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Sitting Late v Working Late - Rejoinder

Working late and Sitting late - it differs, like Office Hours & Working Hours. People say that I spend 15-20 hours a day in office, but effectively they would have worked/spent 6-7 hours. If you have work and sit late (having not able to complete in the regular office timing) to complete your tasks, it is fine. But you need to be conscious that you were putting all your efforts towards your tasks during your normal office timing. These sort of situations will be occasional. If it is regular, then there is a problem. My father is my mentor on time management. I need not look for any book, if I follow him.

My father (retired now) used to ask me, what holds me in coming back home after the office timing. I tell him I had work and need to stay back. I am into the accounting department and it is a contagious habit. But looking back, I don't understand why I was spending that much time. At times, I take too much on my plate and try to complete it or one of the excuses, mentioned in my earlier blog.

When my father met my CEO (of my earlier company), he asked him why you all sit late. For which he said, I leave the office on time and these youngsters stay back for completing the work.

My father too worked in Finance & Accounts and was head of Accounts in a Danish company. He used to say - If the department head see anyone sitting regularly late in office, he need to explain why he is sitting late - only 2 options (1) Given excess work or (2) he is inefficient. So the culture was set in that organization.
But now, it is rare to find such managers. When I worked in UK, my manager used to chase me out, when I wait for my colleague to finish his work, thinking that he may require my assistance. But what my manager told me made me to think - He said, he has work and could not finish in 8 hours, so he is sitting. If he needs your help, he should have told you before and not after the office hours. By 5.00pm, all will start leaving the office, either to meet their girl/boy friends or to play some games or for beers.
Here in India, that culture (I mean effectively work during the 8 hours) has to pick up and am sure will come soon.

Another question from my father, which I am not able to answer is - With all gadgets, Software why you all take more time to complete the job, when the same volume of work was there in his time used to get finished on time. In earlier days, they did not have ISD,Chat, Mobile, Computer, Softwares (like Tally), scanner, etc., but managed to complete their job but with all these things, we are unable to complete the job on time.

All boils down to one thing - We don't plan well, our tasks.

If we plan to leave office by 5.00pm, we can. But are we doing it? No. If we have to catch a flight by 8am, we get up by 5am and reach the airport atleast by 7.30am. Why? Otherwise we will miss the flight. So, it is driven by the individual mindset and planning. My father still plans well and carry out his plans very well. He never missed out any deadline and worst part is he reminds me periodically of my deadlines!

Friends,
  • Plan well your tasks, give priority to important tasks .
  • Get out of the habit of staying back at office, if you don't have work.
  • Do a root cause analysis on what made you to sit late?
  • Never encourage your juniors to sit late, monitor their work
  • Come home, teach your child whatever you can in their subjects
  • Of all, teach them the importance of time, so that they don't spend much time in office.
If you want to know how much you spent late at office without spending time with your family, just deposit Rs.25 for every hour you stay after normal office hours to a bank account. You will know after 10 years how much you missed your family by looking at your bank account!

Time is valuable and spend it wisely and usefully.

Cheers,
Gopal

5 comments:

Simhan's Den on Mar 11, 2009, 12:19:00 PM said...

I remember a saying 'A person who does not know the importance of time can not respect others time'. So true!!

I still need to go a long way in terms of time management.....:)

Interesting write!!

Satish on Mar 11, 2009, 1:11:00 PM said...

Liked the conecpt of putting 25 rupees for every exta hour spent..........

Irrespective of the orginator.... still a good read!!!!

Ganesan on Mar 11, 2009, 3:30:00 PM said...

Well written, Gopal. "We don't pass time but the time passes us" - so goes an ancient verse in Sanskrit.

Gopal on Mar 11, 2009, 3:42:00 PM said...

Satish..i wrote it based on the story I read in one of the forwards...
There was a little boy who had a bad temper little boy. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper
he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence
The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks,as he learned to control his anger,the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down.

He discovered it was easier to hold his temper
than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all.
He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally
able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.
The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence He said You have done well, my son,
but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same.When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.

In the case of depositing money, you not only learn how much you missed the family, but also have money to spend on them :-)
Cheers,
Gopal

Anonymous said...

Hi Gopal

Your post is really excellent. But you know in indian mentality, if you leave on time, the top management will think that you are not having any work and they will think of reducing the manpower under you. Even though i have worked in companies like TATA, Mahindra etc , i feel the same attitude in everwhere.

But as for as myself is concerned, i will not insist my subordinates to sit late and do thier job. I will give atlmost freedom to my colleges and inform them to leave on time. But i am not able to change the others !!!

with rgds

chellappa

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