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.”
- 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.
- 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
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