of mine who was scheduled to go to a training had to pull out. An opportunity was presented to me. There is a chance to upgrade myself!
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the topic, and hopefully if all goes well it'll be one of my stepping stones toward achieving the managerial dream! :)
Leaders don't need to do the technical work... Leaders need to make the decisions.
- Passion – boundless enthusiasm
- Strength – capacity or potential for effective action
- Mutually exclusive – unable to be both true at the same time
How far do strength and passion intersect? Or are they mutually exclusive? Do we assume that someone’s passion is never their strength, vice versa?
How do we set the balance between personal development and organizational excellence? How can we compromise between project effectiveness and personal satisfaction?
How can we align strengths and passions in order to bring about an organization of inspired individuals that love what they do?
Thursday, August 18, 2005
My colleague asked me to read an email from A to B, where A is trying to push some job responsibility to B (which is not any fault of A's team). My colleague's concern was that A sounded quite harsh to B, while B was just trying to find a compromise to the problem that can be jointly resolved if A and B discussed it.
I looked at the email and said it's ok, cos in the work-sense, it's the job that matters. And therefore, emails should be read with no emotion.
Well, my colleague was very concerned about this, and telephoned B to find out. Well, B was quite unhappy with A's email. B felt as if all the responsibility is being passed from A to B. What to do?!
So I start to think, am I really so blur to all this "sensitivity"? Alex also labeled me as someone very transparent, very easy to read and manipulate. Am I really? I don't know. But I know that I'm very accomodating, too accomodating at times. Sometimes it really brings me to a certain level of tension, and yet I can't bring myself to shout at the person who is manipulating my kindness.
All this is part of self discovery I suppose. But what's more important than self discovery is self improvement. And I intend to pursue it. Life is more than just 1's and 0's. There are so many aspects to consider, 99% of which revolve around people. I need some people skills drastically!
The coffee machine in my office ran out of water. Apparently, the water used is more expensive than normal water dispensers. Therefore, we are so dry out of espresso, choco-chino and nescafe white coffee. The only remaining coffee source is the pathetic coffee powder in the pantry, which, although gives a strong brew, doesn't really taste good. Moreover, the biscuits have mysteriously disappeared. The tea-ladies are not filling the cookie jars. I wonder is it because we have run out of budget, or because they're just plain lazy.
It rained quite heavily this morning. The surroundings look hazy/misty. There was a smoky smell in the air this morning too. Now the air looks misty, but it could be haze. With water levels in the dams running low, are we suffering a double crisis of water shortage and air pollution!?
INCOVAR has kick-started another camp, which will be scheduled to take place somewhere in November. Got a lot of story lah, but I think I won't publish it ;)
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Lower Management needs to manage technical issues.
Middle Management needs to manage people.
Higher Management needs to manage conceptual ideas.
Normal People talk about people.
Average People talk about events.
Wise People talk about ideas.
These are some of the gems of wisdom I picked up from my personal mentor.
Thank you for triggering me to be a better person (you know who you are).
Friday, August 12, 2005
Apparently, the haze has migrated to Penang, according to various postings. Even the MMS reports extremely low visibility in parts of Penang (Butterworth is down to 2km).
And there are also reports of haze slowly clearing in Subang and KL. But here at my office, it still seems very polluted, though less than yesterday. The sky is still yellow, however.
So, hopefully my weekend in Penang will not be spoilt by stupid Indonesian b*st*rds who don't give a damn about the typical subang boy >:(
I can't really remember when the haze started, but I do remember looking out the window and seeing blankness (and no it's not the sky). I can't see the toll plaza on Sprint Highway, I can barely see the apartment buildings next to PD1, and speaking of PD1, the whole place is engulfed in white smoke!
Yesterday the company gave out face masks, ours is the N95 mask that can filter out 5 microns dust particles. It was being rationed: only 1 per person, we had to submit names.
I can't even walk outside without using the mask. The air is that bad. We have not resorted to wearing the masks indoors yet. Our office is still quite insulated, except for the toilet windows which are open.
They say the haze will continue for at least another month. More haze -> less rain. Less rain -> more haze. It's an unending cycle. I missed out on the hailstorm phenomenon in Subang Jaya. Apparently it was not caused by cloud seeding, but it was actually natural!
This weather really reminds me of so many dystopian settings that writer Philip K Dick envisioned in his stories. "Blade Runner" (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) comes to mind.
Arghhh going to Penang to escape the HAZE!!!
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Monday, August 08, 2005
How to describe this movie? Trying too hard to be an epic! Imagine masses of armies vs helpless villagers, but minus the grand battle scenes of The Two Towers. Imagine not one, not two but SEVEN heroes with SEVEN mystical swords, but minus the explanation of why the swords are so mystical and powerful. Imagine a female hero character who holds a superbly cool "flowing" sword but has no idea how to use it. Imagine... urgh... imagine no more.
Seven Swords is a decent attempt at creating a magical setting for a clash between good and evil. Unfortunately the evil is not as great as it may seem. The Fire Wind clan seems more intent at getting good food and women at their disposal. While the seven heroes have absolutely nothing to do than to hold their swords and look cool. Yeah right.
Oh ya, all the heroes are also forgettable. Only Donnie Yen looked as if he had somewhere to go with his character, but in the end it collapsed under the weight of the Korean actress who died in his hands.
The only memorable character is the leader of Fire Wind clan, but even he is mildly forgettable. In the end, Seven Swords is seen as trying too hard, but impressing nobody. Dull colours also impede the enjoyment of the movie. Go watch it if you want to impress people with your intellectual selection of movies (much much better than Bug Me Not!)
Friday, August 05, 2005
I printed out the Bewitched ticket redemption voucher. I walked to Phileo1 to buy the latest copy of Galaxie. I walked to Menara Star in Phileo2 expecting a large crowd.
No queue? No crowd? No counter?
shuckssssssss.... redemption date is 12 August lahhhhhhhh
Thursday, August 04, 2005
jane: u know wat...
jane: i think i might wanna take up ice-skating dy...
jane: indoor sports..
jane: i must b more fit dy...
jane: but no gym for me
peter: ice skating ah... quite ok but limited lah...
jane: indoor mah...
jane: cool somemore...
jane: no need to sweat
peter: limited coz there r onli so many things u can do ice skating... dunno, jus a gut feeling that it'll be quite limited...
jane: i dun wanna do strenous exercise
jane: lazy lazy
peter: u think ice skating is not strenous?!?!?
jane: jez skate mah
jane: i will take up swimming too...
jane: but later la
peter: well if ur jus into those "leisure skating" then yalar it won't be strenous, but then..too bad for "being fit" lah
peter: swimming is good for keeping fit
jane: i dun exercise at all now mah...
jane: i hafta start somewhere
peter: start by walking...
peter: walk up stairs instead of taking lift...
peter: walk to buy news paper instead of drive...
peter: those kind of things lar...
jane: siao ar?
jane: 21 floors okay
peter: fren..nobody ask u to walk up 21 floors
jane: i'm based G now...
jane: so i dun haf stairs to climb
peter: hey seriously...if u wanna swim... boleh ikut... sumtimes i go swim at ******
jane: coz hor i can go ****** to swim oso..
jane: they haf a clubhse there too
jane: i know i definitely won't join gym
peter: actually i can oso swim at my place in ****** ... since last year haven't even step into the pool yet hehehe
jane: where @
jane: lemme see...
jane: i did swim once in ******
jane: alone under the moon
peter: wah so "roman"
jane: so nice to haf the pool to myself
jane: yah man...
jane: too bad no cute guys around
jane: but swimming wif colleagues seem bit weird lor
jane: so i chose the other pool...
jane: my frens went karaoke mah..
jane: i wanted to go to sleep dy but as i passed the pool
jane: it was sooo tempting...
jane: the pool was really nice btw
peter: i never been there b4
peter: mostly i swim at ******lor........ but i tink haven't swam in a month liau
peter: mmm tempted ..
jane: i tot u said since last yr?
peter: hey...so u alone dat time rigt...did u go skinny dipping??
jane: siao ar?
peter: u alone mahh
jane: there was another gal there...
peter: oic.. hehee
jane: i think she was swimming there for quite sometime oso...
jane: so she left at bout midnite i think
jane: i left bout 1 or 2ish
peter: then she left liau u din skinny dipp??
peter: hard to get those kind of chances u knoe...
jane: wat's the difference?
jane: u go skinny dip n tell me how it feels nxt time
peter: if i get the chance to be alone lah hehehe
peter: unless got skinny dipping party >:)
jane: u can exclude from the invitation list
jane: i mean exclude me
peter: no harm trying
peter: yea i mean ever since i got access to my ****** pool last year, i haven't used it
jane: y not?
jane: so much nearer to ur place
peter: donno lah.. heheh '
peter: ****** got wat clubhouse?
jane: got lotsa monotonous paperwork to sort now..
1) Apakah aktiviti yang jane ingin menceburi?
2) Apakah aktiviti yang peter cadangkan kepada jane?
3) Mengapakah jane tidak mahu melakukan aktiviti itu?
4) Siapakah peter? Siapakah jane?
Pity... The Island could have been quite a good sci-fi movie, but instead it chose to be a dumbed down summer action movie... Oh well at least there is Scarlett Johanssen!! OMG! OMG! Scarlett Johanssen is so hot!!
Basically the movie is about some bunch of gay-looking people all dressed in white, locked up in some kind of facility to protect them from the "Contamination"... once in a while, some lucky bastards are chosen by a lottery to bring them to "THE ISLAND" (yeah, how cheesy right...) the only uncontaminated place left in the world... of course, the trailers already spoil it for you that there is no island. Those gay-looking people are actually clones of very rich people in the real world. A so-called "insurance policy".
So 2 of these clones escape the facility and learn how to live in the real world (OK, basically they learn how to have sex). Of course the Dr Evil of the facility wants to track them down and bring them back otherwise his super secret will be exposed. Apparently Dr Evil told his sponsors that the clones are in "vegetable" state, but in reality all of them are living and breathing and experiencing life. Too bad for Dr Evil, there goes your multi-billion investment!
OK, watch this movie if you want to feel slightly intelligent. But for super sci-fi addicts, this movie will make you feel stupid.
Verdict: Watch it for Scarlett Johanssen.
OMG! JESSICA ALBA IS SO HOT!!!
OMG! OMG! OMG!
Fantastic 4... just a fun ride, explaining how each character got their powers... though it's funny how all of them are exposed to the same cosmic radiation, but develop so different powers. Well, a good kiddie's movie that really brings out the kid in you. I watched it from the front row of the cinema (FARKING free tickets)... had a blardy stiff neck afterwards. Quite fun to watch lah, especially for the special effects for the torch guy yada yada.... who am i kidding man!! OF COURSE it's JESSICA ALBA!!!
Man, her boobs are so hot, they're dying to explode out from that blardy uniform, her blouse, her innerwear... man... wowwwww!! JESSICA ALBA!!!!
Did I mention that Jessica Alba is so hot!?
Batmannnnn...... batmannnnn .....
Batmannnnn...... batmannnnn .....
Batmann.. .batmann... batmann....
(if you are old enough, you will remember that super cheesy tv series, where Batman is wearing a purple uniform, and Robin is wearing tight pants)
Fast forward to the 21st century. Batman is back with a vengeance!!! (actually, Batman is born out of vengeance). There was so much hype for this new Batman movie, all the trailers, promos, teasers... really created a sense of excitement for me. I remember i was in Bangkok when all the trailers started showing, "the making of" TV specials, exclusive interviews with the cast, the premier in Tokyo... WOWW I couldn't wait!
Then I watched it. OK. Hmm. Alright. OK. Right. Oh. Ok. Finish.
RIGHTTTT... was it worth my money watching it? Yes... but did it really meet my expectations? Not really... for all the hype, I expected so much more! I can't really explain my disappointment. Maybe it's coz Batman seemed so cool in the trailers, but when in the actual film it wasn't cool. Maybe it was the blurry fighting sequences... maybe it was just the whole hype... TOO MUCH HYPE will kill your movie.
Learn that lesson well, JK ROWLING :P (oops already entered Harry Potter topic pulak :P)
I remember first watching this anime when I was still studying in uni... Phang introduced this super uglily drawn anime called InitialD, the front cover of the VCD (yeah, that time VCD rulez) show a super ugly car and super ugly characters. Popped it into the PC... vroom vroom... "techno music" starts playing... suddenly FARKKK it's speaking cantonese... blardy shit, somemore all the subtitle is in chinese.... gone lah....dunno how to listen, dunno how to read.. so how? just enjoy all the car racing lor... turned out to be a good anime series.
When rumours of a live action Initial D starring Jackie Chan started about 2 years ago, I was excited. Could they really pull off all the drifts and explain all the technicalities in a movie?!??! I mean, in anime series they can drag a race to last for 5 episodes...but in a movie it goes on and off in about 5 minutes....
I am not disappointed at all!!! (except for Jay Chou's STUPID cantonese pronunciation)... the cars were faithful to the anime, the characters too, only thing the story is a mish mash from all the different seasons of the anime ("stages"). It's a good thing that the sound effects really complement the MTVish direction of the film, so it feels like a roller coaster ride, capturing all the excitement of the car races...
Will I get the DVD? Sure! But waiting for the cantonese version lar... Sie Sing just bought one, but mandarin version.. *YUCKK*
Actually there are so many reviews that say they are so disappointed with War Of The Worlds (the new movie starring Tom Cruise lah). They say Tom Cruise is so pathetic as the hero of the show, Dakota Fanning is so annoying as the screaming kid, the aliens are so stupid that they fall sick........ hold up.... isn't that the plotline from the original writings of HG Wells?!
Steven Spielberg really put in his imaginative powers and created some of the most terrifying opening chapters of any disaster movie. The first time those alien machines emerged from the ground, I was in awe... I felt as if I was one of those people standing there looking at this machine robot, wondering what would it do.. suddenly "hhoooooooonnnnkkkkkkkkkkkkkk" the war cry, and then the humming of the heat rays... *POOFFF** there goes uncle charlie... ZAPPPPP auntie smith is burnt to ashes... holy shit! DISASTER!!!
I was literally gripping the chair, I felt so sad, so sick...how could those farking martians kill us?!?!
Anyway, alot of people say that the movie degenerated once it went into the chapter where Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning were hiding in the basement with Tim Robbins... but to me, that was one of the most scariest portions of the film. The tension was really built up when the machine's "eye" was searching around the basement, and all 3 of them were trying to hide! WOWWWW what superb mastery from Steven Spielberg to put all that tension in without a single word!
So, alot of people were disappointed with the ending. Frankly so was I. But you know what, I think it's alot better than a farking COMPUTER VIRUS ala Independence Day... so kick my butt if I say that War Of The Worlds RAWKSSSSSSSSS
Yada yada yada... Ok, so why was I out of the blogging scene for so long? Tadaaaaaaaaaaaa the super list is here to explain everything!
- Bangkok Trip - OJT lah, first time to the Thailand office...
- DENGUE!!! - Yes, I was struck by the dengue fever, spent 5 days in SJMC eating hospital food *YELCHH* lucky thing hospitalization is covered by insurance
- Bangkok Trip again!! - classroom training session, nothing much happened lah. After a whole day of training you just don't feel like doing much...
- Super Shitty Project - Yes... we got a new project in June, and we're slogging off... best part is there won't be any payment till next year... there goes our bonus :(
So there you have it... want details? Belanja me mcD ice cream and I'll tell you the stories lah.. hehehe...
Went to watch Stealth yesterday night. Basically the story is about this group of 3 elite pilots in the Talon programme, flying super-cool state of the art stealth jets capable of achieving Mach4 speeds, have satellite uplinks to the control rooms, super computers to calculate all sorts of cool stuff, and...get this...foldable wings!!! Wow, if I have anything to say about this movie, it definitely has super-cool planes!
Anyway, the story goes that the 3 pilots are joined by a 4th wingman, a super AI-controlled jet called the UCAV-EDI (Eddie), Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle Extreme Deep Invader (yeah I know it sounds like crap). Basically it's more powerful, more intelligent, and more capable than its human-infested relatives. EDI's job is to learn all the tricks in the books of the 3 pilots, in the hopes that one day it will replace the need to send human pilots to do the dirty work.
Of course, from the trailers we already know that EDI will get struck by lightning and somehow screws up its internal computers, thus turning to "evil" and threatens to destroy the world.
If you think you've got the story all figured out, somehow it got even more convoluted! The captain in charge of the whole EDI project has aspirations to join the higher echelons of the political beauracracy. Planes crash, pilots get stranded in North Korea, orders made to kill pilots in the name of protecting his own ass. There's more. A hot pursuit from a North Korean sniper on the lady pilot, military mutiny charges, sneaky politicians...
But wait... don't let all that spoil the fun! Did I mention that this movie is super cool? The CGI looks damn cool. The planes are all so cool, flying at super speeds (check out the opening sequence!), shooting missiles out of rotating banks, EDI executing a super maneuver concerning a refueling balloon, and an interesting flight path 15ft above ground level (below the radar floor). Of course, most of the physics are defied in this movie, but.. hey it's super cool!
Ultimately, I wished that this movie would stick to the good old genre of humans vs machines. That would have made for a very interesting summer flick indeed! Imagine, EDI the unstoppable AI menace and the only way to stop it is to destroy it...but on board is a nuclear warhead HOT and ARMED, or some biological or chemical weapon! And EDI is threatening the human race, planting attacks on major cities and towns. WOW, that would be a superb movie!
Otherwise, Stealth is just okay, with super cool planes!
Did I mention how super cool the planes are? Mach1... Mach2... Mach3... Mach4 woooooooooshhhhhhh :P