When I moved to India Kabir had started to go to school, I had a full-time house help and little else to do. I took up baking to fill my time. It got busy but never hectic. That’s how the first two years went. That’s when I took up blogging and almost overnight my situation turned on its head. Now, Kabir is entering his tweens and work is peaking more than it ever has. Not that I am not thankful for it but it has caught me completely unprepared. I have been struggling with time management for a very long time and, as is the case with most things, I learnt a valuable insight and lesson in time management out of accident.
My work has been taking me out of town a lot recently. In one of these trips, because of some coordination issues, I found myself arriving almost an hour early at the airport. As opposed to the usual rushing through the security I had enough and more time to amble about and look at the revamped domestic terminal. I must confess, I was surprised at how much I got done in that time. The shopping I had been putting off for weeks for my shoots was taken care of, the power bank that was the power bank that I had been promising myself for months was purchased. I bought the phone I had been intending to get for dad. All because I got a little extra time in a place I already had to be in, not to mention I bought a lot of stuff on discount. This got me thinking of the other areas that can help me save time and these are what I came up with:
– Club your chores and hire a driver for a day: if you live in Delhi or Gurgaon, you will spend at least a total of two years of your life just looking for parking. Need I say more?
– Understand the value of your time: on the basis of your monthly income, figure out how much you make in an hour and calculate if it is worth spending your time on a chore or not. For instance, if you were to spend a day getting your car serviced and might save Rs. 3-400 for it as opposed to what you make in those 4-5 hours. If you think, you had nothing important to do anyway, think about opportunity cost (yes, I have been reading about this)
– Learn to say no: before you do anything at all, always ask if you really want to do it. The answers will surprise you very often. I used to say yes to every meeting even if the agenda wasn’t laid out. Now I simply say no if I think it’s going to be a waste of my time.
– Start paying attention to the number of times someone interrupts you when you’re in the midst of an important task, particularly those of the social media variety. It may take a massive exercise in will power, but shut the door and turn off your phone to maximize your time.
– And I can’t reiterate enough on this. Take care of your physical and mental well-being. Be sure to get plenty of sleep and exercise. An alert mind is a high-functioning mind and one that’s less tolerant of time-wasting activities.
Having said this, I am still struggling with managing time and any tip to that end will be considered most helpful 🙂