Sadhana for Week 15
Mind Level: Punctuality
When you have given a commitment to another, you have no right to be late.
Plan out your work and work out your plan.
The quality of our life depends on the quality of our time management.
Once PoojyaGurudev was to conduct a yagna at Ernakulam for which he had to travel from Mysore via Mangalore to Ernakulam. It had been raining heavily throughout the journey and he was completed drenched. Upon reaching Ernakulam he immediately started the yagnainspite of being fully wet!
He was so punctual – time conscious!
Someone was to pick up PoojyaGurudev from the ashram and drive him to Poona, but the car did not arrive as scheduled. PoojyaGurudev waited for a while and then said: So, the car has not come yet? Okay, we will walk.
He started walking out of the ashram at a brisk pace. The devotees around him almost had to run to keep up with him.
Once when someone asked PoojyaGurudev, “Why do you wear the watch on the right hand and not on the left hand.” Pat came the reply – “Because I believe that it is the ‘right’ time to act and not the left-time. When our resolve is noble, any time is right to begin the work.”
People could time their watches when PoojyaGurudev would walk on to the stage for his talks. Once when he reached early to the venue, he did not enter. He told the driver to move around the area a bit and entered sharp at the appointed time so that the organisers’ plans do not get disturbed by his early arrival.
At a Geetajnanayagna all the dignitaries and PoojyaGurudev had assembled on the dias and were waiting for the President of India who was the chief guest, to arrive. He waited for a few minutes and then started. The President did arrive but about 30min. late. PoojyaGurudev continued his talk and stopped earlier than usual and fearlessly said before inviting the President that if the first citizen of the country cannot follow punctuality, how will the rest of the country follow it?
What is Punctuality?
Punctuality is the ability or a quality in usto do or complete a task on time. It is synonymous with arriving “on time”. One does not offer an excuse for the delay in work. Nor does it mean earlier than the due time.
How work towards being punctual?
1. Recognize and acknowledge that you have a punctuality problem
The first step is to own upto the fact that one is not punctual. Often one sweeps this aside under the pretext that one has too many tasks so it is acceptable to be a little late. Another trait is to classify that this is India, no one comes on time or does things so why should I.
A predominance of Tamoguna is the reason for inertia and procrastination.
2. Make it a Priority
Decide you want to change this habit and make it a priority.
3. Understand the WHY behind it
To change any habit it is very important to know the reason for the change -
what is the benefit. One has to be convinced of the reason as it is not easy overcoming any conditioning over a period of time. Without conviction gradually the old habit will return and one will slip into the same old apathy.
Ask yourself what you will gain by overcoming your tardiness. Eg reduces stress, less friction with co-workers and boss as work is done on time, etc
4. Make a priority list – To Do list
The problem most of us have is that we are bad mangers of time. We often do not spend time in prioritizing the tasks and waste a lot of time on doing the unnecessary and unimportant ones first.
5. Be ruthless with your To Do List
One reason why one may have a tendency to be late is because there is simply too much to do. It’s better to say “no” to something one doesn’t have time for than to say “yes” and then be an hour late.
Take out the To Do list and re-order anything that’s not a priority. Make sure that the list has only number of things which can realistically get done, and which can realistically be on time. Punctual people accept that they can’t do it all.
This is one of the most important steps to ensure punctuality. Eg if you have to go out for a meeting tomorrow early in the morning, iron and keep the clothes, shoes, accessories ready night before. Collect and arrange all the documents, bag, and any other essentials like car keys, house keys etc together at one place. Put an alarm factoring the correct time required to get ready and to get the appointed place keeping in mind the traffic conditions and distance involved.
Factor in time for contingencies.Always be prepared to be on time.
7. Prepare to Wait
Often people do not like to be on time because they have to wait for others. Be prepared – carry a book or articles or documents that you have not ahd the time to catch up on. Or use the time to attend to pending phone calls, emails or even connecting with friends. Use the downtime to close your eyes for a while and meditate.
8. Fashionably late – a myth
Some people are under a delusion that to be late is a status symbol and that tobe late is to “be cool”. Those who are important keep others waiting. Therefore, being early is a sign that they’re not that important. And no one wants to feel unimportant.
However, being on time or just a little early is really a sign of being organized, having respect for others, and having good time management skills. Read about successful people and you will notice a common trait is punctuality.
1. Respect for other people and their time
Being late is rude to those whom you keep waiting. It gives an impression that the other persons’ time is not as important has one’s own. Being on time speaks of respect for others.
People who are punctual project competence, confidence & control.
3. Organized& Productive
A punctual person is very well organized and hence is not stressed. This helps one focus all the energies in doing the job at hand and hence the output is also productive, effective as well as creative.
Being punctual signals to others, as well as to yourself, that you can be depended upon.
Punctuality and discipline go hand-in-hand and are very important in a seekers life.
Beginners and Advanced:
1. Make your to-do list the previous night.
2. Allot the time of the day when you will do the task. Many times we have a list of things to do but we don’t allot specific time for it and we land up in ‘urgency-syndrome.’
3. Calculate your travel time also in your planning and keep margins for time-stealers. Many unpredictable things can happen through the day like a traffic jam, unexpected emergency with someone near and dear etc.
4. Ready whatever is needed for the next days’ tasks.
5. Before you sleep, visualize that you are attending all the programmes of the next day on-time.
6. Wake up early morning
7. Invest the first hour of your day in yourself and your self-development. This will make you stronger to face the challenges of life. Everything else can wait for this 1 hour.
8. Be alert to follow your plan of to-do list
9. If you are late, acknowledge it without justifications. With truly apologetic feelings, say sorry to the person who had to wait for you.
10. Resolve to be punctual the next time.
1. Follow the 10 points given above.
2. When you want to start a meeting by 10am, tell everyone that the meeting time is 10am and start the meeting by 10am, no matter who has come and who has not. Let people know that the attitude that if it is 10am, we can reach slowly and meeting will start at 10.30am. In the planning itself people say – call them at 10 so that we can start by 10.30am. Let everyone know that you value each moment of your life and other’s life. Start sharp at the time that was decided.
3. Note down your time-wasters which made you compromise on punctuality and work on adjusting or eliminating them. Eg. Long hours of talking on phone, browsing, over-sleeping etc.
4. For as many times as you are late in a day, do likhitajapa of “Om KaalaateetaayaNamaha” 108 times for every occasion. It is one of the names of PoojyaGurudev and it means – Salutations to the one who is beyond time. He went beyond time because he used time very carefully and well.
UNTO HIM OUR BEST