Instead of expecting my family or friends to listen to what I say the first time, I have gotten into the habit of repeating my self 2-3 times. Why? Because I have noticed over time that with all the distractions around us, it takes a couple tries at communication before the message gets through.

Hence, the umpteenth blog on time management. If the others haven't registered yet, maybe this one will do the trick.

Here, in India, we have a pathetic reputation when it comes to time management. We don't take time seriously and due to that others don't take us seriously. Our tardiness is actually known as, 'The Indian Standard Time!' Recently I saw a movie in which one character stops another from immediately replying to an e-mail so that the counterpart overseas doesn't get suspicious over the promptness. But the worse eye opener came when I hosted a Swedish student at my home. This young lady wanted to get some work done at a salon. I had taken an appointment for her, but she couldn’t make it back in time from the field trip she was on. When she vocalized her irritation over the delay, her professor (Swedish) actually told her not to worry because, ‘nothing ever happens on time in India.’

I mean come on! This is not the reputation we should live with.

This can actually be managed very easily. I know, I have been doing it for decades. What to do? Well…

Get rest: Benjamin Franklin once wisely said, ‘Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.’ Truth people! You get into bed by 10 p.m. and are up by 6 a.m., not only do you get your 8 hours of beauty rest but can even get in some exercise, hearty breakfast and a chat with your family before you leave for work.

Prepare in advance: Don’t wait till the morning to select your clothes. Lay them out the night before. I don’t mean just your pants/skirts and shirts, I mean undies, accessories, everything! This includes breakfast prep too. Set timers on your coffee pots, have ingredients lined up for cooking/pouring, etc...

Smart Phone it: These beauties are equipped with multiple alarms, calendars and reminder settings, so set timers for everything until it gets ingrained and you just do it out of habit. Set 2 hour, 1 hour, 30 minute, 15 minute timers, so you know how much time you have left to walk out the door or get to that meeting/appointment.

Confirm ahead: I always make it a point to call 24 hours ahead to confirm a meeting. This reminds the person you’re meeting to expect you.

On my way: Let the person you are meeting know you are on your way and will be there in an X amount of time. This way, even they can wind up what they are doing and be ready for you.

15 minutes: Don't wait more than 15 minutes for anyone. Your time is just as valuable as theirs. Reschedule the meeting, otherwise, a time domino effect will happen throughout your day.

Set a fixed time: Give each meeting/task a set time and complete it within that amount of time.

But most importantly, get into the habit of routine and discipline.

Be on time always, people will respect you more for it. They will see you take yourself seriously, that you value your time and they will reciprocate.

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