Many of us have tried to put a thread through the hole of a needle, it is tough and needs a lot of concentration. The more impatient and panicky we get the harder it gets to put it through the hole. On the other hand if we deal with the task patiently and by not losing our calm, the thread gets through pretty quickly. For the last two weeks I have been trying to put a thread through the hole of a needle, but it refused to go in and now I know why. Allow me to explain.

I have been struggling to manage my time for the past two weeks which is why I did not upload any articles. This was very new to me because no matter how time crunched I was, things always seemed to go smoothly after a few days, except now. Funnily I had held a ‘Productivity and Time Management’ workshop some time back, but now was having trouble schooling myself (#Imposter Syndrome). After loads of guilt trips, moments filled with panic and a couple of sleepless nights I found an answer, I found it by applying breaks. The answer pointed out three major errors in my code of time management.

Error 1: Not Applying Breaks

We are very similar to cars in the way we function. If you try driving a car at full speed for long periods of time without stopping or at least slowing down, soon your tires will wear out and your engine will give up. Similarly, to cope with a large workload if you try to keep functioning at your best, you will wear out, not just because you might burn out or get tired, that is secondary. Not stopping will rob you of time to plan out things and figure out how to do them in them in the most efficient way. Don’t stop for too long though because cars which go unused for too long often run out of battery and fail to start, and if you mange to start you still might get late for your date because of too long of a stop. There is a sweet spot to everything. Correction of this error was what helped me identify the other two.

Error 2: Trying to start from the fifth gear

I always tell others and believe that we should start slow and then accelerate, but I failed to follow my own advice. How fast one can accelerate depends individual to individual. Trying to start from the highest gear seldom works, and the output of the highest gear keeps increasing as we progress with more and more work and decreasing with lack of work. Your output at each gear can be thought of as muscles. Their output can be increased by progressively increasing the load, but if you try to pick hundred kilos on your first day you wouldn’t be able to do it, and if you manage eighty instead of a hundred, you will be too sore to workout the next day which can be compared to a burn out.

Error 3: Clogging the whistle of the pressure cooker:

If the whistle of a pressure cooker is clogged and steam keeps building inside it, it will eventually burst (if the safety valves are ignored). If one manages to keep it from bursting by letting it cool down just enough, but heats it up again as soon as it cools down a bit, in this case you will never be able to open the cooker. In both the cases you will go hungry and will not be able to enjoy the delicious daal you thought you would enjoy. Our minds work the same way, if one panics all the time and is always under pressure, they will never be able to open the box of ideas that resides in our minds. Also, it is extremely difficult to get results if you are always panicking and under pressure because your vision gets foggy with worries. That was exactly what was happening to me, I started panicking even when my work was slightly below what I had expected. I panicked so much that I had trouble looking for what I should have done differently in order to improve, because the panic had left no place for rational or analytical thinking. Though one cannot dictate how they feel, but they can actively try to focus on what is important and what is not. Pressure is important because without it you will have to eat uncooked daal (unclear or no ideas), but if you do not relieve the pressure cooker (the mind) periodically to put in the next lot of uncooked daal (goals) and enjoy the current lot (results and new ideas) all you will get is burnt daal. And don’t forget to let the cooker cool (ideas mature) before trying to open it or you will burn yourself, I talk from experience having burnt myself both literally and metaphorically.

You see all three errors I identified in my behavior in the last two weeks were related to impatience and panic, these two also give birth to each other. They were the reasons I was not able to get the thread through the hole of the needle, even though initially I though it had went through, but when I looked closely the thread was near the hole not in it. Alas, the illusion of hope. Now that I have identified where I was going wrong, I hope I am able to put the thread goes in the hole of the needle in the coming week.

Best of luck with driving your car at the highest gear and cooking delicious daal.

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Samarth Khanna

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