Saturday, August 26, 2006

Time management? Malaysia TAK Boleh!

Time is money?

No, that concept is totally wrong. You can earn more money if you lose or waste some but you can never earn more time. You can never make up for time wasted. Everyone has the same amount, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. There is nothing you can do to earn more of it.

Although Our National Day is approaching and I can’t possibly feel very patriotic right now. When it comes to time management, Malaysia TAK Boleh. When it comes to knowing the value of time, Malaysia TAK Boleh.

How often have you waited for someone for ages who comes waltzing in saying that it was the traffic jam? Well, I’ve been on the waiting end very often. Is this the first day that there is traffic jam in KL? Nope, it has been around for ages. Then why is the concept of taking traffic jam into account when you make an appointment with someone so hard to comprehend?

How often does a meeting drag on and on just because someone just couldn’t stop talking? Extremely often in this country, even Sunday sermons are not spared! If a 2 hour long message can be told effectively in 30mins, does that mean that the message is any less valuable? In fact, the attention span of a regular human being is less than ½ an hour so any message shorter than that will get better retention. After 40 minutes, the speaker has probably lost 80% of his audience.
The other day I attended a Bodyjam class in FF IOI. And the instructor actually talked 5 whole minutes before each song! Not only did he show each and every move through out the song, he repeated them many times before starting the music. Does he know that there are members who go to his class to get a good 1-hour workout? Not a ½ hour workout and ½ hour speech!

Government services too do not see value in other people’s time. How often have you waited endlessly for a service that takes no longer than 5 minutes? Why is it that the LHDN impose a strict deadline for our tax returns forms yet they have not even keyed in my taxes from 2 years ago!! How can I get back my refunds in one-month (as they claim in the newspapers) when the forms I have submitted haven’t even been touched? Probably still stuck under some pile in someone’s in-tray.

It’s not that Malaysian have no capability to be punctual, it is whether they value the other person or the event. If your boss tells you to submit a report on the 1st of every month, you’ll be compliant. If your finance department tells you the cut-off date to submit claims is on the 30th, you’ll be compliant. If your church tells you to submit your choice of songs by Tuesdays, it never comes on Tuesday. How often does someone pays for a ticket to watch a movie, a football game, a theatre performance or any event and comes waltzing in an hour and a half late? If it was a free event, how often are they late? I rest my case. And don't even get me started on punctuality for wedding dinners...

To cut this country some slack, there still are people with excellent time-management out there. Pastor Daniel is one of them. His Sunday sermons always end on time yet the messages were effectively retained. His worship practices can finish in an hour. It’s 1xverse, 1xchorus & 1xbridge for each song then only repeat the difficult part in the difficult songs. The result? Wonderful yet time-efficient. His homegroup discussion always finished at 10pm because he understand that there are members who stay far and needs to leave earlier. That’s why I miss his leadership so much.

Then there is my boss. She is never late and always submits all her work on time. Her workload is huge!! Before I existed she was even doing it all alone. Yet she has time to do all her domestic chores herself, bring her siblings and their children for vacations and take her yearly long sabbatical to be with her family in the UK. What’s her secret? Time-management!

I have always been patient, I have even waited for a friend for 3 hours before but everyone has a limit. (Everyone but God. I’m not God) I feel that I am reaching my limit soon. My well of patience is almost dry now, all used up. If people do not value my time, I shall not give it to them. For it is extremely precious to me. And to think that I have wasted so much of it waiting for people makes me feel heartsick. My time on earth is pre-determined by God. No more, no less. Every nano-second is precious... for they do not crawl by but they fly by.

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