Jan 25, 2023

Keeping up with the Clock

Sunny Shekhar Rathore   PGP-22-074

A perfect question to ask over supper is ‘What is Time?’ Now, one would argue, how is this supposed to be a dinner table conversion? Well, because the answer to this question lies on the table itself. Time is like salt. Even the most exquisite of meals would probably be inedible without salt. Just like without the concept of time every elaborate plan would be worthless.

Time adds substance to platitude. Time governs the feasibility of ideas and later goes on to guide our actions to implement those ideas. Time is a wheel that never stops and navigates the carriage of life.

Now, at this point I expect someone at the dinner table to stop me and make a remark – “Hold your horses, what is the context?”

And to that I say, if I have learned one thing during my nearly four months in SPJIMR, it is to accept the supremacy of time. You see, I had never in my life had a thought as wild as thinking that 24 hours were less for a day. But now, I wish there were more hours in a day, for here I have so much to do with only so little time. Well, that came out rather poetic, but the gist of it is the change in my perception of the subjective quantification of time. Which, I believe, is the positive disruption in my life after coming to SPJIMR.

If I were to ask the people sitting at the table, “Have you ever procrastinated?” The answer would probably be a yes unless they procrastinate even now and choose not to answer this question. But to my extreme delight and awe, I no longer possess the time for procrastination (touchwood). I now find greater joy and peace in being able to finish a task well before time, because there is always another task waiting to be completed before 11:59.

A few months ago, while still waking up, with one eye open, and another still closed, I checked social media sites and set reminders for outings and vanity projects. What do I do now? I check my calendar and set reminders, not for fun activities but for quizzes, assignments, and pre-reads.

Now, it is at this point of conversation when people have plated second servings when I would subtly insert the modeling of time-utilization I have been using. One might call it a simple yet effective version of time-tracking, where a virtual excel sheet runs on your device or at the back of your head. This algorithm tracks day-to-day job progress, assigns weights, calculates output rate and lead time while accounting for the left-over job, and in the process, not letting you procrastinate. At the expense of sounding hyperbolic, this continuous job of being in sync with time gives me the perception of living a healthier lifestyle than the protagonist in a green-tea commercial.

What if some curious soul were to ask – “What caused this disruption?” To that, I would very bluntly say, the possibility of extremely generous trade-offs, exemplified by two dilemmas I faced recently –

  1. I had an hour & half long break between lunch and the next session. I had two options, the more lucrative one was to take a delightful nap and the other one was to go through newspapers. Now, here the model comes in handy, for under this time resource constraint, the objective was based on weightage, the newspaper won and I didn’t have to take the blame from a part of my heart demanding indulgence.
  2. On one occasion, the deadline for an assignment got extended. Ideally, I would have left it to be done at a time closer to the next deadline but taking a cue from the model, I completed it right away to get rid of the pile-up and clear the system of backlog.

By this time, desserts would have been served and our conversation must have concluded. The most important thing that I am in the process of learning at SPJIMR, with all my heart, is time management. Keeping up with time is like making the perfect frozen custard, set for a fixed time and eaten while it is still cold and creamy.

AppLy Now