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How Did I Ensure That Each of My Days Was as Productive as Possible?

Value for money vs. value for time

Saint Kabir preaching the folks

I am a Social Scientist. I recently retired from the University of Delhi after serving it for almost 44 years as a teacher, researcher, administrator, author and educationist. I have 13 books and about 75 research papers to my credit. During my tenure as the Director (2007-2017) at the Directorate of Hindi Medium Implementation, University of Delhi, I played a pivotal role in getting about 75 new and revised textbooks published on various Social Sciences and Humanities. There were many factors responsible for this which I would like to share with wider audience through the Thrive Global:

Whereas most people vouch for value for money, I always vouched for value for time. Since my childhood, I had learnt that the time once gone cannot be fetched back. There was a couplet I read from Saint Kabir of 15th century which read :

“ Kal kare so aaj kar, aaj kare so ab,

pal mein parlay hoegi, bahuri kareka kab?”

When translated into English, it implies:

Do today what you want to do tomorrow. Do just now what you want to do later today. If there is a catastrophe tomorrow, how would you be able to accomplish what you wish to do?

I imbibed wisdom from such saintly writings as part of my early school education. There was another famous quote from the same saint:

“Aab pachtaey hout kya, jab criya chugh gai khet”

It implies:

What is the use of repenting now when the birds have already eaten the crops?

I believed firmly that money lost can be regained but the time lost could never be regained. So I always gave priority to time over money and tried to utilize every single moment judiciously. I learnt the art of time management quite early and never kept any task/file pending too long. I never wasted my time in gossiping and undue meetings and talking. I believed in delivering good as much and as fast as possible. I was passionate about my work and I wished to leave a legacy behind so that I am known even when I am no more.

Another story which always guided me is from the Indian epic, the Mahabharta. In this story we are told that Arjuna became an extraordinary archer only because he was able to focus just on the target. When his guru, Dronacharya asked his disciples what they saw while practicing hitting the bird’s eye, everyone talked about the forest, trees, birds, etc. but Arjuna said that he saw only the bird’s eye.

If we really want to succeed in life it is very important to focus on our real target and ignore the things which could distract us. Each morning I planned my day and tried to achieve the daily targets.

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