Bad News: Time Flies Away / Good News: You are the Pilot

If there is one thing that is equally distributed by the Lord Almighty, that is Time. And it is the most important of all resources. Proper use of time makes the people very successful and vice-versa. With the fast development of technology, executives are expected to be far more productive. It is possible. But it calls for more efficient use of your time.
In fact, over the years our attitude towards time has changed. Today, each one of us has become aware of cost of time.
One can effectively use time if the goals are written down. The specific goals make it mandatory to write down a plan of action. And when you have worked out your plan to achieve your goals in respect of important aspects of life, there is hardly any time which you can afford to lose.
I would like to mention here that some habits need to be changed to be more time productive. These are:

  1. Procrastination is the most potent culprit which destroys some of your most precious time. It is only important tasks that you want to carry out as a priority. But if the task is challenging, many a time you tend to postpone it. In the process, you lose time but more importantly the burden or guilt of not attending to important work makes you time inefficient. So having a habit of procrastination even in the smallest measure is not permissible.
  1. Time has the habit of expanding to work to the time allotted. Even if you are able to do a job in two hours, but you have four hours available, the work will expand to fill all four hours. So what is the remedy? Allot lesser time to the task. You may have to stretch yourself a bit. Do it. But, save time.
  1. Another villain which steals away your time is indecision. Whenever you are not able to decide between two or more options, you lose time. You must learn to be more decisive. Normally decisions are not taken because of risks associated with the decision. We must remember that not taking any risk is the biggest risk of our life.
  1. Verbosity in our speech is another time-wasting demon. We need to be terse in our communication. It just requires better focus and a determination of not using more words than are necessary.
  1. If we follow the system of diving our tasks into four quadrants as propounded by Steven Covey of “Seven Habit of Successful People”, we can surely save time which is often wasted.

There are some suggestions to use our time more productively. These are:

  • Keep a Time Log for 2-3 days. Understand the normal, routine use of your time. Now study the same to find out where you can save time. The exercise will not go waste. In process the credit balance of your time current account will increase.
  • If you want to become really time efficient follow the rule of 60 : 25 : 15.You must try to complete your routine (daily tasks) in 15% of the available time. Besides, 25% time should be spent on ongoing projects. Finally, spend 60% of your time on developments, innovations, and new projects.
  • Make a to-do every day morning and try to complete the jobs which must be done on that day. In this list, you must keep in mind the priorities. In fact proper prioritizing your tasks enables you to use your time very productively.

Working out priorities:
You must analyze your tasks. Then place them in three distinct categories:

  1. Tasks which are important as urgent. These cannot be carried forward.
  2. Tasks which are important but not urgent. For example, looking after your health and going for a walk daily is important but not urgent.
  3. Tasks which are neither urgent nor important. These should always receive the least importance.

While making your to-do list you must be realistic. Don’t pack too many things in a day which cannot be completed. If is unnecessary to create a burden for yourself. This will decrease your efficiency.
Thanks for reading.

Duty First!

Bhagwad Gita

Chapter 3 of the Bhagwad Gita is about ‘Karamyoga.’

The Discourse deals with the importance of keeping oneself engaged in an activity related to one’s duty. If further explains that no one can ever remain idle. You may not engaged in physical activity, but you can never make your mind stand still. The mind will always be engaged in some kind of activity even when you are sleeping. You may not be aware of this. But the mind never sleeps. Through out this chapter, in fact throughout the great wisdom book, it is emphasized that everyone must keep on performing their duty.

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The western thoughts lay a lot of stress in the process of visualization. Some people may call it dreaming in the day. The best selling book ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne particularly stresses that you can achieve anything in life, if you repeatedly visualize the achievement. There lies the rub. You may be confused what is better? Which school of thought is more suitable? In fact, when Rhonda or any other thinker talks about visualization, they are not recommending to enjoy the pleasures of achievement mentally. And that is what Bhagwad Gita prohibits human beings – not to enjoy achievements mentally. The emphasis is on work. Likewise, western thinkers also lay emphasis on work. The repeated visualization is suggested only to reinforce your determination. Once you are determined to succeed, there is no stopping. You may have problems on the way, but you are bound to reach your goals sooner or later.

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Napoleon Hill, author of the famous book, ‘Think and Grow Rich’, says, “The human mind can believe, The human mind can achieve.” Further he asks, “what do we mean by belief? Wishing won’t making it so….” A wish is not a belief.

Another great achiever, Steeve Jobs has been laying emphasis on implementing the ideas. According to him, thinking out-of-the-box is necessary, but putting it into practice is extremely important. About him it was said “he works from the gut and intuitively”.

Steven Covey

More recently, Steven Covey, author of the famous book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, advises everyone to be proactive. According to him, being proactive is the first habit which anyone who wants to progress should inculcate. He starts his chapter in this context with a beautiful quotation from Henry David Thoreau which reads as,

“I know of know more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious Endeavour.

To me it appears that all these great achievers were inspired by the above referred chapter of the Bhagwad Gita. In this regard, I had also written a poem called duty first which I am repeating below:

Duty First:

Row the boat of ‘duty’
Sail safely across the sea.
Search through your mind
What your duty can be.

Never is there a situation
Nor any circumstance
That could ever affect your intention
Of duty; you want to perform.

Hindrances, hurdles even hurricane
May hurt or shake your resolve.
With devotion to your duty;
Greater courage will evolve.

Duty first, always in mind
Greater joy; you will never find.

Thanks for reading!

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