How working less can help you do more!
There are 60 minutes in an hour and 1440 minutes in an entire day. Of course it doesn’t seem like much really even if it is a rather large number. Why? Because minutes pass by innocuously without much fanfare. Mulling on the subject, I concocted this modern koan on the ancient subject of time:
Time in minutes slips away,
First the hour then the day.
Small the daily loss appears,
Till it soon amounts to years.
Time is Forever
Procrastination is the modus operandi we use to kill time. Ironic really, because in the end it is time that kills us! Before that day arrives, there are many minutes we had to our credit. So we live with the illusion that we have all the time in the world. We plan our lives around this assumed “fact”. Our entire career and even life revolves around tomorrow which promises glory and gold at the end of the tunnel. We study today for better grades tomorrow, get better grades today for a better job tomorrow, get a better job today for a secure salary tomorrow and so on. This thinking leads us to risk our present for a lucrative tomorrow. Why not you ask? Simply because time doesn’t wait for anyone and the youth you sacrifice today will never return.
Traditional thought and methods of thinking, living and working are ill equipped to modern challenges and current day scenarios. The slow process of resolution by committee and miles of red tape leaves things undone and incomplete, problems unsolved and people dissatisfied. Students spend years of their life gaining knowledge and acquiring skills that they will barely ever use. On an average day, the most important skills learnt in school, that I still use on a regular basis are basic arithmetic and language. It is an extremely inefficient use of time if the majority of one’s youth is wasted in the pursuit of useless education. The greatest learning one can realize at the end of this blind pursuit of knowledge is that one knows nothing. This blank slate is the ideal starting point of an open mind; the ideal fertile playground for creativity and problem solving. It’s this state of being or thinking that is the primary skill for living in real-time in today’s chaotic world of infinite possibilities.
The traditional learning module is broken down into semesters comprising of multiple classes of 40-60 minutes each. When the average attention span is no more than 20 minutes, why waste energy once you’ve lost focus? Use this exercise to initiate and maintain a healthy and efficient process of learning, working and ideating. Get yourself a simple kitchen timer (don’t fiddle with a multi function stopwatch or smartphone app), set the timer for 20 minutes and go! Yes, it’s that simple. When the timer goes off, stop whatever you’re doing. Follow this model strictly and you’ll find your efficiency skyrocketing and creativity flooding. Initially the poor performance only shows you the slow speed of your existing thought processing. As you continue, you’ll learn to plan your time, allocating equal importance to outlining, working and reviewing all within the tight deadline you’ve set yourself. Slowly you will learn to break down all your gargantuan tasks into 20 minute sub tasks. If you allocate 30 minutes for each sub task you will even be left with a 10 minute break which will be the perfect foil to the intense focused work you’ve just accomplished.
This intense focused modus operandi isn’t intended only to increase your productivity and amp up your day. It’s geared to make your life easier, more manageable and enhance the value of your time.
Work less, do more!