Routine in chaos

Issue 26 - weekend newsletter

How do I know these days that it is 5 PM, other than checking my watch? Instagram stories are all about Live sessions. In the last three months, the madness for Instagram Live has flattened but evening time is when everyone wants to be heard.

Yesterday, Ashyuman Khurana was doing a Live session with fans. “Some days I am very excited that nothing is bad I will do my best and conquer the world. But then there are days where I think nothing can be done and all is over.” This caught my attention and I stayed for a while to hear him. Even he wants to be heard.

“But this was always the case and it has nothing to do with the pandemic. No one is charged up and motivated every day.” it is not just me who thinks like this. In fact, not much has changed in my life after the lockdown, except for the weekly movie on the big screen and my regular evening ride to Chetty’s Coffee for single idli and filter coffee has stopped. I have been working from home for close to a decade now so the new norm is exactly not a new norm for me. Wait for a second what is the new norm?

We are eating healthy and home-cooked food these days, obviously, we have consumed too much of the colas and the burgers to be called as a new norm. So is there a new norm? Unless you want to just throw a piece on LinkedIn about the new norm.

But something has changed or jolted with the ongoing lockdown. Bangalore is almost out I am yet to leave my society compound. I am not scared but I am lazy to go out wearing a mask and worrying too much about the new norm.

The thing that has got affected is the Routine in this ongoing chaos. “I feel like these routines, this idea of trying to control that which you can control right now is just so important,” shares leadership coach and author Jennifer Garvey Berger with Shane Parish. In an interesting long and peaceful conversation, Jennifer addresses “new normal” and how each of us is coping and struggling in different ways.

How do I stay sane and healthy and how do I help this organization I lead and support the leaders I work with? It’s taking a ton of creativity but also just a ton of perseverance for me right now.

When we all started accepting the lockdown, I was slightly calm about things. Maybe because I knew I can’t control things. Maybe because I live with my parents and most of the things are taken care of. I saw everyone around me hitting the panic button and I also did. The first thought was what if my job is gone. But when you have survived as a bootstrapped entrepreneur for 7 years, usually the skin becomes really thick. I started consuming too much about the pandemic. It was informative but then it created a lot of anxiety with what is going to happen in the future.

In all this, I realised that my routine started evaporating. It was bad for me because then you are unorganized and negativity creeps in.

“Do you wake up in the morning at approximately the time the typical person wakes up, and at the same time every day? If the answer is no, fixing that is the first thing I recommend,” says Jordan B Peterson in his book 12 Rules for Life - an antidote to chaos.

“Anxiety and depression cannot be easily treated if the sufferer has unpredictable daily routines. The system that mediate negative emotions are tightly tied to the properly cyclical circadian rhythms.”

In a recent conversation with Dan Harris - the host of the popular podcast show 10 Percent Happier, Dalai Lama had something to share on handling pandemic-induced anxiety or grief. The spiritual leader of the Tibetian people who needs no introduction shared his daily routine and stressed the fact of spending more time with ourselves. I was also fascinated to listen to his giggles.

Everyone has a story that starts when the door closes. And everyone’s pain is bigger than the rest. I don’t have anything to complain about at this moment. And this moment right now while I speak to you on a Saturday morning is all that I have.

I woke up early because I went to bed early without watching Netflix. I also made sure that I went for a walk for an hour and finished my dinner at 7:30 PM. I eat less in the night so that I can sleep well and that helps me to get up in the morning so that I go for my runs. It is a process, it is a routine that I have tried to adopt in the last 10 months.

Not to say that I spend the entire afternoon watching The Stranger on Netflix and the day before I ordered a veg exotic Pizza from a nearby restaurant. That night I was awake till 2 because I was just not interested. Out of 7, I fail on 5 days to follow the routine but then I pick myself and force myself to follow the routine.

Chaos is good for me and routine helps to bring order.

Thank You! If we are still together. Before I share the two stories that I shared this week I wanted to quickly talk about the stories I am doing off-late.

Earlier this week I wrote about why Recurring Gifting or donation is an important aspect for Nonprofits. I shared how some of the Indian and International NGOs are implementing recurring donations and what are they missing.

Before I started writing, I had another story idea related to Brands and Activism. I am sure we know what is happening in America and why “Black Lives Matter”. I wanted to write about Brands and Activism. How CEOs and brands are making their stand clear and showing spine.

Do Indian brands and CEOs have that spine? Where was Pepsi India during the protests for NRC and NPR. Which side of the debate the brand was? Today it has endorsed Sonu Sood for a mindless TikTok campaign because the Bollywood actor is the real superhero for Indians. Sonu has been doing champion work to send migrants home. But do brands only stand with an upright back when there is no confrontation?

But what good would be my rant? My favorite guy, Mark Ritson has already called out the hypocrites. You and I know the truth and at some point, you might say that Prasant is getting old, frustrated, and has problems with everything in life. So I decided to write about the Recurring Donation post at least it will give you some insights if you connect to the Nonprofit sector and online fundraising.

The second article of the week was also related to the Nonprofit sector and digital fundraising - Changing face of online fundraising.

So the question you might ask me will I be only writing about Nonprofits and online fundraising?

With the dawn of 2020, I decided to find a job. I have a personal responsibility which is the top priority of my life. I was interested in a full-time job in Bangalore but nothing was working out for multiple reasons. And eventually, a Nonprofit organization decided to have faith in my abilities.

When I started the journey, I was excited that I was getting money and work but in this last month of my consulting work I got intrigued by the simple question - “Why do people give or donate. Or what stops people from giving to a particular NGO.”

At this moment I am excited to understand the human psychology behind giving and how can digital platforms help. For me, everything is NOW. This is how I also keep myself away from depression(past), anxiety(future) and try to be happy by being in NOW. Will it change tomorrow? I don’t know. I am vey bad at predicting the future. But if it does I will be honest with you.

Moving forward you will see more articles around NonProfit and the thinking behind online fundraising. Like always, the objective is to give value. I am very clear about what I don’t want to write. This might not be a welcome change for you and if that is the case then please unsubscribe. I don’t want to spam your inbox. Besides I am tired of writing about brand campaigns, new norms, and marketers suddenly finding brand purpose. They all smell the same.

Thank you and I will see you next week. Till then love yourself, smell life, and spend time with your loved ones. 

P.S. In the last two weeks, people you have donated more than ₹52,000/- to my personal ongoing fundraising COVID-19 campaign. Thank You! Sorry for spamming you enough on your social networks and inbox. If you want to contribute then here it is:

Donation Link

Peace and Happiness ❤️