'Time' and 'You' – Who's In Charge

Get up at 7:30 AM, locate cell phone, head for the toothbrush, shower, get dressed, eat what you can find, do the epic car-key search, drive to work, time-in at the office before 9. Do whatever it is that’s to be done for the day, skip a meal to deliver on something new everyday, try n be done with work to get back home to family on time. Eat up, sleep early, or you’ll be late for work tomorrow. And don’t forget to stop at red lights in the process :S
Is time really all about money?
Come to think of it, most of our daily endeavors are dictated by timelines. We spend a majority of the time of our life doing things we’re told to do, and we end up with little left to spend on what we want to do.
Coming to the question, does your watch tell you what you should be doing on more occasions than one, or do you still decide for yourself on how to spend your time everyday. Do you like to have a pre-ordained schedule, or do you prefer to keep a bit of your time at your discretion, on the fly, everyday. Most importantly, do you feel you manage your time, or is it the other way round? Are you spending your most invaluable resource the way you want to?
We all know the importance of constructive utilization of time. This question is more about the emotional value of your time than its monetary equivalent.
Peace guys. Do think about it, comment, and share with friends.


  • Times like this, it’s wonderful to be my own boss, without employees, able to make my own schedule and have the opportunity to work with many different clients all over the world, without the constraints of the same old office each and every day…

  • I spendt 30 years slaved to the clock, but I got over it. My last two companies have been the “rush-rush, we have an emergency!, we need it now, today” type and it forced me to re-evaluate my time.
    As an engineer, I sat down and wrote up a spreadsheet and proved to myself that if I drive to work slow I get there five minutes later than if I drove the speed limit; if I drove fast I got there five minutes earlier than the speed limit, and ten minutes isn’t important in the grand scheme of things. So now I drive about at the speed limit, and if the weather slows me down – oh, well.
    My day is 8 or 9 hours and I’ll put in extra time as required, but no more crazy bits.

  • I think there has to be balance between scheduled time and unscheduled time. For example keeping agreed meetings and appointments in Calendar + maybe schedule 3 must-do tasks every morning for day. Scheduling entire day in calendar is for most people unnecessary and frustrating. Its unrealistic that you can plan a day beforehand so that there will be no changes.
    Everyone must find their own “best practice” and in reality most people in one way or another do “time management” – even if they dont think about that.

  • My watch dictates a lot of my day. Most of it in fact. That said, you have to make time for you. For me, that means getting an hour in on a video game when I can, tinkering with computers, my home network, partying just a wee bit on the weekends. Work/life balance is ever important. Without it, we are destined to burn-out. If you cannot make the time because of some outward force, then you need to do something about it. People will take out of you what you are willing to give. Don’t give quite as much, and you’ll be twice as valuable.

  • Time, alas. There’s no turning back the clock. That said, I make pretty full use of it, as the dark circles appearing under my eyes reveal all too well.

  • Zohaib, we have no control over time, we all get 168 hours a week…we cannot manage time.
    We can however develop skills to manage our activities at work and at home. We must learn o self manage.
    You might want to check out this article at my website. What can you do in 5 minutes?

  • If i was my own boss, responsibilities (then too) would make me go by time. As long as you get to spend it the way you want and according to who you are, you are at terms with time

  • I give professional approach to almost everything that is related to business.
    I always tend to max out my free time, time spent on work, minor things and make all my activities match together perfectly. Up until now everything is going fine, I have both free time for my private life and plenty of work received and finished on daily basis. I give the biggest credit to that I value freelancing more than full time positions, simply because I can manage everything the way I want, therefore I have more time for what I want to do, receive much less stress and earn similar amounts of money as if I would set for some full time position, that doesn’t mean that I will reject all full time job offers, but I prefer quality over quantity more.
    As of who is in charge, I am, not time. That’s for now. And I hope that I will maintain this status for as long as possible.

  • Zohaib:
    If there is one thing we can surely control, it is time! And how to manage that time.
    For me, the key is to balance time between the routine and the innovative, between the usual and the unusual/unexpected, between the pre-ordained and the sudden. That fine balance makes life truly enriching and fun to experience.

  • Zohaib, your “epic car-key search” comment hits on something that works for me.
    If my keys, ties, shoes, laptop, car, etc. are always in the same place, I never lose track of them and don’t lose time searching for them. For instance, most people park in the closest available spot when arriving at work. I park in a 4 story parking garage and I will pass up closer spots to park on the same floor and in the same general area every day. You’d be surprised how many people I run into who are returning to the elevator lobby to try another floor.
    Also, most people like to clear their desk before leaving. Some are so obsessed that, after they leave, their workspace looks like no one works there. I will close folders and straighten papers, but I have found that it saves me time and gets me into the flow the next morning if ongoing projects are in roughly the same state I left them the day before. The last thing I do when leaving is to check my calendar for the next day’s appointments. This ensures I will be prepared when I arrive tomorrow.
    Another thing that works well for me is listing to-do items before I leave the office at the end of a day. I can quickly get a good list of the projects and tasks I have been working on because it is all fresh in my mind. I rarely forget anything when I make this list. I don’t bother prioritizing, I can do that in the morning. This gives me a current to-do list that is waiting when I arrive. I see so many individuals sifting through their email and pulling folders out of drawers each morning trying to recall where they left off yesterday and what needs doing today. Then, they prioritize.

  • Our “Race” is against ‘The Time’ that is where we are losing it. To manage the time, one has to priorities the work. Delegation is another option. If we observe, we end-up doing work, which is not ours. Somebody comes with “The Idea” & walks out. We end-up working around it. Better to support the idea innovator to get done & you’ll realize that 50% work is not with you. (Think about this). I call it as teamwork & I am ‘the Best Supporter.’
    I have seen people giving idea and standing aside. If it clicks it was his & if fails, your have not executed properly. So better the innovator nurtures his idea. In CSR we call it as employee participation / social inclusion.
    Try & implement this ‘You Will have less Burden…

  • I am in the charge, but time makes me to change the ways I am doing.
    We are living in the modern day; we want to have everything that makes us different from our ancestors.
    In order to meet our future demand, we need to work.
    In work places, time is money.
    Therefore, time is trying to change our lives by having modern day equipments in our living room.

  • Venkdesh Balasubramanian

    Dear Zohaib,
    Time can only be spent, nobody can save time. As the saying goes, time and tide wait for none. So having said that you can’t save time, but can only spend it, everybody around the world, every company, every individual has to closely watch the time being spent and how useful could it be.
    But the other side of the story is: Time is also relative!!! Even though one may spend hours with a friend, it seems like just a few minutes, but try to do something you don’t like and every minute is so long, very very long, you are just waiting for the completion of that task.
    So if you start doing something you really love to do, time becomes more nice to you, life is nice to you and the world is nice to you.
    If it is the other way around, then, yes, life and time is very difficult to manage.
    If you don’t have proper plans and schedule in your calendar, it is very much likely that other people’s schedule will find place in your calendar.
    So it all depends on how you see it! Human beings generally make emotional decisions and then try to justify them logically.
    Kind regards,
    Venkdesh Balasubramanian

  • Judith Angell

    Time waits for no man (or woman). That being so, I strive to be the one who chooses what time I will do various things to maximize the amount of time I solely control. Efficient systems assist in doing this–and if we are fully in the moment of the time that is our own (rather than thinking about work, etc.) than we maximize its value to us.

  • Time is always in charge, no matter how smart we are at managing it. Doing what you love is about prioritizing, i.e. saying “no” to something else – this is the only way to manage time and tasks.
    I try to plan everything I can, because I want to do so many exciting things. If you ask me what my plans are for let’s say October 25, 2010, at 18:30 – I will look at my calendar and give you the exact answer. I plan the leasure time too, but in general I’m easy to make changes and adjust myself to almost any situation.

  • Well, whatever I do, time will keep going at the same rate, so I’d have to say it’s in charge! I can’t make time change, but it will eventually change me…..

  • Zohaib,
    It’s funny, I honed in on “getting home to family on time” when you describe your daily pattern and am relieved that there are other people whose time is also dictated by this little fact. Nonetheless, my answer to your question is that I am controlled by time constraints. It’s the nature of my job and my family life.
    My job requires that I am in the workshop room on time without fail. Our customers depend on it. I also have to have all the handouts on the table and the room in order, so preparation is a big part of my job. All of this has to be done the day before, or at least the morning before a workshop. Sometimes I have an hour to set up a room, which means I have to skip lunch (no big deal). Brushfires that occur at a moments notice can hinder my pattern, all of which is dictated by time. I don’t make my own time.
    Similar to these time constraints is getting the kids to their activities on time—as I’m a stickler for punctuality—at various parts of the city. My wife and I coordinate this the morning before the evening events usually before we leave for work. We’ll also e-mail each other to firm up the plans.
    Being a Perceiver, which is someone who doesn’t follow structure well and is generally disorganized, meeting life’s time constraints is challenging, almost anxiety-and stress-producing. I wouldn’t have it any other way. There are times when the work day is relatively free—I can take a full-hour lunch, or there are no activities to cart the kids to. This makes me antsy, almost disappointed. I run on the adrenaline of this hurried life. Perhaps I would be better off living in a large city like NYC or Boston.
    Bottom line, I love the rush and wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • 1. I don’t wear a WATCH.
    2. I work proactively……………..and be sure that my work has already started before the time starts ticking, i mean nearing the dateline.
    One has to differentiate between working HARD & working SMART.
    * http://www.vemma.com
    * http://www.amway.in/
    * http://tupperwareindia.com/

  • On working days: Time
    On Holidays: Me

  • When I focus, I’m in charge of how I invest my time.

  • I am definitely not in charge, but neither is time. My employer is in charge! I do not wear a watch, but my colleagues do!
    I do not agree with Kira. I am a creative thinker and analyst. I can pop out ideas and suggestions, BUT, I am NOT a project manager. So, if I suggest an idea and you do not execute it/delegate it to a project manager, it is not going to be executed. The second time, I make a suggestion and you expect me to execute it – well, then you have killed a valuable asset to your office…

  • Don’t worry about who’s in charge…
    constantly worrying about such a routine
    would only show how meaningless life could be
    if we just live for the comforts of life.
    Instead, regularly reflect on how you live life.
    For no matter how young or healthy a person is…
    life is still fragile, thus, live right and be helpful.
    Think. We may believe to have conquered time by
    attaining our personal wishes, goals and dreams
    but without altruism, life becomes… just life.
    Live life to the fullest…
    but remember, Your life IS your Legacy.
    Hope you do well, Zohaib.
    * http://jd2-thegreatlight.blogspot.com
    * http://tnemeganam102.blogspot.com

  • Dan de la Cruz,

    If you are bothered by time, you’re looking at it the wrong way. It’s there because someone invented it to take advantage of things. Some things are done better during the day and some things are better enjoyed at night. In a busy world, your watch reminds you of something important like “you go home, Jack” and spend time with the family. Otherwise it’s like anything invented by man, cars, houses, money, etc. to remind you of things that are important to you. If I’m late for work, there’s a good reason for it, if I forgot the time, well, it’s just like anyhting else, like I forgot where I put the car keys.
    Focus on the things that are important in your life and you’ll find that “time” does not even matter at all.

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