Once a student called Einstein over the phone and asked, “Sir, I need your guidance in one of my subjects. When can I come and meet you?”
Einstein: Tomorrow evening at 5:00.
Student: Thank you Sir!
Einstein: But do you know, what is the meaning of 5:00 pm?
Student: Yes Sir! 4 O'clock 59 Minutes and 60 Seconds.
Perhaps, very few of us own such level of intelligence. That's why we are always found complaining– 'We don't have time... It seems as if time has wings...' But, to tell you the truth, if you look at the hands of a clock steadily without intermission for 5 minutes, and if you observe its movement by each second, you will experience that even the time of five minutes is quite a bit.
Meaning, you don't keep count only for hours and minutes. Instead, pay attention to every single second. Utilise it intelligently with utmost care. For each second has its own value. It is matchless and precious. In this context, someone has beautifully expressed that to know the importance of–
One year– Ask the student who has failed the examination.
One month– Ask the mother who delivered a baby a month before.
One week– Ask the editor of a weekly magazine.
One day– Ask the worker working on daily wages.
One minute– Ask the one who missed the train.
One second– Ask the one who was saved providentially in an accident.
One thousandth of a second (i.e. one millisecond)– Ask the Olympic athlete who lost the gold medal.
Therefore, take care of each second; the hours will take care of themselves. Let's try to know certain valuable tips of employing time so as to derive maximum benefit out of it.
TIP NO. 1: REMAIN ACTIVE
Einstein's Theory of Relativity says– Planets that move at a high speed, the effect of time is less on them, as compared to those moving at a slow speed. Science has proved this point. This researched fact of science can be very well applied in our day to day life to seek benefit. If you increase the speed of your activity, i.e., you remain active and make optimum use of each moment of your life, and not remain listless, weak and lazy, then, time will automatically slow down for you.
Therefore, the wise saying goes, “Those who are active and work hard, they never become old.” So, always remain active. Do not while away even a single second being lazy or unreasonably idle. Otherwise, our condition will also be like Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mogul Emperor, who had to repent at the end of the journey of his life, saying– 'We had brought with us four days of life... two went in hoping and two were lost in waiting...'
TIP NO. 2: DO NOT BECOME THE SLAVE OF THE SUN FOR THE SAKE OF TIME
Do not consider the time between sunrise and sunset as the only duration when you can remain engaged and active. Many people commit this error. They link their work schedule to the sun so intensely that, in its absence they find it difficult to remain active and carry on with their work. With such an approach, they waste a good amount of precious time of their life. Whereas, the life of great achievers has always been a testimony to the fact that they never linked the clock of the sun with the clock of their life and work. The ex-President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam mentions an example in this context, in his book “Wings of Fire”. Once he had to meet the famous scientist Professor Sarabhai. So, he sought for an appointment from his secretary. Do you know what time he got for the appointment? 3:00 am! Can 3:00 am also be the meeting time? Yes, it can be... only for those who are engrossed in work, and do not depend on the sun to decide their schedule of work.
TIP NO. 3: REMEMBER, THE STRUCTURE OF TIME SETS FORTH THE CHAIN-REACTION
In the battle of Plassey fought in 1757, only 60 British soldiers died, whereas, the number of soldiers of one of the Nawabs of India that were dead was 1,500! That was a small scale battle. But, it set forth a chain reaction, which resulted in tragic consequences that affected the country. India slipped into the control of the British rule. The same holds true in the context of time as well. Small segments of time are so closely interrelated, that if some flaw occurs in one segment, then all other segments in the entire structure also get affected. For instance, suppose you get up fifteen minutes late in the morning or you spend fifteen minutes in meaningless gossip. How does it matter? …It does matter a lot. The repercussions of the loss of those fifteen minutes impact the entire 24 hours of the day. Your precious twenty-four hours are unable to adjust to the situation arising out of the loss of those fifteen minutes. As a result, the routine of your entire day stands disturbed. Therefore, give utmost importance to every slot (howsoever small) of your time-schedule.
TIP NO. 4: EVERY MOMENT IS AUSPICIOUS
We often say we are running through a bad phase of time; before initiating some task, we need to look for an 'auspicious moment'. But, is there good or bad time in reality? Is there something called auspicious or inauspicious time? In this context, we conducted an experiment, which you can repeat. We made a thorough search for a day in 365 days of the year, on which some great, successful or famous individual was not born. You may not believe this. But, it is a fact that no such day exists. It simply goes to say that each day has the potency to give birth to greatness. Then, how can we say that a particular time is good or bad? When former President Abdul Kalam was to fill his nomination for the post of President, he was asked, 'Would you like to look for some auspicious moment for filing the nomination forms?' Abdul Kalam gave a scientific reply. He said, 'The Earth rotates on its axis and so we have day and night. When the Earth completes its revolution around the Sun, months and years take shape. So far as I remember this scientific fact, for me, every moment is auspicious.'
Therefore, stop worrying about the moment being auspicious or inauspicious and do not waste your precious time on this frivolous issue. Instead, with your efforts remain industrious, and create auspicious moments for yourself. We get the same inspiration from a famous Hollywood actor, Marvin. It relates to the time when one of his movies became super-duper hit. His fame spread all over. A reporter, at the time of taking his interview, remarked, “Sir, what an auspicious moment it would have been when you signed for the movie. The movie turned you into a star overnight.” Marvin smiled at his words and said, “You know, to become a star overnight, it took me twenty-five years; meaning, for that one auspicious moment to arrive in my life, I worked hard day and night for twenty five years without intermission.” Indeed, this is the truth of life. Auspicious times do not arrive just like that; they have to be gained through the perspiration of hard work.
TIP NO. 5: REACH THE DESIGNATED PLACE WELL IN TIME
If you do not reach your destination on time, then it's the first indication that that work or that individual is not of much importance to you. The longer the wait, the more the ambience gets vitiated. Well, let us try to understand the veracity of this statement through this incident. During that period, Sir Edward was the Minister of certain department in his country. His department floated a tender for some construction work. Many parties made the bid for the tender. One of them was Edward's friend. Edward told his friend, “I will make every effort to pass your tender. But you please ensure to give the best quality of work and complete the project on time.” The tender was passed. Edward rang his friend to give the happy news and said, “Tomorrow come to my office at 1:00 p.m. sharp and collect the work order.”
Next day... Edward's friend reached the office at 1:06 pm. The receptionist gave the message to Edward. Edward said, “Tell him that he can go back. His tender has been rejected.”
On getting that message, the friend telephoned Edward immediately and asked, “What happened, Edward? Yesterday, you told me that my tender has been approved. Now, how come it has got rejected?”
Edward: Because you were late by 6 minutes. When you can delay and arrive late by 6 minutes to collect your work-order, then, I don't know how long you will delay the completion of the project?
So, by being late, you lose the trust and lose on several other aspects as well!
TIP NO. 6: DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME BY ENGAGING IN FRIVOLOUS ACTIVITIES
Do not waste your time in engaging in those tasks that are not important from your point of view. It is necessary for you to take a judgment as to which work needs your attention and which one needs to be avoided. Often we waste our time in futile and frivolous activities. Like, sometimes we spend lots of time discussing about the dinner menu; or we remain busy checking our mails for hours together. We must not waste our time unnecessarily in this manner on trifle issues. The dictator of Italy, Mussolini used to make the same mistake. Even during the time of the Second World War, he used to argue for hours together as to what is the right way to salute as per the fascist style. What was the result? He lost the war.
TIP NO. 7: KNOW HOW TO DELEGATE AND DISTRIBUTE WORK
Many have the habit of owning all the responsibilities on their shoulders, even though they are on the top position. They do not delegate work among subordinates. As a result, work does not get completed on time. If you want to make proper utilisation of time, then distribute your work. The same formula can be applied by women for their domestic chores as well. Generally, it is seen that women do the household work all by themselves. Therefore, they are unable to take proper rest and do not find time for entertainment. As a result, they remain tension-ridden. The correct approach is– the work that can be done by members of the family should be delegated to them. In this manner, a lot of time can be saved.
TIP NO. 8: LEARN HOW TO SAY “NO”
A number of times our time is wasted for the simple reason that we do not muster enough courage to say “No.” Often it happens that when a salesman presses the doorbell, you are unable to say “No” to him. You waste lots of time in listening to the person.
The same thing happens when you get an untimely telephone call from a relative or a friend. You forcefully leave aside your urgent work at hand and are obliged to have a long talk with him/her. Why aren't you able to tell that person politely that you are engaged in some urgent work and that you will talk to him/her sometime later? Your polite “no” can help you save a lot of time.
TIP NO. 9: STREAMLINE PROCEDURES
When you return home from school, college or office, where do you keep your bag, shoes, belt, wrist-watch etc.? If you throw them here and there and do not keep them at a fixed place, then what is the scene the next morning? You do not get the shoes or the socks; belt goes missing; or, the wrist-watch is not traceable. And then, not only do you get busy locating the wares, people around you also join the search. Amidst all such confusion, sometimes you do not have enough time for breakfast and sometimes you forget to take something which you should have taken to your workplace.
But, if on returning home, you keep everything at the proper place, you will enjoy a trouble-free morning. You would not need to waste time in locating things. Once an individual said, “Due to the pressure of work, I am unable to streamline procedures.” But, perhaps, the opposite is true. The one who says that he is very busy; it is all the more necessary for him to streamline procedures.
You will be amazed to know that Henry Ford could master his time-schedule only by streamlining his tasks. In the year 1908, Ford cars were so costly, that an ordinary individual could not afford to buy it. To reduce its cost, he worked on managing the time of work procedures. Actually, at that time, workers used to assemble on all the four sides of the car frame. Then they fixed different parts to assemble the car. While doing this assembling, they used to cross each other resulting in the mix up of the parts, because of which they had to wait and watch, and this resulted in wasting lots of time in confusion.
Later, Henry Ford adopted a new technique. He fixed a belt which used to move at the rate of one meter per minute. This belt took the frame of the vehicle in front of each mechanic. Every mechanic had his own stock of parts. As soon as the frame neared him, the mechanic finished his task without any hustle-bustle. As a result, the task that earlier took twenty minutes, with the revised procedure, could be completed in just 5 minutes. And, after some time, things got speeded up to such an extent that one car was rolled out of the assembly line in merely 1 ½ minutes. By the year 1915, the company was able to produce one million cars every year. And, in this way, Henry Ford's cars reached almost every house. This means, by introducing better procedures, you can make intelligent use of time and achieve great success.
TIP NO. 10: SHUN NEGATIVITIES
You must be wondering what negativities have to do with time? There is a deep relation between the two. Suppose you get angry quickly (you are a short-tempered individual). Now, in anger, you utter profanities and the words that one should not say in the normal course, what would be the result? It wouldn't take seconds to destroy your relationships, but it would take long to recoup them.
A great philosopher advises thus– Do not let the sun rise in your head. Once, some youth were travelling by car. From behind, another car arrived with great speed and overtook their car. That was enough for provocation. They followed that car. They drove their car with great speed and after racing for 5 kilometres, they overtook the car. They then stopped the car, threatened the driver, and made him apologise; and only then they were calmed down. After that, they returned journeying back 5 kilometres, and took to their intended route. This is what is called the wastage of time!
Similarly, by nurturing the negativities like greed, jealousy, competition, etc., we happen to waste our time and energy in unwanted activities. Such pursuits have nothing to do with the aim of our life. Therefore, shun negativities.
Such time-related tips are countless. But, something tangible will happen only when you apply these tips on yourself and leave such an impression upon the time about your ability to challenge it positively, that the times ahead can count your name among the most successful individuals.
Our hearty good wishes to you!