Finding Time

I generally take pride in the fact that I can do many things at a time. I don’t claim to be a multi-tasker, because I don’t think that is possible to focus on multiple things together. I just mean that I could balance work, enjoy things in life, delve wholeheartedly into hobbies, and keep up health without much hassle.

All that belief has got shaken up in 2020 due to obvious reasons. Not only I find it considerably difficult to find time to finish given work, but I have also gone so far from my hobbies that I might resort to writing ‘Watching movies and playing Cricket’ in my resume which would be an utter lie.

When people say that they don’t have time, we often mock them that they aren’t really sincere so they are finding excuses. But the fact of the matter is that we also need to understand their state of mind. Everyone has the same 24 hours but how taxing are the 9-10 work hours, how many other responsibilities have got subsided due to workload so they are always busy catching up, and how much the will is left in the person to pursue anything else, is a thing to consider. (And how lazy they are if they really are procrastinating all the time.)

All it boils down to priorities. If someone really prioritizes family time over their work or hobbies, it is their choice and it will have its own implication and vice versa. Right now everyone has been affected in some way or the other but results originating from this time will have their impacts in the future.

At the moment, I tell myself that I really don’t have time. I mean I don’t have time to write blogs and writing gives me clarity. I seriously need to work on it. I think if we start by admitting that we need to make an effort, we are on the right track. Acting on it is next.

Featured Photo by Kunj Parekh on Unsplash

Watch your Watch

Let’s start with my self. If I don’t reach somewhere I am needed or I want to be on time or at least 5 minutes before, my internal system go for a toss. Unless it is totally out of my control like a traffic jam happening 5 KMs ahead, I don’t get late. In fact, the trick is very simple: Start a bit early and respect the clock.

However, many people around me don’t think the way I do. I have tried in all possible ways to make them understand how one should respect other’s time, mostly in vain. So, time and again, I give up and provide them a bit of leeway and act leniently to let it be, only adding to my own grievances. I am still constantly looking for a way to convince others to watch the watch.

Seth Godin wrote something brilliant about respecting time in his blog recently. That if one usually gets late and misses some opportunity, they tend to blame the punctual party. But if one misses a bus, or a train or things which usually start on time, they blame themselves.

You might notice that things that leave on time (commuter trains, airplanes, live TV shows etc) almost never have a crowd of people showing up five or ten minutes late cursing out the system. For those things, the things that are known to leave on time, they manage to show up. That’s because their good intentions are not welcome here.

Seth Godin

I will try to continue to be the things that start and end on time. I’ve got my conviction.

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Toastmasters Speech # 5 ‘S.H.I.T. It’s about time!’

This is my 5th Speech in Toastmasters from CC manual:

After World War 2, when Japan was trying to rebuild their economy, THEY WERE BROKE, BUT NOT BROKEN. They wanted to make the best use of the resources they still had. So one of their industrialists, Toyota, devised a technique called as ‘Just-in-time’ or ‘JIT’ manufacturing. They used to order inventory, just in time, before it was put to use in the manufacturing process. With JIT, they saved a lot of space and money. Japanese could do it well because they are known to be culturally very punctual. After JIT became successful, other countries also started to implement it. In India, however, it never caught up, because, in India, we don’t follow Just in Time or JIT. We follow SOMEHOW IN TIME or S.H.I.T.

Good Afternoon fellow Toastmasters and Guests!!

Punctuality for Indians is just a word which exists only in Dictionaries. And there too, it comes after the word ‘Late’. We all get late regularly. We even start our Toastmasters meeting late. Because it is in our blood. It’s who we are!

Raise a hand if you have never been late?

I usually don’t get late. I reach early.

I reach early at parties where even hosts are late.
I reach early in the office.
I reach early in Movies so I get to watch Vicco Vajradanti ads multiple times over.

No idea why, but being late for me is like doing a crime. I just can’t make others wait. I hate to be late.

But being early has always costed me heart-ache because I have to wait for long durations of time. Not only it wastes my time but it has also resulted in weird situations. Let me share an instance when my punctuality gave me a memorable experience.

I had once gone to Coorg. My return bus was scheduled for 11:30 PM. So I reached the bus stop at 6 PM as I was staying far from bus stand. I knew I will have to spend 5-6 hours doing nothing. While I was sitting at the bus stand, it started to rain heavily. It became cold and chilly. The place deserted quickly as the evening turned into night. At the place where I was sitting, the roof started to leak. I switched to another vacant seat. The roof started to leak there too. Then I had to switch to another seat. I was trying hard to not to sleep but I did doze off for 20 minutes. When I woke up, a wet dog was sleeping next to me, probably trying to get a bit of heat from my body. I got startled and the dog also got up. Then it started shaking itself to throw off water from its body. While I was just 2 feet away!

The Wait

Then I continued to wait. The bus stand now was deserted. I was wet, alone and bored like a lone statue in a park on a rainy night. I kept on shivering like a wet chicken and it felt like I was waiting till eternity.

Somehow time passed and it became 11. I was hopeful that I will be able to board soon. Then it became 1130. I started getting worried. 1130 passed and now the time was 12. It was still raining cats and dogs and my bus was nowhere to be seen. I was now as scared as a person on a death sentence. To top that, the power went off and it became pitch dark.

Then from somewhere a guy came and sat next to me and he kept on crying. I gathered the courage to ask him the reason. He said he had eloped from his house as his father used to beat him. Now imagine someone telling you that at around 1230 AM in the night, in my situation, it only made things worse.

Then he also left and I was left waiting alone. It was beyond panicking now. I was now just regretting my life. I had almost lost all hopes by now and was about to cry.

Then somehow in time, a saw two lights shimmering at a distance. It was my bus. Which had somehow in time arrived just 2 hours late to pick me up.

Moral of the story my friends is that Time is a funny construct after all, isn’t it! It is something which moves at a different pace for everyone. You might be punctual but the world is not so. But remember, before you lose all hope, somehow in time or SHIT, things will happen. As they say, shit happens.


Audio Transcript:

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