It’s time to get up; it’s time to have breakfast; it’s time to go to school; it’s time to complete the home work; it’s time to go to sleep. These were the nagging reminders I kept listening, at home, thorough out my life as a school student. It appeared that without being reminded, I would not do anything essential. I don’t blame this to anyone but me because I did get the opportunity to prove my time management skill but the result was so disastrous that my parents never thought of leaving anything to me again. Once, it so happened that my parents had to leave me alone just for a day. Initially, they didn’t want to trust me but when I assured that things would be reasonably fine in their absence, they relented. But as soon as they left, I realised the burden of managing things on my own without any support system. The slip-up began with getting up late in the morning. When I opened my eyes and looked at the clock and I realised that my second period at school would be in progress. I cursed myself and went back to sleep. Eventually, when I left the bed, it was already 11 in the morning. It was the hunger that woke me up. Without wasting any time, I catered to my hunger with certain food stuff kept in the refrigerator by my mom. Then I thought that I would try to make up for the loss of studies with the help of self-study at home. No sooner had I started reading the book than I realised that my favourite cartoon programme would be waiting for me. The book was replaced by TV which kept me busy and entertained for the rest of the day. When my parents came back, they found me in a dire state. Mess at home was telling the story of my failure to even do a single thing as per schedule. They vented their anger for breaching the trust they had reposed in me. I too came to know the truth of my time management skills. Since then, I tried to improve my time management, though with little success. Things changed drastically when I finished my schooling and reached the college.
For long, I wanted to finish my days at school as I was tired with so many ‘dos and don’ts’ as a school student. I had heard that college offered the life full of freedom to the students. However, things changed on the very first day of entering the college. My parents had accompanied me to the college and when it was time to say good bye, my life came crumbling down. Whatever I looked at, it appeared frightening because of being completely unknown. My adverse experience started with the place that was completely different from what I had been used to. Next were the people whom I had never seen in the past. A few appeared friendly while the rest were good at pulling legs of fresher’s like me. For a moment, I thought it would be impossible for me to do things on my own without the customary reminders at the college hostel. Luckily, things changed for better as the time passed. I came to terms with the harsh reality I was facing. There was no other alternative but to find new ways to do all required things on time.
All my friends, welcome to the new world where there is a single person who can help you- you yourself. The earlier you realise, the smoother will be the life. This realisation is more important for those who had a comfortable and dependent life in the past. The next important step is to set priorities because it is not possible to chase so many things at the same time. By prioritising, you will also find several activities that are not very important and hence they can be relegated to the background. For instance, in my case, I found that TV, Facebook and internet were the biggest enemies. So, I kept them at the bottom of my priority list. Studies were the area I wanted to focus more on, so the academic activities occupied the top places. Whatever may be your goal, it should be aligned with your competencies. If you are good at studies, then it makes sense to set your sight on topping the college. On the other hand, if you want to excel in sports and other extra- curricular activities, then physical fitness should be given more importance than anything else. Thus, preparing a priority list will clearly help allocate the time and resources in a more judicious manner.
Time management is a skill that needs to be learnt with practice because all of us have the same amount of time-24 hours in a day. This limited time should be spent in such a way the most important things receive the maximum time and attention. For instance, if you want to hone your writing skills, essential for the college students, it is advisable to set aside certain part of a day exclusively for the same. You can choose the time based on your inclination of mind for writing. Let’s us assume that you decide an hour every day before you go to sleep at night. The next step is to visualize yourself writing for an hour. The more frequently you do the mental visualisation, the easier it becomes to write at the pre-decided time. At the stipulated time, take the second step to initiate writing. Since it will be your first experience, it is natural that your mind will wander in different direction and entertain the unnecessary thoughts. They are nothing but distractions. So, there is no need to get disheartened as they enter the mind of most of us. The secret to overcome this tendency lies in bringing back the mind to the job at hand. Every time your mind strays, remind yourself that you have to realise the objective of improving your skills. Expel the thoughts that throw your efforts away from the right track. To begin with, there may not be much success. It is possible that for first few days, you would not be able to write as per your plan. But that should not stop you from keep trying every day. Repeat this activity every day till it becomes a second nature to you. Once you succeed in one such important task, you can extend it to other important components of the priority list.
It is said that delaying an easing task makes is difficult, and delaying a difficult task makes it impossible. In other words, procrastination increases the difficulty level because it steals our precious time and makes available less time for the desired action. It’s a human tendency to postpone things for future. However, procrastination can also be used as an advantage if it is applied to the unimportant work. For instance, you want to watch a movie and you also have an assignment to complete within two days. Now if you postpone the plan of movie, it will help you in finishing the much needed assignment. Thus, putting off the less important task will enable you to take up the more important work. As per Paul Graham, there are three variants of procrastination, depending on what you do instead of working on something: you could work on (a) nothing, (b) something less important, or (c) something more important. It is the second type of procrastination that needs to be minimized and the third typed maximised. This will brighten the chance of success as more energy, time and efforts will be focussed on the vital things contributing to success.
My observation of the last several years says that time management is more mental than physical. The mind should be made strong to execute any plan of action. At every step of managing time, the mind should be actively involved. Moreover, you can only manage yourself and not the time exactly. If you are good at managing yourself, time management becomes a smooth exercise In short, time management efforts fuelled by the power of mind are bound to be successful.
Graham, Paul. "Good and Bad Procrastination." Paulgraham.com. Paul Graham, Dec. 2015. Web. 05 May 2016. <http://www.paulgraham.com/procrastination.html>.