Time Management

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The purpose of any time management tool is to manage our time in a most creative manner. Let one thing be very clear in our minds that our whole time is in our hands and not that we are wholly in the hands of time. When we don't design our time and are in the hands of time, the result is that it utilizes us in accordance with its own past conditioning and programming. This is the situation that is always by default and not by design. This can some times be a very good excuse of saying that we are in the hands of destiny. This can be a very nice way of feeling that we are in the safe and secure hands. In the process, on some occasions, we find that our time has not been utilized properly and it has been an utter waste. This results into a feeling of self-pity. Sometimes, even this feeling and realization is a very good thing and can become a great pointer to the other perspective that the same time could have been utilized in a best possible and creative manner. This feeling and realization can also become a turning point to our inner creativity. For some this can be a calling. The very first and common mistake that many of us do is that we never make note of our time. It just passes on unknown and unnoticed. Some people term it as 'Time Pass'. It is as if we have been descended on Earth with a very specific purpose of loitering. We have not come here accidentally. We all have come here with a specific purpose. The whole existence wants to speak something through us. Let us listen silently to this inner voice within all of us. This can become our calling. Then this very time becomes divine and eternal to us. The time becomes divine because the time has come from the timelessness. 

I have heard an anecdote pertaining to the life of Buddha. Gautama Buddha became enlightened in 40+ years. The whole of his life after that he spent as a Teacher, a Guru and a Life Coach. The whole purpose of his life was to help the humanity rejuvenate and rekindle their lives with energy and enlightenment. This went on for another 40+ years after his enlightenment. Ananda was his cousin and his closest disciple. Ananda was the most revered among Gautam Buddha's disciples. Ananda said to Buddha once, "It is now 40+ years that I have been with you on this journey. I have been observing and watching you all along that you wake up at a particular time, go on a morning walk at a particular time, take your bath at a particular time, take your food at a particular time, take your nap at a particular time, give your discourses at a particular time and finally go back to your bed in the night at a particular time. After watching and observing you for all these years I find that these things are moving and happening in your life in a very symphonic and synchronic manner. There appears to be a great rhythm and symphony in all the activities that you do. But I find it very difficult to know and understand, whether you are following any discipline or the discipline is following you. But the more I ponder on it, it makes me believe very strongly that the discipline must be following you". Buddha said to Ananda, "What I am doing is not a habit. I am not doing anything. I am also not following any ritual or discipline. I have disappeared long back and it is all just happening. Look at the whole creation? How things are happening? The earth moves around itself, it also moves around the sun, the sun must also be moving around a bigger sun, all the seasons follow one after another. And all this is going on for ages. All this is happening in an absolutely synchronic and symphonic manner. Is this nature's habit? It is not. The nature is not forcing any habit. The nature does not follow any discipline. This is nature's nature. It just happens. That is why the Upanishads call it a Leela, a play. The whole creation is an order. The whole creation is a cosmos and not a chaos. But as a beginning one has to follow and go through a discipline. Disciple is a very beautiful word. It means following a particular discipline. Moving on the path of a discipline, one day it leads us to an order. A moment will come and one will attain to the order of the existence". 

What the nature is doing is really not a habit. It is not even nature's doing. It is a happening and not a doing. It may be a dance but not a doing. There is no doer and there is no doing. Carl Sagan, a great cosmologist says that the whole cosmos is the dance of Shiva. Basho was a great Haiku Master. He was also a great Zen Master. In one beautiful Haiku he says, "Sitting silently, doing nothing. And the grass grows by itself". It is really a great mystery. This is one of the greatest secrets of existence that the whole creation is only a happening. It is uncaused. It is just nature's nature. It is not a happening for any reason. There is no reason and there is no cause. It is uncaused and without any reason. There is neither a creator nor the creation. There is neither a doer nor a doing. In the presence of that divine all this is just happening. In the presence of that invisible, unseeable, unsayable, unexplainable, unknowable and transcendental all this is happening. Let me repeat it again that this is nature's nature. Let us nurture and nourish this nature. And nature's nature is a great mystery. 

We all need to create a strong DESIRE for this order. This strong desire should give us a DIRECTION. This direction should become our DECISION. This decision will help us to create a DISCIPLINE. This discipline will become a DEDICATION. This dedication will slowly and steadily become a DEVOTION. And this devotion will eventually lead us to the DESTINY. That universal order is our destiny. Let all our Time Management be done keeping this ultimate destiny in mind. This way our Time Management can become our Life Management. Just look at this word Management. There are three words hidden in this one word. It is made up of three words: Man, Age and Mend. It is a Management of Man and his Times. It is an art and science of man for managing his time. It is all about man and his times. It is all about our Kala (Time) and Karma (Doing). The destiny is our Karma Phala (Fruit of Doing). 

Let us recapitulate the action path sequentially: 
  1. Desire 
  2. Direction 
  3. Decision 
  4. Discipline 
  5. Dedication 
  6. Devotion 
  7. Destiny 
It is because of this reason that the Upanishads divide the whole existence in seven layers. The seven circles or layers hidden one within the other. The first is called Ishwara, the Supreme. The second is called Kala, the Time. The third is the Prakriti, the Nature. The fourth is Jiva, the Life. The fifth is Purusha, the Doer. The sixth is Karma, the Action. And the seventh and the last is Phala, the Destiny. This destiny is our destination. The journey should become our joy. The destination should become our destiny. This is our ultimate goal. And this is our destiny.

This is totally a new way of looking at things. This a paradigm shift. This is a complete and total change. It is a quantum leap. It is a great metamorphosis. We have to move from digital information to divine inspiration. Our whole action should become a celebration. Our whole doing should become a devotion. Our whole work should become a worship. This way our Kam becomes our Ram. This way our Karma becomes our Dharma. This way our journey becomes our joy. This way our destination becomes our destiny. This way our goal becomes our soul and our soul becomes our goal.

In the corporate world we talk of a productivity triangle. It is a Time-Cost-Quality triangle. It is also called a Golden Triangle. It is a triangle of Low Cost, High Quality and Least Time. This is really a paradox. If this is not really working at a workplace then all the business empires will collapse sooner or later. All the businesses will go bankrupt. There are three variables in this paradox. These three are inter-dependent. They are not independent. None of the three is absolute. And they all are relative. The whole puzzle at the workplace is to find out how all the three can be optimized in order to make and derive the maximum benefit. It is really a mystery triangle. And the puzzle is that this has to be made possible. This is like a Zen Koan. The issue is, if we focus on quality it may take more time and become a costly affair. If we put less time the quality may suffer and the cheaper stuff could be detrimental. And if you reduce the cost the quality may suffer and may take longer time. Just think how this can be made possible? This is a puzzle at the work place. But some how the synergy has to be made possible. The chemistry has to work. The alchemy has to be made possible. This is a Zen Koan for the management experts. We should also keep in mind the Parkinson's law which says that the work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. The answer to this lies somewhere in Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. We all heard about the theory of relativity. Albert Einstein himself was asked again again as to what does his theory of relativity means? He used to say during his time that there are hardly few scientists who can understand his theory of relativity. But for the general public he used to come out with an example to explain the theory. He used to say that when you sit besides a hot burner for one minute that one minute may look like an hour and when you sit besides your beloved in a garden for an hour that one hour would seem to be like a minute. According to his theory space and time are interrelated. They are not distinct. They are not two separate entities. That is the reason why he used only one expression to express the two. He simply called the phenomenon spacio-time. According to this theory when we approach the speed of light the distance will appear to shrink and the time will slow down.

All the Buddhas have also been saying a similar thing. When you do something out of your love and happiness the time passes off quickly. And when you do something out of your love and happiness you get the highest quality. In a state of happiness you create a highest quality and you don't even realize the passage of time. The doing becomes divine. The work becomes a worship. The workplace becomes a worship place. In a state of meditation the time ceases. And in a state of meditation the space ceases too. And in a state of meditation you will be the most blissful person. This is the state of a Sachitananda. This is the state of a highest quality. This is the state of a peak performance. This is our quantum state to peak performance. In the words of Abraham Maslow this is a state of Self Actualization. In the words of mystics this is the state of a Sachitananda. This is the state of a Spiritual Singularity. The highest creativity is possible only out of love and happiness. The by-product of Dhyana or meditation is infinite love, compassion and bliss. Osho says, "Creativity is a quality that we bring to every activity that we do". Albert Schweitzer also says a similar thing. He says, "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful". 

Let us apply these principles at any workplace. Believe me, the productivity and performance, the efficiency and effectiveness will zoom, and at the same time the emotional quotient and happiness quotient of the people at the workplace will also zoom. This is the secret and this is the mystery of that Golden Triangle. And trust me, I assure you that this is not a Bermuda Triangle. It is not a Devil's Triangle. It is a Divine Triangle. It can lead us to Divine Transformation.