Time waits for no man.
What just happened?
January 1st 2021 was just upon us not too long ago and now it has vanished in thin air.
The end of Q3 is in a few days.
On reflection, where did the almost 9 months go? We have the same 86,400 seconds or 1,440 minutes or 24 hours in each day as anyone else has. Can we account as to how we spent our time during these last 9 months?
Malaysia for one, was under Emergency lock-down with the hopes of curbing the spread of Covid-19. During these periods of “confined-to-our-homes” and restrictive movement, how have we spent our time?
We are so caught up in getting things of the planned future done for fear of not accomplishing them when time passes us by. I am guilty of that. I set out staring at this new year, 2021; with a few new resolutions of which I can only remember one of hand, that is to write 100 articles or essays with a minimum 500 words. As it is, I am behind schedule with 53 articles more to go. I don’t want to make excuses that I have all my other day-to-day, weekly and monthly activities to attend, to; too.
More importantly, is how we use our time to do the things we want to do. We may find ourselves caught up doing things that are unplanned for. Some of these unplanned for activities could be eating away or stealing our time.
“Time-stealers” have to be identified. What is the meaning of time stealer? A time stealer is something that doesn’t need to be done at all.
Common time stealers include:
- Procrastination – serves no purpose but only to delay the work or outcome
- Unexpected interruptions
- Unscheduled meetings
- Called up by others
- Cancelled task to react to something going wrong
- Forced to take work home (most of us are working from home now due to the Covid-19 pandemic) or answer calls out of hours
- A cluttered and disorganized workspace
- Looking for tools or information to do the job / make a decision
- Emails received that need responding to after work hours
- Constantly having to refer to our smartphones, even if have not received any notifications
There is another group that hogs on to your time. These are the time wasters. A time waster is one that eventually needs a response, but only when the time is right. Some common time wasters include
- Social media distraction
- Constantly checking your emails
- Lack of prioritization
- Unproductive meetings
- Watercooler conversations, coffee break or teh tarik at the mamak (3) during working time. The mamak restaurants were usually full before the Covid-19 outbreak.
- Constantly having to refer to our smartphones
For me, writing these 100 articles is a challenge I took on. I aim to fulfil this challenge. If I don’t, it is going to be more challenging next year. I will penalise the short fall with by carrying forward the shortfall (hopefully none) and add 60% to work on next year. I am working hard to complete it this year as I plan to write a book of between 100,000 to 130,000 words in 2022.
There are many who like to reminisce on “the good old days”; me included. But not enough time is spent living in the present. Not forgetting, we have to live in the present; too.
The future that we chase; that is our dreams, our goals, our ambitions; arrives at our doorstep of life, but for a fleeting moment. Then it becomes our past. Many of us hardly ever notice that “we have arrived at our destination” and rarely get off that train, bus or “vehicle of destined future”; as we have the “next goal to catch”. This was the future that we had planned for, well for many of us. But we don’t recognize it, or take enough time to enjoy this future that is our now, our present.
Then, there are the few who actually get off the vehicle of destined future when they arrive at their destination. “Now what?”, they ask themselves. Their planned destination does not have enough momentum to keep them going for the rest of their lives. Some get into depression because they have fallen from what they have perceived as the highest point in their life to an all time low.
This leads us to the question, “How do we learn to balance our time? To aim and chase for our dreams and goals, to be able to handle them when we achieve them (some could take many years); and then, move on from there.
Isn’t time the most important asset that we have?
We have to learn to add and incorporate the essence of “peace of mind”, happiness and rest into this asset.
“All aboard!” The train, bus or “vehicle of destined future” is departing the station. Next stop….?
- Time stealers, http://www.emerge.uk.com
- Time wasters, https://biz30.timedoctor.com/time-wasters/
- Mamak usually refers to an Indian-Muslim restaurant or stall; serving various non-alcoholic drinks, simple fast-prepared food like roti canai and all its variety, Maggi Mee goreng “pedas”; to name a few. Their pricing is very cheap. For example: 2 roti canai and a kopi besar ( more coffee, served in a glass – no it is not an Americano 😉 )