With the winters setting in, I frequently see many people preferring their warm beds to extend their beauty sleep or having an indoor source of entertainment during leisure hours. During a number of such occasions, I found out how fascinated we all are with the concept of time and time travel. Many movie buffs around me had a good dose of Hollywood sagas such as ‘Back to the Future’, ‘Minority Report’ and ’The Butterfly Effect’. Some Bollywood stories also made an entry into our living-rooms through ‘Love Story 2050’ and ‘Action Replayy’.
There are several movies and substantial reading material on the chronicles of various protagonists trying to visit the days gone by or visit the times to come. What strikes a chord here is what makes us so enthralled at the prospect of being able to control the dynamics of time! Our minds typically refuse to stay in the present, constantly regretting a past that can never be undone or anxiously awaiting a future that may never arrive. The feeble yet powerful force of time is something that every human soul desires and yet is always unable to devise any definite source for the same. People have spent eons thinking about these concepts and the ideas behind them.
It is safe to say that in the entire fascination and intriguing nature of time, the essence is the same – its fleeting nature. Time, as defined in Google, is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. So, in short as a human, it’s all a matter of how we enable ourselves to make every fleeting moment of time worth its while.
Recollecting our past, we identify that events may have occurred long ago, but the vividness of their memories sometimes makes them seem much closer in time. Another reason why years seem to “rush by” is pure familiarity. As our lives turn into a blur of routine and redundancy, this perceived sprint gets stronger. Our brains tend to “skip over” instances that we do over and over since there’s no need to store data that we already have tucked away. Actual elapsed time is not processed during redundant events, which is why it appears to take forever to drive to a new place, but driving back home feels like it takes half as long, even though you’re going the same exact route both ways.
The solution to “lengthening” your years is simple novelty. Be spontaneous, do something new, break down the old gray walls and time will reduce its pace again. On encapsulating this enigma of time, all that is seen is the ‘present’ of the present.
Utilization of time is one of the biggest, extremely important and mostly misunderstood concepts. Especially in today’s aggressively progressing environment, time is considered to be the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed efficiently, nothing else can be managed. Talking about resource value, the corporates uphold the value of time as the highest commodity.
Time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity. It’s one of the most important proficiency that one has to learn as soon as possible in the business world. It is also crucial for maintaining your work-home life balance. Completing the job on time is an essential trait expected from all employees, which can only be achieved if time is managed in an efficient manner.
Now what does all this collective wisdom have it in for me? For a millennial, this boils down to only one thing, optimum deployment of resources is a necessity and it always begins with managing time. Organizing the manner in which we are exposed to the best of knowledge and experience all around us is what will pave our way and be our guide to success.
When you’re just starting your career, you need all the help you can get for managing your time. Even when you’re working hard, you could be wasting a tremendous amount of time by trying to multitask or focusing too much on minute details. Key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
If you didn’t complete something by the time it was due, it’s because you didn’t regard it as imperative or satisfying enough to prioritize ahead of whatever else you were doing. Days always fill up faster than you’d expect. Build in some buffer time. Plan only four to five hours of real work per day.
Our generation has a tendency to ‘zone-in’ on a particular attribute at a given time. So, work more when you’re in the zone. Relax when you’re not. Some days you’ll be off your game, and other times you’ll be able to maintain your focus for 12 hours straight. Take advantage of such days.
With innumerable deviations around us, we tend to put all our efforts into too many things at once. If you’re spending your day multitasking, you’re actually draining out your brain. We’re always more focused and productive with a limited time. Work always seems to find a way of filling the space allotted for it, so it sets shorter time limits for each task.
A baby first learns to roll before it can begin running. Start with small tasks to reach the climax. Being a perfectionist is good, but it always comes with its cons. Work iteratively because having an outlook to perform perfectly is oppressive. It’s commonly seen that many people work overtime to complete their day’s work. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that sitting at your desk will somehow extract work from you. We have been given a single life and the best usage of that would be by striking a balance between work and play.
Never fear a large chunk of work. Break down a massive task into manageable blocks. Ideally, you can brainstorm your ideas and then execute them. If you’re constantly stopping your flow of work to rethink something, you’re slowing yourself down. Separate brainless and strategic tasks to become more productive. First things first, organize important tasks early in the day. Time leading up to an event is often wasted.
Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something. Work around procrastination. Procrastinate between intense sprints of work. No two tasks ever hold the same importance. Always prioritize. Delegate and learn to distribute effort with other people. To be truly efficient, get over the fear of handing work off to someone else.
Don’t distract yourself with either the successes or failures of the past. Focus instead on what’s in front of you. Set deadlines for everything. Don’t let tasks stretch indefinitely. Spending too much time on a project or procrastinating it for too long will lead to stagnation. Get things done and move on.
And finally remember, we have just begun our professional journey of life. Each day has a new beginning and finishing it with some learning is in our hands. For at the end of life, all that would matter would be your treasure trove of wisdom and happiness.
Contributed by Deeba ( Class of 2013, IBS GURGAON )
Linkedin Profile of Deeba : in.linkedin.com/pub/deeba-t/49/483/732/