An empty mind is the devil’s workshop where he designs, manufactures, and distributes a wide variety of plans to ruin your life in ways one can’t even imagine. The reason being for this hospitality? One’s poor and incompetent time management skills.
A person who’s unable to figure out how important time management can prove to be in shaping one’s life is up for some huge fireworks coming up that’s gonna blow him, literally. This is no surprise that probably the number one reason for a person’s failure in life is due to his not-so-outstanding time management skills.
Stop sitting idle, staring into nothingness, dwelling into daydreaming all day long, utterly wasting your time. Time is both the cheapest and the costliest commodity in the world one can afford. Cheap, if you know why time management is important and are aware of the substantiality of time; costly, if you are blissfully ignorant about the value of time and don’t have the faintest clue about what time management is all about.
Once you get attached to doing nothing or sitting idle or wasting your time at an early age, it is gonna be an uphill task to get yourself back on track later in time. Likewise, once you become an ardent follower of keeping good and healthy time management skills, it will pay off, not immediately but definitely.
Your Habits Define Your Surroundings
Interestingly, your time management skills are gonna decide your company or your friend circle. And like we all know, the people you surround yourself with will have a massive rub-off effect on you and your future. If you are used to wasting your time, then you will inadvertently make friends with people belonging to the same tribe. All they would know is how to pass time and make their lives more miserable every passing day of their life.
On the other hand, if you know how to manage your time well, your circle will involve people who know how to utilize their time the right way, who understand the significance and gravity of time management skills in life, who will make something great out of their lives and will push you to do the same.
You always have a choice in how to spend your time and who to spend your time with. Consequently, it’s your choice if you wanna spend your time making yourselves better or to let these moments of opportunities slip by. Make no mistake, every passing second is indeed a chance to upgrade yourself, an opportunity to amend past mistakes, a moment to evaluate your performance to maximize your productivity, an occasion to enhance and revamp your current skills, widen your potential, expand your present horizon.
You came home from a job, now you can either go chill out with friends, watch Netflix, party or you can work upon yourself, building skills you are lacking, refurbish your overall personality.
Now, I don’t mean to say that you stop enjoying life altogether—that’s what the essence of time management is all about—to create a balance.
Stop Wasting Time Sitting Idle
The most important thing one can learn from this article is to never sit idle. Whatever you are doing, try to learn from it, whatever you can, doesn’t matter how insignificant or trivial it may seem to you. Whether you are hanging out with your buddies or trying to learn a new language, there is always enough going on in your surroundings to learn something more than meets the eye, only if one has the eye for it.
You can do something that may not be directly related to your career but if you feel like doing it, then why not do it all the way? There’s nothing to lose. And besides, you never know how and when that extra skill might come in handy.
Steve Jobs learned calligraphy when he dropped out of college. Now, one might argue that it was perhaps a waste of his time, but it turned out that it ended up inspiring him to imbibe beautiful typography for Apple. So, you see, you actually never know how the dots are gonna connect. And ultimately that’s what time management skills are all about. To make you whole, better, more efficient in the smartest way possible.
Mindset plays a major role in determining how you manage your time. Even if you are partying with your buddies, don’t go with the mindset that “Ok, I am gonna get wasted for some time now” or “I am gonna kill some time”, instead, go with the mindset to learn something or the other. One can learn about social skills, etiquette, manners, communication skills, how to present yourself in front of your friends, how can one go and walk up to a stranger and have a nice little chat. Hence, suffice to say, having a superior time management ability is more about your mindset and the way you see things.
It all boils down to the choice you make. The choice of either going with the intention to waste your time or with the intention of learning something new.
Time Management isn’t about Being Super Busy
Many people are of the opinion that time management skills involve being some ultra-busy people, completely secluding yourself from society, friends, and family, and going into this super hard routine where all you focus on is work, work, and work. Actually, it’s the contrary. If one is completely aware of whatever it is he is doing, then consciously or unconsciously he is learning plenty of things.
In fact, on the flip hand, people who restrain themselves from the outer world, pretending to use their time by devoting themselves to work round the clock, might be actually thinking about something totally unrelated to work, drifting into a fantasy world.
We can concur from here that people who look like they are wasting time may be actually utilizing it by improving their overall personalities, and people who look like they are utilizing time may be ultimately wasting it by not being a hundred percent aware of what they are doing. Appearances are deceptive after all.
If you have the vision and open-mindedness to think this way, then this can take you miles ahead in this game of life. Each and every moment will become a lesson and guide for you to learn and grow from. The term ‘time-pass’ will literally evaporate from your dictionary. You will be alive and aware of each and every moment in life. These small things, when followed passionately and consistently, will accumulate into something so big that you won’t even notice how it totally changed you from the inside.
When you grow from the inside and not just externally; the person you are today, and the person you will become next year will be two entirely different personalities. People may sometimes see this as an insult when folks come and tell them, “Dude you have changed.” One should look at it from the standpoint that you are becoming someone who’s constantly evolving, your understanding of things is deepening, and you are not something that’s stagnant. Whatever that’s stagnant is dead, and whatever is growing and evolving is alive.
The person I am today, the articles I write today, the writing style I have adapted today, the ideas I talk about today—they are all gonna be entirely different from the future me. That only happens when you are constantly in the state of learning and absorbing—probably the easiest way to brush up your time management skills. You don’t wanna be like stagnant waters which become the breeding ground for mosquitoes, instead, you are meant to be like a river that keeps on flowing. So, be a river—flow, grow, and learn.
To put it all in a nutshell, if you are learning from whatever it is you are doing—even if it’s not entirely morally or ethically or culturally right in the eyes of the world—then you are actually utilizing your time.
Even wrongdoing, if done with the intention of growing and learning out of it, eventually becomes the right thing. And the right thing, if done just for the sake of it, with no intentions of learning or growing from it, then it’s actually all a waste of time. (I guess we all know what kinds of wrongdoing I am talking about here.)
Once you wrap your head around this analogy then growing will become your habit, your time management skills will skyrocket, and the attitude of learning will get embedded in your DNA. This is how you can do something or be someone that the world will be proud of. Actually, forget about the world, if you can honestly and diligently pull this off, then you will be proud of yourself. You will look yourself in the mirror and thank God for creating the best creature on the planet ever. (ok ok too far, my bad)
Time Management Involves Reviewing Every Second of Your Life
People go through a variety of audit checks they perform on themselves. Some people review what they did in the past year while some are more comfortable with a weekly basis of introspection. I personally find questioning every situation I go through in a day quite considerate and thoughtful when it comes to being a pro in time management skills. Asking the question, “What am I learning this very second?”
The second you question this, your awareness level bumps up and your mind will start seeing things that were earlier hiding in plain sight. I guarantee you, you will surprise yourself when you make this a habit of yours. Whatever you do, wherever you are, simply slide this question to yourself, “How is this helping me grow?”
Now, I know in the beginning it might feel weird and stupid, and most of the time, you won’t even get a straight answer. But you gotta keep your patience, and very soon you will find this strategy giving you amazing returns.
Whether it is strolling around the city, taking your kids to school, talking to your spouse, eating popcorn while watching a film, hanging out with your childhood friends, working out in the gym, having dinner with your family, going to an event, or any one of the 112 other day to day mundane situations, asking yourself what you are learning in that particular moment can be of tremendous value.
If you integrate it into your habit list, you can learn a great deal from yourself. And the person who can understand himself completely—the way his body works, the games that his mind likes to play, the way thoughts, feelings, and emotions control us—will, in turn, understand the whole of humanity.
Because ultimately you are a part of this humanity, and the way our bodies and minds function are more or less the same. It’s like we all have the same hardware with the same specifications(same physical anatomy), just running different versions of the same software(different thoughts).
So, when you get distracted, observe your own actions, look into yourself—how you got distracted in the first place, how your mind takes over you and controls your body, what kind of activities you indulge in, how brutally tangled you get in the web of distractions—instead of looking at external situations and circumstances.
Can We Be Happy When Sad?
We waste a shit ton of time when things don’t do according to our plan, regretting, mourning, and distressing. This isn’t the right way to look at life, because in more than 90% of cases, things that you didn’t anticipate in the wildest of your dreams are gonna be your reality. So does it mean we should live 9 out of 10 days in suffering, pain, and agony? For people who don’t understand the importance of time and consequently have poor time management skills, that’s how they spend most of their lives.
But for those who understand how crucial and important time management is all about, they don’t find it particularly wise to throw down 90% of their lives down the sewer just because things didn’t go according to ‘plan’.
The real thing is when you are able to enjoy all the 10 days, irrespective of whether you win or lose, whether things go according to your plan or not, whether you succeeded or failed.
“To be happy even when you are sad”—that’s the real kicker boys and girls. Events of pain, sadness, failure can make us learn a hell of a lot of things. They are our true angels in disguise as they help us realize our true strengths, how strong our resilience is, and what we are actually made of.
Adventure of a Lifetime
Who doesn’t love adventure sports? Surely the level you prefer can vary, but everyone would wanna have a little adventure. And there’s no better adventure than life itself.
The learning attitude is probably the best lifeline you have in this adventure sport. And exploiting this lifeline in the right manner can help you learn from both the folks above you and those who are below you, without letting your ego take a hit. The primary aim of this adventure isn’t to win but rather to enjoy the journey.
If you are becoming better than yesterday, then you are living this adventure; if you are becoming wiser than yesterday, then you are understanding this adventure; and if you are becoming stronger than yesterday, then you are learning from this adventure.
This adventure of a lifetime isn’t gonna wait, stop, or pause for you. It’s running as we speak. Don’t waste it. Becoming a pro in time management skills is an adventure in itself. Pretty easy to learn if you could inculcate the tips I talked about.