Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Kindle Unlimited - New habit in 2020

If there was one thing different in 2020, I decided to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited and give it a try. Then I decided to take a step further, to continue to read different performance books (a little every morning) as part of my enrichment this year. I am amazed at the variety that Kindle Unlimited has for such books; and I will try to document them with the key highlights and/or takeaways as I read them below.

This transpired from studying for my CCSP exam after I purchased the CCSP textbook/ guide and downloaded onto my Kindle Reader, which I have studied off my computer, iPad and iPhone back in September 2019. What I truly loved about Kindle Reader was that it was multi-device friendly, and I could pick up wherever I left off seamlessly (at home/ on-the-go). I realised that reading digitally wasn't as bad as I thought, though having a hardcover book on hand was always the better option. 

Backstory: I failed my CCSP exam when I first took it back in 2017, and the textbooks and materials have since been updated and changed. Hence I needed to get the latest copy albeit the changes were minimal. 

The 7 Habits of High-Performance People by Jason Covey

In general, it is an effective book for individuals that are trying to find ways to manage effectiveness and drive performance in their life and work, with examples that resonates well with actions. 

Five rules that high performers use to drive their success - Structure, Focus, Income Production, Health & No-Snooze.

  • Structure - Concept that stands out most is efficiency. With a routine to follow daily, there is less need for mundane decision making - and a routine instills good habits and seeks out priorities that is developed with repetition and practice. 
    1. Start their practice by preparing for the next day the night before
    2. Time-block and block out periods of time (create bookends) for things needed to accomplish to prevent multitasking and distractions
    3. Wake up at a time that works and wake consistently to cement the routine

  • Focus - 15 minute focus helps to provide greater self-awareness and effectiveness in a day.
    1. Meditation helps to reduce anxiety and stress in general for better health and practicing with mindfulness and increase self-awareness
    2. Gratitude Practice enables individuals to reflect on things they are thankful for to feel better, sleep better, express more kindness and have more positive emotions

  • Income Production Activities (IPA) - Focus on IPA enables individuals to create a plan on how to approach the day (e.g. preparing for the next day the night before as a routine) and be productive. Identify what are the time drains in a day and what is actually helping to produce work efficiently by prioritising activities.
    1. Take care of clients and prospects, build credibility and understand the value in follow up to solidify relationships and share values

  • Health - Personal health has a great impact to performance. 
    1. Engage in physical activities or workouts provides improved levels of energy and circulation to fuel for the day
    2. Stay conscious of the food such as a healthy mix of protein, vitamins, carbs and constant hydration contributes to focus and productivity
    3. Take time to relax and set aside time in the day to read, spend time with family or catch up with friends; to spend it unwinding
    4. Get sufficient sleep and quick breaks between to generate energy transiting between tasks and meetings to stay focused
    5. Put yourself first - This is a balance between collaborating, when to nurture and when to go solo

  • No Snooze - Start ahead of the curve for the day; hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep again causes what is known as sleep inertia. There is value in appreciating waking up and choose your adventures and attitude every day, something that is compelling and commit and stay on track with plans.

There are also 7 habits - just as the book title puts it:

  • Habit 1: Value in Time
  • Habit 2: Power of the Plan
  • Habit 3: Daily Enrichment
  • Habit 4: Self Care
  • Habit 5: Concentrated Focus
  • Habit 6: Know Influence
  • Habit 7: Push Beyond Comfort

The next book I am reading is on Strategic Storytelling - Which talks about how to create persuasive business presentations. I am 15% into the book and am intrigued!

Friday, June 12, 2020


Ju and I have turned 8 last November, and have since moved on to a next phase of life - a wedding back in 2018 that I've yet to share about, and a new joy in our lives in 2020 that I hope to share more in future. 

The last 4 weeks have been life-changing. It definitely has its moments (the ups and the downs) and got us victory moments and pleasant smiling faces. He is one joy we have brought to our lives that have allowed us as new parents to experience many "firsts" that we never had a chance. 

It made me realise that even as a new mom, I can worry about every single thing that is happening to my newborn. It starts from the slightest things to sounds he make while he's drinking, his sleeping/crying/pooping patterns, his 2-hourly to 3-hourly feeds, worrying about insufficient milk supply, worrying about the little baby acne that started appearing on his 2nd week... The list goes on. I spent a lot of time reading different online advices, parenthood forums, their experiences and journeys and tell myself that "it is okay". 4 weeks later, I am still telling myself that "it is going to be okay."

I tried to document every part of his growth, hoping that I'd remember - But there were many experiences that I've had (and passed) that will in future might help another new mom out there. I also realised how important it is to have the right type of support - support from your husband, support from your family and friends. We really went into this pregnancy and told ourselves to "go with the flow". We are currently flowing with love and delight every single day and never turned back since. 

As I look back and reflect on our journey together the last 4 weeks, it really takes us to tango together, to feel the rhythm and trust me, things are going to get worse before it gets better. There were times that I was at the lowest in my life (I had doubts about everything - about not being able to be a good mom, about the incessant cryings that I don't know what was wrong and how to fix it, about the different types of worries I had and anxiety that I never knew I would go through...), but when things pass and as you watch them grow, they are like the rainbow after a storm.

  1. I am grateful that he was able to latch perfectly well, and as we continue to work out our feed timings, and just being there with me in the wee mornings of the nights when everyone else was asleep.
  2. I am grateful for his mini smiles and milk-drunk face that he gives after each feeding session. I love seeing his satiated face, and his love for being cradled to sleep before placing him back into his crib.
  3. I am grateful for having him to know that I can encompass and love another human so much - on top of my family, my husband, my dog and now my son. I will do anything and everything for you.
  4. I am grateful for his reactions to certain things, to enable me to learn and re-learn what patience is about, and also pushing me to read and learn things out of my comfort zone, and to re-learn what it takes to be a good mother, a good daughter, a good wife, a good teacher and in future a good confidant.
  5. I am grateful for having him to complete the void in my heart, to fill my life with love, and love from everyone else. I want to grow old with you with my husband together. It has shown me that a husband's and daddy's love is also unconditional, and that they will do anything and everything for us.
I want to document this new journey of life together with my family, and I look forward to sharing more when the time comes!