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  Weekly Feature (December 16, 2007)

Time Well Spent
by Renuka


Rich or poor, young or old, the one thing we all have in common is twenty-four hours in each day. How we spend those hours is what makes our lives so very different from anybody else’s.

With the carefree days of childhood behind us, time management is essential to coping with the demands of living in an increasingly complex society. Working, attending classes, grocery shopping, doing household chores, spending time with the family - the list is endless! With so many aspects of life that demand our time and attention, planning how to spend our hours can be a daunting task.

Being organized is the first step in using time efficiently. When I am feeling overwhelmed by my ever-increasing list of things to do, I begin by identifying what I want or need to do in a given period of time. By knowing what my choices are and whether there is a deadline for a particular task, I can allocate my precious minutes more effectively. This also helps me realize that I am not superwoman and I cannot do absolutely everything in a short span of time.

Naturally, my second step is to prioritize. Some tasks are so vital that they become implicit – they need not be stated. These include eating and sleeping. Other tasks become routine. For example, it is not necessary to add “ironing” to my list as it has become a routine to complete this task on the same day each week.

For those tasks left over, I divide them up into ones that should be completed right away (such as paying a bill online that will only take a few minutes and will save me from paying interest), ones that can wait (re-organizing the garage), and everything in between.

One point I would like to mention, though, is that being too organized with time can make life boring. We hear phrases like “save time” and “time is of the essence” and “time is money” thrown about frequently. However, sometimes it is fun to have a spontaneous night out with the girls, to make an unexpected visit to the local ice cream shop, and to spend an evening baking chocolate chip cookies just because I feel like it.

Remember, time is precious, but time is not everything. Now, if you will excuse me, I’m off to spend some time doing absolutely nothing. Time to relax is a reward to me and from me, for spending the first half of my day being relatively productive. It is also time well spent.


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