Structured Distractions, Manual for the Modern Manager & Reimagining 2nd half of Career

The High Five - Edition #26

Hello friends,

Welcome to The High Five. Thank you all for subscribing to this weekly newsletter in which I curate some of the interesting reads from the week. I couldn’t send ‘The High Five’ last weekend as I was a bit unwell and I couldn’t sit up to type on my laptop. But this weekend, I have some interesting articles lined up - all around career and work-life. So here’s what we have in this 26th edition.

  1. Structured Distraction

  2. A manual for the Modern Manager

  3. Reimagining the 2nd half of the Career

  4. A quote on our ‘opinions’

  5. A question about opinions

Productivity: Structured distraction: how to make the most of your breaks at work

How many breaks do you take during your workday? Two? I take two breaks - one for 15mins to have lunch and another for 5mins to make coffee, at around 4:30 pm. Clearly, that isn't enough. I am trying to get better at it and so far, the results have been far less impressive. But if we need to start with a clean slate - we need to ask ourselves the fundamental question - "How many breaks do we need in a day?". Apparently, there is no one right answer for it but directionally, the recommendation is that we take at least 6-8 breaks in an 8-9 hour workday. This article from Ness Labs makes a strong case for why breaks are essential for us to perform at our peak productivity levels:

This article also proposes some activities that we can do in those breaks to truly reset our physical and mental energies:

Do you have any other ideas about making micro-breaks more effective? Do share in the comments.

Leadership: The Indispensable Document for the Modern Manager

These days, I am reading a lot about 'Managerial skills' because as we accumulate more years in the role, we somehow take some of the basic elements for granted and they begin to erode from our Leadership arsenal. Managerial skills are evergreen - no matter how much technology disrupts our work. I came across this article which offers a 'user guide' to becoming a great Team Manager. The lessons here are distilled from the best practices followed by Jay Desai - the CEO of a health startup called PatientPing. While the context could be a startup, there are some great suggestions here that I think could be universally applicable.

The categories are comprehensive and true to the name of the article, the categories and suggestions work like a wonderful manual that we need to keep handy, for demonstrating great managerial skills. Do read it and let me know what you think.

Career Planning: How to Reimagine the Second Half of Your Career

A good piece from HBR on career planning, particularly for the 2nd half of the career life. The article highlights 5 core concepts that need to anchor career planning. They are:

  1. Entrepreneurialism

  2. Self-confidence

  3. Continuous Learning

  4. Continuous Improvement

  5. Reinvention

I think these are important lens which we need to put on while making career decisions and also practising intentionality about where we want to play and how.

A quote that intrigued me this week: If you cannot debate against your own most cherished opinion, you’ve started to die. - Ayon Banerjee (author of ‘As You Life It’)

A question that got triggered by this quote: When was the last time you completely changed your opinion about something? How did it happen?

I hope you liked this edition. If you did, please share it with a friend who might like it too.


Have a nice weekend. Until next time.