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    Time as a resource by B L RAZDAN JK Latest News

    Time as a resource

    Yesterday’s time is gone forever and will never come back. 

    Time is, therefore always in exceedingly short supply

    Time as a resource
    Time as a resource


     Time and tide wait for none. 

    This old adage prompted the 

    celebrated English essayist, 

    Charles Lamb, to remark, 

    “Nothing puzzles me more 

    than time and space; and yet noth-

    ing troubles me less, as I never 

    think about them.” Towards his 

    ripe old age and while writing The 

    Last Essays of Elia, he remarked 

    thus: “I begin to count the probabil-

    ities of my duration, and to grudge 

    at the expenditure of moments and 

    shortest periods, like miser’s far-

    things. In proportion as the years 

    both lessen and shorten, I set more 

    count upon their periods, and 

    would fain lay my ineffectual fi nger 

    upon the spoke of the great wheel. I 

    am not content to pass away “like a 

    weaver’s shuttle.”

    Everything requires time. It 

    is the only truly universal condi-


    Time as a resource

    All work takes place in time 

    and uses up time. It is a unique 

    resource. One cannot rent, hire, 

    buy, or otherwise obtain more 

    time. The supply of time is totally 

    inelastic. No matter how high the 

    demand, the supply will not go 

    up. There is no price for it and no 

    marginal utility curve for it. What 

    is worse is that time is totally 

    perishable and cannot be stored. 

    Yesterday’s time is gone forever 

    and will never come back. Time 

    is, therefore always in exceedingly 

    short supply.

    Time as a resource

    Time is totally irreplaceable. 

    Within limits we can substitute 

    one resource for another, copper 

    for aluminum, for instance. We 

    can substitute capital for human 

    labor. We can use more knowledge 

    or more brawn. But there is no 

    substitute for time.

    While we all know that time is 

    precious, yet most of us waste it 

    the most. While getting old most 

    people reflect and realize how 

    better their life could have been 

    if only they had used the time 

    available with them productively. 

    Evidently, to get all there is out of 

    living, we must employ our time 

    wisely. Unfortunately, “Man is ill-

    equipped to manage his time”, as 

    remarked by Peter Drucker, the 

    celebrated American management 

    guru and author of the famous 

    MBO doctrine, short form of Man-

    agement by Objectives. 

    I, however, don’t want to get 

    too dark or depressing, but, yes, 

    I have been thinking a lot about 

    this recently. 

    Time as a resource

    All the same, it 

    is important to realize that our 

    life is short and that our time on 

    this earth is limited and only get-

    ting more so with every passing 

    minute. For those who have come 

    to regard time as a resource that 

    is “a source or supply from which 

    benefi t is produced” and that it’s 

    just one that one cannot change in 

    quantity, although one can change 

    how it is allocated and that one can 

    also change how it is used, one can 

    be assured that, “Time stays long 

    enough for anyone who will use 

    it.” (apologies Leonardo Da Vinci). 

    Time as a resource

    Civil Services aspirants, in par-

    ticular, and more so during the 

    preparatory stages can ill afford 

    to take this unique irreplaceable 

    and necessary resource for grant-

    ed. Even in management, noth-

    ing else, perhaps distinguishes 

    effective executives as much as 

    their tender loving care of time. 

    They only need to keep in mind 

    the advice of John F. Kennedy in 

    his oft-quoted witticisms like, “We 

    must use time as a tool, not as a 

    crutch.” and, “Time is at once the 

    most valuable and the most perish-

    able of all our possessions.”

    Between the two God-given gifts 

    – intelligence and fl air for hard-

    work – I would prefer the latter for 

    the simple reason that a host of us 

    have simply wasted intelligence 

    by sitting over this precious virtue 

    and doing nothing. On the other 

    hand, persons given to working 

    hard at least achieve something 

    even with lesser intelligence. Even 

    if one may have thought up of a 

    great idea but didn’t do anything 

    about it, it is as good or as bad as 

    nothing. Procrastination or dilly-

    dallying or sitting over time is a 

    bane that one should avoid at all 

    costs. It’s not the things we do all 

    through the day that create the 

    time crunch but the way we handle 


    Time as a resource

    Our behaviour patterns and 

    attitudes towards certain tasks 

    developed over time cause the 

    backlog! Taking a look at all the 

    things we need in our life as well 

    as all the things that need to get 

    done, makes doing things and life 

    easier. Remarked Eva Young, “To 

    think too long about doing a thing 

    often becomes its undoing.’ 

    It would be worthwhile to 

    identify the basic causes that con-

    tribute to procrastination. If left 

    unchecked, these leas to a project 

    (like the CIVIL Services Prepara-

    tions) that we have dreamed of, 

    not be completed. These are tenta-

    tively given below with a probable 

    solution as well:

    * We don’t know where to start. 

    ~ Making sure the preparations 

    get priority at the beginning 

    helps with planning as well as 

    ensures its viability!

    * We don’t know where we are 

    going. ~ Getting expert advice 

    reduces anxiety and time!

    * We may feel overwhelmed. ~ 

    Planning out the projects and 

    time-line will ensure balance!

    * We may strive for perfection. ~ 

    Perfection is selfi sh. We should 

    strive for excellence because we 

    are faced with a tough task like 

    the most competitive examina-

    tion in the world! 

    Keeping things simple is the 

    *key* to good time management. 

    We fi rst need to identify trouble 

    spots, then implement time saving 

    techniques we know we shall stick 

    to. Shaving minutes off daily tasks 

    could mean hours by the end of the 

    week and it is time we can use on 

    preparing more rigorously. Need-

    less to say that .prioritizing what 

    needs to be done is the fi rst step to 

    getting organized and making sure 

    you’ll be there on time with the 

    right stuff So, choose the time now 

    to save time and follow Confucius 

    advice, “Study without refl ection 

    is a waste of time; refl ection with-

    out study is dangerous” 

    *Bhushan Lal Razdan, formerly of 

    the Indian Revenue Service, retired 

    as Director General of Income Tax 

    (Investigation), Chandigarh.

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