Managing time

I must govern the clock, not be governed by it. Golda Meir

Often we are victims of our own folly and nothing makes it as crystal clear as our own approach to managing our own affairs. The primary problem relates to how we make use of the time at our disposal. Far too often we squander it, other times we live in dread of it, occasionally we make a determined effort to use it effectively and in rare cases we do manage to stick to our plans and use our time fruitfully. There is of course the oddball who becomes an extension of a clock and lives life by the tick tock of the clock one who neither stops to smell the flowers nor pauses to smile at a child. Amidst this rigmarole, individually, each of us at varying times has danced to the rhythm of the second, minute and hour hand but rarely  been able to keep time and hence became an ungainly sight.

No one can ever complaint that time discriminates for time is available to every single living being in identical measure without fear or favor. Time is thus the one resource that is freely available, in ample supply and yet remains an enigma. We have attempted to understand it by studying the movement of the sun and carved out 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night, we have studied the climatic changes and  classified time into seasons, by developing calendars we have attempted to capture in broad slots of 12 months and 365 days and finally through  sheer resourcefulness we have developed both the analog and digital clocks to track the nano bits of time. Unfortunately while al our attempts to track time have succeeded we have not mastered the concept of time and therefore end up feeling frustrated that we haven’t utilized the time available to us fruitfully.

The concept of time management can be simplified to read as Organize, strategize and prioritize. To be organized means to have all our requirements identified, sorted and kept handy. ‘ A place for everything and everything in its place’ would  encapsulate the whole gamut of being organized.  To strategize would involve outlining our long term and short term goals, preparing a blueprint for achieving those goals and having alternatives in hand if the need to bypass arises. It is prioritizing that is the bugbear of many simply because it involves choosing between alternatives and this is easier said than done. Human nature being what it is, allocating priorities is not a mere rational act but is a deeply emotional extravaganza. This implies that the usage of time is highly personal and an individual decision that cannot be carved in stone. Herein lies the problem and the solution as to how to govern the clock.

My writing this blog at this precise moment is a choice I have made just as you reading this at this moment is because of the choice you made. Some could argue that this is neither the time to write nor the right time for you to read but ultimately it is the priority that you have allocated that determines your choice.  Let me thank you for having prioritized well because if you didn’t read this, I would have been wasting my time. You must also take a moment to pat yourself on the back for having prioritized well  for after reading this you must be rejuvenated and charged up to organize, strategize and prioritize the rest of your day.

Remember: Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.”

Try this:

  1. Identify people amongst your family/ friends/ well know personalities or situations that you find yourself in for whom the following is applicable. (I have attempted to give you an example each in brackets)
  • “Time is
  • too slow for those who wait – (an expectant mother)
  • too swift for those who fear –  ( a convict on death row)
  • too long for those who grieve – (a student who has flunked and has to appear again)
  • too short for those who rejoice – ( a medal winning sportsperson)
  • but for those who love, time is eternity. – ( a passionate painter)
  1. Try timing the following to make you more aware of time
  • The time taken for a cup of water to boil
  • Time spend by you on doing a routine unpleasant task
  • Time spend by you talking on your mobile phone
  • Time spend by you in being critical / finding fault with others/ being negative

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