Time Management Principles
Everything in this mundane existence is under movement or subject to change. The universe (Sanskrit equivalent ‘Brahma’ meaning ‘which expands endlessly’) is ever expanding. The galaxies are moving. The new stars are born and the olds are extinct in the black holes. The planets are moving around the star. The matter is transforming itself into the state of energy. The subatomic particles are revolving around the nucleus. The human mind too, being the micro cosmos model (Yat Brahmande Tat Pinde) as understood by Indian Philosophers, is under the perpetual motion resulting in the input, processing and output of the information. So the crux of all I have been saying is to know if there is any ultimate force behind all these observable facts which makes everything – living or nonliving – move in the never ending cycle (Let’s think beyond ‘the Universal Law of Gravitation’, ‘Electromagnetic Theory’ etc.). The Hindu Philosophy raises its hand to provide the answer.
According to Nyaya – Vaisheshika Darshan , ‘Kaal’ is a general principle (Tatwa- ‘Tat twam’ : it’s you) of universal movement, bringing things – living or nonliving, matter or spirit (energy) into existence, subjecting them to change and carrying them out of existence. Perhaps there is not any English word to describe the definition of ‘Kaal’, the word ‘Zeit’ is taken as its equivalent but it can’t justify its connotation. So, it gives rise to the notion of time in the percipient in the same manner as trembling of leaves gives the notion of air.
There is another principle (Tatwa) called ‘Dik ’ – which notwithstanding the impulse of former holds things together in their various relative positions as ‘here and there’, ‘near and far’ in space. In this system neither time (actually ‘Kaal’) nor space (Dik) are mere notions. They are entities, which are something that is independently real and self substituting.
Bhartrihari, the eminent Sanskrit poet and scholar said, “Transcendental time (Kaal) never ends, it’s we who get transformed. The worldly desires never grow old, we become grown up ...” In fact, transcendental time (Kaal) is eternal. It has neither a beginning nor an end and every organism has got a fixed ‘Kaalkhand’ or life span which is intrinsic to that being. Moreover, one has to accomplish the desired goal within this limited life span. Life is short and knowledge is vast and ever growing as stated in the Latin proverb, “ars longa vita brevis.” How can and how should we manage our life span in order to attain the optimum goal is a question before us.
Look at the photographs of the same person taken during the period ranging from the childhood through the youth to the old age. We get it that not only the physical entities of the person has transformed but the whole setting or frame of reference in which s/he was living has also changed over the ages. We may have the notion that s/he has grown up or developed if we compare her/him with the past setting but again the present setting provides fresh challenges.
Take an analogy of two trains moving in the same direction. What do the passengers of both trains observe? The passengers moving in the faster train understand that the slower train is static but the fact is that both are changing their positions in comparison to fixed platforms. It should be noted here that platforms are assumed to be fixed for describing this particular event, although they are moving along with the earth. So don’t we come at the conclusion that ultimately only ‘Kaal’ or transcendental, time is absolute or stationary?
Now come to the point of time management in the light of above deliberations. Is it enough to progress along with the people in our vicinity? No, obviously not. We need to move forward in comparison to our own intrinsic fixed ‘Kaalkhand’ i.e., life span. We have been suggested four phases of approximately 25 years duration from birth to death considering an average of 100 years of life expectancy by the greatest legal and social philosopher Manu. These are the celebrated four ‘Ashramas ’ – Bramacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa. These four phases of life are necessary for a balanced sociological order. Let us discuss them in nutshell –
It is the period of attaining first Purushartha or desirable action called Dharma (the upholding and sustaining princile) up to the optimum level so that the next desirable object of life i.e., Artha (means for existence) could be gained through honourable means. In our parlance, it is the period of education and building up of character with emphasis on self-restraint and control of the senses so that Artha could be earned to sustain a happy life.
This span of life is meant for effective utilisation of Artha (means for existence) so that the third desirable action of life i.e., Kama (all worldly desires and attachments) could be satiated. It is the period of the acceptance of the obligations of marriage and family life.
This is the phase of gradual detachment from Kama in order to proceed on the way of Moksha (complete freedom).
This is the last phase of life, so a person must be prepared to renounce the world for self realisation (Moksha) and he should bless the society by giving up what he had learnt from his/her ancestor (Dharma).
So, the whole life span should be planned in order to follow in the line of
i) Dharma for Artha,
ii) Artha for Kama,
iii) Kama for Moksha and
iv) Moksha for Dharma.
This theory of progressive social evolution is admitted by Manu, provided the appropriate Ashramas and their respective duties attached to such Ashramas are correctly observed and performed. When that is done, man can liberate himself from all his limitations – physical, mental and emotional.
It would not be out of context if we link this theory with the time management principles very often sought by the corporate people. These people are required to accomplish their respective assignments within a fixed time limit due to ever changing situations resulting in the cut - throat competition in the market. So, if they don’t adhere to the principles of time management, it is very likely that they may get stressed and ultimately they may suffer from depression. Let’s discuss how the four Ashramas principles could be a help for the corporate people.
i) Dharma for Artha (Duty for the Money):
a) First and foremost it’s your duty (Dharma) to keep your information up-to-date in order to accomplish your task timely. So, Management Information System (MIS) should be properly working and time saving.
b) Organisational discipline (Dharma) is very necessary and must be followed.
c) It must be kept in mind that every employee is appointed to generate money (Artha), so just saying that I am intelligent and gifted will not do.
ii) Artha for Kama (Money for Ambition):
a) Remember time is money, it reminds you to generate money to fulfil your individual as well as organisational goal within a time limit.
b) Your organisational structure should be hassle free and every level of management should be oriented towards the goal.
c) Neither the work place nor the workers should be in wretched condition otherwise the work will be hampered and deferred.
iii) Kama for Moksha (Ambition for the goal):
a) Every effort and result should be assessed keeping in mind the final goal of the individual as well as organisation.
b) Efforts should be continuous and not discrete in order to overcome all constraints in the way of the goal.
c) Do enjoy your achievement but don’t waste time and be prepared for fresh challenges as every achievement is momentary in nature.
iv) Moksha for Dharma (Goal for the Responsibility):
a) Learn it that what you are doing is finally meant for the welfare of the humanity.
b) If you do any work listening to the voice of your conscience, the time will be rewarding.
c) Last but most important thing is to recognise the priorities so that every thing could be accomplished in a planned manner and according to the schedule.
If you promise to try your best to abide by these principles, you will definitely be in the state of bliss.