Everyone has precisely the same amount of time – twenty four hours per day. Think of the busiest man you know. Perhaps he is a businessman whose work takes him up and down the country. He serves on several committees. He is chairman of one or two associations. He conducts a voluminous correspondence. He plays cricket, cultivates roses and serves on the local P.T.A. How does he do it? What is the secret?
Some busy people may, in fact, be too
busy, perhaps neurotically so. They may be unable to rest alone or be quiet or
have time to think. Some hidden compulsion or unrecognized guilt drives them
on. They rob themselves of necessary peace. They may undertake so many duties
that they cannot give enough time to their failures. Some other people have
more animal energy than others. It may be a matter of physique or body
chemistry. We could all have more energy, if we could wipe out all negative thinking.
Much energy is unprofitably consumed in the luxuries of anger, worry,
frustration, self – pity, envy and pessimism.
We should also have enough rest and
recreation to keep our mental and spiritual dynamos in peak condition. This
will give us the energy to pack more
into our time. If you have decided that you really want a busy life, and are
prepared to sacrifice a leisurely tempo and a degree of idleness, the following
suggestions might help.
1. Keep a Sense of Proportion:
If you want to indulge in many
different activities, you must not spend too long on any one thing. Television in particular has become a
great time – robber. This waste must be reduced
by selection and self – discipline.
The same can be said of sports – fans, news – hogs and bookworms. Sports,
newspapers and books should enrich our lives but not dominate and consume them.
2. Look Out for Wastage:
It’s worthwhile to scrutinize each
day of a week, looking for periods of wasted time – intervals between one
activity and another when nothing is achieved. Many people employ several hours
traveling to and from work. It is worth trying if you can considerably reduce
your traveling time. Look out for wasted quarter – hours. If you can find
several of these, you will have redeemed an hour and a half or two hours which
can be applied to something really worthwhile.
Perhaps you are a person who wastes
time because he cannot make up his mind. If so, begin chronic ditherer? If so,
begin training yourself to make snap decisions on unimportant matters like
whether to have your eggs fried or boiled, or whether you want tea or coffee.
You will soon find yourself coming to more rapid decisions on important matters
and thus getting more things done.
Another time – waster is gossiping,
as opposed to intelligent conversation. This wastes not only your own time but
that of others. Some people make every chance encounter an excuse for at least
half – an – hour’s gossip.
In your quest for time, you might
consider cutting down your hours of
sleep. Do you really need eight or nine hours? Certainly as you get older you
will be able to do with less. We could very easily reduce our eight hours to
seven or even six without harm.
3. Use the Time -Savers
Mechanical aids and technical devices
can give us more time. A telephone, a means of transport, a tape-recorder, a
type – writer, a refrigerator and gas – stove can all save us time and enable us to accomplish
Another time – saver is to speed up
our reading. Most of us were taught to read by silently mouthing every word
which passes before our eyes. Try to overcome this habit. Instead, learn to
take in whole phrases at a glance and keep pushing on resolutely. When you are
confronted by a fresh page of print, look for the main ideas. Try to centre
your line of vision on the middle of each line of print. You should be able to
read without the tiring and time –
wasting swing of the eyes backwards and
forwards across the page. But it takes practice to do that.
Alert observation will save time
going over a sentence or paragraph. Building up a good vocabulary is also a
wise investment. It may slow us down during the process, but it is a time – saver in the long run. It has been
proved that a fast reader understands more and remembers better than the slow
one. Keep prodding yourself to get a move on.
4. Get Organized:
This will boost your morale and give
you a sense of getting things done draw up a routine and stick to it. If
possible set aside a room or a part of a room for your work area. Have a desk,
shelves or cupboards for all relevant material. Orderly habits, and the use of
a desk – diary and files will all help to save time. Take “Do it now” as your
slogan. Delay means inefficiency and stress.
Those who achieve most are those who
discipline both their time and themselves. They waste no chance to grapple with
their tasks and duties.
They are men and women of action.