Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. – Steve Jobs
A man who dares to waste one hour of life has not discovered the value of life. – Charles Darwin
Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. You cannot change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future. The moment has no time. – Leonardo Da Vinci
Ernest Hemingway, arguably one of the greatest literary minds ever, once failed to win a writing competition during his school years. He lost for one reason: lack of regard for time. He was a procrastinator. He left his entry until the last possible moment, ended up having to rush his work and so turned in a less than acceptable entry. From that point on, Hemingway became a firm believer in planning and in proper time-management. And he’s not alone.
All great men and women in every walk of life use time effectively and you can too. Of all the gifts that mankind has been endowed with time is irreplaceable. It perishes at the fastest rate. No one can preserve it. Nor can anyone shut it tight to prevent it from escaping. If time cannot be regained and redeemed, the moot point is how it can be managed, maneuvered and manipulated to get the best utilization of it.
Success, in all areas of human endeavor, depends significantly upon the quality of management of time. Virtually all successful people had one thing in common that drove them to the path of success and sublimity – and it was time management. Rudyard Kipling once said, “If you succeed to make these sixty seconds of one minute meaningful, then this entire earth is yours. All creatures on this earth would surrender to you.”
One of the great Greek philosophers said, “You cannot cross a river twice.” Time once gone is forever gone. The second edition of the time is quite brand new.
In the US novelist Ernest Hemmingway’s famous novel, The Old Man and The Sea, an old fisherman was asked a very good question by a boy, “Why do the old people wake up so early in the morning?” “To get a more enlarged day,” was the answer of that old man. We have options galore to best use the time which is at our disposal, but most important ones given here are those may work as quick-fix solutions for the time-management problems, if any:
Have a crystal-clear goal:
Human beings usually fall prey to confusion because they have no clear list of things to do. This is one of the biggest reasons for the wastage of time. So, first of all, we must fix a goal, rather a definite goal. A goal – to know where we have planned to go and for getting what and, most importantly, in what time period. We must have a determinate plan before taking a single step. A person lacking an aim is like a leaf of a tree that falls onto a fast-running current of a river water and is drifted along with it. There is no choice here about whither to go. All successful people had a certain goal before taking a step into their areas of activities. Abraham Lincoln, before becoming the president of the USA, had to pass through many failures.
He endured these failures because he had his eyes set on being president. Proper planning is an essential ingredient for success and for an excellent planning, the awareness of transience of time is considerably essential.
Avoid dilemmas: Once we fix a goal, it becomes essential to stick to it. Our mind is the most transient organ that keeps on flickering. There is a need or having a firm control on the whims of what our brains transmit. We must have consistency in the way we think and the actions we perform. When we are in a quandary, we do nothing but fancy and daydream. Thomas Alva Edison failed and continuously failed a thousand times and ultimately succeeded in inventing an electric bulb. He could have quit but remained firm in his purpose. He had indomitable belief in winning. He never found himself in a vortex of what we call the dilemma of indecisions. This factor of having no contradiction in your minds about your goal leads to the best utilization of time which ends in miraculous success. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to be very confident and clear in your ambitions for which you have started making efforts.
Prioritize your things to do: Some works in our lives are of an urgent nature. They have a direct influence on the quality of life that we have and the quality of the success we get. Hence, it is not good strategy to allot equal importance to each piece of work. We must categorize all works with the tags of urgent and less important. Most important jobs bring us to fulfillment of goals and that is why we must, first of all, devote our attention to these inevitable tasks and this is what we call the best management of time.
Meet a deadline: It is said that life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans. Human life is most transient and ephemeral. We cannot predict at all what the next moment has in store for us. The future is completely tense. To avoid such an uncertainty, you must have a planning with clear mention of date and time by which a certain task must be finished. This deadline would make you prompt to perform a job at a pre-determined time and thereby pre-empt the wastage of valuable time.
Dodge some friends: They say that a friend in need is a friend indeed. Real friends are an asset of human life. They are those people who care for you, commit to you and above all cooperate with you. But insincere friends would get you involved in gossiping and chatting of myriad sorts. They are the big means of wastage of your valuable time. Some friends would not allow you to follow your routine and so you end up procrastinating. Always do your best to avoid the company of such friends. It does never mean that you must stay alone or get segregated from the society, yet you must identify who is a well-wisher and who is not.
Delegate your work: Someone has very rightly said that if you want to get your work done best, do it yourself. But how much work can a person do by himself? The answer to this question lies in delegating your petty work to your assistants, secretary and colleagues. Getting a document photocopied from a nearby shop is not a vital job; it can be assigned to your office boy or domestic servant.
In this way valuable time can be saved from being wasted. Avoid the rigidity of doing everything yourself only you.
Have a control on watching television: The satellite television channels are big frauds in so far as the wastage of time is concerned. They steal your time without your notice and sometimes without getting your permission. Films, songs, serials and all that jazz lure us. They are definitely mood conditioners. But watching them for a long time may be mood-destroyers. You sit longer before the idiot box and you no longer have the same spirit to resume your task at hand. It is one of the biggest time-taker gadgets of modern civilization. In addition to this, surfing on the Internet has the same repercussion on our mental status. It devastates our concentration power. It deviates us from our real and destined path. It also pollutes our brains.
Be passionate about your earnest goals: It is all about having always been connected with the mission and passion of your life. It also means how much you are conscious of your goals. Goals must be always within the ambit of your sight as well as insight. It must always be very close to your heart. This would keep reminding you about your destination. Let not any sort of inertia make an abode inside you. This inertia will eat heavily into your time that is so precious for you.
Rise early in the morning: In fact, if you are short of time and you want to increase it, you must start rising early. It is directly related with stretching the time at your disposal. You can have more liberty now with time available and this would give you an edge over others. If you rise early, you raise your chances of success because you need not repent over shortage of this for the accomplishment of a particular task.
Besides, the following tips may serve as “quick-fix solutions” to strengthen your mental power and build up your patience that is so conspicuously crucial for time management and life management:
- Always think and behave optimistically. For this, stay positive even amidst big difficulties.
- Before you are ready to start work, arrange everything that you would require during the course you take.
- Do avoid procrastinating. It kills time more than anything else.
- Don’t indulge yourself in any kind of criticism; gossip and rumor-mongering.
- Assess your goals as realistically as possible.
- A quick-decision-making attitude also plays an important role in time management.
- Stay healthy – only healthy people can make the best plan both for time management and life management.
- Do not ever indulge in daydreaming. It wastes time so needlessly. Building castles in the air is nothing but wasting your valuable time.
All this means that the task of time-management requires metamorphoses in the way we look at our lives and for this holistic paradigm changes in the way we philosophize about our lives, in the way we ideologise about our lives and the way we conceptualize about our lives are sine qua non.