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Techie, blogger & DataScience manager. I write about Technology, Leadership, and Career Development.

ILLUMINATION CHALLENGE 100 — DAY 34

How To Write 4000+ Words Per Hour

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Grammarly recently reminded me that I have written more than 2.1 Million since May 2020, while holding a full-time job and caring for a tiny baby. How was this possible?

The “IVANA” method is my hack for extreme writing productivity. Try it if you want to write more but have limited time or worse, tiny pockets of time where you cannot always sit at a laptop to type!

IVANA Method

IVANA is the acronym for my 5-step writing program.

I write part-time and found it difficult to get into “the zone” when I could only spare 15 minutes at a stretch. …


ILLUMINATION CHALLENGE 100 — DAY 8

Prepare for the Future of Work!

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The pandemic has taught us that some entire industries (airlines, restaurants) can collapse and companies can get disrupted in a matter of months. Plus, the way technology is advancing many skills (and roles) will become obsolete in the next 10 years. New jobs in the future may require skills that do not even exist today.

If you want to future-proof your career, having these 7 skills are an absolute must! Master them and you will stay relevant irrespective of what the future holds!

  1. T-shaped Expertise.
  2. Creative Problem-Solving.
  3. Leadership.
  4. Geek Acumen.
  5. Personal branding.
  6. Learning Agility.
  7. Focus.

#1. T-shaped Expertise

In the software world, the…


ILLUMINATION CHALLENGE 100 — DAY 17

Important Life Lessons You Never Learn in College

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A cousin of mine was moaning that her daughter will probably take a gap year since she wants the “full college experience” and online classes do not offer the same level of joyous camaraderie. This made me ponder about the many important life lessons that college never teaches you.

We just launch our kids into the grown-up world with no clue about important topics like money, parenthood, office politics, and other crucial concepts expecting them to have picked it up by osmosis watching their parents. (Like we parents know everything!)

Why don’t we have a class called “adulting” before graduation?


Travel Tips

Tips Beyond Virtual Hikes

Image courtesy Author — SFO bridge

Are you tired of the lockdown and craving to travel somewhere, anywhere? I know I am, but not enough to board a plane and head off yet. At the same time, using virtual “hikes” via Zoom or Google Maps does get old after a while. Instead, here are some alternatives to satisfy your travel wanderlust even during the lockdown.

1] Beauty Amid Urban Jungle.

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Instead of daydreaming (with despair) about an exotic vacation in Hawaii or Europe, have you looked closely at your home city? …


#SethGodinDailyChallenge

How to monetize it for higher reads and payouts

I love the new layout and features on Medium.com — this is basically a jackpot for quality writers, irrespective of your following size or previous experiences with monetization!

I wrote about the “Hooked” model that product designers use, but Medium just took it to a whole new level! And this can potentially translate to big bucks for good writers.

This post is a breakdown of how writers can use the new features to get more reads, higher reading time, and eventually larger payouts.

The Hooked Model Background

The “Hooked” model is a concept from Nir Eyal’s book of the same name. I wrote about…


ILLUMINATION CHALLENGE 100 — DAY 55

The Mountain of Stupidity works in your Favor!

Dunning-Kruger effect. Image created by Author

I first heard about the DunningKruger effect in my organizational behavior class. This is a concept from psychology; a cognitive bias in which highly competent people suffer from low confidence in their abilities (“impostor syndrome”) while people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability and bask in the glow of illusory superiority.

A diagram of the effect showing the relation between competence and confidence is shown above; pretty self-explanatory. A = Mountain of Stupidity, B = Valley of Despair, D = Plateau of Sustainability.

However, the interesting takeaway from a group discussion on this concept was that all…


ILLUMINATION CHALLENGE 100 — DAY 54

… when the world is crashing around you!

Image from author’s private collection

It has been 15 months since the pandemic started. A lot of folks I know are now suffering from ‘Cabin fever’ and ‘Zoom fatigue’.

Here in the US, things are slowly beginning to open up thanks to the vaccines and earlier mask mandates and lockdowns. But countries like India and South America are still being ravaged.

So, when the world is struggling and everything looks bleak, how do you say happy?

A Simple Mindset Shift

Not trying to minimize the loss of life or livelihood, but just offering a way to distract your brain from focusing on negatives alone.

A Simple Mindset Change!

Look…


ILLUMINATION CHALLENGE 100 — DAY 53

Happy Milestones & Insights

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I recently crossed the halfway mark for Dr Mehmet Yildiz 100 day writing challenge, and the benefits have been enormous! So much better than writing courses and 4-figure mastermind classes. Writing a post to demonstrate the milestones and reflections from my journey so far!

Taking a page out of Misbah Ul Haq Syed and Niru and their reflection posts. The former writes some brilliant weekly recaps and has been keeping me company in this challenge. Love his posts on the various countries he has lived in! The latter writes these thoughtful monthly posts, dissecting what worked and why — almost…


ILLUMINATION CHALLENGE 100 — DAY 52

Win-win To Get New Readers and New Income Streams!!

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Did you know LinkedIn can be a boon for writers and content creators? Did you know about the awesome new feature in LinkedIn which may help you increase the monetization potential of your Medium stories?

LinkedIn and Medium — a partnership made in writer heaven! :)

Creator Mode

The feature I am referring to is the ‘Creator Mode’ which was released in March 2021 to select users, and now available to everyone on LinkedIn.

By default, it is still turned off. You can enable it by heading over to your profile page. This can be done both via the LinkedIn smartphone app…


ILLUMINATION CHALLENGE 100 — DAY 51

Reject it only if you want to stay broke forever!

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Do you want to increase your net worth to a million dollars or more? Do you want to do this in 10 years or less? Do you want to move away from a daily job that you hate to working on fun stuff you love and/or traveling the world?

If the answer to any of those questions is YES, then you really should follow the publication .

That said, here are 3 stories I recently read on Money that blew my mind!

My dad is an accountant and his advice usually goes along the pages of the…

Ann Venkataraman

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