time crunch

Actually off late I’ve been pretty much stuck with being in a perpetually “no time for anything” situation. Moving to a new project next week (1st of August) so must wrap up my current one before that – but its turning out to be pretty hard. I have a rough theorotical idea from what I’d read about time management but having had the same habit pattern all my life* – though I’ve managed to change various other habits, this is one particular habit thats turned out to be pretty hard to change. Its also not very easy to live live with too, since it not only makes me miss a lot of good opportunities, it also affects other people associated with me/depending directly or indirectly on me as well – colleagues/family!

[* Even in school days, I used to cram up for exams in the last minute and be late to class and so on… very long list here which my mom would be glad to lucidly enumerate to anyone who cares 😉 ]

Those who face this problem, where time seems to be a perpetual hassle, generally take to becoming self-employed which affords them a lot more freedom. In my case, my own employer is kind enough to gives me plenty of flexibility, as long as work gets done, which I feel I’ve unfortunately more misused than used 🙁 …and I end up staying much longer in office than I’d really care to. But I believe its indeed possible to live a normal corporate life and still have plenty of time, so its a possibility I’m currently trying to experiment with.

Of course a comprehensive solution to this is awareness, but until that gets established strongly enough, here are some things I’ve observed so far:

  • at times when I’m really being highly focussed, consequently very efficient & effective, time seems to slow down. If I expect one hour must have gone, I look at my watch and see only one half an hour has passed 🙂 But then there’s the grave risk of celebrating this temporary success too much! 😉
  • in the times when my mind is floating around here and there, a lot of time just flies by. I look at my watch and think “I can’t believe its 3 PM already!!” One of the marks of highly skilled procrastinator is that he’s always [inadvertently] looking for distractions!
  • one thing leads to another – often a distraction can be highly self-deceptive! Somethings look like it will take only 2 minutes to handle it, but it leads one into a train of events that can take a lot longer than anticipated.
  • I’ve also found the 4-quadrant categorisation given in “Seven Habits of Effective People” helpful, where we categorize things into one of the four possible combinations of “Urgent” and “Important”.

Hmm… now I recall some more ideas about time long ago…

So anyway there probably won’t be too many blog updates till next month!

4 Responses to “time crunch”

  1. Leonid Mamchenkov Says:

    “at times when I’m really being highly focussed, consequently very efficient & effective, time seems to slow down. If I expect one hour must have gone, I look at my watch and see only one half an hour has passed 🙂 But then there’s the grave risk of celebrating this temporary success too much! ;-)”

    Interesting. Most people, I hear, feel the opposite. When they are concentrated on something, time flies. I myself am one of those people. 😉

  2. msanjay Says:

    Leonid, this sounds familiar to me too… maybe the context is different, hmm… I’m not sure exactly how. Maybe time slows down when a person is entirely living in the current moment.

    I think one who plays table tennis regularly, starts to get better and better, sees that the ball appears to become slower and slower though he’s playing at a much higher speed than he used to at the beginning. Same way, a black belt martial artist told me that as he improved, he was able to “see” an opponent’s attacks and avoid them effortlessly .

    Some examples of the demonstration of this [apparent] slowing down of time in a couple of movies:

    In Spiderman (first one) when in the school cafeteria scene, he can actually see the bully’s fist striking him in kind of slow motion. So this guy is able to actually (to his surprise) see it and avoid it effortlessly. Though to everyone else, its happening at a high speed. At a later time towards the end of the movie, he does all those fantastic acrobatics escaping the spinning wheels the Joker throws at him.

    Another one is in the Matrix, when Neo is actually able to see the bullets whizzing past him. I came across a close narration of this in real life (ok a reader may wish to give some scope for exaggeration 😉 ) in the autobiography of the founder of Aikido Morehei Ueshibha (the book name is the Art of Peace by Shambala publications).

    In the book HHGTTG (Douglas Adams), there’s a quote – “time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so” 😉

  3. msanjay Says:

    After seeing Narasimha’s post on Seinfield I ended up googling for more quotes… and just when I was about to close the browser, I saw this one from here

    You can measure distance by time. “How far away is it?” “Oh about 20 minutes.” But it doesn’t work the other way. “When do you get off work?” “Around 3 miles.”

  4. msanjay Says:

    This is what J. Krishnamurthy says about time:

    Thought is time.

    Conversely, imo and as described above, when thoughts reduce, so does time slow down. And hypothetically, maybe when thought stops, time stops. more time slows down. JK seems to have said something similar…

    28th Nov 1981: Only when thought naturally, without conflict, without struggle comes to an end, which is time, then there is a possibility of that which is eternal.

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