Author: Mr.Giridhar Rallabandi.
Designation: Director – Cotmac Electronics Inc.
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” — H. Jackson Brown
Many of us live our lives thinking that there is an infinite amount of time. Hence we put-off many activities that require immediate attention, postpone goals that need to be achieved and dreams that ultimately remain just dreams. We think that we can do them later.
We feel we are very busy the whole day doing something and at the end of the day realize whether, what we were busy at, was really worthwhile?
Finally, we are standing at the end of our life and repent for wasting all the time and not having achieved our goals and not having left a legacy. Perhaps, the biggest regret of life is to find out that we have reached the end of our life and then to realize that we have spent all our life in vain and doing nothing worthwhile.
Most of us feel that we can do a lot of things if we have more time everyday and yet it’s so ironical that we squander the time we already have. We waste a lot of time thinking about the laurels of the past, wasting time waiting in queues, unplanned weekends, watching television, gossiping, browsing, chatting, reading junk mails , day dreaming – Just to name a few.
Then we say,
“We do not have time!”
“We are extremely busy!”
“I shall do it later”
“You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it” Charles Bruxton.
Each and every one of us is blessed with 24 hours. It’s how we use them that decides our fortune.
Here are some Simple & Practical tips that can be used for managing and using time in a better way – by making simple adjustments in our day to day lives!
Getting up Early:
Remember the positive energy, the rush in the adrenalin and liveliness on those days when you got up early for catching the morning flight or driving out for a picnic or during the festive season. You would never feel tired the whole day and would seem to do much more than the normal days.
Getting up early makes you control the day rather than the day controlling you. There is always something special about getting up early. It keeps you fresh and highly energetic.
But the hardest thing to do is to get up early. It requires enormous amount of effort and self discipline to switch off the alarm and slip out of the bed covers. This is your first battle of the day. Better start the day on a winning note. Look at what getting up early can do for you!!
“If you are able to save one hour every day by getting up at 5 AM in the morning, then you add – 7 hours every week, 28 hours every month, 336 hours every year i.e., 14 days extra in a year! Isn’t that Great?”
Benjamin Franklin once said “There will be plenty of time to sleep when you are dead”
Learn the Art of Saying NO:
Every time you say YES to something that is un-important, you are saying NO to something that is important. How true indeed!!
Saying NO is an art one should learn, else days can be wasted getting out of tasks we shouldn’t have taken on the first place.
We know that we don’t have the time and other commitments are still uncompleted, but when asked, we still say yes.
It’s not easy to say “No” to a friend who invites you for a chat over a cup of coffee on a busy Monday morning or to a colleague who wants your help when you are in the midst of an important project or to a social obligation that is not very important or to a friend who wants to dump his work on you in the name of friendship or to a relative who sends you on an errand that is least important.
Most of our time is spent on un-necessary commitments and un-planned activities that eat up valuable time.
According to the U.S News & world Report, over the course of your life time, you will spend 8 months opening junk mail, two years unsuccessfully returning phone calls and five years standing in a line. Add to this is the amount of time spent waiting for your flight , bus or a train at airports , bus stands and railway stations respectively, travelling time , traffic jams & waiting for the customers or acquaintances for discussions. There are many such instances in our day to day life that we spend idle, doing nothing.
Given the above fact, one of the smartest time management strategies would be to carry a book with you and read the book while travelling, standing in queues or waiting for the customer. So, instead of complaining about issues which are directly not under your control, you will use your time feeding your mind with rich diet of ideas found in these books.
Limit watching the Television:
The invention of television has been a boon to mankind as it can be relaxing, entertaining, educational and informative.
But there are many programmes that rob us off time.
Television is ON in most of the homes for at least forty hours a week. The first thing we do after reaching home from either office or shopping or from an outing or from school, is to switch on the TV. Children and adults are glued to the Cartoon networks, Soaps, filmy news, Sports and many other channels.
Here we watch and also celebrate the other person pursuing & achieving his dreams while your dreams remain only as dreams. As time progresses these dreams fizzle out of the mind.
Imagine for a moment, if there would be no power for a couple of days and the TV is completely switched off. Everybody in the household would get mad and restless but look at the amount of time at your disposal.
Alternatively, one can limit watching television to one hour a day by selecting the programmes for the Review list.
Procrastination, sometimes called as the “art of keeping up with yesterday”, is something we all have in common. We tend to put off things, especially the unpleasant or difficult ones. These pending tasks, even though simple, keep piling upon each other thus making it so big that it becomes very difficult to handle later.
Why do people Procrastinate? Isn’t it bad time management or plain laziness? Perhaps, people put things off because of fear of failure, self doubt, underestimating the time to complete a particular task, over confidence, complexity of the project, sheer laziness or a casual attitude.
“Procrastination can take years out of a person’s life. It saps energy, emotion and time. Worse, the fears, self doubts and low tolerance for the unpleasant that are a part of the procrastination pattern can lead to alcoholism, anxiety and depression” says American psychologist William Knaus , author of Do it Now: How to stop Procrastinating.
The only way to overcome Procrastination is through ACTION. We have to get into the “DO IT NOW” attitude. In the east there is a saying. “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago and the second best time is today”.
At our work place, we receive an enquiry, letter or any other piece of correspondence that invariably goes into the “In tray “after a quick glance. We postpone the action on the same for the later part of the day or the weekend.
The more we leave the paper to accumulate, the harder it will be to work our way through to the bottom of the pile. Hence handle each piece of paper only once. Read it and prepare yourself to take a decision about it.
The options are limited. Read it and dump it; read it and file it; read it and respond immediately; read it and respond later.
Plan your day well by making a list of tasks that needs to be executed and prioritize them. It’s observed that we spend a lot of time doing un-necessary things that are time wasters.
Tidying up your office when a report should be written, taking a long tea break when customers should be phoned, gossiping when a proposal has to be made, and talking to a friend when you have to visit a customer, putting off your filing when it needs to be done.
Spending the first 15 minutes of your day and making a clear list of activities, prioritizing them and working towards achieving them shall make you highly energetic and motivated. However juggle around with pleasant, complex, easy and unpleasant tasks.
When faced with a complex task or a project, don’t try to take the entire project at the same time. It’s wiser to break the complex task into smaller tasks and start working on each section. It’s easier to get started and you learn to consider each section’s work as an accomplishment and eventually will lead to completion of the whole project.
Enjoy the weekends:
Its 9:30 AM on a Saturday Morning. Mom and Dad are just rolling out of the bed. The kids are watching cartoon network on the television. By mid afternoon, house hold chores are being done in a full swing. The next day, after reading the morning news paper and cleaning the car, lunch is followed by a TV program or work brought home from the office. There would be relatives or friends visiting the house. So two days have passed and suddenly we realize that the family hasn’t spent much time together on the weekend! Doesn’t it sound like your family’s typical weekend!
There are four weekends in a month that comprise 8 days. Here is an opportunity for the family to be together, strengthen and nurture the relationships, can connect with each other, opportunity to be creative and bond with each other as a unit. However the weekends are spent aimlessly as we have crammed them with housework, social obligations & family commitments. The entire time remains wasted.
A lovely weekend can make the subsequent days of the week highly energetic, motivating and more fulfilling for you at work. A good weekend is like a fodder for the upcoming days. How do we make the most of the weekends!
- Avoid taking work home during the weekends by disciplining yourself and working an extra hour at office.
- Try to complete the household chores on weekdays itself rather than cramming them over to the weekends.
- Plan your weekend in advance. It may be a family get together / watching a movie /playing a match / driving down to a resort or hill station and many such activities.
Who says there is No Time? Perhaps there would be many more ways of saving time!
As human beings, the greatest gift god has give us is the decision to choose. So we can choose to have time or we can choose to have No time. The decision ultimately lies with you!
Let’s take charge of our lives. Let’s take charge of the time at our disposal.
“Nothing really belongs to us but time, which even he has, who has nothing else.” –Baltazar Gracian