June 2023 Summary

Foreword

This is the first time I'm publicly sharing my monthly summary and time tracking on my blog. I think this is a great start because I plan to continue this practice and hope more people will be inspired by it. For others, it might serve as a good source of inspiration; for myself, it's a way to push myself to boldly express, think, and examine myself transparently.


I've been tracking my time since June 9, 2022 (you can check out that post), and it's been over a year now. I know I still need to continuously optimize my time and spend it on what I consider important.


Focus Time in June 2023: 154 Hours and 43 Minutes. Compared to May 2023's 186 hours and 13 minutes, this is a decrease of over 30 hours, equivalent to an hour less of focused time per day. I noticed that the main decrease was in my work-focused time, which was only 99.58 hours.


Work (Focused: 99.58 Hours)

Compared to previous months, my focus on work significantly dropped in June, totaling only 99.58 hours. I looked at the data and analyzed the reasons:


1. I went back to my hometown, so I took a few days off work.

2. At the end of the month, I felt a sense of slackness (possibly related to clients gradually starting their vacations), and my work focus dropped significantly.

3. June started with an inquiry from a European client wanting to have a video meeting with us. This was the first time we received such a request, so we spent a lot of time preparing for the meeting (preparing materials, arranging samples, preparing Q&A, setting up the meeting environment, and simulating with a native speaker). This entire process took dozens of hours. Although the actual meeting lasted only a few minutes, I discovered several insightful points from start to finish.


Gap Selling: This is a book recommended by an American tutor. He emphasized that skilled salespeople don't just sell their products; they approach sales with the mindset of solving the client's problems and offering help. During our video simulation with the American tutor, we realized we made a significant mistake by not considering the client's perspective and instead forcefully presenting our points. This leads to a poor client experience. Why did I do this? Probably because I often had to make presentations during my graduate studies, explaining things to others. This approach works for most people during a lecture, but in sales, everyone's situation is different, and so are their needs and pain points. Like a doctor prescribing medicine, one must first understand the patient's condition before providing targeted treatment.


- Our Approach: PPT presentation to the client → Q&A session

- Tutor's Suggestion: Ask the client questions → Explain based on their queries


Liking Principle in Influence: A popular psychology book, "Influence," discusses common human behavior principles like reciprocity, liking, social proof, authority, scarcity, and consistency. Key points influencing people's liking include:


1. Recommendations from people they know and like (we often call this "favoring someone because of their connections").

2. Appearance (this is easy to understand; everyone appreciates beauty).

3. Similarity (people are more likely to comply with requests from those similar to them).


In this meeting, I effectively applied these principles and received positive feedback:

- Compliments: Compliments are always effective, especially when given behind someone's back.

- Reputation: Praise that helps the person being complimented achieve a reputation they desire to uphold.

- Repeated Interaction: Increases familiarity (similar to the idea of "familiarity breeds fondness").

- Association: Being associated with positive and desirable things.


Reading this reminded me of my student days when teachers naturally believed I wouldn't cause trouble because I was generally well-behaved. So, during conflicts (where both parties were sometimes at fault), teachers would favor me first.


Reading (Focused: 10.68 Hours)

Since the beginning of 2023, my time spent reading has sharply declined, likely because my mind isn't as calm and is more influenced by external factors. On the positive side, I'm less fixated on the quantity and duration of my reading. I often reread books and write summaries and reflections.


Books Read in June 2023:

- "Abundance" by Wu Jun: The author of "The Beauty of Mathematics" and "On Top of the Wave," Wu Jun offers insights into various fields such as mathematical thinking, problem-solving methods, artificial intelligence, and capital markets.

- "Submarine at Night": The author's imagination is rich, and I love the writing style.

- Reread "Everything in Every State": Essays by Qing Shan, filled with philosophical and Zen-like thoughts.

- "The Eye of the Deep Abyss": A suspense novel I read on the train home, deeply terrifying.

- "Antifragile": The initial part didn't grab me, but as I read on, I found many impressive concepts that challenged my worldview.

- Reread "Break the Thinking Wall": A book by Gu Dian on cognitive thinking. Some ideas are simple, but some are worth borrowing.

- "Monkey King": I love "Journey to the West," and the author's take on "Monkey King" shows a deep understanding of the original work.

    - "I have been here, fought, and loved deeply. I don't care about the outcome."

- "Asking the Right Questions"

- "Living Like a Philosopher"


Learning (Focused: 12.95 Hours)

Mainly focused on two areas: English and guitar.


English:

I had a great conversation with a psychology tutor. After discussing some unique personal experiences, he said to me: "The fact that you are saying stuff to me like this at your age, you are way ahead of where I was, I think, so maybe there is something to this. Maybe you should think about whether you want to do this as a job or not." This comment made me realize that I might have a natural talent for psychological counseling. It was a significant point of inspiration, and maybe in the future, I will consider this as a career.


Guitar:

This is my first time learning a musical instrument. I wanted to broaden my horizons and try something new. Perhaps it will be great? By the end of 2023, I plan to play two of my favorite songs:

- "Will It Be Sunny Tomorrow" by Kuwata Keisuke, the theme song of the Japanese drama "Proposal Daisakusen." Kuwata's voice is incredibly clear, and the drama is deeply memorable.

- "Wake Me Up When September Ends" by Green Day. I've loved this song since college; it tells a very sad story about a father.


Exercise (Focused: 10.65 Hours)

Post-pandemic, my exercise time has slowly increased, which is a good sign. Exercise brings me a lot of energy and vitality. "How can one get clear water? It must come from a flowing source." My exercise in June mainly consisted of tennis and running. Next, I plan to improve my tennis skills further and prepare for a full marathon in the second half of the year.


Other Aspects

- Reunited with old friends in Hangzhou, drinking and chatting for a long time. "Recalling drinking on Wuqiao Bridge, surrounded by heroes. The long ditch flows silently, blowing flutes until dawn in the sparse shadow of apricot flowers."

- Witnessed Djokovic win his 23rd Grand Slam, becoming the greatest of all time.

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