Where does our time go? Challenges of modern day life!

Posted: March 9, 2011 in Uncategorized
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There was an interesting discussion on our college alumni yahoo group that started by a comment that the long drawn out cricket world cup is causing the loss of so many productive hours.

But more opinions were added, which stated that similar or more time is also lost in following American sports, perhaps all year round, and in many other distractions that life offers to anyone, these days.

I feel this is a part of modern day living, and the challenges on account of the many options we have in life.

I still remember a life where the man would get up around 7-30 am, go for a walk or a game of tennis, come back, get ready, take a good breakfast, go to the temple and offer nice, long prayers, then head to work around 10-11 am, wind up office by 5-6 pm, reach home, have a cup of tea, read the evening paper, shower, do dinner, spend time with family, and go off to bed around 10 pm or so. Maybe even go for an evening walk prior to that!

Seems almost idyllic. Seems like its coming from a different world altogether. And yet, it is not THAT old too. I have seen it (which tells something about my age πŸ™‚ , but which also means its not that old), and I don’t know if in some households or some parts of our country, or with some people by choice, this kind of a lifestyle may still be a reality today.

To me, this seems unimaginable at this time.

Here are my challenges, or what I grapple with on my time:

– personal finances and investments

– keeping up with great blog posts, tweets from interesting people, facebook updates

– listening to and viewing podcasts

– reading interesting non-fiction books – finding time for fiction is like a dream (make up on that, with films!)

– news, from various parts of world, on various subjects, from variety of media

– wanting to write – tweets, facebook updates, blogs, notes, film reviews… hey, even a couple of books, not to forget my old and still cherished desire to write a film script

– oops, before I forget – family time – kids, wife, parents, brother, uncles, aunts, cousins

– friends, Rotary Club, TiE, Mentoring assignments, speaking at seminars and events

– travel – for pleasure and for work

– music – love to listen to it

– interesting apps on my iPad

– Scrabble on Facebook

– extremely heavy load of emails, very busy work life, spending time with team at office too

– business partners, investors, our mentors, strategic planning, new business opportunities

– cricket, movies, theatre, eating out

– oh.. and then there’s TV, and the 100s of channels there – and this is without DVR just yet

– Exercise, taking care of the physical self; perhaps also the mental one.. relaxation, meditation, etc.

And guess what just came to take up some more time now..

The phone just went 3G. So I can now see live TV and do a bunch of other things, while I am on the move.

Does that mean, those 3 minute short drives I used to have, where I resisted the temptation to switch on my laptop, and just looked out of the window – will those be taken away from me too, now? So I switch the TV on, on the phone, during this time, then??

It is clear that the clutter in life has to be reduced. There is an increasing need to simplify life. Cut out the junk, let some things go..

I started with TV (though due to some other compulsions), and I have not missed it a lot.

Can I do the same with few other things in life?

There is as much physical clutter around us, as is this mental clutter. And perhaps somewhere the reasons are the same.
Why don’t we throw away physical stuff? We reckon we may need it some day, so we hang on to it.

Likewise, we hang on to things in life, somehow stretching ourselves, slicing ourselves down to smaller and smaller pieces. Just holding on to everything.

Here’s where I remember one of my old favorite phrases, and which I need to seriously question at this time, “All I want is everything”. Yeah, that is how life is today.

But can we really handle it?

How about this other old favorite phrase of mine, “Success is living the life you want to live”.

Can we visualize, out of all the things that take up our time now, which are those we really want in our lives? And which aren’t. And then, work towards holding on to the ones that we want, and let the rest go. And simplify life?

What do you think? Tough questions here? Challenging and questioning our today? Harsh realities? Or not..?
Let me know what you think about these..

  1. Harman says:

    Nice analysis. We are ourselves to be blamed for all this clutter in modern life. The more we go away from cities, slower & more peaceful the life gets. But that doesn’t mean run away from cities. We can lead happy & peaceful life in cities itself if we live it rightly.

  2. Samudra says:

    That life is still possible.

    The only difference is between “then” and “now” is that earlier, it was the “default” life handed to you. Now, the default has changed into this cluttered version.

    To get back to that “idyllic” life, is a matter of choice. Some easy, some not so much, but all within the grasp of everyone. I say this from my experience in Bangalore, where I could go for a swim in the morning, cook and have my breakfast, catch up on the news (online or otherwise), go to office, come back by 6-30, relax, go for a dinner with friends / network. And be back by 11 / 11:30.

    The problem with living in a city like Mumbai is that there are too many “fillers” from living one moment to the next, from one “lived moment” to the next. From home to tennis – 30 minutes. From home to office – 45 minutes. Having a chauffeur is not possible for everyone, and even if you do, that time is not optimally used as you are at least a little distracted every time your car turns / stops at a red light / swerves to avoid running over that suicidal motorcycle rider.

  3. Sanjay Mehta says:

    Great points, Samudra..
    I’d still believe, its not about Mumbai or Bangalore. Its about us. First.

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