Tag: time

Is it today?

Is it today?

All good intent comes to naught, when one does not put the intent into practice or begin acting on the plans. We have lofty goals in mind, sit back and plan, decide on a day, date and time to act but when crunch time comes, we have numerous excuses for delaying beginning it. In fact the real problem begins at the goal setting stage. We rarely commit ourselves to outlining the goals in writing. On the rare times we do write down some goals, they are more or less one line statements which are more in the nature of expressing a dream / desire than a commitment. Often the statements are peppered with adjectives that make the goal sound lofty whilst the core remains hollow. One technique to ensure one writes down actionable goals is the SMART goal technique. If you are not aware of this technique or are only have a hazy idea of it,  you can google it and read up on the same. (This would be the first test of how committed you are to writing down actionable goals.)

The next step is critical because we do not spend adequate time planning out and chalking out the blueprint of how to go about achieving each goal. This is not a short ten minute exercise. It is actually a test of your passion for the goal you have set. You would need to mull over your goal, the challenges you will face, reflect on your personal limitations that you would need to set right, identify milestones that will indicate that you are on the right track and that you are keeping up to the schedule planned. In planning out your blueprint, you will also make sure you will not compromise on your ethics and values in pursuit of the goal.

Finally it is crunch time, when you have to walk the talk. You will need to begin as planned; no excuse will be good enough for any deferment. If you defer, you will have to go back to the drawing board and rethink your plans for you have not made provisions for contingencies. Your entire SMART goal hinges on the last alphabet T which stands for TIME. Your goal is time bound and this can be achieved only if you begin on time and progress as per your time schedule. Beginning on time is just a blip in the scheme of things; it is sticking to the time schedule till you attain your goal that is the real elephant that you have to eat slice by slice to ensure you have eaten it all. Each day therefore becomes day one of the next step of your plan.

To get your plans off the ground ask yourself ‘When am I going to begin? If the answer is ‘I will start one day ‘ be sure that day will not be in the foreseeable future. On the other hand if you say ‘Day one is here, let me begin now’ you would have created the momentum that you can maintain with the right motivation, an eye on the goal and feet on the ground running. It is your choice to ask and answer the question ‘Is it today that I begin to realize my dreams?

Try these:           

  • When are you going to write the letter to the editor of a newspaper, putting forth your views on a social problem that you are most upset about?
  • What and when will be your next attempt at doing something that you have never attempted before?
  • When will you start making new friends at work/ the neighborhood / when travelling?
  • When will you write a letter to or visit a favorite teacher to convey your appreciation?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The perfect time is now…

This time like all times is a very good one if we but know what to do with it  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last night, I was deeply disappointed that I ran headlong into a writer’s worst nightmare ‘the writer’s block’ and after pottering around for more than an hour attempting to get going with the blog I simply quit. Funnily enough I enjoyed a good sleep but on waking up was racked with pangs of guilt on not writing the blog, suffering the ignominy of being idealess and I suspect more depressed at the blow to my ego. However as the day wore on it occurred to me that the experience of the previous night was not entirely wasted; after all I was subject to the painful realization of my own limitations; having made the decision to give up and go to sleep my dilemma was resolved and I enjoyed blissful sleep; and on waking up I was glad to rediscover my competitive drive. That time (yesterday when I stared for an hour at a blank screen attempting to write)  just like the present moment that I am writing and this moment that you are reading this post are all equally invaluable provided each of us is doing exactly what was/ is required.

Our successes or failures in life are nothing but net effect of the time we spend fruitfully minus the time we waste in doing things that either we ought not to do or should do at another time. Look back at our own student days and reflect on how much effort we put into studies and how much time we spend in day dreaming, hanging out with friends, sleeping, watching movies TV partying etc. It is not as if to suggest that the latter activities are to be avoided but definitely they must be restricted for each of us is fortunately or unfortunately privy only to 24 hours of the day. A good test to understand how much time we utilize productively is to ask if we have any regrets. The more the regrets the greater the waste of our limited time. Ask if you have taken time out to smell the flowers as you traverse the paths of life. If you haven’t then soon you would realize the frustrtionof having the time but squandering it.

Another test to find out if we have made good use of our time is to answer the question’ what will I do with the last 10 minutes of my life?

Ask if you would end telling yourself the following

I will go around telling those whom I love that I love them passionately

I will go around pardoning all those who hurt me

I will go around seeking pardon from those I hurt,

I will loosen my purse strings and liberally give out to charity etc.

Some questions that will haunt you then are

Can  I do all this in 10 minutes?

Should I have not done this all the time?

Why did I waste my time on frivolous things when I should have spend more time with loved ones?

Was my life worth whatever I achieved?

Will someone really grieve for me?

Remember:

Happy the man, and happy he alone,

He, who can call to-day his own:

He who, secure within, can say:

“To-morrow, do thy worst, for I have liv’d to-day.”

Try this:

  1. Ask yourself right now if this is the right time to read the blog. If your answer is yes then go on and read a few more blog posts including the weekly post at www.poweract.blogspot.com If your answer is NO, then stop reading and slot a time to read and henceforth make it a point to read these posts only at that time.
  2. Any time is perfect to do the following. Ensue that you practice as many of these as often as you can.
  • Smile
  • Thank
  • Apologize
  • Praise
  • Reflect
  • Appreciate
  • Pardon
  • Pray

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Give and receive

It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35

One of the problems that we humans constantly battle is our urge to want more and more. We crave to have more wealth, more power, more freedom and more happiness. More often than not, it is a losing battle because we are unable to overcome our cravings but then we work out a compromise to subdue our conscience that pricks us; we give charity, we donate and we even make an attempt to participate in some activity of those working for the poor, the destitute, the old and aged, the orphans, the mentally challenged etc. However our efforts are miniscule as compared to the riches we amass, hoard and fritter away when we need to make a show of pomp or piety. Often we gather ill gotten wealth and we then double our efforts to part with a sizeable chunk of it for an apparently worthy cause. The true intentions are to lighten the burden on our conscience and hopefully get some divine intercessions too in the long run.

On the other hand if we seek out the riches of those who are genuinely happy and contented we make the interesting discovery that they are far from materialistically rich but surprisingly seem to be abundantly blessed in many other ways.  To begin with they are joyful, they also seem to be contented and most of all they seem to take pleasure in giving freely and abundantly to all those who need. We are unable to comprehend how those who are apparently just about making two ends meet by our standards, can be so generous. The answer to that lies in the mental makeup of those who give in abundance. They do not worry too much about their long term own requirements, they have deep faith in being taken care of by some divine or supernatural means and most of all they feel they have a duty a mission and an obligation to those who less privileged, weaker and needier.

It is said that what goes around comes around. This is very true and we would have personally experienced that we have got some help form the most unexpected quarters at a time when we had almost lost all hope. This brings us to another point that we do not consider when we talking about giving and that is to give off our time, our efforts and our talents.  If we have the wealth and money we are generous with giving a small part of it. We may also often give away what is not useful for us or what we do not require like old clothes, toys, books etc. What is really in short supply is the human touch that our brethren seek. Human beings need human company, they require the warmth of human touch, the love spread through our voice and actions and they crave for attention and love. No amount of money can buy any of these. We need to appreciate that real giving is in giving what we value most; our time and our self.

Remember: “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” Kahlil Gibran

Try this:

  1. Outline a plan of action to ensure that you give at least 3 -5 hours of your time in a month with either the poor, the aged, the infirm, the orphans or the challenged.
  2. Can you initiate action to coordinate and motivate people to contribute a small mite for some charity? Ideal you should be able to also motivate the contributors to play a more active role in ensuring that their contributions are well utilized by not just donating but also participating in at least one activity of the charity.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

Value of time

A man who dares to waste one hour of life has not discovered the value of life. Charles Darwin

The challenge for us with respect to utilizing our time effectively is to define what waste of time is. For a person who enjoys his/ her sleep, sleeping more than the norm of8 hours is never a waste of time. On the other hand a workaholic would find sleep to be a necessary evil, ideally avoided or kept to the bare minimum and using that yardstick, anyone who enjoys his/ her sleep is wasting time. Similarly parents of students will bitterly complaint that the children waste time in front of the TV while the children believe it is a good stress buster. The question that now comes to the forefront is how to find a good yardstick or definition of waste of time.

Obviously from the examples given earlier, the concept of waste of time differs from person to person and situation to situation. With this clarity in mind, we can state that waste of time is experienced when we are not doing what we are supposed to be doing. This presupposes that we know what we are supposed to be doing but this is a reasonable supposition since by and large each of us knows our responsibilities. When one digresses from the job on hand and abdicates his/ her responsibilities, the time spend on the alternative is clearly a waste of time. This needs elaboration with a suitable example. A student studying for his final exam sacrifices his TV viewing to fully focus on his studies. However if there is a dramatic moment on TV like the landing of man on moon or closing moments of a historic win for his national team in a prestigious tournament, then he is utilizing his time well by watching those epoch moments live and sacrificing his studies for that brief period. In fact by missing out on those historic moments under the garb of studies, would be a folly and a waste of both time and a slice of history.

There are many activities that would seem like a waste of time but which are a social necessity. It is also important to realize that rest, leisure and play are an essential part of life and time utilized for the same is not a waste of time. Similarly time spend on our social obligations, religious activities and in the pursuit of our passions are also time well spent, provided of course we are not so obsessed with it that we neglect our true vocation.  Taking time out to recharge by going on a vacation, spending time in thinking and reflecting and taking an unexpected break or an occasional unplanned indulgence is perfect use of time. We might be tempted to see all these activities as using up a fair amount of our time, but we need to keep in mind that we are human beings with feelings, emotions and affections all of which are beyond the purview of being compartmentalized in strict time slots.

Where we would really be wasting time is in frivolous pursuits like politicking, gossiping, fault finding, bickering and scuttling matters. Making too many mistakes or errors, doing a shoddy or tardy job, nitpicking merely to get ones way, duplicating work and indulging in tasks that are best delegated, are classic cases of wasting time. Having a broad overview of the work and ensuring reasonable time allocation for each task will ensure that we are very clear about our responsibilities, are well prepared for it and efficiently execute it.  The joy of a task well done comes not merely from the joy of completing it but also from the unseen, unappreciated and ubiquitous joy of having used ones time very well.

Remember: Today, be aware of how you are spending your 1,440 beautiful moments, and spend them wisely

Try this:

Read the Weekly post on PRESENT Prime Resource Emerging Silently Evolving Now Today by clicking on the following link http://poweract.blogspot.com/2010/11/present.html

List out 5 pending jobs that you have postponed for many days. Now detail the work involved in each and then estimate the time for you to complete the task. Get cracking and ensure that you do the task by the personal deadline set by you. Then experience the joy of having done the task and the joy of having used your time well.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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

The last moment

If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done. Anon

It is a good thing that we aren’t robotic in our time management or else life would be too boring.  The frantic pace at which we run around at the last moment, the high level of stress and the fragility of our planning, are symptomatic of our humanness. The pleasure of a job well done is perhaps heightened, by the knowledge that some critical jobs were done at the last minute and success therefore tastes sweeter.

However, the last minute is not the best moment but it is the vital moment in a human beings life.  If it wasn’t there we would flounder desperately, panic excessively and mess up matters thoroughly. It is therefore imperative that we plan well and act on time, doing today’s work today and not leave it for another day. For routine matters have a time schedule and do not waver from it. It will also help if we standardize the routines in terms of the action to be taken and use the tools of delegation and automation to lessen the burden on us.

Some routines, like writing this blog cannot be easily delegated, but the time to write can be fixed and we must discipline ourselves to adhere to our own time schedules. It is easier to be disciplined when we are passionate and motivated like seeing a movie on the very first day of its release. However routine and not so pleasurable job requires us to have an external motivation or reward or in extreme cases a deep fear of the consequences. The last moment should be the moment of truth and not the moment to make amends for our self deception.

Remember: “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped”

Action Points:

  • Ask yourself if the present moment is the right time for you to read this blog. Was it planned or did you stray here by accident?  If you strayed here are you benefiting by reading this blog; if not you are wasting the moment.
  • Do you have a last minute checklist for major activities? That is a key step in any major plan. Incorporate that in all your plans. This could be even used when you plan a simple thing as getting ready for the exams to planning a picnic and is a must for more complicated tasks.
  • If you hear the words ‘You are wasting your time’ or ‘ You are irresponsible’ or ‘You always wait till the last moment’ then it is time for you to do a reality check and examine your own work style.

This blog is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are welcome to visit our weekly, motivational and inspirational blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Start Now

The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today. Elbert Hubbard

One of the classic ways of procrastinating is to plan and plan and never start the work under some pretext or the other. A very common pretext we use is waiting for the 1st of the next month, the beginning of the week normally the following Monday or waiting for an auspicious time like a birthday or anniversary. When the relevant date comes up, we invent new excuses to miss the deadline and convince ourselves that the time is not yet ripe.

While planning a task is an inevitable step, it is the execution of the plan that actually bears fruits. It is imperative that action be taken at the earliest and suitable corrections be implemented if required and there is no better time than NOW! Tomorrow is the day when you need to improve upon what you started today !

Remember: You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today. Abraham Lincoln

Try these:

  • Examine your New Year Resolutions. If you haven’t made one, start NOW! Have you put a start date time on each resolution? Begin on that date what ever the impediments.
  • Have you done a daily time log analysis of your daily time utilization? If not start doing it for a week from today. Tabulate it and ask yourself – do I spend time with family? Do I spare time for my personal passions? Do I have a slot for contemplation and meditation? IS some sort of community work / social service work inbuilt in my weekly routine?
  • Take on a new active task from today. It could be writing your blog / learning something new like a language or a musical instrument / helping out in an old age home or orphanage etc.

This blog is courtesy www.actspot.com
You are also invited to visit our weekly motivational and inspirational blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Make the best of Today

Enjoy yourself. These are the “good old days” you’re going to miss in the years ahead. Anon

Time management is not just about making every minute count as in work. Real time management is all about utilizing your time not just productively but living it fully with enthusiasm, exuberance and excitement. The tough times we go through in life, like studying for exams, the anxious times at job interviews, the deep sorrow we feel at the death of a loved one are mere comma’s and semi colons in the passage of life. When we read the full script, we realize that life is a wonderful journey that hold a million treasures in the deep recesses of our hearts.

Sometimes despite our best efforts we end up as failures, despondent and forlorn. It is that such crucial times that the sweet memories of the good old days, brighten our present, give us hope and spur us to action. We are assured of success, of attaining our goals and coming up triumphant when we don’t fall prey to momentary setbacks and  glitches  in the drama called our life.

Happiness begins with us accepting our  imperfections, acknowledging  our limitations and trying our best at all times. You can be sure there will never be any regrets in your life if act now, accept the results and acknowledge with humility the success you get and take the rare failures in your stride. Then when we look back we will never have any regrets and instead see the that every moment in the past is a treasure that shouts ‘ they were the good old days’.

Remember : “Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.”

Try these :

  • Can you recollect your childhood dreams. List them out. Ask yourself if you regret not achieving any of those dreams.
  • Outline your plans for the next one year/ 5 years / 10 years. Write it down with a road map as to how you propose to achieve it.
  • Are there some regrets in your life? If yes don’t ignore it but write it down and ask yourself if they were really what you craved for and could have got? Do you think you can really blame people/ circumstances / yourself for those regrets ?

This daily blog is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also welcome to visit our weekly inspirational and motivational blog at www.poweract.blogspot.com