Master time

November 2015

By Jamuna Rangachari

When we decide to make the best use of our time we automatically prioritize, plan, delegate, and avoid activities that kill time, says Jamuna Rangachari


In my younger days, we lived in a joint family where we all slept on the floor. The last person to get up had to make sure the mattresses were stacked up one on top of the other. Everyday there would be a scuffle to escape being the last. I, personally, made sure I was among the first to get up, fold my sheet, and leave the room. This was my first lesson in time management.

Later, when I was in college, elders used to keep advising me not to ‘waste time’. Wasting time for them meant reading, watching movies, or even socializing. I did not relate to this at all. Even at that time, I found that I did much better when I had many things to do. For instance, when I had to watch a movie, I quickly completed my chores and ran out to catch the film. When there was a friend’s wedding, I would make sure all my assignments were done much before the event so no one could pull me up.

Much later, after I entered software programming, there were a lot of technical discussions on time management. We were told to read about it in books, use an electronic or paper-based day planner to organize, prioritize and schedule our days. Learning all these techniques took more of my time than saving it. In my case, everything that I ever learned about managing time through books or seminars has been a complete waste of time .

I had, and still have, my own way of ensuring that I make the best use of my time. I know that time management is the most crucial aspect of doing a good job.

What is time management?

Before we can even begin to manage time, you must learn what time is. A dictionary defines time as ‘the point or period at which things occur.’ Simply put, time is when things happen.

There are two types of time: clock time and real time. In clock time, there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. All time passes equally. When someone turns 50, they are exactly 50 years old, no more or no less.

In real time, all time is relative. Time flies or drags depending on what you’re doing. Ten minutes at a traffic jam can feel like one year. Watching your child grow can make 12 years seem like an hour.

The reason time management
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