Image Copyright: Kiran Gandhi

Chinese philosopher, Lin Yutang describes,

“The busy man is never wise and the wise man is never busy.”


According to, Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

  • 40% of working people skip breakfast. 

  • 39% skip lunch. Of those who take a lunch break, 50% allow only 15 minutes or less.


While the above survey indicates that 2 out of 3 people around us are always in a hurry; the facts below shows the other side of the story. The Escape Magazine(April 2000), says that each week an average American spends:

  • 751 minutes behind slow moving cars and stuck in traffic jams,

  • 727 minutes waiting for dates and business associates show up for meetings,

  • 724 minutes standing in line to make purchases, 

  • 723 minutes on hold, waiting for someone to pick up the phone.


What do these numbers mean? It is said that if a one lives 70 years of life then, he/she spends, 

  • 20 years sleeping 

  • 20 years working

  • 6 years eating

  • 7 years playing

  • 5 years dressing

  • 1 Year on the telephone

  • 2 ½ years smoking

  • 3 years waiting for someone

  • 5 month’s tying shoes

  • 2 ½ years for other things.

Source: Time well spent 


This argues that out of our entire life on earth, we hold only about 30% or less time for working, family and personal ends. Did you just realize how important are those 8 hours that you spend in your office? Now, can you judge whether it is worth checking your Facebook page 5 times a day? When was the last time you said ‘Oh, I wish I had more time to complete this. I wish I could just stop the time’? 


Betty Lin-Fisher found that, the office distractions ate upto 2.1 hours a day for the average worker. Employees devote an average of 11 minutes to a project before being distracted. Once interrupted, it takes workers 25 minutes to return to the original task, if they return at all. People switch activities, such as making a call, speaking with someone in their cubicle or working on a document, every three minutes on average.


Everyone of us is given 86,400 seconds a day. It is the same amount of time that was given to Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg or Norman Foster. If they could find time to create, innovate, enjoy, discover, administer, manage and market their ideas; why not you? Time management is not only about keeping a diary to record your ‘to-do’ lists. Time management is a very important business skill. It is about creating maximum value for your business out of the hours spent in a day. It is about using the chance and opportunities that each second brings with it, to your benefit. It is about attending your child’s annual school function without loosing any important client at work.


As Dr.Donald E. Wetmore explains, our productive lives are like a sandy beach. Take one grain of sand and place it in the palm of your hand. Let that represent all that you accomplish in this life and let all the other billions of grains of sand represent what you “could have done.” You “could have” read a chapter in that book last night, you “could have” made those additional phone calls earlier this morning, you “could have” had pizza for lunch today, etc. Our productivity is never measured by what we have left undone. We will always leave undone far more than we ever attain. Our productivity is valued solely by what we do achieve. But we have a tendency to focus on the “quantity” to the loss of the “quality” and our productivity suffers.

It is all about our perceptions, our understanding and our awareness of time that leads us to a better personal and professional life. Time management is about doing activities effectively for accomplishing one or many goals on a given deadline.  Managing your time  means managing the activities that you are required to do according to the allocated time. This enhances the work flow, controls work pressure, reduces stress and gives job satisfaction. And one of the greatest joys of proper time management is the knowledge that things in your life are in order!  


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