The 12 New-Year-Worthy Questions to ask yourself at the start of 2012

It’s the start of 2012. It’s a new calendar year. It’s a new beginning. One which you should welcome with an open mind, positive energy, new passions, fresh dreams and new hopes…
The New Year is a great time to pause reflect and introspect on life’s many dimensions. And then decide what you would like to focus your energies on during 2012 – With the right intent, great enthusiasm, positive energy and in good spirit. In this blog, I have listed the 12 New-Year-Worthy questions that you should ask yourself and answer in all honesty again to yourself. If nothing else, the answers will show you the real picture and burst a few bubbles…

1) Am I doing things that I love?
If you are doing things you love, then great. If not, then you probably would give one of the following reasons –Circumstances out of my control, Other Priorities, Unplanned / unexpected situations, Never ending Constraints, Commitments to be honored, Personal Limitations. Well, do remember that every human-being anywhere on this earth (either today or generations ago) had / has one / many of the above at one / many phases in life– So you are not alone. And yet, some people always find or make the time to do things that they love. Maybe you need to just squeeze in that little time to do things you love or make a vocation of the things you love. Doing things you love will make you happy

2) Am I learning enough?
Learning is a very important dimension to personal growth and development. It does not matter what you are learning, from whom you are learning, how you are learning, how much you are learning – But what’s important is that you learn consciously and invest some time and effort regularly to learn new things. If in your own assessment you are not learning enough, then it’s important to identify what you want to learn in 2012 and set aside time on a regular basis for learning

3) Am I content with the current state of my overall health?
The fact is that your overall state of health and well-being will determine the quality of your life today and tomorrow. Hence, it is imperative that you take time to invest in your overall health and wellness. In reality, you know your state of personal health the best, and hence you would be the best judge. If you are not content, then it’s time to ask yourself what is it that you need to, want to do and should do to improve it?

4) Am I really happy with myself?
Another very profound question – But the answer to which can sometimes be a revelation to you. Simply because you try to make everyone around you happy; and end up unhappy with yourself. So do mull over this and see if you need to change one / many aspects of your own life

5) Am I spending time with those who matter to me?
Again, time is one of your most valuable personal assets. So use it wisely, and ensure that you earmark some time periodically for those who matter to you – It can be your family, friends, staff, acquaintances, colleagues, soul-mates, etc. But sharing your life with those who matter strengthens relationships and does wonders to your happiness quotient

6) Am I living life to the best of my potential?
You are endowed with infinite potential – Some you are aware, some unexplored and some ignored. But if you ask yourself this question again and follow it with Why? Why Not? – You will get the answers. Not just a Yes No kind of answer, but more importantly answers which will enable you to live life to the best of your potential

7) Am I content with my current state of personal finances?
Your current state of personal finances is a function of how much you have earned, how much you have saved, how wisely you invested and most importantly how much effort you took to understand and review your finances periodically. And your state of personal finance will determine the choices that you will make today, and in the future. So if this dimension of your life needs attention, give it the attention it deserves now

8) Am I happy with the current state of my immediate living environment?
Your current living environment – be it at work or office or anywhere else affects your thoughts, your energies, your productivity and your creativity. So make sure it is clean, well-organized and the way you want it to be – to get the best out of yourself

9) Have I made peace with my past?
Many of us tend to hold on to our past; and how ever hard we try we are unable to let-go. And in life it’s important to let-go and make peace with your past – especially the negativity. Just accept it and release the baggage. Of course, it is wise to take the lessons along. And then focus your energies on the present and future

10) Am I giving enough?
In life, you give some and you get some. Most of us tend to receive more than we give. In the long run, it’s important to give – To friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers, an unknown face, a needy soul, someone less fortunate, another living being.
And what can you give? A smile, an advice, a thought, a good deed, an idea, a motivation, an inspiration, time, knowledge, support, a shoulder, a ear, a helping hand, a life lesson, wisdom..

11) Do I need to review the state of my online / offline data?
Over the years, most of us have gigabytes of data which we have accumulated – on hard disk, mails, social media profiles, etc. etc. And along the way, you have not spent enough time in maintaining them and hence today they are crying for maintenance. And you never get around to doing it – simply because it can wait, it’s boring and it takes time. Well! The reality is that it is only going to grow with time and before it gets completely unmanageable, you might as well begin with regular up-keep and maintenance. Hence, the New Year is a good time to critically review, clean and organize all your online and offline data – Simply by deleting unwanted content and organizing useful content better.

12) Am I really experiencing life?
Are you really experiencing life – Love, Laughs, Romance, Tears, Cultures, People, Heart-breaks, Passions, Rainbows, Disappointments, Failure, Trials, Experiments, Cuisines, Technology,…..
Because the more open you are, the more your experience, the more you enjoy and the more fulfilling life is…

And on that note, I hope 2012 brings your way good health, joys, happiness, new passions, gratifying relationships, loads of wealth, success, prosperity and dreams fulfilled.

Happy New Year 2012!!!


Poll on the Top 12 Most Posts of 2011 – The People’s Choice!!!

Over the course of 2011, you have must have read several of my blogs.. And hopefully enjoyed reading them, learnt, got inspired or they triggered some thoughts or emotions…
Well now it’s time to vote and select the winners.

The 12Most Team put up a poll on the Top 12 Most Posts of 2011 – The People’s Choice! @

My Posts which are listed here are:
1) 12 Most Wonderful Moments in the First Year of Motherhood
2) 12 Most Compelling Reasons to Write
Please do cast your vote..
Your vote is precious and I value it as a blogger…

Voting ends on 31 Dec 2011
You can vote for more than 1 post

9 Specific Ways YOU can use Twitter…

Twitter is increasingly becoming one of the most popular Social Networking platforms. While there are many reasons for the explosive growth of Twitter across the globe; if I had to list down the top 5 reasons on why Twitter has gained in popularity, they are below:

1) The introduction of the Tweet of 140 characters
 a) You can tweet from the web or mobile
 b) The 3S Factor – It’s Short, Specific and Simple!!!

2) It gives you the option to choose who you would like to Follow based on your interest – It is your personal choice ONLY! Subsequently you can Follow / Unfollow at will

3)  Easy to use interface for typing a Tweet. Of course, it takes time to understand other features but just typing a Tweet is simple and can be done easily

4)  Option to choose the level of privacy – You can control who reads your tweets

5)  No limit to the number of followers for a Twitter handle – Everyone loves the concept of abundance, infinite and limitless

While many individuals use Twitter for many reasons, in this blog I have listed the 9 Most Specific Ways YOU can use Twitter – The list below has been compiled based on my observations of Twitter usage over the last 3 years, my own personal usage of Twitter and by surveying others in the world of Twitter.

1) A personal log of your activities, thoughts and emotions
Many of us like to have a personal log of our daily activities, events, achievements, thoughts and emotions. Twitter can help you do just that – Provided you are disciplined about tweeting. If this is your key focus, using your mobile would be the preferred input device for tweeting.

2) A log of all that you read
Many of us tend to be content consumers in our life. We read from many different sources and like to have a consolidated repository for our own future reference. Twitter can enable you to consolidate all that you read and believe is worthy of storing, consolidating and archiving

3) To Share
Many of us like to share all that we know, all that we read, all that we learn, all that we believe can be of value to someone at some point in time – Twitter helps you to share with a known and unknown face anywhere across the globe

4) To Connect with others
Inherent to the human nature is the need to connect, to bond. And many of us like to connect with like-minded people, connect to people we admire, connect with the wise, connect with the successful, connect with celebrities – Just to listen to their voices, to know them better, to get a slice of their life, to unravel their thoughts, to know what keeps them going, to hear their views, opinions and to get the latest news

5) To Learn
Twitter can be a great learning platform – on any subject. If you are clear about what you want to learn, the time horizon you have in mind and the time you are willing to invest – you can adopt different strategies on how you can accomplish this. But at a high level, this translates to identifying the Twitter handles that are considered knowledgeable in the specific area(s) under question, and then follow their tweets. Over a period of time, you would have learnt way beyond your own expectation and imagination

6) To Create a Personal Brand
Many of us like to have a personal brand of our own – It can be as a technology expert, a great chef, a spiritual guru, a great parent, a benevolent advisor, the encyclopedia for answers on one / many subjects. And Twitter helps you to create this brand – Provided you focus, think, plan and tweet accordingly.

7) To garner support for a specific cause
One of the most powerful usages of Twitter is to amass support for a specific cause – it could be to donate blood for a medical emergency or to gather votes for a reality contest or a larger global issue of policy, governance, etc. which you strongly believe in. And Twitter can be very effectively used for creating awareness to a large base of global audience in real-time

8) To get a dose of motivation, inspiration and humor
This was a bit of a surprise! But a lot of people said that the primary reason for them to use Twitter was to get a dose of motivation, inspiration and humor – It could be for a specific low time in your day, to a blue moment in life, or just that one tweet to kick-start your day on a positive note, or that daily health tip which will give you the fuel to stick to your diet and exercise regime…

9) Just Like That!
I hear this a lot. A lot of people use Twitter with no specific intent, no specific objective and no specific agenda. They use it because it exists, because everyone around them is using it, because they have time..

In reality, majority of us use Twitter for one / many of the objectives listed above. Your primary objective on Twitter Usage will determine the quality and quantity of your tweets, your behavior and tweeting patterns. However, in the long run (say 10, 20 or 30 years from now) you will end-up with a huge volume of your own tweets covering a range of topics and tweeted with different intents. While traversing this growing volume of tweets will become a challenge to individuals like you and me, it will also provide ample opportunities for businesses on tweet segmentation, grouping, consolidation and aggregation.

While it is the start of the New Year 2012, it is good to review and re-think your usage of Twitter & if you need to review your own personal tweeting strategy.

On that Note.. Happy New Year 2012! And Happy Tweeting!!!

13 Mantras for Customer Calls

1) Be on MUTE if you are not speaking on the call

2) DO NOT put the calls on hold and answer another call – This will put the whole call on HOLD!

3) Be on MUTE if you are in a place with background noise [Traffic, Trains, Babies crying, Dogs barking!!!]

4) DO NOT discuss / have cross-talk while the call is in progress

5) DO NOT use vernacular / local languages

6) Be present on TIME at the start of the call

7) If you are going to be late, communicate to one / all attendees through an appropriate channel

8) If there is any change in the call (time, bridge, agenda, etc.), inform all attendees prior to the call

9) Focus on ensuring that customers are able to understand what you are communicating – Be clear and concise

10) Have respect for others time – Try to end the call as per schedule

11) Listen to other’s opinions

12) If you need to interrupt someone, be polite when you interrupt and do so with good reason

13) Don’t get personal or take things personally – It’s business!

Why X did not get a career promotion?

X was denied a promotion to a senior level in the corporate ladder for reasons unknown… X is confused, unhappy, de-motivated and depressed…

And the only questions plaguing X are:

If one looks  objectively at any organizational procedure for a career promotion, then usually the qualifying criteria are
1) X has played / is playing the right role for a career promotion
2) X has performed and delivered as per the requirements of the role
3) X is ready (Yes! I know of individuals who eve refuse a promotion if they believe they are not ready)
4) X’s boss considers X is ready (And yes! If your boss does not think you are ready, there’s an abysmal chance that you will get promoted)
5) X performs as per expectations in the procedure as defined by the organization (if any) – Could be an evaluation, assessment, interview, etc.

Because in X’s personal assessment the answers to the above questions are as below:
1) Yes
2) Yes
3) Yes
4) Yes
5) Yes

And also, X has a great profile, a diverse work experience in the industry, made significant professional contributions and has a stellar educational background and qualifications. X has been a star performer in the organization, created an impact which the sphere of influence and also made meaningful contributions in multiple forums within and outside the organization… Also, X wanted this promotion real bad and had worked really hard to honor all professional commitments – And really went beyond the call of duty in many occasions…

Obviously the Math does not add-up?

 So what could have possibly gone wrong?

• Was X visible enough?
 o Within the organization [With peers, those above X in the organization hierarchy, those below X in the organization hierarchy] and specifically with people who wield the real power within an organization
 o Outside the organization [In industry forums, independent bodies, etc.]
• Was the evaluation criteria objective, well-defined, standardized and right?
• Was the right panel evaluating X’s performance?
• Was X really playing the right role?
• Did X have a strong personal brand? in one / many dimensions as relevant in the organization context
• Was X really part of the right team?
• Was X’s work valued enough by the team and organization?
• Was X a victim of office politics?
• Was X in the wrong organization?
• Was X a victim of organization re-structuring?
• Was it an organization budget issue?
• Was it discrimination of any kind?
• Was it the law of karma?
• Was it just bad luck?

 What’s your view? Leave a Comment..

What’s your ROLE in the World of Content?

With the proliferation of social media, there’s a lot of focus on content.. And as a result, there have evolved and emerged many different roles associated with content..  While some of these are typically performed by individuals, some can be performed by tools and some by a combination of individuals and tools. In the long term, it will be interesting to see how these many different roles will morph into potential business opportunities for both individuals and enterprises…

In this blog, I have attempted to list and identify the various roles in the content life cycle.. While many of these terminologies are more relevant for the context of social media, they can be easily mapped to offline content as well…

It is important to note that while many of these roles are usually clubbed and performed by a single individual, I am also increasingly observing cases where there are different individuals tasked with very specific roles. Of course, each of the roles requires different skills and have different criteria for measurement of success….

Content Ideator – Those who generate ideas on what topics content should be about

Content Creator – Those who create the content from their own ideas / content ideators

Content Editor – Those who edit the content – Focus is usually on quality of content, accuracy, validity, basic English & Grammar checks and of course, presentation

Content Approver – Those who approve the content before it is published

Content Curator – Those who organize, review and add insights to content prior to publication

Content Publisher – Those who publish the content through one / many channels and on one / many forums

Content Consumer – Those who read the content – and hopefully benefit from it in one or many ways

Content Aggregator – Those who collate and aggregate content on a specific subject and with a specific objective

Content Analyzer – Those who analyze the content to identify trends and patterns

Content Critics – Those who review and critique on content in one / many forums

Content Advisor – Those who advise on what sort of content should be created and published in various forums

Pause and Reflect…
What role(s) do you play currently?
What role(s) do you want to play??
What additional role(s) can be defined???

Enterprise BPM by Charles Bennett (Part 3)

Some Trivia Shared in the Workshop

• Since 2005, more than 180000 business books have been written

• In Europe, average life expectancy of an organization is 13.5 years

• In 2011, GE lost 45% of its brand value

• British Airways known to have the maximum loss of baggage in airports – One of the key reasons was passenger and baggage volume at specific times of the day. One of the approaches to address this was to look at the customer as a business traveller; & not just as an air passenger. This provides opportunities for modifying the start and end point of a process and provides ample opportunities for cost optimization, improvement of service and revenues

• P/E ratio average is about 12. 20 is a very good ratio for any organization

• Original organization structure defined by Adam Smith in 1770. This top down hierarchical structure achieved 2400% improvement in organizational productivity

• Leaders who have not taken voice of customers for defining their products, services and solutions – Henry Ford  (Ford) , Steve Jobs (Apple), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Richard Branson (Virgin), McDonalds – Focus on outcome based thinking

• BMW : Focus is on customer experience – Mission Statement “Give joy to customer”

• Times UK – Lost 30% of its readership just by changing Terms and Conditions

• America is a primarily services economy
o If a customer has a request, look at how it can be serviced
o If many customers have a request, look at how it can be standardized

• Google acquired Motorola Mobility for 12.3 Bn$

• Price point is independent of manufacturing cost and quality of building blocks that make a product
o Nokia Mobile 2011 Release – End-to-end cost of manufacturing – 122$ (Far more superior technology, Lighter, Advanced Features, etc.)
o Apple iPhone – End-to-end cost of manufacturing – 43$
And yet, customers prefer the Apple iPhone – Key reasons being customer experience and brand loyalty

• OTIS Elevators studies and looks at new ideas / innovations in the Japanese auto industry and NASA – Important to look at completely different industries to identify

• If you are planning to visit the UK and happen to come from one of the many countries that drive on the wrong side of the road, the following advice, direct from the Ministry of Transport, is for you: “Visitors are informed that in the United Kingdom traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road. In the interests of safety, you are advised to practice this in your country of origin for a week or two before driving in the UK.” (Src: )

• The width of a space shuttle was historically determined by the width of a train which would transport from the shuttle from the factory to the launch site.. For full story, refer  And this width of a space shuttle continues to exist even today. What’s important to note is that the decisions of yesteryears which were driven due to practical and operational constraints decades ago continue to exist because we don’task the question WHY often enough…

• Important to understand the difference between (Examples below in context of a car)
Invention – E.g.:  Combustion Engine
Innovation – E.g.: Car body and design
Disruptive Change – E.g.: Mass production of a car to make it affordable

Enterprise BPM by Charles Bennett (Part 2)

• Only 1% of global organizations are looking at business process from the “right process perspective”
• 17 out of the top 20 organizations are really looking at processes from the customer perspective – Examples are South West Airlines, BestBuy, Apple, Zara, etc.
• Zara customer experience is the process : Takes 1/40th of industry average from start to finish for producing a piece of garment
• In most organizations, 25 – 50% of costs are redundant (non-contributory)
• For 1 bad reference in a customer forum, you need at least 10 good references to neutralize / negate the impact
• In 2011, 70% of BPM projects have not achieved the results they wanted to and have failed

• Processes are the DNA of any organization
• First step in gaining control of business is to know and understand business processes
• An optimized process has minimum points of failure (POF)
• Customer centric BPM solutions aim to focus on cost model, service model and revenue model
• Truly customer centric processes focus on identifying and servicing customers based on successful customer outcomes (SCO).  End goal of any process should be to deliver “Successful Customer Outcomes” (SCO)
• Prosumer – Educated customer who is knowledgeable than the provider itself
• For definition and execution of an optimized process, following are important:
o Process Diagnostics
 Identify Moment of Truth (Customer Touch-points)
 Identify break points (Internal system hand-offs) – As a general guideline, for every Moment of Truth there are 4 break points in any system
 Identify business rules (Decision Points)
o Risk Assessment & Prioritization based on
 Impact to customer – High, Medium, Low
 Impact to organization – High, Medium, Low
o Action Plan
• Process Goals should be SMART (Successful, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound)
• Any customer Moment of Truth has the potential to be:
o Magic (Positive)
o Misery (Negative)
o Indifferent
• Points of Failure = Sq.(Moment of Truth – 1) + Break Points
• Steve Towers Blog (Founder & CEO of BPGroup) @


Enterprise BPM by Charles Bennett (Part 1)

I had the opportunity to attend the Enterprise BPM Worskhop By Charles Bennett from BPGroup  ( Event Details @ (

Focus of the workshop was on process management, process improvement, process alignment and innovation. The application of how process diagnostics (Customer Moment of Truths, Break points and Business rules) can be leveraged to deliver Successful Customer Outcomes (SCO) was discussed along with case studies and industry examples.

In this 3 part series, I will write about

1) BPM Related Data and Points of Note 

2) Trivia shared during the Session

Below is a picture of Charles & Me at the workshop…

Women in Leadership

I recently had the opportunity to attend a corporate training on Women in Leadership.. The first program I am attending in my career which was all women, about women and for women…

Key Reverberations

* Great to see so many women in leadership roles in the corporate context . The diversity in individual profiles, roles and their journeys is incredible!
 * In terms of profile of attendees on this training, majority were in the age group 27 – 40 and about 90% were married and with kids
 * If I had to summarize the top 3 points that were echoed in this session, it was around:
(1) Flexibility at work during phases of life when there was a major change in a women’s life – For e.g.: Birth of a baby
(2) Importance of ME time – Some time for themselves apart from professional and domestic responsibilities
(3) Availability of the right opportunities in the corporate context – Aligned to one’s profile, aspirations, growth – both individual and organization growth
* For a question on “What do you really want in your future?” – It was interesting to note that majority of the women wanted:
(1) Happiness – Though the definition of what makes one happy was personal
(2) Time for work and life out of work
(3) Peace of mind and harmony
 * The most powerful message was that You cannot be a superwomen / supermom all the time – Being a women / mother means that you play many different roles and have many stakeholders who will expect different things from you.. What is important is to accept that you will not be able to give your 100% all the time to what everyone expects from you & you will not be able to make everyone happy all the time.
For this, you need to be clear about your priorities and make choices. You win some, you lose some.. But then! That’s life

* Life is eventually about choices – and every choice you make has a trade-off. You may not be aware of all the trade-offs when you make a choice – But be sure that there will be some positives and some negatives. You have got to accept it and move ahead!
 * Identify your leadership style – Be aware of it, Identify your strengths and consciously work on your improvement areas
 * Who moved my cheese? – I’ve read the book and watched the movie several times; and yet every time I see it, it will inspire. I guess that’s the beauty of a true classic. The key messages that I took-away this time are:
(1) Have clarity on your goals – personal or professional
(2) Change is inevitable ; Plan for it & Be prepared for it
(3) Move out of your comfort zone ; It’s important for learning, growth and progress
(4) Your life journey and destination is yours – It’s personal, It’s a choice…
(5) Surround yourself with positive thoughts and people; Keep at bay negative thoughts, people and energies
(6) Invest some time and effort in observing your environment (personal / professional) – That’s the only way to be aware of changes around you
(7) Don’t over analyze everything in life; Lest it leads you to the analysis paralysis state
 * Sheryl Sandberg’s TED Speech on “Why we have too few women leaders” @  is inspiring!
Key take-aways:

(1) ‘The Most Important Career Choice You’ll Make Is Who You Marry’ @
I agree with this completely; especially as you grow in any organization and especially once you have children, a women realizes the importance of having the right partner

(2) “Until Women Are As Ambitious As Men, They’re Not Going To Achieve As Much’” @
(3) “Women unlike men encountered tradeoffs between success and likeability” (Excerpt from Sheryl’s interview) – So true!
(4) “Women are not dropping out to have a child. They’re dropping out because they have no opportunity” (Excerpt from Sheryl’s interview) – Again very rightly said! Given the right opportunity, flexibility and back-end support goes a long way in women joining the work-force and ensure a different level of work commitment and loyalty

* A talk from a senior successful women leader highlighted on the following for women in the corporate world:

1) Choose your life partner wisely (and this includes your in-laws as well)
2) Stay fit, Stay healthy – Important for the long haul
3) Build a network of strong friends and networks – both at work and outside work. Very critical for life
4) Have a mentor (formal / informal)
5) Focus and lay emphasis on personal grooming and etiquette – key for a women
6) If you are invited for a meeting, make sure you are well-prepared. Have a well thought point of view which you will express during the discussion. If you don’t have anything meaningful to say, be quiet rather than saying the wrong thing. One wrong word or statement from a women in a leadership role has the potential to change the course of your career forever

 * Wise words from Indrani Nooyi which I felt were appropriate to quote in this blog (All from published sources)
(1) It’s some­thing my mother used to tell me. She said: “They can take away the CEO from you, but they can’t take the woman away from you, they can’t take your hus­band away from you, they can’t take your chil­dren away from you. So don’t for­get that– don’t for­get how you have to be anchored in your fam­ily.” Hon­estly, I’m not sure how I can be a CEO with­out being a wife, a mother and a daugh­ter. Because that’s who I am at my core. I love my fam­ily, so I work hard to make sure that part of my life that makes me who I am is always true. I work at it.”
(2) “I’m so secure in myself, I don’t have to be American to play in the corporate life”
(3) She views PepsiCo as an extended family and everybody at the company is there to help in every way possible. Sometime ago, when Indra was traveling, her daughter would call the office to ask for permission to play Nintendo. The receptionist would know the routine and ask: “Have you finished your homework? Have you had your snack? OK, you can play Nintendo for half an hour”. She then left a voice message for Indra saying “I gave Tara permission to play Nintendo”. Unheard of in most corporations, it’s a team Indra has built up at PepsiCo which knows each other so well.
(4) When I became the president, at 10 o’clock in the night I went home and said, ‘Mom I have some very important news’. To which she said ‘leave that important news, just go buy some milk’. To which, I said, ‘Raj is home, why don’t you ask him to buy the milk?’ She said, ‘he is tired’. Typical mother you know, can’t disturb the son-in-law! I was very upset, but I went and bought the milk and banged it on the kitchen table in front of her and said, ‘Tell me, why do I have to buy the milk and not somebody else.’ She just looked at me – and I will never forget it and it was a powerful lesson she left in me and said – ‘look, when you pull into the garage, leave the crown there. Don’t walk in with it, because you are first a wife and a mother. And if the family needs milk, you go get the milk. That is your primary role in life. Everything else is what you acquired or what you got because I pray for four to five hours a day.’ That is the only thing she tells me. She says, ‘what did you accomplish? You sit in a meeting on a chair all the time, and I pray for 4-5 hours.’

* It is important to have a personal action plan for learning and growth – You can choose the areas, But focus on at most 2 areas for every 3 months