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Life Mantra
Anu Goel
"Time Management" - Outside the textbook 30 September, 2015
Yet another idle weekend came to an end; and Amit, tucked in comfortably under the sheets lay sound awake. He was figuring it all out: The first thing he would do tomorrow morning is to rise earlier than usual in order to go for a brisk walk, then a hot shower before work - after returning from which he would spend some time with his little son and his little homework and finally - would have the chance to dine with his wife, Vinita, after a long time that month (especially after the daily morning shouting-matches). He set the alarm for 6:30 a.m. waiting for Monday with a challenge.
This morning, the alarm goes off as instructed. The Snooze-light goes on as expected. Alarm and Snooze engage in a long battle and alas Amit surrenders, only to realize that the time is now 7:40 a.m. and he has 20 minutes to leave for work. Panic Mode on and:

"Vinita! Where are you?"

"Why are you yelling; first thing in the morning? (as opposed to the brisk walk). I had just gone to drop off Adi at the bus stop. Here I am cooking your favourite breakfast and you"

Unaffected Amit interrupts, "Sorry! No time for that!"

"But I…" Vinita realizes that it is as futile to complete this sentence, as was the cooking of that special breakfast. Amit leaves without a much-needed shower, reaches late, works late, returns later. Adi goes off to play before his "dada" comes home; exhausted Amit eats an early dinner and goes off to sleep while Vinita dines with the dining table.

The phrase "Time Management" is as crucial to our lives, as boring and bookish it sounds. And with poorly managed time, we don't just pay the price with our mood or our daily-goals but also with our health and relationships. If your day starts off on a lazy note, it will definitely proceed towards procrastination and would finally end at nothing - literally (As you would not have achieved anything that you had on your planner for that day).

The answer lies in re-adjusting your schedule to suit your requirements, by simple prioritization. For instance, if you're leading a lethargic lifestyle, then you ought to make time for exercise by cutting into your television hours. If you are unable to spend quality time with your family (Unlike the time spent as an exhausted mannequin, that is merely a physical presence), then you need to avoid bringing the workplace at home. (Here I would strictly caution against cutting into hours of sleep, which should roughly be around 7 hours a day). The two key-take aways being: 'Do just what you need to do and only just when you need to do it.'

Time management is a simple thing that most of us fail at, only because we fail to motivate ourselves. If we try and stick to the plan rather than abandoning it for no real reason other than the self-concocted; then we'll see the results manifest in the form of a happier and healthier life. The only thing that we need to do is not stand in our own way and "stick-to-the-plan" (for our own sake! Isn't that incentive enough?).

Perhaps, a major mental block that impedes us from incorporating "Time Management" in our lives; is the very formal and tedious conceptualization of the term! The term automatically reminds us of timetables, clocks, alarms, restrictions, etc. and eventually becomes a burden even as we think about it! What needs to be clarified here; is that one need not create a formal fuss over adopting 'Time Management' by having to mark calendars or fill out planners.

It is as easy as Amit actually following the mental map he created the night before, instead of allowing his id to latch onto the snooze button! And before he knows it, after a few days of this forced motivation; his biological clock will itself adapt accordingly.

We spend all our lives thinking of things we couldn't do during the day, just before we go to sleep…Maybe we could spend a week as per plan, and think of all the things we could get done, just before we slip into a well deserved slumber. Laziness has the power to make a maze out of the shortest straight-line distance to success. Do not let it.

This article is jointly authored by Mrs. Anu Goel (Counselling Psychologist) & Pratibha Gauri Nigam

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
About The Author
Mrs. ANU GOEL is a Counselling Psychologist. She has practiced in Mumbai for 5 years, and is currently practicing in Delhi since the last 7 years. Goel, who can be contacted at 9313320146 and, is a member of the Counsellor's Association of India, and has been a guest speaker on several occasions.
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