It seems that there is never enough time in the day. But, since we all get the same 24 hours, why is it that some people achieve so much more with their time than others? The answer lies in effective time management.Time management is the act of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity. It is a meta-activity with the goal to maximize the overall benefit of a set of other activities within the boundary condition of a limited amount of time, as time itself cannot be managed because it is fixed.Historically, success in the new world order depended on the timely trading of goods.The development of a postal service, the arrival of the telegraph, and the subsequent spread of railroads all required precise time keeping and raised the importance of time-related values of productivity and speed. Isaac Newton’s ideas about the disciplined working of the universe strongly influenced the thought and science of the age, and people began to discipline their lives likewise. Thomas Jefferson installed a clock that had a dial with three hands to indicate hours, minutes, and seconds to schedule indoor household chores. Benjamin Franklin’s famous views on time and management included advice such as “Time is money,” and “Time is the stuff of which life is made.” Taylor’s scientific approach to managementadvocated establishing specific work targets and paying workers for the tasks and goals met. This mandated better usage of time and became the basis for modern time management approaches.
But the serious issue that has gripped the society nowadays is time mismanagement. Are there differences between time perception in India and time perception in other countries? Does Indian philosophy come in the way of effective time management? There is no denying that there are huge differences in time perceptions of India as compared to those of other regions like Europe and the US in the realms of long-term versus short-term orientation, respect for punctuality, commitment and sensitivity of others’ time and reverence of time as a character-building value. Undoubtedly being timely and punctuality is a virtue that is held in high regard in our society and being on time is treated a sign of a professional, reliable and a caring person. There are always high lessons taught in schools, colleges and universities about being timely.Alas! But when the preachers themselves are not timely, how come do we expect followers shall follow the rule? It really doesn’t matter how much time we have with us and if we can’t manage it properly – we’ll just spend most of the day running around aimlessly. There are many experiences how time mismanagement is defeating someone’s good intentions to be timely. Being Kashmiri, I remember the scenes when someone invites you to attend a marriage or any other ceremony and that how our lunch turns into a fine dinner. One ends up losing his lunch or is prepared in advance that he has to bear his hunger for a good time. To a greater surprise the invitation cards do also mention that guests are requested to be on time. Ah! Who cares? The same time defeated system is also being witnessed around the country be it events and conferences of repute where we claim to be sound value preachers.
What is more dismal that the system is appreciating time mismanagement rather than attempts to counter it in right ways? More pathetic is that so called good men in the society have the notion that they will lose their grades if they are early/timely to any good occasions. They have to be late to find a warm welcome from those who are timely. The problem lies here where we are attempting to defeat the time. The developed countries have made good inroads into progresses due to good time management. Rather than defeating time, they held it high and lead by examples.
Time mismanagement has some serious outcomes. When a student is not able to manage time, he suffers badly in his studies. When a job seeker is not timely, he loses a wonderful opportunity in terms of a job and security for future. Being late for employees’ means they have to face the tune of their bosses and more stress for the rest of the day. Our close ones will be unhappy when we attend late to their events. The mounting rise of accidents is a result of human error and credits must be given to time mismanagement. This leads to rash driving and hence world loses some beautiful souls in tragic scenes. Impatience is usually a sign of poor time management. Having failed to allow sufficient time for a task or, having procrastinated excessively, we find ourselves under extreme pressure to make a deadline. We may accuse other people, or technology, of delaying us but the truth is that we fail because of our own attempts by failing to manage our time properly. We constantly fall behind in tasks and we work extra hard to catch up. Eventually, our energy levels begin to drop and we lose motivation. It becomes harder to catch up and so we fall further behind which drains us of even more energy. (To be concluded)
(The writer is Assistant Professor, ITM University Gwalior. He can be reached at: [email protected])