Plan Your Minutes & the Day Will Take Care of Itself
Darwin, the 19th Century Naturalist who propounded the theory of evolution, had this opinion about time management: “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”
Shakespeare had this to say about time: “Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends.”
There is a Chinese proverb: “Distance tests a horse’s strength, time reveals a person’s character.”
Early 17th Century English poet George Herbert gave us this valuable advice:
“Do not wait; the time will never be just right. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”
Time is one of the most precious resources available to us in today’s materialistic world. It is also non-renewable.
Out of the designated 24 hours divided into 1440 minutes that each one of us has at his or her disposal each day, we need to make the best possible use of this precious commodity.
More often than not that we give top most priority to the main 8 hours of our working time, 5 days a week and the rest we do not even think worth giving a thought to or planning about. If we had our way, we might notalso separate these 8 hours if we did not have to go out and earn our daily bread.
If only we got up an hour earlier than usual, we could add full 5 years to our working life. This extra hour each morning gives us the freedom to be by ourselves wherein we can do some introspection, some self-analysis, some planning for the day ahead of us, some stock-taking. We have the freedom to use these 60 valuable minutes in an extraordinary fashion wherein we chart the course for the upcoming day.
These 60 minutes allow us to devise a strategy for the best possible investment of the new day in the most productive fashion possible. This extra hour at our disposal can help us avoid stressful situations. We can gain ample time to prepare for work and get to the destination on time. We can beat the traffic and prevent speeding. We need not panic in the event of an unforeseen traffic bottleneck and/or missed bus/public transit as we have the time to wait for the next one.
When we are rushed, our adrenaline goes up, but now we have avoided that situation and can maintain internal peace. All said and done, these additional 60 minutes give us a heads-up on the day to follow and keep us better prepared for an eventuality.
You need to draw your own ‘Plan of Action’ based upon steps that your above analysis will help you determine. This particular exercise, conducted in the wee hours each morning will help you make an unbiased assessment of your strengths and weaknesses.
It will open up your perception and your actual status in the scheme of things, your own faculties, needs, capabilities, and limitations. Such an eye-opening exercise will help you better prepare for oncoming opportunities as well as challenges.
Please make sure you distribute your 1440 minutes in the most productive way possible.
If you continue to pass the time in useless pursuits of immediate gratification, rest assured ‘time’ will soon pass you by in a more pronounced way. On the contrary, the more you help and support others, more hands you will have available to yourself as and when the need arises.
Whether you look at an outstanding athlete, sports person, politician, industry leader, musician, singer, performer, stage actor, inventor, builder, investment banker or any other professional, you will find the same underlying commitment behind every single success these individuals have built themselves a habit of achieving day in and day out.
These individuals never had the time to ‘kill’ as they never spent it. What they did differently was they invested it. They invested their minutes in learning more about their passion, they utilized their hours in honing their skills and toiled hard while we enjoyed senseless parties and evening get-together. They worked day and night towards their cherished goal while we slept because we never had such lofty goals.
“A stone thrown at the right time is better than gold given at the wrong time” so says the Persian Proverb. “All things grow with time except grief.” The difference between the rich and the wealthy is this: the rich have more money than they need while the wealthy have more time than they need.
While the rich may not part with his money to help the poor, the wealthy take the time to help the needy. His comforting words and tender loving care have a much more soothing effect than what any amount of money could ever give. While the rich know the technique of sound money management, the wealthy are the masters of ‘time management.’
If you want to get out of the box that you are in, you need to challenge yourself and find the time to set goals, devise a ‘plan of action’ and then set out and start taking action towards achieving that goal.
At the end of the day, each day, you should be able to give this account to yourself. You could identify any intentional, unintentional and/or under-pressure misuse of your most valuable resource.
The decision is entirely yours!