Of all the bounties of nature to man, time exemplifies one of the most regular one. Everyone gets twenty-four hours each day. Neither can one accumulate it by saving or retrieve what has been lost. Its future flow is uncertain, but in everybody’s life the law of average can predict its arrival at any stage with a certain amount of definiteness. Though we do not readily realize it, we do attach great value to time as illustrated by many of our endeavors in normal life: we go in for shortcuts when traveling; we design gadgets and machines to save time. When it comes to a question of life and death, no effort is spared in the attempt to prolong lifetime. Having briefly described some of the salient aspects of time, the fourth dimension, in the language of physics, let us see how best we can utilize it.
We see some people accomplish a large amount of work in a day and still find time for leisurely pursuits of the nature of hobbies. Are these people blessed with extraordinary energy and drive? Not necessarily. Though people naturally differ in their various aspects of biological and psychological makeup, most of us can do much more than what normally get done without sacrificing any good things of life. The next few paragraphs contain my suggestions on how we can go about achieving this objective:
Procrastination; indulging in unnecessary , long talks; lack of precision in verbal and written communications; undisciplined and disorderly way of life; clutter, disorder and lack of neatness in the surroundings and yielding too much to our baser emotions constitute some of the major obstacles in effectual time management. Let us take these time thieves one by one and see how we can overcome them.
“Procrastination is one of my bad habits. I will get rid of it from tomorrow”, said a cynical thinker. As a general rule the present time is the best time. Unless a task can be done better because of its interlink with something that is known to happen only at a time in the future, you had better to carry it out right now. You will then have one item less in your action list. The idea of having accomplished some thing also boosts your morale and self confidence. So, never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
Verbal communications among persons constitutes an efficient and fast means of exchange or conveying of ideas and therefore a vital factor in management and organization. Social conversations tend to get prolonged with unwanted and extraneous details. Even business conversations some times fall victim to this detraction. So be firm but polite in limiting any conversation to its required length. Be precise in the language and if the listener’s deficiencies in understanding the spoken word are known, tune your language to overcome them to the best of your ability. Making sure that the ideas have been got across correctly the first time itself is a great time saver in management in all sectors.
If you are working at you desk, ensure that the desk is cleared of all articles which the work on hand does not require. This simple preparation will greatly reduce the time taken to complete the job and improve its quality, especially if it is a difficult one and requires clear thinking. In addition to detracting from concentration, clutter has a way of hiding many small articles of work, such as different types of pens and pencils, erasers, highlighters etc. Clutter and disorder can be largely avoided by cultivating the habit of putting things always in their proper place. This will also be an aid to memory and prevention of misplacing things.
When we have to meet a dead line in time, and we suddenly realize that there is not sufficient time left to make the preparations for it, we tend to go into a hurry. This hurry normally makes us jittery and we tend to make more mistakes than usual in carrying out these preparatory tasks. The result is the preparation takes more time than required and the situation becomes more acute. A good practical tip in time management is not to lose one’s composure and take the time to get most of the jobs done the right way the first time itself. Losing our temper or otherwise get excited with negative emotions robs us of our efficiency in carrying out a task. So, a calm serene disposition all the time helps us save time.