APS -> Annual Progress Seminar
In IIT, all the PhD students need to present their work once a year, and its called APS.
APS time is never cool in IIT. At least was not till last three years but this time I had totally different experience.
It was as usual,10 days before my APS, nothing ready with me. Yet to start the report. APS scheduled on 20th and on 10th morning I was yet to start the report. The emergency was declared and I had to option but to get down to the reality and work hard. Ya, work hard, easy work not done on time. And this is the perfect definition in such situations. I guess in IIT, we all do hard work :).
I also rememberd Gandhiji's statment "Today I am so busy that I need to meditate for two hours instead of 1 hour". I had heard of this so many times and that you need to be cool when it matters and all that but never could experience it. As I was all f***ed up, I thought of going the cool way and decided to meditate at least twice daily. I do mediate daily, with out fail, for about 30 mins. I increased it to regular 30 mins once, and added 20 mins each twice daily and what I saw was Gandhiji's statement coming into reality.
I was cool and calm throughout the day. Inspite of not having made much progress in the report, I could remain silent in the mind and all this resulted in a much better first draft which I submitted to my guide. Unfortunately, it was too late for him to review and hence I was my own reviewer and to my great surprize, it was not at all a bad draft. In the past, my first draft used to be really really bad and used to get lot of (bad) comments.
With my own review I improved the APS report. Even changed the way I presented my results and again submitted the second draft to my guide and the same result, no review by my guide. He even gave me a go ahead to submit the report. Again, I had to review my own report, and correct it. This time also, the quality of the writing was much better than I though I could write. One of my RPC members reads the report completely and had no negative comment ( as was last year) and the report was also send to my collaborator in Denmark who has commented that the report is well written. So, I am happy that it was read by some one :) compared to many cases where no one even opens it, forget about reading it.
Looking back, I thought its the way I could keep my mind so stable even during the tense period. The quality of the work/output improves if the mind is at rest and I was able to do that. As a preparation for this I attened the Art of Living advanced course in the first week of August and that paid off more than what I could expect.
The second aspect was blogging. When I write the blog, no one reviews it for me. I have to read it so many times and make sure that I am able to convey what I want to convey and that to precisely the same idea/concept. This has improved my writing skills and now I am scanning my blogs just once, to correct a few things. In all my writing skills are improving and the same is also visible in my technical writing.
So, if not doing already, start meditating and blogging :). Need any help, contact me for the first and google for the second.
Thanks to BAWA, who's blog inspired me to start my own blog. Those inpsired by my blog, chain goes up to BAWA :).