While days start to seem shorter for more of us, there are some who maximise the potential every minute offers. Here are five professionals who never run out of time Time is money,’ said Benjamin Franklin.
No other adage seems as pertinent. In a tear ing hurry to catch the 12:23 train and not the one at 12:34, we often find that those 10 minutes make all the difference. Precious seconds determine if we can enjoy that cherished cup of coffee or not have one at all. But for some amongst us, the riddle of time doesn’t prove as difficult. Work, household chores, social interactions -this select group can do it all.
We bring you five individuals who rarely succumb to the clock.
GONE LIKE THE WIND
It is hard to ignore Viji Venkatesh’s high energy and excitement. As the country head of Max Foundation, a global health organisation, she is kept busy by patients, cancer campaigns, piles of paperwork and incessant emails. Her day starts with a morning walk, which she terms “is non-negotiable”. She then commutes from Thane to Worli. After a full day or work, you’d usually find her catching a play or having a cup of coffee in Bandra. “I don’t want any minute of the day to be unused. It has to be worthwhile, result-oriented. I believe life has so much to offer. I don’t want to miss out on any of it,” says Venkatesh. “Yes, I have a to-do list. The moment I sit in the car, I get working.The evening commute is spent on Twitter, listening to music etc. But there are still things I haven’t done. Rereading Gone with the Wind, for instance.”
NO EXCUSES HERE
It took us two days, a few missed calls and some texts to finally get in touch with Dr Sudhanshu Bhattacharya. That should perhaps be a fair estimate of how busy he is.Strangely, the surgeon is dismissive of the whole concept of scheduling. He feels that people who say ‘that they are pressed for time’ are just making excuses. Bhattacharya does a full day’s work and insists on getting seven hours of sleep.”One has to be interested in what they are doing -only then is it possible to work and put in as many hours of work they want. If one is unhappy, then work just becomes the number of hours one puts in,” shares the doctor, who has Ajit Tendulkar and Rakesh Roshan as patients. At 68, Bhattacharya is still performing surgeries. “I am still doing a full day’s work. It’s not greed -but a question of self-esteem. Otherwise one will lose oneself,” he adds.
PLANNING HIS NEXT MOVE
Vishwanathan Anand is always planning. “As a chess player, and I think that’s true for all sportsmen, we function from one tournament to the other. Time is a relative commodity. Two-three days prior to the game, the tension builds up. And it takes another two three days after the event for it to die down,” says the chess grandmaster. Anand’s normal day starts early. Post breakfast, he works out at the gym for one-and-a-half hours. After an early lunch, he works at a stretch for four-five hours and is entirely disconnected from the world. “Two-three days before a tournament, there is no chess. The mind has to be rested,” says Anand. When he is gearing up for a tournament, Anand rests his mind by watching The Good Wife. He also finds House of Cards very gripping. “I have a to-do list and I plan accordingly. But chess is a priority.”
PRIORITISING THE PERSONAL
Latif Nathani switches off his cell phone from time to time. “Technology was invented to make life easier for us and help us function better. But we have become slaves to it. We don’t have to answer a text right away or respond to every missed call,” says Nathani.”Everything can be handled. I am not a doctor. My work will not affect a life or death situation. We take too much pressure on ourselves.” Though Nathani travels for about two weeks in a month, he always starts his day with prayer and yoga. For him, it all comes down to compartmentalisation, which in turn helps him perform optimally at work.”The time that I have set aside for myself and my family, I don’t budge from, come hell or high water. The rest of my work time falls into place. I would happily miss a corporate reception to have dinner with my family,” shares the executive.
EARLY TO RISE
With the number of marriages heading for splitsville, one can imagine the trouble divorce lawyer Mrunalini Deshmukh would have when trying to prioritise her commitments. She confesses she has a master plan.”One of the reasons why I can manage my day well is because I am an early riser. I am up by 4-5 am and I feel working at that hour is very productive as there are fewer distractions.”
While she feels helpless at court -she can’t control when her case will be scheduled for hearing -she feels that one can try to make the most of the day by not cramming plenty of things into it and focussing on the job allocated for the day. “Often, we have an hour-long meeting which spills over and we end up wasting a lot of time. This is because we don’t allow for patient hearing. Also, if you’ve assigned tasks for the week, ensure they never get carried forward to the next,” she adds.