Tag: Procrastination

The TIME for ME is NOW

The most important thing in our lives is what we are doing now.

For every human being, time is the most precious resource for the simple reason that it cannot be replenished. Time lost is lost forever and since it is said that time is money, every second lost is money lost. Viewed differently time lost is actually opportunity lost; for grabbing opportunities is possible only when they present themselves at the right time. Does this mean that the time we waste in gossip, watching TV, sleeping or idling away are a frivolous waste of time?  The answer to this depends on our priorities. Sleep is mandatory but oversleeping is criminal. Similarly watching TV to relax and unwind is excellent use of time except when we become a slave to the TV. Yes even gossip is a social need to bond and possibly let out steam. This brings us to an interesting conclusion, that what we are doing now is the most important thing for us.

The question for most of us now is how to ensure that we do only the most important thing with our time. The trick is to be pragmatic in allocating priorities. Being pragmatic involves knowing what we want to achieve, having clarity on the reason we are pursuing that goal and ensuring that the priority does not rob us from leading a quality lifestyle. Setting goals will help us focus on what we have to achieve. SMART goals vis. Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound goals are what we must set for ourselves. Getting clarity on the compelling need for us to pursue that goal is much more tougher. This would involve us asking some hard questions about the potential benefit of the goal, the effort result payoff and the influence the attainment of the goal has to us personally and to society at large. E.g. Doing a Ph.D after retirement would be a worthwhile goal to pursue, provided we leverage that qualification and learning. Doing a Ph.D just to keep ourselves occupied would be a very poor goal to pursue.  The final question that we need to honestly ask is Are we pursuing a goal and allocating a priority purely for our own self gratification needs? Will the goal we prioritize seriously disturb our family life, our social life and our own personal life?

Why are we so ineffective in managing our time? A large part of that blame rests purely on our shoulders. While there are external time wasters over which we have limited control like telephone calls, meetings being called by seniors, being kept waiting despite having appointments etc. the real culprit is our own personal tardiness and casualness which we can really control. The two biggest culprits that make us ineffective time managers are Procrastination and Decision making.  There are other contributors too like personal disorganization, poor listening skills and our inability to say NO to any time commitments that come our way. The way out is to be aware of these time robbers that we are personally responsible for and either through training or a disciplined approach we have to over come them.

When we are sure that what we do now is what is the most important thing our conscious is at peace, our efforts are rarely in vain, there is a sense of achievement and most importantly we would never have any regrets in life.

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

Try this:

  1. Prepare your own SMART goals. Make it exhaustive and where ever possible break down large goals into smaller goals with target dates penciled in. Prioritize the list in order of importance and urgency. Ensure you read it frequently and act on it daily. Review your day before going to bed and plan the day before you begin work in the morning.
  2. Attempt this Priorities Test
  • Five things are happening in your house at the same time. In which sequence would you solve them?
    • The telephone is ringing!
    • The baby is crying!
    • Someone’s knocking or calling you from the front door!
    • You hung the clothes out to dry and it is beginning to rain!
    • You left the tap on in the kitchen and the water is already overflowing!

(View the next post in www.poweract.blogspot.com for an interesting interpretation of your time priorities. Ensure that your own answer to the above is kept at hand when going through the interpretation.)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Never put off…

Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow. Horace

It was Benjimin Franklin  who made a very apt statement when he said ‘ I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.  Often we tend to focus on the ironic humor in Franklin’s observation, unfortunately missing out on the larger point he made, that we need to seize the wonders of each day and utilize it fully. Tomorrow is actually an illusion for no one can predict the next moment and so we need to do what ever we have to now and yes we need to size the moment as it comes to us. We cannot afford to put off for tomorrow what needs to be done now.

What are most commonly deferred for a more opportune time are inevitably those tasks that we detest, despise, abhor. Even the most astute business men are capable of succumbing to this one big weakness of procrastinating; see the number of business tycoons who are unable to write a will and consequentially leave behind a trail of family disputes, legal machinations and a trail of sordid family saga. For ordinary mortals, the tendency is no less similar. They would avoid taking a tough stance, pussy foot complicated decisions and hope some miraculous solutions would appear tomorrow that would ease their agony.

On a more global level, societies where there is religious fervor tend to see a sharp increase in the dependence on divine intervention to what should ideally be a man made solutions to a man made problems. Agnostic societies use a similar logic albeit without giving any credit to divine interventions but use the garb of myopic political expediency to rationalize the evils of today.  Many a time where long term solutions with short term hardships are the ideal answer, we tend to take the soft option because we want to see immediate results and leave the long term problem for tomorrow. After all tomorrows problem would belong to the people of tomorrow. What one fails to realize that we need to plan today for the future and if it means making sacrifices today for long term prosperity so be it. The energy crisis of today, the depleting fresh water resources, the ecological imbalance etc. are but symptomatic of this very myopic human tendency. If our politicians, policy makers and our forefathers had taken a long term holistic view of the indiscriminate depletion of natural resources, abuse of the abundance of nature and reaping without sowing today’s world would not be pushed to the brink of a crisis. Unfortunately we are equally guilty of what are forefathers did and so we end up seizing the day for just our immediate benefits and tomorrows generation will have to pay the price.

While the world debates the future, the earth beneath our feet is crumbling under the selfish, self centered and self inflicted crisis that we refuse to acknowledge today; will there be a tomorrow for the next generation?

Remember: We are not inheritors of the earth; mere custodians for our future generation.

Try these:

  1. Irrespective of what age you are, try making a will. Be fair and realistic and do not make a casual attempt. The exercise may trouble you for various reasons from fear of death itself to realizing that fairness is relative and hard to define to recognizing what really our possessions are.
  2. Join up a NGO that is involved in any activity pertaining to protecting our earths treasures be it tree conservation, animal protection, rights of the tribals etc.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our weekly Inspirational and Motivational Blog   www.poweract.blogspot.com