TICK TOCK GOES THE CLOCK
by DR. MONICA KHANNA
Time is undoubtedly the most precious and valuable resource we possess – and yet it is the most misused and grossly managed aspect of most of our lives. When I ask a class of management students whether they read the newspaper daily, their standard reply is, “We don’t find the time.” When I ask them if they manage to work out in order to keep fit, I am once again bombarded with the same answer – “There’s no time for any physical activity.”
Then I ask them how much time they spend on social media. “A couple of hours every day,” is the prompt response. So, despite our busy schedules, we manage to squeeze some time to chat with our friends on Whatsapp, log in to our Facebook account to ‘like’ the posts of our friends, post pictures on Instragram, tweet a little tweet, and browse the internet, moving aimlessly from one site to another. Ironic, is it not, that we have no time to nourish our minds and bodies, but we do have time for social pleasantries!
“Time flies!” we exclaim unanimously at the end of the year, lamenting the fact that it had just about begun. “The bad news is time flies,” said Michael Altshuler. “The good news is you’re the pilot.” When you’re the pilot, time is under your control, and you have to manage it effectively – just like you manage your money. Each penny counts, and so does each moment. One wrong move, and it’s gone – never to come back again!
Getting distracted is the worst mistake we allow ourselves to make – and with technology at our finger tips and television in our rooms, it doesn’t take much effort to lose track of our priorities. We find ourselves entangled in a web of our own creation. We struggle to crawl out, but we get sucked inwards instead. When we do emerge eventually, it is with a sense of guilt at the time we have lost, and stress about the impending deadline dangling right over our heads like a sharp sword.
Procrastination is yet another disastrous killer. We dilly dally with the task assigned to us (especially if it is something we dislike), we wait for the opportune ‘Eureka’ moment to begin, we wait to get into the right frame of mind, we wait until we can wait no more... The consequences of procrastination are shabby and often incomplete work, inevitable stress, and a poor professional image.
Often, we are destroyed by the goodness of our nature – our inability to say ‘no’, whether at the personal or professional level. We take up more responsibility than we can handle, assuming that we will be able to multitask and complete all our work within the stipulated period of time. We do not calculate the amount of time, effort and energy required to do a specific task, only to regret our over-commitment later.
However, managing time is integral to enhancing productivity and achieving our goals. Unless we prioritize what is essential to our health, personal and professional growth; unless we learn to reduce our distractions; unless we work systematically and meticulously towards meeting our deadlines instead of waiting for the last minute; unless we learn to take up only as much work as we can handle and say ‘no’ assertively yet politely, we will not be able steer our aircraft in the right direction.
Time is a depleting and scarce resource – you never know how much you have left. It is absolutely imperative to use it wisely and cautiously, like a limited budget in which you need to make ends meet. Mastering the art of time management is indeed a true masters degree in itself!
About the Author:
Dr. Monica Khanna completed her high school from International School Bangkok. After moving to India, she completed her B.A, M.A, M.Phil and Ph.D. in English Literature.
She is currently working as Visiting Faculty in several management and engineering colleges in Navi Mumbai. She has work experience of around twenty years in the field of academics as well as in journalism and business. She is a panel member and resource person for Indiannica Learning (formerly Encyclopedia Britannica) for conducting workshops for school teachers across India.
She has conducted Faculty Development Programmes, and has also been invited by several institutes to conduct sessions for their students on a variety of topics. She has presented and published research papers at the national and international level for various journals, conferences and seminars.
Her passion for books, love for kids, and the desire to revive and rekindle an interest in the dying art of reading amongst children have been instrumental in her decision to take up writing fiction. She has published seven books. Her first book entitled ‘Deconstructing Motherhood’ (2010) deals with the ideology of motherhood in Indian culture. Her second book, ‘Peek a Boo Manya’ (2016) is a collection of short stories for children which revolves around the sweet and sour life of an eight-year-old girl Manya. It attempts to create a familiar world that Indian children can identify with and relate to. Her third book ‘Wickety Whack’ (2017) is full of whacky humour, mischief, fun and learning in the classroom. Her book ‘Re-Visioning Mythology in Indian Literature’ (2017) deals with the reinterpretation and subversion of Hindu myths in contemporary Indian literature. She has recently authored three books on grammar and composition for grades 6-8 for Eupheus Learning, the India branch for World Books, USA.