When we see successful people around us, we want to be like them. We too want to attain the heights that they have attained. Obviously taking inspiration from them is a great thing but it is often seen that we do not end up duplicating their success.

Why does this happen? By doing what we too can always be victorious and successful?

I believe that there are usually three levels of hurdles.

The hurdle at the first level is this. All our attention is focused on the glory of their success and we end up ignoring the hard work put in by the successful people to achieve it. It’s not easy to have and maintain fitness like Akshay Kumar or Suniel Shetty have. Everyone likes to have that chiseled body, but not everyone is ready to take the painstaking effort that is required to achieve it.

It’s not just about physique, whatever field, you want to shine in, you should ensure that you are ready to do the hard work required to achieve it. The bottom line is whenever we see wild success, our attention should also go to the agonizing pain that brought it.

Now once we have made up our minds that we are going to work hard and also start doing it, there comes the hurdle of the second level! When we do not get that success even after a lot of hard work, we start getting frustrated, especially, when we are very close to the destination. And we may abandon the pursuit.

It is told that the superstar actor of yesteryears, Dharmendra, got frustrated after many years of struggle to become an actor and boarded the train to go back to his hometown and even the train started moving. It was at that time that he got his first break. He was pulled down from the moving train with his bags and he gave his first superhit movie and as they say, the rest is history.

When people hear such stories, they think of “luck”. It is never luck. It is your hard work that leaves its footprints and looking at them people find you.

Now that you are past the two hurdles as you understood the importance of hard work and also resolved that you would not give up, easily, there comes the hurdle of the third level.

“Oh man, I want to do it, but I just don’t have enough time.”

It happens. When you want to do many things, you face a shortage of time. But then, time is such a thing that you couldn’t get more. Everyone gets only 24 hours, every day. So here comes the importance of time management.

As we are evolving, the nature of work is changing. And as the work changes the method of time management should also change. Your time management should be according to the needs of today’s era. A farmer of agricultural age needed just a little more than a rooster to manage his time. Can the same method work now?

The concept of generations is made popular by the cell phone network – 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G. If you ask me what 5G of time management could be, I would say this:

A choc-a-block calendar is a thing of the past. Time management 5G is about having a sparse calendar with only the time-sensitive tasks booked in it. The rest of the tasks are picked up flexibly, allowing the spontaneity to pick a task that suits the size and quality of the free time slot. This is possible only when you maintain a full inventory of your tasks in a smart to-do list. The smartness of a to-do list lies in how well it allows you to filter to get to the smaller subset that matters for your current day or the week.

Maintaining your to-do list to have 100% of your tasks is also not easy. You need the right techniques to ensure that. An incomplete to-do list will marginally be better than not having it at all. All this should be part of 5G of time management.

With the right attitude towards the work and the reward and the sophisticated time management system, no goal should be unachievable!

(Originally published in Times of India on October 07, 2022)

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