“I fail to understand how you get time to write articles and make fancy breakfasts everyday. Here I’m struggling just to finish the office work. And in spite of slogging so much, I still have something pending over the weekends.”
This was Kavita’s comment to her friend and neighbour Mitali when they met over coffee, on their routine Sunday evening. Mitali chuckled and while passing the cookies to her friend, said very casually,
“Kavita, God hasn’t given me extra hours in the day. I also have only twenty four.”
“But the amount of work you do in a day, looks like your days are made up of forty eight hours.”
Mitali laughed again.
“Dear, it’s just that I manage my time smartly.”
Kavita and Mitali, friends, neighbours and colleagues. During quarantine, each one is working from home and both have families to look after. Mitali is a lot more organized and works systematically, so that she has sufficient time to pursue her passions as well.
Kavita on the other hand, is equally clever, but lazy and totally disorganised. She is a huge distraction for herself. In between doing office work on the computer, you’d find her chatting on whatsapp, surfing through FB, doing online shopping and this is her daily pattern. So the work which must finish by five in the evening goes on till nine. And then she complains, “Oh God! I’m so tired. I don’t have the time and energy to do anything else.”
Time management is a skill which we are not born with. It’s a talent we need to cultivate and follow, so that we can spread our wings and achieve more in life. Many of us dream big. But time constraints pull us down and then we feel frustrated. As Mitali said we all have the same twenty four hours. Nonetheless one is able to accomplish more than the other, simply because he knew the trick of utilising his time smartly and to its maximum.
Here are some simple, but magical ways of how to manage your time smartly. Try waking up an hour early. Don’t we actually do this when we have more work or when we have to travel? Then why not regularly? Just by waking up an hour early everyday, adds 365 extra hours to your year, which means an add on of 15 days annually!
Taking the risk and I know it sounds cliché, but I actually make a to-do list in the morning and tick it off at night before retiring to bed. Believe me, it helps big time.
Your surrounding plays a vital role in creating an ambience to work efficiently. Create the right environment. Being systematic and organized goes a long way in helping to use your time constructively. A clean and clear setting helps you to be in the mood to do work. You actually don’t waste time in searching for things and use it instead on other pressing tasks which need your attention.
Prioritise your work and do what is most important first. It also helps to deflate your stress when crucial tasks are taken care of first and foremost. They don’t keep haunting you through the day.
Break bigger tasks into its smaller components which are easy to handle. Many times the size of the work scares us and then we are not able to finish it.
A lot of people have the habit of beginning two to three things at the same time and land up not completing any of them. This is not only a waste of time but later you might need extra hours to finally finish what you’d started. So wouldn’t it be better to concentrate on one thing at a time?
Know your limitations and your capacities. Sometimes we become over enthusiastic and plan to do more than what we can achieve. Have realistic expectations from yourself. If you can’t fulfill all the set targets, it can be infuriating and stress makes you less productive.
There’s no harm in delegating work to others. You can’t possibly do everything yourself. If you are not dying to get the credit, then it doesn’t matter who did the assigned job, as long as it gets done on time.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Breaks are equally important. They help us rejuvenate and boosts the spirit in us to work again. Both physically and mentally. Choose what works best for you. Music, chatting, walks, games, meditation, it could be anything.
This quote beautifully summarises my topic in a nutshell.
“Either run the day OR the day runs you.”