If time is gold, does it have to be so expensive? Thoughts on managing a precious resource

Vivien over at Inspirationbit challenges her fellow bloggers to post their ruminations on time management and the value of time. I have to agree that it is a luxury these days. While modern man prides himself in juggling the many demands of work, social life and family, he is faced with the poverty of allocating time for each. And most often what happens is that one concern can only be fulfilled at the expense of sacrificing the other.

Ordinary people often complain that they need 25 hours a day to complete their long list of to-dos. Yet we know that even the most successful people suffer from the deficiency of time. In fact I have this impression that the wealthier and more successful you become, the less sleep and the more worries you get. It now seems worth figuring out that modern man’s many problems (foremost among them lack of time) stems from fear. We juggle too many responsibilities because we fear going broke, losing control, and running out of, well, time. Sometimes all it takes is to pause and make sense of the situation. Time management, after all, is both an art and a science.

Again, it’s advisable to write everything down: daily schedules and reminders to a planner or mobile phone application, budgets and purchases in an Excel worksheet.. any system which makes it possible for you to access data for later or help you to remember things amid the usual grind. Driving to a wrong appointment or forgetting something just because you only had it mentally mapped out is a waste of time. Like your monthly bills and appointments, time needs to be properly budgeted and allocated according to your priorities.

Realize that there are non-negotiable variables in your Balanced Time Scorecard such as the time spent with your family or helping out a friend in need. Optionals you can dispense with are parties and other social occasions where your presence may not be felt or is necessary.

Don’t wear a watch for a change. Just follow a given schedule and stick with it.

Multi-task creatively and multi-task only what you can manage.

Don’t just work hard, work smart. Avoid office overtimes (unless otherwise called for!) by steering clear of distractions (such as the Internet or talking too long to your seatmate). Clear your mind and set it towards finishing your work early and on time.

Free yourself from the hustle and bustle by declaring “Me” days. By looking forward to something, you can avoid breaking down from too much stress. For example, Thursdays can be “Meet the Girls for Lunch” day while Saturdays can be “Volunteering Day.” Consciously making time for other people in your life can make you feel less guilty about being too busy.

Post positive affirmations about time management on your wall or desk.

Avoid classic time-wasters such as gossiping pointlessly, texting needlessly (they deplete you of your load too), and surfing the net aimlessly. For every time-waster, there’s another way to make your life better. Choose the latter.

Do not ignore Time Overload when it happens. Be sure to make up to the person concerned when you do dirty deeds like forgetting a birthday or standing up somebody.

Make up for lack of time by being thoughtful to the people around you. Sometimes a simple email, text message or e-card will do… just make sure it comes from the heart and is not all the time some forwarded broken record crap.

When the going gets too tough, realize that you’re only human and accept the fact that you may need to slow down. Extreme busy-ness can destroy your aura and make you cranky. Go ahead, take a deep breath and savor that cup of coffee or stay in bed a little longer. Life is more meaningful than we think.

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  1. says

    I used to be a watch freak – I wasn’t myself when forgetting to put the watch on. I’m okay now, but I still like wearing my watch. Whenever I lose track of time or have to make sure that I have time to catch the bus on time. It’s crazy that just by missing a bus by a few seconds we have to waste 15 or more minutes waiting for another one. Of course, I always find smth to do while waiting but the fact that a few seconds cost me 15 minutes makes me really angry 😉

    “Make up for lack of time” – that’s very important, and smth that I should do more often. Great strategies, Ajay.

  2. says

    Other people sometimes take time off and expect you to cover for them. When you refuse because you want a time out too, they get hurt. I think that’s being selfish. After all, they’re just asking you a favor. You have a right to decline. They should expect a positive or negative answer.
    While learning to say no is important, it’s also important to learn to accept a no.

  3. ajay says

    I agree Sidney:)

    Hi Vivien, had fun participating in your writing project! I included the ‘forget about the watch’ tip because some of us can’t help but look at the watch while at work or in appointments. Haha..

    Hi lawrence, I really don’t know. Please ask Uncle Aristotle 😛

    That’s right Em. It’s frustrating when adults act immature but we also have to accept that we can’t please people all of the time..regards:)

  4. says

    Normally, the heart beats 60-100 times per minute. But it may go faster with exercise, anxiety, some drugs, some illnesses, etc. It may also beat slower than that because of medications, conditioning, heart disease

  5. says

    This is what I love about living in Cambodia. Time seems to go so slowly here. I hardly ever wear my watch. People are so laid back. 🙂

  6. Lawrence says

    Hmm, of course heart beats cannot really be considered the same as heart throbs; just as heart aches cannot be scientifically measured…..don’t suppose you have Uncle Aristotle’s email address to hand…..


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