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LIFE @BERLIN resumed after Covid-19 Lockdown


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

After almost 2 months of Lockdown due to Covid-19, life at Berlin, Germany slowly got resumed. Happy to see kinds playing in the community parks, able to feel the fresh breeze and so delightful to see the trees colouring  themselves in green after almost 5 months. 

States across Germany are deciding how they will relax lockdown restrictions while trying to control the spread of coronavirus. Here’s what to know about Berlin’s latest regulations.

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One of the best things about the German lockdown is that there’s never been a restriction on leaving the house for some fresh air. The shops in Berlin are finally open again.  I head into the city centre and find myself stuck in a serious traffic jam. When I finally make it, there’s a feeling of euphoria on the streets. 

Face masks are going to be compulsory from on public transport from next week but there’s a shortage of the proper, medical ones, and they can’t be reused anyway, so people are advised to sew their own “everyday masks”.Some are wearing masks but many are not. But most stick to the social distancing guidelines. There are queues to get inside the shops but it’s all good-natured.

When restrictions are relaxed in the Germany, normal life will not return immediately, and the government is expected to introduce new guidelines for an indeterminate period of time.

Here are some of the changes various industries are preparing to put in place

Transport: Transport system in Berlin has introduced boarding on buses via the middle doors only in order to protect drivers. Companies may ask their employees to begin and end work at different times to avoid putting the transport network under pressure during rush hour, or to alternate days working at home.

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Schools and universities: Schools can open in Berlin from April 27th, provided that the hygiene rules are in place. Schools will open gradually and the local authorities are putting together more information on how this will happen safely. School trips will not be allowed. The Berlin Senate is also planning to bring Kita care back in phased stages, with single parents being entitled to care for their children from Monday April 27th.

Offices: When companies reopen their workspaces, managing movement in offices will be key. The majority of companies will have to implement physical distancing, keeping workers and customers more than two metres apart from each other. Wearing face masks in certain indoor workplaces may also be compulsory.  

Retail: Supermarkets, grocers and other essential retailers that have remained open during the lockdown introduced safety measures to keep shoppers and staff apart, including plastic screens at checkouts, limiting the number of shoppers allowed inside, and floor markings to keep shoppers apart. As restrictions are lifted, similar measures are expected to be introduced in other high street stores.

Restaurants and bars closed: Restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes and clubs will remain closed for the time being – in both Berlin as well as in neighbouring state Brandenburg. Hotels are also not allowed to reopen to tourists, in line with Germany-wide recommendations. Commercial excursions and tours are not allowed. Restaurants are able to offer takeaway as is the case currently.

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Hairdressing salons: Hairdressers can reopen from May 4th, in line with Germany-wide recommendations. Strict hygiene measures must be in place. Beauty salons, tattoo studios and similar venues are not allowed to open.

Food and hospitality: All major food chains, Burger King, Mc Donalds , Dominos etc have reopened a limited number of outlets for delivery or takeaway, after introducing safety measures for their employees. Food Stores says it has given its staff masks and gloves and training on maintaining distance from each other.

Museums and libraries: Museums, memorials, non-commercial galleries and similar educational institutions in public and private ownership can reopen from May 4th, provided that hygiene rules are observed. Public libraries may be opened for lending from May 4th, also with safety measures in place.

Sport: Golf could be the first sport to return after the PGA Tour announced plans for four events to take place without spectators from 11 June.  In football, Germany’s top division, the Bundesliga, could resume behind closed doors as early as May after players there returned to training a fortnight ago, but most other leagues remain suspended indefinitely.

BerlinEvents: Events with more than 1,000 people are banned until August 31st, in line with Germany-wide restrictions. Theatres and other performance venues such as operas and concert halls remain closed until July 31st, the end of the season. Large events with more than 5,000 participants will remain prohibited until October 24th. The Berlin Marathon, which last year brought in more than 47,000 participants from around the world, will be cancelled.

Here’s an overview of the draft plan:

  • Initially after the lockdown, some retailers and restaurants could reopen
  • In certain regions, schools could also reopen
  • Major events and private parties are to remain banned for a longer period of time
  • To prevent a renewed rise in coronavirus infections, the paper recommends making it compulsory to wear protective masks in buses, trains, factories and other buildings
  • There would be rapid tracing of infection chains, with infected people having to quarantine at home or in hotels

References: lacal.de, telegram, Brussels Times & Irish Times

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MunnaPrawin) Instagram(MunnaPrawin) and Twitter(@munnaprawin).

 

 

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Potluck Lunch helps in Team Building


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

In any organisation, team work can make all the difference between success and failure. That’s because collaborative teams excel at dividing responsibilities and working towards the same goal. Realising this, most teams are focusing on team building exercises that can bring teams closer.

Maintaining a healthy work culture, one that keeps the entire team motivated and enthused, can be a tough task. You see your employees going through their everyday tasks in a routine, and on the surface, everything might look happy and gay, but you never know when monotony can kick in and leave the entire system uninspired.

Just a small activity is enough to see the change in the overall enthusiasm and energy of the office. It can also be a great way for newbies to feel comfortable and at ease with the rest of the team.

Recently we had a team Potluck lunch organised by my lovely team ladies. Special thanks to my loving Vijaya Ragi & Team for handling everything in a smooth way. It is well planned and organised.

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If you want your team to feel energised at all times, to enjoy what they’re doing and love working for you – and for this, you cannot lay enough emphasis on the need for recreational activities. While some offices go for activity outings, we actually have a simpler and cheaper alternative that can be just as rewarding. The other simple yet effective team building activity is a potluck. It can be organised  by anyone without costing a penny to the company.

But what exactly is it and how does it help in building teams?

What Is an Office Potluck?

In simple terms, a potluck is an occasion when attendees bring food to be shared with everyone. Whether it has a theme or not, is completely up to the team members.

The main idea is to add some fun to the workplace and encourage employees to connect with one another over food.

How to Organise  an Office Potluck

The best thing about a potluck is that you don’t need a big reason to organise  it. It could be an occasion to celebrate a holiday or just the first day at work after a long holiday.

You simply need an organiser  to send out the emails and coordinate with everyone involved.

Sometimes the organiser  may allocate responsibilities to the team members. For example, you may ask two employees to take care of the dessert and two others to bring some appetisers . Or you may choose to let the employees decide among themselves.

Office Potluck for Team Building

Do you sense a growing lack of communication between two team members? A potluck lunch can be of great help.

Get those two employees to plan the potluck. Ask them to coordinate the menu and come up with two dishes that everyone can enjoy.

The objective here is to get them to communicate with each other and find a simple solution. You may or may not oversee how they do this, but the end result can help them connect with each other.

At a later point, you may even speak to the two employees separately to get an idea how they felt about the whole exercise.

A potluck is also a great occasion to bring a close-knit team closer. As many small businesses have fewer employees working for them, a potluck lunch can give them a reason to discuss things beyond work. Often such discussions may reveal hidden talents and opportunities for business growth.

Whatever you do, remember to have fun and enjoy some good food.

Below are some glimpses of my teams Potluck events.

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In conclusion, I would like to point out one very important fact. This is the deciding force. More convincing than any research paper or analysis. This is the real, ultimate deal-breaker: Your office is going to be flooded with yummy home-made FOOD for one whole day! Do you still need another reason?

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MunnaPrawin) Instagram(MunnaPrawin) and Twitter(@munnaprawin).

 

 

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The Art of saying “NO”


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me…….

The article was written by Susheel & MunnaPrawin….  

“No” is a simple, two letter word that can save you time, energy and precious resources when you know when and how to use it purposefully at correct time, in a correct way with the right people.

Inability to say “No” can bring a lot of harm. Being assertive is one of the toughest things for many people.  Saying no is indeed a major challenge for most people. I am telling this with my personal experience.

From last 15 years, I said yes to 95% of invites and pleas for help, regardless of how much I already had on my plate. I used to say … I’ll do it. I can help no problem. I am there for you.  Don’t worry..Sure, why not? I used to schedule things back to back to back and I used to drive myself crazy fitting it all in.

I began to feel anxious and tired instead of feeling joy as I approached the weekend. That simply would not do. Re-evaluation was in order.

That is why I am sure everyone mustn’t hesitate to say “No” in appropriate situation.

 We say ‘Yes’ when we really want to say ‘No’. We all do it very often.

Here are few situations:

A corporate person says” It was a party meeting, I couldn’t say no when the delegates forced me to take alcohol and puff the cigar.”

A college going student says “I used bear the physical harassment by my faculty, because I have fear of losing marks.”

A bride says” I was proposed to the one whom I am not interested but I don’t want to trouble my parents.”

A lover says “my girlfriend is need of money but I have no single pie to help her. If I say it may hurt our relationship so somehow I need to sort out this problem.”

A lady says “I get upset over certain topics to discuss but when I am subjected with the people I couldn’t say to excuse me from the discussion.”

An UN-matured girl says “I got into physical relationship with my boyfriend, because I have fear of losing his care, love.”

A person says “I know in long run my ‘yes’ results a failure but I don’t want to hurt then now so I couldn’t say ‘no’.”

An employee says “my boss expects me provide every time the resources which is my hard earned effort and dwindling time. It cause me inconvenience but I fear to say that I can’t provide”

A friend says “I am already full with my important schedules but my friend want to me to join his party .I don’t want to disappoint him. So, I couldn’t say that I cannot attend his party.”
“No” is a word that can save you time, energy and precious resources when you know when and how to use it purposefully. But many people like me have a difficult time saying “no” because they sincerely want to help and don’t want to disappoint others. So they take on more than they can handle, compromising the quality of performance, neglecting their own priorities, and burying themselves under mountains of responsibilities, tasks and activities that will never lead to their ultimate vision. That’s why it’s important to know when to say “no” – so rather than react to other’s demands, you respond based on your values and priorities.

I pride myself on being productive and extremely efficient all these years, maximizing my time. But even I know it’s impossible to do all of those things and say yes to all invites too. I can’t say yes to everything anymore I don’t want to.  I can’t do anything as I done in past. I’d rather just say I’m sorry, I can’t. It’s just that simple.

One of the biggest reasons people have a difficult time saying “no” is because they haven’t clarified their own intention; other people’s goals become more important than their own in the absence of a specific vision.

Learning to say “no” to non-essential tasks creates a path to freedom and success. It will clear your schedule of mental clutter so you can harness your life force and focus your attention on the realization of your goals. Having a clear vision and a strong sense of purpose gives you the discernment to know which actions yield the greatest return on investment for your time, energy and resources.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — it can be through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

For most of us, having to say ‘no’ somehow feels like a rejection, so we hate to do it. Instead, too many people just say ‘yes,’ and regret it afterward. So here are some tips that I have accumulated over the years that can help you say the right thing the right way:

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

Maybe you’re like me and you need to cut down on some of the activities you do. Well, here are a few tips on how you can do that:

 

Give yourself time to think. Before responding with an enthusiastic ‘yes’ that you never meant, or a cryptic ‘no’ that will ruin a relationship, ask for time to mull it over. It’s acceptable business practice to say that you need to check your calendar first, or pass the request by other principles before deciding. Commit a date for the final decision.

Make the ‘no’ a function of your constraints. Emphasize that the rejection has more to do with your priorities, budget limitations, and workload, rather than any inherent flaw in their request. In this context, encourage a return discussion as some specific point in the future, or with some specific variation.

Be logical, calm, and concise. Choose your words wisely to avoid conflict and a defensive or emotional reaction, but make sure the answer is clear and understood.

Be firm — not defensive or overly apologetic — and polite. This gives the signal that you       are sympathetic, but will not easily change your mind if pressured.

Explicitly evaluate the pros and cons. First, make sure you understand the full implications of a simple yes or no response. Every ‘no’ answer reduces the likelihood of another opportunity along the same lines, while every ‘yes’ answer increases your workload and the probability of burnout on your long list of critical items.

  Make sure you’re actually saying “no”. Make no mistake about it, no is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, you need to avoid phrases like “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Using limp phrases instead of saying no will often be considered a yes. When it’s time to say no, just say no!

Listen to your gut. Sometimes we say ‘yes’ because we love the excitement of a new idea, when our instinct is telling us that it implies many complex issues that we are not prepared to deal with right now. It’s a fact that our brain often stores relevant information that we might not be able to vocalize right now. Trust your judgment.

Negotiate a return consideration. Often people asking for favors don’t realize or consider the cost, so you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for a reciprocal favor. It may make that person re-think their need for your help, or you may actually get more than you give.

Sandwich the no between two yeses. Sandwiching a no between two yeses ensures that your no will be more palatable. It’s also a great way to explain that to which you are already committed. For example, if your boss asks you to work on the weekend, but you have family commitments you cannot break, explain these commitments to your boss (the first yes), how that prevents you from coming in on the weekend (the no), and finish by confirming your commitment to the company and your work (the final yes) by asking if there are other ways you can contribute that don’t require you to come in that weekend. 

Be prepared to repeat yourself. If you say no and the other party pushes back, the best thing you can do is repeat yourself. This is much easier to do when you recognize beforehand that it is often necessary. In some cases, you may have to repeat yourself more than once. If you offered any explanation with your original response, you can repeat this explanation or just say no again. Don’t back yourself into a corner by trying to explain yourself further.

Lead with positives when saying no. Mute the sting of rejection by rewarding the person for being aggressive and creative, while not directly accepting the contract or proposal. It may even be appropriate to give some reward, such as access to an alternative opportunity, or recognition in front of peers, to encourage the source.

Pick the right time and place. Pick the least stressful time of the day, or a private place where you can talk sincerely, and give full attention to any questions or discussion. Watch your body language and tone to eliminate the guilt and fear that often make the ‘no’ response harder on the sender than the receiver.

Remember that there are only few hours in the day. This means that whatever you choose to take on limits your ability to do other things. So even if you somehow can fit a new commitment into your schedule, if it’s not more important than what you would have to give up doing it, you really don’t have the time in your schedule.

“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes, to the things where you want to say “NO”. It is very easy to say yes.”

People have learned the art of asking, so you need to learn the art of saying ‘no.’ Rid yourself of the fallacy that you must say ‘yes’ to be viewed as a leader. If the request presents a moral dilemma to you, your code of ethics should allow you to refuse, rather than lie to the other party, or agree to something you can’t deliver. Just say ‘no,’ and smile as you say it.

No is not always negative. It is not a bad or incorrect response. Saying no does not make you a difficult or uncooperative person.  Read that again, out loud. Saying no is more honest than a false yes.

Learn the Art to say “NO”…. 

 

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MunnaPrawin) Instagram(MunnaPrawin) and Twitter(@munnaprawin).

 

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