What is Time?
Time has different meaning to different people. Time escapes definition. Time is a relative concept. As St.Augustine remarked long ago “I know what time is until someone asks me.” Time is an everlasting and indestructible marvel. Time is more valuable than diamond or gold since diamond or gold could be preserved and its value be recovered at any time; but TIME has to be utilized then and there. Time and Tide wait for none. As Baltasar Gracian rightly said “Nothing really belongs to us but TIME, which even he has who has nothing else.” The famous trend setters have accomplished incalculable creative things in spite of their hectic schedule. Their lives teach us one lesson-Time Management. As Henry Ford said “The busy person has time for everything.”
What is Time Management?
To manage means to control. It comes from Latin word Manus: a hand. Mary Parker Follet defines management as “the art of getting things done through people.” Management refers to productive employment of deficient means. Time being a scarce resource needs to be used efficiently. However, major hindrances or obstacles to fruitful Time Management are as follows:-
1. Attitude problem-most people waste their time and that of others.
2. Lack of planning-some people want to attain too many things in too short a time.
3. Reckless decisions-many people try to spend more time on trivial matters and spend very less time on vital jobs.
4. Uncontrolled events-most people are unsystematic and disorganized and waste lot of time on searching, on telephone, meetings with drop-in-visitors.
5. Lethargic approach-many people don’t know how to use time wisely; they waste time by sleeping, gossiping or doing improvident activities.
6. Postpone action-procrastination is often a common problem with many people because they put things what they should do now.
7. Absence of delegation-many people don’t delegate nor assess what they can do. Stretching beyond limit yield negative or adverse results.
After identifying major time robbers one can make a wholehearted attempt to manage time by deploying some of the well accepted and respected principles or tools of competent time management which have been enumerated as below:-
A priority is composed of two elements in various mixtures: urgency and importance. One has to brainstorm a list of priorities and execute the most urgent and important assignments first. In the words of Benjamin Franklin “Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.”
Do Powerful Planning
The longest journey begins with a single step. One has to set time for all tasks. By failing to plan you are planning to fail. One can save a lot of time by proper planning before any type of communication/conversation.
Know to say No
We have to learn to say NO; otherwise we will become merely the servant to the priorities of others. Much valuable time can be saved by saying no with care and thoughtfulness avoiding expression which evokes anger. A clear rejection is always better than a fake promise.
Make the best use of your best time
The Pareto principle can be remembered in this context. It pronounces that ‘The significant items of a given group from a relatively small part of the Total.’ 20% of our time produces 80% of our high-quality output. Therefore, we should put more effort to manage well that crucial 20% of our time. The other 80% can be done later or delegated.
Delegation is a fine balance between control and responsibility, and giving away freedom and accountability. Leading managers tend to have answerabilities for more work than they can possibly execute themselves. They need to delegate some of it to others, together with some of their own positional authority.
To conclude, Time Management is a constant activity. It requires little monitor solutions. It requires strong will power and supreme confidence in one’s ability to do so. One has to develop a keen sense of awareness about how important time really is and invest it only in those activities that truly count. As someone rightly said “the winners of the world are time optimizers.” No one can deny the relevance of time in our life. Remember, “TIME is GOD to which all Mankind must submit with humility.”
Senior Finance Manager,
MARPOL PRIVATE LIMITED, MARGAO GOA