Sunday, July 21, 2013

No Time Please

The other day I was trying to persuade my son to restart his writing hobby and his response was ‘No time,Appa!’ Though he is very good at writing tongue-in-cheek, humorous articles,and holds a record of sorts as all thirteen articles that he has written were  published in two leading English dailies of Chennai.Yet he stopped writing four years ago. I think it is because of laziness and not because of  lack of time!

Lack of time is an excuse which many people who have plenty of time give; for not doing a job or not doing the mandatory exercises or even pursuing a hobby. It is just a mindset problem. I have found that the busiest people I know always find time to do what they want!

My friend Sam Balsara, the legendary adman, Chairman of the Madison Group, is one such person. Apart from his personal involvement in the thirty odd companies he has a stake in; he is also very active in many industry bodies. His day starts at 9.00 am when he leaves for his office and ends only when he returns home after 10 or 11 pm invariably after attending some function or the other. Though an extremely busy man, he always finds time to do a great job of whatever responsibility he takes on. He is also very prompt in responding to any communication sent to him by anyone through email, SMS or even a simple telephone call. It may be just a two word ‘Yes Rajan’, ‘No Rajan’ or a line giving his response to a problem or a request posed to him. When a journalist once asked him “You are always so busy. How do you find time for everything? Don’t you ever relax?” He said, “Since I am thoroughly enjoying whatever I am doing, I relax on the job” He is really amazing!

At the height of my career I was also involved with a few industry bodies and NGOs. If I had willingly committed to do a job, I would just do it, I would never say; “Sorry I did not  have the time, so I could not do the job”.  Only acts of God and nature would prevent me from keeping up my promise.

After analyzing the success stories of many successful and accomplished  people, I have concluded that the secret lies in ‘Time Management’ and prioritizing the jobs at hand. If you plan your activities for the day, for the week or even for a month ahead, you can by and large achieve whatever you set out to do – barring when your routine is affected by totally unexpected events happening in the family or when your health is badly affected.

I am a great believer in preparing check lists for every activity I am involved in, so much so, in some circles I am even known as ‘Check list Rajan’. I have found from experience that when you list down everything in writing, instead of depending on your memory (which in any case is poor in my case)  and meticulously follow up on the list you can achieve a lot. You will never give lack of time or poor memory as an excuse for not doing a job. It is another matter, if you prepare the check list but forget to review it regularly.

I remember, in the good old days my weekly job list covering various organizations I was involved with (including a section covering the jobs connected with my household ) used to run into several pages and the daily list used to be at least two pages. But these days, post retirement my check list of jobs to be done for a whole month can be fitted into a single page and the check list of jobs for the day is only a couple of lines,consisting mainly of the things I have to do for running my home in my new role as a ‘House Holder’.

The sense of achievement you get when you are able to do a job well even when you have time constraints is something which you have to experience to realize it. “Great, I have done the job, what next?” should be the  attitude in life. Never ever say “No time Yaar!” when you can actually find the time to do whatever you want to do, if you will it.