Four Simple Ways to Effective Work

A couple weeks ago, I posted a on my personal Facebook Page. I meant to ask which of the topics below you’d like to hear from me:

1- Effective work, 2- Business Startups, 3- Leadership by example, 4- Social Activities, 5- Others

It turns out that some friends answered me in private that they prefer Topic number 1: Effective Work! If you need a shorter version of my elaboration, check out this series of clips on my Page! If you prefer a more insightful version, read this post on!

1- Set Your Goals to Achieve Your Work

I do mean “goals” to be plural because one goal per day might make us feel under-productive by the end of the day! This article on RescueTime advises we set 4 important tasks to complete every day. The rest should be considered “trivial” or less important. I personally suggest you set these daily goals the night before you sleep. Then, once awake, you already know what to hustle about!

2- Manage Your Time based on Priorities

Despite an overload of daily tasks, prioritize those in order of importance. Of course, you may adjust them to its urgency by its time slots. For better time management, I suggest you read my previous blog post here. As I keep believing, if you manage your time right, you can also manage your life wisely.

3- Take Some Breaks in Between

This is probably the latest “treat” I’ve just adopted, since I practice guided meditation. Some gurus may advise you to take a five-minute break between half-hour slots. In my case, my break routines are scheduled at 10:30 am for 10 minutes, 03:30 pm for 10 minutes, 05:30 pm for 2 hours. Of course, these days, I tend to go to sleep as early as 10:30 pm 🙂 As the old saying goes, early to bed, early to rise, for a wiser mind!

4- Review Your Work and Adjust

Hang on! Don’t go to sleep yet without checking on the tasks you’ve set to achieve throughout your day. If you miss one or two, ask yourself if you should or must complete it before you hit the sack. After all, you’ll never know what you miss might cause any regret later. Hint: review what matters to you most, in terms of your personal values. These could be your beloved family or a dear mission!

In conclusion, as work makes up the major part of our lives, we should not take its sub-tasks lightly. In fact, working with a goal in mind is more effective than spending your day aimlessly or upon others’ instructions!

Memory of TEDxPP October 2011 – Part II

Andy Hawkings – Collective Song Writing
If you ask me what the most amusing presentation was during this TEDx, my answer would be Andy’s session. I saw him once during a Nerd Night session, in which he involved the audience in writing a collective song together. Personally, I find it the best way of public speaking: interactive and engaging. As this is his signature style, he got us to compose a simple song together. As he said, songs and music have universal values that transcend all differences, be they cultural, social, or racial. Here’s what we got as an entertaining, yet inspiring lyric:
“Love is peace
Endure for hope
Collaborate to prepare for change
Everything will recover if we work together
Everything will recover if we work together
Courage for Cambodia
Hope floods our hearts.”
Josh Jones – Cambodian Coffee
Josh amazed us by his 2-minute self-introduction in fluent Khmer. I was even surprised to hear such a specialized topic as coffee. But I guess the panel selected him for his innovative idea? I’m not sure about this, but his contextualization and explanation of why Cambodia should improve its coffee taste made a lot of sense to me. Every country seems to be identifiable by their coffee, like Brazil, Italia, Vietnam. This reminded me of what a friend’s relative from Laos thought about Cambodian coffee: “It tastes like washing water”! I must admit this improvable aspect when I savored Lao and Vietnamese coffee. All it needs is also to re-package our coffee, according to Josh. That’s why he advised: “Cambodian coffee needs quality and consistency.”
Kosal Khiev – Storytelling and Empathy
I happen to run into Kosal here and there in Phnom Penh. Only during this event did I learn more about his background, twists and turns. While every other speaker spoke, he told us his stories, despite his past as a detainee in the US due to his involvement in a violence gang. I bet he represents other exiled Cambodian-American people, whose past and lives we misunderstand about. Maybe their time spent in jail changed their behavior. Maybe their settlement in Cambodia exposes them to new lives. In either case, Kosal seemed to vibrate all the audience with his past experience and how he found a new path to a better life here in Cambodia.  This is the path: Storytelling changes my life.”
Preetam Rai – Unlikely Diplomats
I first got Preetam’s acquaintance Nila, who also talked during the previous TEDxPP. Every year, you can see him in BarCamp, a sharing event about IT. But he was there speaking about how Cambodian bloggers could be their country’s ambassadors. More often than not, he raised the case of Nila and her blogger friends, who travelled all the way to neighbor countries, just to share a topic with local people. What was obvious to me was that he seemed to promote BarCamp Phnom Penh, a less formal event than TED! If I have to sum up his speech, it should be: “Let’s start showing up and change the world.”
Once again, it was time for random discussion at the table. I didn’t see those I met in previous breaks, but Nila and her boyfriend, Ani. They were there surfing over Internet before she went to the airport for another scholarship trip.
Tea Break: Each audience member kept on chatting about their discovery or revelation from all the topics so far. We, MC, took the chance to pose for group photos because we rarely come to such an event as a complete group. (Well, let’s pretend it’s complete it without brother Virith!) 
Maria Fernandez Sabau – Connecting the Dots
As I said above, I met her without knowing she would be, too, a speaker! A bit like a few other speakers, she claimed that we, adults, have lost creativity, much of which we had back in childhood. So she invited us to do a drawing exercise. I didn’t know what this lead to, but drawing while closing our eyes and using two hands at the same time was quite an assignment! Doubtlessly, this visualization technique resembled what I did during DMI training courses. But little did I know it also had to do with creativity. So to re-activate our mental capacity, she said: “Be creative. Use both sides of your brains.” (Photo of Maria by Keuk Narin)
Dinna Chhan & Warren Daly – The Art of Visual Obsolescence
Then came the last session of the day, conducted by Dinna (Cambodian) and Warren (American?). Coincidentally, they also addressed creativity, but their approach had to do with used objects. While Warren talked, Dinna performed her drawing on a whiteboard using a tablet, an old projector and other old-fashioned technology stuff. Their idea to advocate for was, with time and money constraints, one could be as creative as an artist by using obsolete items to make art pieces like them. Although abstract their drawing may look to me, I could feel their message! That is why what I thought about them was: “Creativity happens when you stop thinking about the barriers.”
Closing
Finally, before we said good-bye, our traditional session was to take a lot of group photos, some of which are “crazy” or “plainly fun”! Looked like half of the speakers went off before the closing. Yet, I personally did enjoy all the experience they’d shared with us. This time around, the background spectrum was widened and the room design stood with those chair designs and standing puppets. As an extra souvenir, we were allowed to take each one chair cover back home!
 
TEDxPP was not finished at that time yet. As usual, the organizing team invited all speakers and audience to enjoy an after-party so they can continue to share and spread ideas. I couldn’t make it at this party as it clashed with two other events: “Sounding Room” by SaSa Arts and “Dontrey magazine launch” by DMC students in that same evening. After all, the topics I was exposed to during the day considerably differed from the previous TEDx although I found two common areas: mistakes and creativity. Hope to see you in the next TEDxPP.
So next time, when you make a mistake at work, play around with as many creative approaches as possible!!!

PS: For the videos of all presentations, please visit: http://tedxphnompenh.com/speakers/and search for their names and topics.