If you had limited time…

If you had limited time to live, what would you spend your life doing? I asked my colleagues recently while conducting a workshop on Attitudes at Work. Colleagues spent a few minutes to think and write what they would like to do. As they shared, we found ‘family’ emerged as the top priority. Things people would like to do for their children, spouse and parents. Then, there were plans like spending time with friends, in prayer, going on a vacation or fulfilling any other childhood dream. An interesting observation came from one colleageue who said, “it is surprising I spend so much time at work but work did not emerge at all in my thinking. All I could think of were things I wanted to do for family”. An important point made here that needs some introspection.

We have responsbility towards work as well as family. We often neglect one over the other. We may be an achiever, a reputed professional but if we are neglecting family then it is not right. Time flies very fast. Our parents and children are not going to stay with us forever. Friends will also move on. So, it is important not to delay execution of our plans for them. Very often, these are small acts like making a phone call to parents, spending time with parents/friends, fulfilling promises made to children etc. Doing them does not take much time and resources. It is better to execute such plans right away. Equally imporant issue is to ponder if family is consuming most of our time and work is neglected. We need to maintain the balance between work and family responsibilities.

 …If you had limited time… was only to trigger thinking. The fact is that we actually have limited time to do things for family, for friends and at our workplace. We need to develop Just do it – NOW attitude- never postpone things to tomorrow which could be done today. Not a new concept. We all know it but only some of us implement it. Those who do see the benefit. We need to practice it. I asked colleagues to write only three things that they would like to do to start on Just do it-now attitude. It has been a bit over two weeks since the workshop. Some colleagues shared with me that they implemented their plans and felt ‘good’.

… We all can write three things that we would like to do if we had limited time. Then, go ahead and do them right away because we actually have limited time. Three small steps: doable things in a stipulated time – will help us develop this attitude.


6 Responses to If you had limited time…

  1. S M Baqar says:

    At a religious discource on the occasion of death anniversary of my father,the preacher said that every action we do depends on our “intention” or “neeyat”.If our intetion is right or genuine then merely a visit to see an ailing relative will be a great “Ibadat” or worship and on the other hand without proper intention an act like nammaz/fasting/pilgrimage will be a waste of time.In my openion everybody should have a rightful intention and after this If some body asks what would you do if you had limieted time then it won’t be difficult to answer because every action is an Ibadat or worship whether we have limited or plentiful time.

  2. Time is a relative term. Its definition may differ from person to person. One may be living 100 years, but when that person is on the death bed and looks back what he has achieved in life, there could possibly be nothing to mention. But, on ther other hand, one may be living only 30 or 40 years, like Swami Vivekananda or Adi Sankaracharya, Jesus Christ, to name a few, but they left a permanent mark on the psyche of millions of persons all over the world. What one should look at is not time, but what one is wihin. How sincere, simple, selfless one is to walk an extra mile to help one’s friend, acquitance, colleague or for that matter any one. Life becomes very easy, if every one is true to oneself.

  3. Madhu Dhawan says:

    very true…good intentions always yield good results…
    to develop that just do it now attitute…be positive about everything…speak your feelings…make decisions…and find solutions…this will lead to art of living well…Ibadat…then who is bothered that you had limited time…

  4. vibha says:

    Being fully present in whatever is important to you is also a step towards fulfilling your responsibilities without over or under doing. Family, friends, work and health, need to be in fine balance. And as suggested by Afsar, if one can make a daily/weekly list, it becomes easy to accomplish.

    Slowing down, being mindful of nature around, so what if it is just a small money plant at home or a sunset while returning from work are ways of being mindful of nature’s bounty and are very doable.

  5. Indrani says:

    ‘Never postpone things to tomorrow which could be done today’ we all realise the importance of this statement. But somehow we do not follow it. Maybe becuse we think that TOMORROW is always there. This creates problems. A journey that I can undertake today may be difficult later due to health constraints. Delaying a task to be done in office may mean greater pressures and tensions at the last moment. Things that we have a tendency to postpone can be easily fitted into our daily routine with little adjustments and a bit of extra effort. We have to appreciate what we have now and make the most of it. The present moment is most important yesterday has gone and tomorrow is clouded in uncertainty. So we have to adopt the do it now attitude and breathe easy. I tried it last weekend and feel immensely satisfied though it was a little difficult initially.

  6. dr geeta says:

    I had a poster in my hostel room in Lady Hardinge Medical College which read “ONE SMALL DEED IS BETTER THAN GRANDEST INTENTION.” Just a phone call, a birthday wish, one simple visit to a friend, relative, neighbour in distress is more than enough.A small rose can be someones garden.

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