Human beings have always been obsessed with the concept of time and have devised ways of keeping track of it. Sundials were the earliest clocks.
Later came water clocks, mechanical ones, then quartz clocks. Clocks are now correct to the very second.
Not all clocks are man-made, however.
There are also Biological Clocks. Our bodies work differently during the day and at night. This explains why people experience jet lag – the time difference disturbs their biological clocks.
Then there are Social Clocks. Grandmothers are prone to remind their granddaughters about them!
There are set ideas in the society we live in, about the right time to do certain things. There is a right time to marry and a right time to have children.
There is a right time to achieve success in your profession and there is also a right time to stop taking risks!
‘The butterfly counts not months but moments,
and has time enough-‘
wrote Rabindranath Tagore.
We humans are very different from butterflies, though. We do not have “time enough”.
So we have come up with the concept of Quality Time.
Quality time is time spent with our families, our friends, or our colleagues- giving them our undivided attention.
Time Management skills are very important for today’s professionals ‘to get more out of their time’. Multitasking enables a person to perform more than one tasks simultaneously, and save time.
There is a saying that we should ‘stop and smell the flowers’.
In our haste to rush through each day we forget to enjoy the day, or the hour, or even the minute! It would not hurt to pause a bit and enjoy the present moment.
One is thankful that Isaac Newton did not forget this. If he he had not been ‘whiling away time’ under the apple tree watching an apple fall to the ground, perhaps he would not have formulated the Law of Gravity!
That does not mean that we should waste time on unimportant things, though! Cyril Northcote Parkinson states in his famous Law, that-
‘work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion’..
Parkinson gives an interesting example.-
An elderly aunt, writing a letter to her nephew, may spend an hour searching for a postcard, and another hour finding the address. Some more time may be spent deciding when to go to the Post office. Thus it takes her hours to complete a task that would take a busy person only minutes!
A wise person knows what is important, and what is not. What to disregard, and what to interrupt your daily routine for.
As the poet, Robert Frost says, there is a time to work and-
A Time to Talk
‘When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, ‘What is it?’
No, not as there is a time talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.’