Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Treasure your time

If you had an angel that credited to your account each morning a sum of Rs. 86,400 that carried over no balance next day and every night cancelled whatever the amount you had failed to use during the day, what would you do? You would draw out every rupee everyday using it to your advantage. Well, you have such an angel and it's name is Time. Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it rules off as lost whatever of this you have failed to invest in good purpose. It carries over no balances. It allows no overdrafts. If you fail to use the day's deposit the loss is yours. There is no going back.

Time is valuable, indispensable, unique and a scarce resource. By wasting your time you are losing a part of your life. If you want to use your precious time 100 per cent, here are a few tips.

Keep a daily to-do list, set priorities and establish deadlines for all your tasks. Break down your tasks into manageable parts. Put all the jobs in order. Cross your bridges one at a time. Setting priorities helps you to know where you are at all times and what you should do next.

Do not allow paper to pile up on your table. Distinguish between filing and piling. A clumsy desk will spoil the mood, and add to the confusion. Moreover hunting for a pen or a stapler for half an hour can be maddening.

Days can be wasted in getting out of tasks we should not have taken on in the first place. So never say "yes" on the spur of the moment. Take a little time to think before saying "yes". Don't listen to useless, long, one-way talk. Learn to interrupt politely saying :"Excuse me, but I am late for an appointment". Someone once said to Winston Churchill :"I don't think I ever told you about my grandson". Churchill replied, "No my dear fellow, you didn't. And I cannot tell you how grateful I am".

Television robs us of precious time and makes most of us dull. Don't watch mindlessly anything that comes on the screen.

In his book Time Lock Ralph Keyes says, "We cannot control most of life's nagging delays. We can control our response to them, with a simple change of perspective. Standing in line, waiting for a delayed flight, even being stuck in traffic can be regarded as 'found time'." Get in the habit of carrying a pen and papers. In the 'found time' you can write to your friends and relatives. Or read a book.

Treasure your time and use every minute efficiently.

(Published in The Hindu on 04-05-2001)

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