Who is stealing your time? You!


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Khalid Raza, Talent Acquisition Leader – North & East India and Bangladesh, EY

 

 

I am sure this is not a stunner for anyone yet most of us feel their bandwidth is choked! This is the most common quibble these days while there are many tools, tips and tricks that exist to make our lives easier and better. 

 

We also know someone who always has time. And we quip that they have no work! 

 

Time management is an overused/abused term, confusing the bamboozled! All of us have the same amount of time yet someone has read thousands of books while you struggle to gobble an article. Do you have time to read this post?

 

You cannot manage time – you must manage yourself. 

 

Significance of Invigorating desire to be effective depletes when underutilised – few demonstrate unflagging vitality! Is your mind defeating you or are you letting yourself down? The unperturbed aspiration coupled with resolute determination produces magic needed for the sparks to fly. Are you fired up?

 

Each day, we encounter situations and people, so oblivious of appreciating the value of time. Their crass approach and deflated self-mechanism spill their inefficiency on everything around them. They say the chain is as strong as the weakest link. 

I love road trips however I was always late to leave the city because one of us never cared to adhere to the departure time agreed by all! Because of him, we all were always late and unhappy when we started. 

 

Let me share a couple of examples from the real world – of course I have changed the names, but they know themselves!

 

Bonnie always complained about how she did not have time to clean the blinds – the same story for the last two years. She was offered $100 to do the task and voila! The blinds were clean next weekend! How did she find the time?

 

Clyde was always late to work until one day he was given a toilful nudge as the last resort. He was on time for the rest of his career! How could he magically manage to beat everything to be on time?

 

I am sure you have met someone who cares two hoots about the time and the impact of it. Do share their story by commenting to this blog – this for all of us. 

“It is not the paucity of time but the lack of disciple which makes us believe we don’t have time. – Khalid Raza”

 

How do I manage myself?

 

The answer is not here! You did not expect this, did you? I am being honest as there has not been any tool as amazing as self-resolve. If you have that, you will find the way to be better. But let me share a couple of pointers for you to see the change if you do decide to take this path:

 

  1. Make a to-do list and review it every day – before you start the day and before you hit the bed. This exercise will help you see what is pending and how the tasks are either depleting or compiling. 
  2. Compartmentalize the list using the ‘urgent’ and important’ matrix or better known as Eisenhower matrix.

 

What is Eisenhower matrix?

 

The Eisenhower matrix results in four quadrants with various strategies. Stephen Covey, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, further popularized Eisenhower’s concept of this time management matrix by supporting Eisenhower’s use of four quadrants to determine the urgency of one’s tasks.

 

Here is how the four quadrants work:

 

Quadrant 1: Do It Now!

Tasks that are both urgent and important. These are “do first” tasks because they are critical for your life or career in some way and need to be finished right away. You want to get these tasks done as soon as possible.

 

Examples

  • Responding to a time-sensitive email from a client/boss
  • Ordering medicines 
Quadrant 2: Decide When

Tasks that are important, but not urgent. This is where you want to invest most of your time. Quadrant 2 tasks are in line with your long-term goals.

 

Examples

  • Starting a new course or degree
  • Exercising or spending time with the family

 

 

Quadrant 3: Delegate

Tasks which are not important at all but become urgent or time bound. Those who spend a lot of time here, achieve very little but will always be seen occupied.

 

Examples

  • Constantly checking your social media feed or phone
  • Responding to people as soon as they try to contact – You may think it is urgent now, so you stop what you are doing to tend to the matter. But, it could wait

 

If you are in the middle of working on a project and the phone rings, it is not important for you to answer it. So, you can delegate this task to someone else. It may seem urgent at the time while it is happening, but these little things can be handled by other people.

Quadrant 4: Delete It

These tasks are simply a waste of your time, and they should be eliminated. If you can identify and eliminate all of your quadrant 4 tasks, you will free up some much-needed time to invest in your quadrant 2 tasks.

 

Example

  • Recreational activities getting overboard: playing video games, watching television shows that you have already seen, or mindless web browsing
  • Talking to people without reasons

 

You do need the tasks here but in moderation – having a balance between your professional and personal life is important, and downtime helps you regain your energy. 

 The key here is prioritization rather than finding excuses. If you are struggling for time to do something, then you know you have not prioritized it. If you want something, make it your goal and you’d see how the world changes. Our mind moves our body!

 So next time you say you do not have time – you know you are hoodwinking yourself!

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