The Art of Managing Energy

Want to learn how to be productive or ultra-productive in the workplace or in studies?

Managing time is not as important as managing energy is. This can be achieved by mastering the 4 pillars of energy management:

First, physical energy. Get 7 hours of sleep, exercise for 40 minutes everyday (if you target everyday, you will end up working out 5 times a week), eat wholesome food. Be mindful of what you are eating – start reading nutrition labels. Listen to a podcast or soul-music while walking/running. It is just that simple.

Second, emotional energy. Empathy, sensitivity and EQ are massively underrated.Try to be a better version of yourself daily. Learn to let go of things that you cannot change instead of sitting and cribbing, be happy in others’ success and be more emotionally competent. Maintain a journal and write down your thoughts and emotions, it helps a lot as it makes your problem seem tackable and helps to find solutions for the same.

Third, mental energy. Stop waking up to alarm clocks grudgingly and wake up to gratitude. Don’t touch your mobile phone for the first 30 minutes. Practice meditation to help you to become more creative and widen your perspective and to help you think from a larger point of view. Reading the right content will help shape your mental well being. Surround yourself with people who push you forward instead of negative people. You are going to be the total of books you read and people you are with, so be extra careful while choosing both.

Fourth, spiritual energy. Organize and de-clutter your mind and where you work, eventually, your productivity will increase. A happy person is efficient and highly productive.

For a detailed description please find the video below!


How to Choose a Career

“You can connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future.” ~ Steve Jobs

Like Steve Jobs rightly said, you will have to trust the process and be okay if things do not work out for you. If one door closes, another will open, only if you put in the effort. Keep moving with the best alternative at hand.

You need to introspect and note down your career goal and plan. Think about where you want to be five years down the line and be flexible with it. Start understanding where your preferences lay in terms of subjects and fields. Research about a topic or talk to experienced people to know more about the subject to make a decision. Weigh out your options and think pragmatically. You may not like every aspect of a particular thing, be prepared for it. While taking decisions, consider the emotional quotient also. You will have to attempt and push yourself.

Draw a timeline every few months. Do not get discouraged with what people say, be determined and give it a start. Understand that there will always be a trade-off and make a conscious choice. Be realistic and evaluate yourself. In the end, it is your life so make the most of it.



The most common question asked to Aswini Bajaj, a trainer and consultant, is how he managed to clear CA, CS, CFA, FRM, CAIA, CIPM, CCRA, CIRA, CIIB, AIM in the first attempt.

Following are some of the factors that helped him reach where he is now.

Firstly, it is the intrinsic motivation that drives you towards your goal. Ask yourself the “why.” It will push you to put in the required effort. Imagine it to be like a fixed deposit where you keep on investing and the benefits of which you enjoy throughout your life. Look at the long term instead of the short term.

Second, the value system you are brought up with molds you. Moreover, your family and friends should understand the importance of education and be your support system. There is a lot of cumulative effort that is at stake. Respecting time, money, and the efforts of yourself as well the people around you is important.

Third, consistency, hard work, and long stretches of studying are other salient features that make you productive. Understand the concepts rather than mugging up. It will make your foundation strong. Communicate with your seniors to learn from their experiences.

Lastly, you cannot fall ill before your exams. So eat right and feel right, because positivity is necessary. Reward yourself when you achieve a target. The little things matter and help you to push the envelope.

Most importantly, Invest In Yourself because there is no substitute.


When Panic Strikes the Market

The lessons learnt from the 2020 pandemic.

This was a time when every country was facing its own challenges, be it in the field of economics or politics. For all generations who were witnessing a pandemic for the first time, it was a new culture of  ‘work from home’ that they were thrust into. The world was at a pause and that was your time to get a headstart.

The underlying message here is that we should make the most out of this new working culture as it gives us the advantage of a certain level of flexibility. We should also be more empathetic to other business providers as we realise various bottlenecks they are facing right now.


How to Begin Investing

Personal finance and its management is a crucial skill one should possess in these challenging times. Do you want to invest long term? Or do you want to be a trader? Or do you want to manage portfolios?

A professional trader will be essentially glued to a screen from 9 to 3:30 and track the markets as they move.

But long term investment works in a different way. Our methods of investing will vary significantly from a portfolio manager. He will value the stocks and research about the company’s management. He will further make his financial projections on this company.

What are the different instruments we can put our money on?

  • Equity shares- Putting your money in companies. There are 3 types of shares –  large cap, mid cap and small cap. Large cap companies have a huge market share and valuation. Similarly, mid cap companies have a smaller market share and small cap companies have the smallest type of valuation.
  • Large cap companies are often less riskier than small cap companies as they may have more corporate governance, better reporting and higher bargaining power.
  • Equity has 3 ways of investment- mutual funds, direct stocks and ETFs. Mutual funds houses collect money from multiple people and then invest in stocks with the help of portfolio managers. Exchange Traded Funds have lower administrative expenses compared to mutual funds and allow stocks to be invested in a bundle.
  • Fixed income security are the investments that give you a standard, regular amount of interest. Provident Funds give you tax benefits. Term insurance has lesser premiums and better cover.
  • Liquid funds will be unaffected by changes in market interest rates whereas long term funds block your money for a longer time and are likely to be affected more. Before investing in these funds, be careful to check if they are government or corporate because that defines their riskiness.
  • Holding too much of cash doesn’t make sense as the economy faces inflation.
  • Gold is a better investment if kept in a demat form as it reduces the storage costs. Treating jewellery as investments is not a good option.
  • Talking about real estate, having your own house saves you a rental expense and can be considered an yield of a kind. Having your own home will also give you a sense of security.
  • Hedge funds and private equity companies are for high net worth individuals. Hedge funds are for risky investments and private equity firms are ones where the common public cannot invest.

We must remember that it is important to diversify our portfolio – do not put all your eggs in one basket.

Thumb rules while making a portfolio:

  • If my age is 29 years, 100-29= 71% of my money should be invested in equity and the remaining should go to fixed income. Plan your investment according to your expected expenses.
  • Do SIPs and bulk payments in small and mid cap funds.

In conclusion, one should do his/her own research as their financial situation is at stake here. It is important to grasp the reality of these concepts and make your decision based on them.


Don’t Buy the Wrong Dream

“You’re the sum total of the books you read and the people you surround yourself with.”

This is the era where we are susceptible to an outstanding amount of news material – and fighting fake news is a challenge. People are influenced easily by the attractive prospects circulated on social media and try to extrapolate outliers.

Sharing my thoughts on how to not buy the wrong dream:

  1. Do not take advice from the wrong set of people.
  2. Do not buy anything and everything that is being sold to you on an EMI. Only two kinds of borrowings that are acceptable are education and home loans. Do not fall for the concept of luxury that people hype up on the internet.
  3. Try to follow those people who push you to work harder, who push you to work more, who push you to do better. This is going to make you confident and avoid slipping into depression. Our emotional quotient should be very, very strong. Say NO to people who are pulling you down.
  4. Do I have the right reasons to start my own start-up? Do I have the idea? Do I have the talent and skills that I can capitalize on to become an entrepreneur? Ask yourself these questions.
  5. Do not try to impress people on social media.
  6. Don’t fall for people who sell you shortcuts and false dreams.

For a detailed description please find the video below!


How can We Deal with Our Failures?

Sharing my thoughts addressing a panel discussion at Mithibai College

Q- We’ve always heard that failures are stepping stones to success. But how do you deal with failures?

A- After I got a rank in CA inter, I couldn’t get an interview with any of the Big 4 auditing firms. That was my first taste of failure. It was not my fault and I was angry.  But I did not stop there and moved forward with my college and teaching job. I was later not shortlisted for the CA campus placements as well. But I eventually got into Cairn India and learnt amazing new things that played an important role in my career. This helped me build my confidence and it included an exceptional level of hard work. The problem with failure is that there is a severe lack of patience. Secondly, students receive too much misguidance these days.  Thirdly, there is a problematic culture of online comparison. Fourthly, there are too many distractions for them.

There should be a certain amount of seriousness and discipline instilled in students in order for them to succeed. The first step in doing that is reading the Bhagavad Gita. We can only be happy if we are competent because we have a certain level of confidence and security in ourselves. Labour is not equal to sorrow. Hard work is the only way to be fully satisfied with oneself.

Which is why, you should always Invest in Yourself. 

For a detailed description please find the video below!


Lockdown-Induced Stress and How to Deal with it

During the pandemic, fear and stress had seized our minds. While we are still reeling under the repercussions, staying calm and positive is what will get us through this time.

Here are a few ways in which you can do that:

  • Reading the Gita: It gives insights, knowledge and also provides enormous life lessons which are useful in today’s tough times.
  • Try to live a simpler life and find available alternatives for things on your wish list.
  • Create a good margin of safety financially; it is better than living on the edge. The fear of losing more will reduce drastically.
  • Having a strong sense of self-confidence is the key to everything- this could be achieved by holistically developing your skills.
  • Having a strong value system and a disciplined life will help you stay calm and focused during these times which are still quite uncertain
  • Keep moving and keep growing. Sitting in one place for the whole day will end up creating more stress, instead, keep the work on, stay busy and keep learning. Get some movement in. The adrenaline rush is known to alleviate stress.


Sitting and binge-watching your favourite shows and still feeling stressed and depressed?

The main reason is movement, be it in physical terms or in terms of developing yourself.

Continuous growth and self-discipline are the two main factors to deal with COVID-19 stress and anxiety issues.


Why is Focussing on Something so Difficult? How can You Fix it?

“We don’t have to be smarter than the rest; we have to be more disciplined than the rest.” -Warren Buffett

Finding it difficult to focus while studying or doing a particular task? Easily distracted by your phone and/or social media?

Well, you are not alone; it is an issue with almost every student.

Focus and self-discipline go hand in hand, without one, the other fails.

Self-discipline, like everything else, is a practice. Not every day will be perfect, but each day you inch closer to focussing on something just a little bit more. And before you know it, it becomes a habit. I have summarized a few theories and tips which will help you achieve the same.

How to focus amidst the distractions?

  • Your brain is not meant for multitasking; do one thing first and then the next.
  • Studying or working at a stretch will result in productivity. Think about how good sleep is when you sleep for a couple of hours at a stretch. Reward yourself with a 10 minute break to rest your brain and avoid brain fog.
  • De-clutter the place you are studying in.
  • Try removing as many social apps as you can from your phone- lesser the notifications, lesser the distractions.

How can you be more productive?

  • Having a proper schedule of how to begin and end your day is a must. Being disciplined in what you do and maintaining a timely schedule will help to attain your goals.
  • Try avoiding sugar. Have more water. Sugar crashes can lead to energy crashes which leads to a massive loss in productivity.
  • Stay away from the screen in between the breaks to let your mind rest. Go for a walker take a 10 minute power nap instead.
  • Everyone is physiologically a morning person, and hence makes your routine accordingly:

4) Everyone is physiologically a morning person, and hence makes your routine accordingly:

-push your readings at night, so you can stay away from your phone before sleeping.

-do the actual hard work like studying in the morning and then continue with work.

5) Making a schedule for yourself makes you feel like you have spent the day wisely and invested in yourself constructively.

6) It is important to surround yourself with people who help you focus more, rather than pulling you down.

7) Force yourself to focus and discipline, only you can bring a change in you, no one else can.

Remember: To achieve something, sacrifices are unavoidable.


Perseverance, Struggle, Hardwork and Hope – My Little Experience with All

“Cause I know how it feels, so yes, wait for your rewards” ~ Aswini Bajaj

As the pandemic continues to pose the near term challenges for the youth, expectations are most likely to meet the reality on the ground and there is more anxiety and nervousness among the students and even working professionals about placements, jobs and bonuses.

Aswini Bajaj, mentor and consultant, talks about his personal experiences and a journey through hardships that didn’t pay him early rewards.

“As a millennial myself, I understand that when you work so hard, you expect jobs and when you don’t get the return, you feel bad and discouraged. Even I expected my rewards after my CA final got over, but surely it didn’t turn out how I wanted it to be.”

It’s a hard time for every bread earner especially for those who’ve just begun their career and feel that there are a lot fewer opportunities. Things will take time before you reap the actual rewards.

“I would recommend all young people out there to just not give up. It took time for me to set up as well. You have to be firm on the ground and learn as much as you can. My learning curve is still steep and I still face cold responses to messages. But you have to remain patient and just keep going about it.”

“You will get your returns in peaks and valleys. How you prepare yourself in the valleys will determine when and how high a peak you are to achieve.”

Giving up in difficult times will not generate any new ray of hope, so it’s better that you build yourself during this phase and keep working hard for there is never a shortcut to real success.

Tune in to listen to this podcast to know those unexpected ups and downs in his life and what it requires to beat the initial days of wait, struggle, and rebuilding from scratch.

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