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Time Management

In Blog by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

As a managing partner in a multi-office law firm I’m often asked how I’m able to do so much. Whenever I’m asked this question I respond that the key is going back to basics. Without a fundamentally strong and sound set of systems and practices in place, it doesn’t matter how much willpower you have. So here are some of my top tips for time management and, in particular, some of the more practical aspects:

  1. Stay Positive – Before I turn my attention to the more practical time management skills, I want to address up front what I see as one of the most critical mental aspects of time management. In my experience, those people who are able to maintain an even keel whilst under pressure and have a positive disposition no matter the circumstances they face seem to be able to manage their time better. If you have 25 things to do this week, worrying and stressing doesn’t progress any of those tasks, instead it lends itself to procrastination.A negative attitude and mindset doesn’t help in giving you clarity on how best to approach or break down the matters you have at hand to be completed. On the other hand, if you remain positive and focus on breaking down each element to the tasks in front of you, you’ll quickly knock over a few, gain momentum, and achieve everything that you have set out to do. I’ve often said that worry is a waste of energy better spent getting things done.
  1. To Do Lists and Prioritisation – To do lists and prioritisation go hand in hand. It’s critical to have a to do list of the various tasks that need your attention, in both personal and professional settlings, and to then break those down into priorities based on the matrix below:Urgency-Importance Matrix
    It’s critically important to regularly update your tasks and the priorities you set for them. Depending on your workload, this may be once a day or, alternatively, on multiple occasions throughout the day. The key is to try different systems to determine what works for you.
  1. Technology – The use of Microsoft Outlook, in particular the Task and Calendar functionality, is an absolute must for me in order to maximise the time I spend on doing instead of determining what I need to do. The days of handwritten to do lists are dead, at worst you should be printing out your task list, and potentially, highlighting some urgent tasks that you may be doing in priority for a short period on a particular day.
  1. Saying No – Having your task list and priorities should help you identify when you need to say no to things that pop up. Obviously you do not want to say no to opportunities which are a result of all the effort you are putting in but you do need to know which of the non urgent, non important opportunities can be held back for later and scheduled in to better fit with your overall priorities.
  1. Delegation – If possible, delegation is an ideal method with which to maximise your time. At the end of the day, you are only able to be in one place at a time and this limits what you can achieve. Being able to effectively delegate will allow you to leverage and achieve more that what you can as an individual.


There are plenty of other time management tips out there but these are some that I’ve found personally effective through my experience. I would recommend that you keep trying new techniques and ideas to better manage your time until you find what works for you. At the end of the day, whatever system you come up with needs to be one that you are comfortable with and that helps you achieve all that you set out to do.

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YSPN Sydney Inaugural Dinner

In Announcements, Events by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

YSPN Inaugural Annual Dinner Event

On Monday 27 April, YSPN Sydney held its Inaugural Annual Dinner, themed “From Startup to Boardroom: How Peeyush Gupta became one of Australia’s most successful businessmen”. The event featured Peeyush Gupta, Chairman MLC Life and Director at NAB and SBS; as well as facilitator Sheila Dhillon, Director of Public Affairs and Communication at CSC.

The event featured Professional Services Partners, Principals at Financial Services Firms, Senior Executives in Government departments and a host of ambitious young professionals eager to learn lessons, as Peeyush said, in going from struggle, to success and onto significance.

To see photos from this event, click here.

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Creativity in Business – Part 2

In Blog by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

Part 2: How to become a creative thinker

In part one we discussed creativity as a concept and why it is vital for businesses to be creative. This time, we’ll explore the 5 elements of creativity and will give you 4 simple exercises that will allow you to think more creatively.

How can you become more creative?

Creativity can be broken down into 5 elements:

  1. Associating

This is the practice of connecting the dots between seemingly unrelated ideas. It’s the art of pulling inspiration and insight from one area and applying it to something completely different.

  1. Questioning

Curiosity is a deeply ingrained tenant in all creative professions. Highly creative and innovative individuals are always asking for the whys and whats, they rarely accept the world as it is.

  1. Observing

In her book Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, Maria Konnikova emphasizes the importance of observing our surroundings on a deeper level.

  1. Networking

This isn’t just about expanding your LinkedIn connections or the rolodex of business cards on your desk. Networking involves expanding your bubble to involve individuals and ideas from all walks of life. Creative individuals don’t stick to just their area of expertise. They’re constantly trying new things.

  1. Experimenting

In order to drum up unique ideas, you have to venture outside of your comfort zone and experiment with new ideas and ways of working. Google pioneered a concept of “80/20 time” that allowed engineers to tinker for 20% of their work time. The concept has since spread to other companies like LinkedIn and Apple. These companies understand that creativity doesn’t just happen. It takes work.

Creative exercises
  1. Be distracted often

When we’re distracted, we’re not thinking about a solution to a particular problem or wondering what our next great article idea could be. A distraction may provide the break you need to disengage from a fixation on the ineffective solution.

Focusing too intently on a problem basically uses up all of your cognitive resources. When you step back and do something mundane or repetitive you lighten your cognitive load which can help you find the solution you were looking for in the first place. You have to give your brain the space to be creative.

  1. Change your environment

Getting out of your normal environment could be just the thing you need to spark your creative thinking. Research on living abroad demonstrated that immersing yourself in a different culture can make you more creative. Why is that? It could be due to the way the brain must adapt to living in a totally different country. Your brain is forced to make new connections and see things from a different perspective which can enhance creativity.

  1. Adjust your schedule

You don’t have to switch your entire schedule around to force yourself into being a night owl or rising at the crack of dawn. But, occasionally breaking out of your routine might just be the switch you need to set your mind buzzing with a handful of great ideas.

  1. Become a beginner

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few
— Zen Master Shunryo Suzuki
If you’ve been practicing your craft for any length of time, you probably wouldn’t consider yourself a beginner. Beginners lack understanding, they don’t know exactly what they’re doing or what they’re truly capable of. This type of mindset, however, may be exactly what you need.

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Creativity in Business – Part 1

In Blog by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

Part 1: Creativity in business

In the coming weeks, YSPN will explore creativity in two facets, first we will take a macro approach, explaining what creativity is and why it is important for businesses. In the second part we will look at how any individual can become a creative thinker.

What is Creativity?

Creativity is a concept we often come across in daily conversation. We hear of creative people, admire creative pieces of art, and listen to creative music. Yet, in spite of our almost innate understanding of what it means to be creative there is a lot of confusion about the nature of creativity.

Wertheimer suggested that creative thinking involved breaking down and restructuring our knowledge about something in order to gain new insights into its nature.

Another definition suggests that creativity is something, which occurs when we are able to organise our thoughts in such a way that it leads to a different and even better understanding of the subject or situation we are considering.

Yet another comes from Aichel Mangelo on the Internet, who along with many others suggests that ‘Being creative is seeing the same thing as everyone else but thinking of something different’.

So, why is creativity important in Business: 

As different or new situations present themselves in business, problems tend to arise also; these problems often require novel solutions. Many times, it is difficult to see solutions to problems by thinking in a conventional fashion. Logical thinking takes our existing knowledge and uses rules of inference to produce new knowledge. However, because logical thinking progresses in a series of steps, each one dependent on the last, this new knowledge is merely an extension of what we know already.

The need for creative problem solving has arisen as a result of the inadequacies of logical thinking. It is a method of using imagination along with techniques which use analogies, associations and other mechanisms to help produce insights
into problems.

The majority of organisations are fully aware of just how vital creativity is to their prosperity and invest considerable sums in looking for people who are able to deliver creative solutions to difficult business problems.

In part 2 we will explore the steps that can be applied in order for anyone to think more creatively.

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An Introduction to YSPN Mentoring

In Announcements by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

YSPN believes that it is imperative for its members to actively seek mentors and, where possible, act as mentees.

To this end, we have launched a special series on mentoring where this crucial success tool will be discussed, deliberated and presented in accordance with industry specific focuses. We aim for this to also provide a platform for potential mentors and mentees to connect.

On May 22 2014, the launch of the first mentoring series event focusing on the health and allied health industries was held in Sydney. With over 50 attendees at the event, four eminent keynote speakers, Amarjit Anand (principal audiologist Northern Territory), Dr Jaswinder Samra (consultant general surgeon), Dr Gurdial Singh (anaesthetist) and Dr Narinder Singh (head of ENT Westmead Private Hospital) discussed and shared their nuggets of wisdom on the nature and necessity of mentoring relationships in the industry.

The next event in the series will focus on the professional services industry and is planned for the second half of 2014.YSPN is committed to exploring further options such as a formal mentoring program to ensure that mentoring becomes a valued stepping stone in its members’ career development journey.

YSPN – A new look for an exciting future

In Announcements by redolencetechLeave a Comment

Hi all

A very warm welcome to the new and improved YSPN website – a one stop shop for all information, content and updates from YSPN!

For all of you new to YSPN (short for the Young Sikh Professionals Network), our organisation was born, naturally out of an identified need to connect an emerging class of young Sikh professionals in Australia, but also more significantly, out of a desired change or create a new ‘conversation’ in our community.

The basis of this conversation has and continues to be an intellectual proposition – to promote the success of young professional Sikhs in Australia, embodied in our mission statement:

‘We are the organisation that will inspire young professional Sikhs to build connections, empower them to succeed & contribute to the development of the Sikh and broader Australian community’

As young professional Sikhs, our motivation for this organisation is derived from a few basic ideals:

  • That, collectively, we have a legacy worth preserving
  • That we have more that unites us than separates us
  • That we are the children of migrants or migrants ourselves. Never has there been a generation as large as ours of Australian educated Sikh professionals. We are the first, and as the first, we have the unique opportunity to shape our agenda for generations to come. No one has had this opportunity before and no one will have the opportunity to be first ever again.
  • And finally, that we have a responsibility to act, and we bear the burden of that responsibility collectively; and we bear it now.

Ultimately, we’re trying to create a conversation to reshape the prism through which the community views itself, views success and then collectively succeeds together. We assert:

  • That you can preserve traditional values whilst being both socially and economically progressive
  • That ultimately we should be judged on our contribution to the community at large, not just ourselves or our own backyards
  • That the community’s definition of ‘success’ is not a factor of a pre-defined script, but a collection of experiences AND that this is a personal pursuit
  • This website will form the face of our organisation’s activities. Here you’ll find information on all our events, interesting and relevant articles, and interviews with eminent Sikhs, Australians and the like and a range of other relevant information, all with an aim of creating this new conversation.

Ultimately this organisation exists for you – the young professional Sikh. We want to make your participation in this as interactive, engaging and useful as possible, so please comment, share, debate, and get involved so we can collectively lift the conversation!