Effective Time Management

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Human beings we are, we come across several paradoxes in our life time. Some we are able to solve; some we are not! All over the world, we have marketing personnel in different fields and we do come across some insurance salesmen who excel in their activities, show fantastic performance year after year and find time enough to spend towards social work, domestic chores, and for the welfare of their class yet bemoaning “if only we have more time we will do still better in the market as there is no dearth of potential in the society”!

We come across senior executives engaging almost all their senior officers in discussion on all matters under the sun almost throughout the office hours – whether the individuals are connected with the subject or not, whether the subject discussed has any relevance, immediate or remote to the need of the organization or not and making up their time to attend to their files requiring immediate decision beyond the hours of office, in the process making their secretarial staff also sit – heart of heart curse –creating an impression in the visiting clients that the executives are really busy as seen in the files behind them and on either side growing into a little mount – all along bemoaning they are hard pressed for time and God has not given them forty eight hours a day!

We also come across other senior executives quietly doing the work, limiting their discussions just to the extent required, disposing the files at the shortest possible time, making their peers and subordinates extremely happy thereby improving their productivity, granting interviews to the visitors not making them wait for hours and still finding time to attend to their literary work, – may be writing, reading, addressing the gathering of the literators, regularly setting apart some time for their morning walk, evening shuttle-cock et al!

“Paradox indeed “is in the world!

Feel free to download and share this poster
Feel free to download and share this poster

Typical are these examples, leaving millions who lament that they are not in a position to carry out even very important work – not to speak about pursuing their hobbies etc. on the spacious plea of “No Time”.

Yes; “time” is one of the most precious resources the society is endowed with but abused and misused, disused and trammeled. Time is one commodity that cannot be distributed to others, saved or shared, conserved or hoarded. Yours is yours and mine is mine.

It is unfortunate that such a valuable resource as ‘time’ is frittered away in most reckless and unproductive manner by most of the people.

Probably one third of our time is wasted in ‘waiting’ and ‘searching’. How much one waits for a friend, for a bus or train, stands in a queue for booking a ticket or for a delicious dinner in a posh hotel which consumes hours and hours.

How many hours of our precious time are lost in searching for a paper or a key bunch, a document that we have very carefully kept safe years ago or a book kept in home library? Every time I search for my pen kept on table over which I lay a heap of files in the course of my office work, I remember a senior executive who will never fail to keep his pens – different colors he used to keep for different purposes – for signature in a letter one color, for giving a decision on the office note another color, for signing cheques a third color and so on – in the respective holder of the pen stand – not wasting even a second for searching for the pen!

For those who use “No Time” excuse as a cover for laziness, leading to his incapacity to accomplish things the following poem provides an answer:

What a funny thing it is

No time for prayer, satsang we miss
No time to write or read we wish
No time to be with friends we think
No time to serve the needy who sink
No time to visit the shrines that lift!

Funny indeed

We manage time that dies!
Twenty four hours a day
Seven days a week
Four weeks a month
Twelve months a year
Hundred years to live!
No time to spend the way need
Paradox unsolved in life indeed!

Getting up early before sunrise
Starting the routine immediate nice
Wasting, gossiping, frittering avoided
Planning your work, being punctual wise
Gets you all the time you need to size!

Photo by Sharadha NV
Photo by Sharadha NV

In our personal life or official – in the field or office – time has its own significant role to play and in fact our success to a great extent depends on how well we manage our time. Time management is an art and science. The mastery we acquire over that art and science makes us effective and productive.

Several text books are available on Time management and in fact, no training at any level is complete without a session on this science and art. Yet we have men and men in millions and millions bemoaning and lamenting that they have no time. The books we read and talks we hear may not be of great avail, if the managers of time are not endowed with or have not cultivated a strong ‘will power’. I firmly believe that it is the ‘will power’ that makes or unmakes a good time manager.

Psychologists opine that it is not the ‘lack of time’ that makes one miserable, but it is that lack of ‘will’ or the commonly said “mood to do or not to do” that matters after all. Many a time we attribute “lack of time” as the reason for not doing a thing and the genuine reason may be something else – normally ‘indifference’ to the work on hand or ‘incapacity’ to do that work.

We are living in an age where travel is becoming faster and faster and communication is becoming quicker and quicker thanks to technological advancement all over. Hence if only an individual has the “will”, he can manage the time admirably well.

Given below are some of the important tips for “Effective Time Management” – all experimented in day to day work environment and proved quite successful in personal and official life.

1 Pre-dawn getting up from sleep gets all the time on earth for you.

2 Prioritization of work on hand – first thing first and nth thing nth!

3 Beware of “Time Wasters”. Time wasters may haunt you through any mask – unproductive conversation, meaningless parties, useless dinners, valueless meetings, purposeless travels, unnecessary entertainments, wasteful searches and numerous other masks!

4 Master the art of limited talk.

5 Avoid brooding over yesterday’s failures which eat away not only your today’s time but saps your tomorrow’s energy – learning a point or two out of the past failures, of course, proves guidance for the future.

6 While you are to be in the field in the course of your marketing activities, programme your calls in such a way as to avoid “repetitive route”. “Engagements enroute” conserve time, energy and fuel.

7 Let “Punctuality – finest value of life” be our guiding principle. We often hear “that is Indian punctuality”! We never find the word ‘Indian punctuality’ any where in the dictionary – there is no Indian punctuality, American punctuality, British punctuality etc. There is only one word- punctuality and that punctuality is punctuality. Let us not be unpunctual and cause dent in other’s time nor allow our time to be dented by others’ unpunctuality!

8 Cultivate clarity in thoughts and deeds. Lack of clarity leads to confusion and results in wastage of time.

9 “Delegation” is an insurance against “loss of time”.

10 Procrastination – is a disease with and a villain for the time manager. What can be done today is not to be deferred till tomorrow. Tomorrow may be too late leading to the time and cause getting out of our control.

11 “Simultaneous operation” – an instrument of time saver. To the extent possible we can do more than one thing at the same time notwithstanding the dictum ‘one thing at a time’. For example, while we are on the morning walk, we can simultaneously complete the planning for the day

I have seen an executive carrying a mini office in his brief case and whenever / wherever he had to wait, without wasting time, he will do the office work!

To conclude this piece, a poem written long time ago comes to my mind – which appears to be a fitting conclusion.

God created time
Man measured it fine
Seconds, minutes, hours and day
Weeks, months and year we say!
Time is precious, life is short
Never time is short for the smart!
Every minute worth an hour
Wasted time sure loss for ever!
Well managed time worth a life
How we manage matter for the mind!
Punctuality finest value of life
One should keep till end of life!
Punctuality is double blessed
It blesseth the one who keeps
And also the one who waits
Time is precious for all on earth!
Manage time with entire mite
Enjoy its fruit in all your life!

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