Time Management Buddhist Perspective
Technological advancement, constant availability………. has blurred the line between leisure time and work time. Lot of articles, techniques and tools are available for managing time bringing in newer set of problems and challenges. I must admit I am a big fan of these tools.
But my Buddhist practice over the years has given me a different perspective on time management (Buddhist Standard Time). Re-mindfulness — remembering to remember, being mindful, returning to the moment, not living in the past or future — is the core of the Buddha’s path to awakening and enlightenment.
It starts with transforming our mindset to create the most value at each moment, which can be achieved when we practice Mindfulness. We live in the world where time is a scarce commodity and we are running from moment to moment to tick mark everything on our To-do list. We are juggling up and balancing lot of things in our lives where it becomes more important to be in the moment and focus on the job to get best outcome.
Among all the substances we misuse and abuse, the greatest is time. Time is life; we squander it at our peril. Daily we face all sorts of demands that pull us in different directions. Finding time amid a hectic schedule is a big challenge. When we talk about mastering time from the Buddhist perspective, it’s not about time management in the traditional sense, there we calculate how much time we allot to each activity. Rather, mastering time is an attitude and a posture—one based on determination, prayer and effort to make the best use of our time.
SGI President Ikeda says “Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. However, if you use those hours wisely, you can accomplish a week’s worth of effort in a day, or 10 years’ worth of effort in a year. I have lived my life with that spirit”
Some of my learnings about Time Management from my Buddhist practice are:
LESSON #1: There is no such thing as waiting for the right time; we must create it. Covid-19 or no Covid-19 this time will not come again.
We must decide, pray, and take action. Unless we do so, our environment will not change in the least; though five or ten years may pass, “that time” will never arrive . . . “That time” is the moment you resolve from the depths of your heart.
LESSON #2: Everything boils down to deciding to do our best and determining never to retreat.
In the New Human Revolution, President Ikeda relays a story about a young man who was struggling to strike a balance amid his busy work schedule and participation in SGI activities. President Ikeda addressed his concern, saying:
To get right to the point, it boils down to deciding to do your best in everything and then having the determination not to retreat a single step. When placed in severe circumstances, people all too easily tend to give up, convinced that the situation is hopeless, before even considering what concrete actions they could take. In their hearts, they have already conceded defeat without even putting up a fight. That, in fact, is the cause of all failure.
The crucial thing is to determine to do your absolute best both at work and in other activities, and to find time to earnestly chant about your situation. You must bring forth your wisdom and life force, and then exercise your ingenuity.
LESSON #3: Exert 100 percent effort in each moment.
With the understanding that the most important time is here and now, when we exert 100 percent effort into whatever task is right in front of us, our life condition and capacity expand.
There is so much we must do, that is why become desperate to make most of every second. Ask yourself Am I creating value at this moment?
LESSON #4: Meditation and Deep Breathing are the key
The ability to master time arises from cultivating a powerful life state, in which we can embrace our challenges and move everything in a positive direction, day after day. Everything then comes down to doing a powerful morning Prayers and chanting
Failing to win in the morning can lead to an unsatisfactory day. And an unending succession of such days can add up to an unsatisfying life. On the other hand, winning in the morning, getting off to a good start, leads to a productive day and puts you on a path to solid progress, ultimately culminating in a life of fulfillment and victory.