THE FIVE THINGS JOURNAL
Welcome to this issue of The Five Things Journal.
This is the first issue of 2021, a brand new year. I am quite excited to see how this year unfolds for the Blog. I am so glad to have you all with me on this journey, as we embark to do bigger and even better things with our time and lives.
Now coming back to this edition, I bring to you 'The 5' which will, hopefully, teach you something new, give you something interesting, tell you something fascinating, make you do something constructive and give you some fodder for thought.
Last year, I spent quite a bit of time delving into ways to improve my productivity.
I read up articles, discovered new methods and systems and even read books on them. In fact, one of my current read-in-progress is 'Getting Things Done' by David Allen.
I needed to up my productivity game because I have put a lot on my plate - writing posts for the Blog, posting on social media, interacting with people who contact me, this newsletter and doing some online courses on a variety of topics. On top of this, I had my usual office workload, cooking for the family and managing a rambunctious toddler.
I also discovered various productivity tools like Trello and Notion and enjoyed setting them up in a way that helps me.
I understand you too, may have difficulties in managing your productivity. I found the articles on the website Lawyerist, particularly this one, quite informative and helpful.
Ayushi, a regular reader and subscriber of the Blog has written a wonderful guest post for the Blog on ways to make the best out of a law firm internship. She has shared her personal experience in this very helpful post. Read it here.
This fortnight's big news, to me, is decriminalization of a number of offences under the Companies Act, 2013. Here is an article on all the changes suggested by the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2020.
I recorded a fantastic conversation with my friend, Shailja Singh, on being an international trade lawyer and career opportunities available in this niche area. Shailja is a consultant with the WTO Centre for Studies, IIFT, New Delhi and is part of Government of India's trade negotiation, policy and disputes team.
What this translates into is, she negotiates contracts on behalf of the Government and represents the country in trade disputes. How cool is that?
If you are someone interested in this practice area and want to know more, here is the video for you.
Now let's make some realistic goals for 2021 together.
I will share with you how I set goals in a way that I achieve it.
One of my goals in 2021 is to read more books. I have always been a reader, but the last year saw me reading very very few books. So I want to change it this year.
So I set my goal "Read 24 books in 2021". This translates into 2 books per month.
Now let me break it down for you.
I set a realistic goal, which I know I can achieve if I try just a little bit. That will ensure that I will look forward to achieving this goal.
I also know that I might end up reading more than that, so that will give me bonus pleasure.
Now I broke this goal down into an actionable plan. The only way to ensure I read more books, is to make reading a habit. So I did the following two things -
a) I promised myself I will read for 15 mins every day. It's a small amount of time and I have scheduled it in my calendar.
b) I told a friend for accountability. I knew she wanted to read more too, so together we can keep each other on track. She also suggested we do something out of our comfort zone to keep the motivation alive, like setting up an Instagram account for book reviews where we will post about our journey. We have sort of formed a private book club.
Apart from the books I am reading along with her, I am reading a lot of other books. I am also changing my reading style and reading more mindfully, highlighting passages and reading more than one book at a time.
You, my friend, too can set goals and work towards achieving it.
Don't say I will create a great CV for getting a job. Instead, say "I will write and publish three long-form articles and five short-piece articles this year."
Then you write down the actions that will help you achieve this goal.
- Read legal news every day to keep track of what's happening around me.
- Choose a topic of interest each week and research to see if I can identify a topic to write.
- Shortlist one topic every month and work on it for the next three weeks.
- Schedule one particular hour every day to work on articles.
At the end of it, you will have improved your knowledge, research skills and writing skills, all while adding great value to your CV.
Raising my cup of tea to your success in the new year.
What you could have done differently in 2020, in hindsight?
Do hit the 'reply' button and send in your answers.
As promised, here is my goal for 2021. I want to focus purely and solely on the Blog and publish articles regularly, at least four a month.
As many of you may already know, renowned legal blogger Sterling Miller mentioned The Five Things Checklist and my Linkedin posts as one of his 'top 10 legal blogs for in-house lawyers'. I cannot be thankful enough for the mention, especially his blog is the inspiration behind mine.
While I love my posts on Linkedin and Instagram, writing long-form articles is what I enjoy most and so, I want to be more consistent with my writing this year.
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Until next fortnight,
Stay Positive. Stay Awesome.
All my best,
P.S. #1 I will be going live tomorrow, Saturday 9 January 2021, 10.30 AM on Instagram. Follow me there. I do this every alternate Saturdays to answer your questions face to face.
P.S. #2 I have a video series called "MentorSpeak" on my Youtube channel where I talk to senior legal professionals and bring to you valuable career insights from their life experience. If you want to listen to someone, in particular, recommend to me in this form.
P.S #3 I am doing a short survey to understand in-depth, the gap between academic study and practical need. Please consider filling this form up.
P.S #4 The Five Things Checklist blog is now accepting guest posts. Here are the submission guidelines.
Happy to have you as part of my 'Awesome Lawyers Tribe'.