Managing Time

Time Management is a term often associated with being more productive and efficient, achieving more during the day and avoiding wasting time on non-productive activities.

Let’s talk about managing time from a larger perspective; from the perspective of our whole lives or what’s left of it.

Each one of us is born with an unknown and limited number of days and hours of life. What we do with this limited time during our lives makes our lives “good” or “great”. Let’s also take note at this juncture that “time” is irreversible, the moment which just went by will never return.

A surprising fact is that we start earning right from the minute we are born; we earn love, care, health, knowledge, education, respect and money. Time is precious, so next time when you set out to spend your time either with someone or doing something ask yourself what are you going to earn? Does this earning hold value for me? Is it worth my time?

As the saying goes – Time is money! You don’t believe it? Look at any social media website, they collect countless minutes spent by millions of people across the world and convert this time into money, a lot of it!

I look at money as deposits of time! For example, a $100 bill is actually worth 8 hours of my time. Now, when I spend this $100 it should have the same value as my 8 hours of hard work. If you start looking at money in this context, you are more likely to make wiser decisions of what you do with your money.

Another key aspect is maintaining work-life balance. Now let’s discuss why work-life balance is important; if you have not created enough time deposits in the form of money, you would need to continue to work for a longer time of your life. So focus on your work when you are at work, be productive to yourself and make wise and effective use of your time. If you don’t do so, it’s your time which is getting wasted, not just that of your company. On the contrary, if you have spent all your time just creating these deposits but never used these deposits i.e. if you have worked long painful hours, been a workaholic to earn and collect a lot of money, but never stopped to enjoy the pleasures of life or family and friends, then you have actually wasted your time because all this money in the bank account is of no use if it is not used. While money is an important part of life, it’s not the only form of wealth. We shouldn’t be spending all our time just collecting money. Time should be invested in gaining health, knowledge, love and respect. These elements will make your life opulent.

The only thing that can possibly buy more time is health. If you have good health, you can extend your work life and social life. Make sure you invest well in your health as early as you can. Spend time on being healthy today and this health will buy you more time tomorrow. So don’t skip a meal, don’t hog your food, don’t miss your workout, don’t live with a pain or discomfort in your body just because you are too busy to visit a doctor. By doing so you are not saving time, you are actually wasting the time good health can buy you.

We have seen how the time that we spend today has a deep impact on our future time spending, it’s a chain effect. Instead of living your life by the day or by the hour, which sounds cool and fun, we should actually take time out and plan how we want to spend the rest of our lives. We should set goals for our life at a macro level, once we have done that our brains will naturally start looking for ways and means to achieve our goals. There is a possibility that life will throw a curve ball at you which may upset the plans that you made, but that should not stop you from planning. Even if you are in an unpredictable situation (like a job loss or a major health crisis) your planning will help you get through this tough time much more smoothly. These unpredictable situations will also call upon all elements of your wealth (health, love, knowledge and money).

The crux is, stop spending time right from this moment and start investing it. View time as one of the most rare and most expensive substances, which is invaluable and every pinch of it that you give away should bring you maximum value. Don’t just be careful with the time that you have now, also plan for future. Measure your wealth holistically and identify the elements you have deprived yourself of. These are the elements you should start investing your time in.

Varun Garg currently works as a Group HR Manager. He has over 13 years of HR experience in India and the UAE.

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