“Who is stealing my time?”
“I am always short of time and running behind schedule.”
This is the common problem of students regarding time management. According to me, the problem is not time but the way we choose to manage it.
All of us have 24 hours with us, what matters the most is how we spend it. We do not realize it but a huge chunk of our time goes unaccounted for. I call them BLACKHOLES. As we don’t know what’s happening in those black holes- the first step is to become conscious and identify black holes and then take corrective measures.
We can identify Black holes by tracking time using a time log. Tracking time can be a bit of effort but it is an eye-opening experience. Some of the benefits that I’ve found by tracking my time include:
- Identifying Highly Productive Periods- By tracking and identifying the periods in which I am most productive, I was able to identify the times at which I was most distracted and the activities which distracted me.
- Valuing My Time More. Just being aware that I need to write down my time has made me more accountable towards my activities as now I value my time more.
- Black Holes/Time sinks: These are the time-suckers or the activities that are absorbing all our time and energy.
So we will track our time for one week to find where our time goes: We do it in 2 faced approach.
- Stage 1: Firstly, students need to roughly estimate the time that is being consumed in major activities.
- Stage 2: Secondly, they need to do an in-depth analysis of their entire day and time consumed in every activity. i.e.
|Activities||Number of Hours spent on it.(Daily)||Number of hours spend in a week (*7)|
|School/ Coaching/ Tuitions||5||35|
|Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner||1.5||10.5|
|Daily Grooming activities like bathing, laundry etc and other chores||1||7|
|Time spend on calls, social media, other apps and games||1||7|
|Time spent on TV/Amazon prime/ Netflix||1||7|
|Total time spent=19.5||Total time spent=136.5 (approx 137 hours)|
Now Subtract this time from 168 as 24*7=168
So you get; 168-137=31 Hours, going unaccounted for in a week .
And for a day, 31/7 = 4.5 Hours
This means you are losing 4.5 hours daily.
Now, this is the Blackhole that we are unaware of and we need to deploy this time in our effective self-studies or any other productive activity.
If you want to know more and accurate details of time spent then you go for Stage 2 in which you maintain a detailed time log of all your weekly activities.
The idea is to get hold of every minute we spend.
- Identify the slots where you are neither enjoying nor studying. So STUDY HARD and PLAY HARDER.
- Games take your attention and you tend to focus on addictive mode where you keep thinking about the games only.
- Either we enjoy it or use it productively. Our motive is not to kill our time sitting passively and not doing anything.
To realize the value of ONE YEAR,
ask a student who couldn’t give an exam due to CORONA.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH,
ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK,
ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE DAY,
ask the person who was born on February 29th.
To realize the value of ONE HOUR,
ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE,
ask a person who missed the train.
To realize the value of ONE SECOND,
ask a person who just avoided an accident.
To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND,
ask the person who won a silver medal in the Olympics.
When I ask the students to spend 30 mins a day for up meditation/Exercises/Mock test, What I get to hear is- “I wish I had the time.”
On the contrary when I ask them to limit social media to 60 mins What they say is-“Time flies, It is too less. I need more.”
So time is not an issue. The issue is all about our priorities. The way we use our time today determines our tomorrow!. Toppers don’t believe in ‘time-pass’ activities. Whereas, the average students in the name of relaxation spend their valuable time doing things that are not related to their goals.
A Topper said, “After monitoring my daily routine, I realized that I was spending more than 30% of my time on non-productive activities. Remember students
“TIME is Money.”
Always ask yourself-“What are your returns on the asset called time?”
Well, the good news is that your future depends on your present, not your past so even if you’ve wasted a lot of time, you can still start fresh.
- Avinash Agarwal
About the author
A Gen-Z parent, study skill and Habit coach for students and author of “Toppers’ study hacks”, “Success blueprint for competitive exams” and “How to raise a topper”, Avinash Agarwal has been working in the area of mentoring for over 15 years. Interviews with hundreds of toppers who have cracked different competitive exams have led him to understand the topper mindset. He believes that every child can be a topper and through his sessions aims to teach powerful study strategies and techniques to students so that they can pursue their dreams.