Friday, July 30, 2010

Let Time Work for You...

AbundanceofLife: "How often have you been pressurized by a colleague for something because he has a critical deadline to meet? How often have you similarly pushed people? Chances are, that you have been through both situations plenty of times… What is your reaction to such requests?

... Sushil Handa

The natural outcome of such a situation should range from irritation, to a feeling of being taken for granted, to a sense of guilt, and a loss of credibility for the person creating that situation…but what I see is that, instead of getting agitated, people seem very comfortable with situations like this…a comparison that comes to my mind is that of a slum dweller…he knows or wants nothing beyond his way of life in the slum, so even if the Almighty appears to him and grants a wish, he will probably end up asking for a better slum to live in.

This phenomenon of rushing to get things done at the last minute never ceases to amaze me. In spite of the fact that everyone works long and hard, why is it that things always seem to happen at the last moment? But they do get done, you would say…and my response would be, at what cost. My experience has taught me that when you operate at the edge of the precipice, one wrong move could send you tumbling down. When we do things at the last minute, we are in danger of jeopardizing the business as well as our career, success and happiness.

The common refrain that I hear from everyone these days is that there is too much to do, and too little time in which to do it. But look at successful people from all walks of life. Like everyone else, they too have the same 24 hours every day… yet, in spite of the amount of work they must have to put in, they remain at peace, have the space to think and innovate, and always seem to be available . . .the central element that makes it possible for them to do all this is TIME MANAGEMENT.

What differentiates the average performer from an outstanding one…an outstanding performer is not an extraordinary individual…he is a person, who has mastered the art of achieving Extraordinary Results out of Ordinary Efforts. He is gifted with the ability to utilize time perfectly and to obtain results from every single minute spent He realizes the value of every moment and works hard to make it worthwhile.

Ask yourself some fundamental questions…
• Do you approach every day with a vision, set of objectives and clarity of thought?
• Do you have a habit of doing thorough homework when taking on any task?
• Do you operate with a prioritized list of tasks, or rely on your memory to remember all that you need to do?
• Do you keep the notes and points for each task handy?
• Do you maintain a well-defined agenda for meetings and prepare for them in advance?
• Do you take into account other people's priorities when planning your work?
• Do you delegate to subordinates in such a way that you maximize their output and optimize your input to value addition?
• Do you harness the power of technology to plan and implement your tasks?
• Do you guard yourself against non-value adding activities that eat into your productive time?
• Every time you put off something for later, do you ask yourself, “Why not now?”

The answers most people give would be “No.” And this should set off the alarm bell. As someone has rightly said, “Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done.” Managing your time well is the key to managing your Life well. Without proper Time Management, the most promising of people get stuck after a point - relegated to the 'faceless millions', leading an existence of ordinariness and anonymity.

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