Poetry and Time Management

I can remember the days when I sat in school analysing the poetry of far away people in far away places. Some of them had strange Russian, German and sometimes more familiar English names. Much of that poetry remains forgotten to me. However, there were a few poems that I took home with me, took to heart and they still live within me.

I love poetry. Although the popularity of poetry reading nowadays for leisure is debatable, I think it is an invaluable part of literature. One of the best quotes about poetry I know is by Paul Negri. He said; “Poetry is the art of compression, of saying in a few well-chosen words, enhanced with rhythm and musicality of language, what might take many more words to express – far less memorably – in prose.”

That is why music lyrics are sometimes so powerful. They are merely a form of poetry. In my reading and writing of poetry, I did it out of passion. I am a writer at heart. Recently I have learnt, more and more, that the practising of my craft has a purpose. That purpose is to send out a message. One of those messages made it into a classroom and to a few high school students in Kugel High School Holon in Israel. I became one of those far away writers, in a far away place and with a strange name. I laugh when I think of how my name could have been mispronounced but I smile when I realise that an educator took the time to select my poem and include it in his/her curriculum.

Maybe my poem’s message was learnt and understood and perhaps it was taken home by some student, re-read and it made a difference. As a writer, that is an honour. My time was well spent.

Below is part of the worksheet in which my poem, Time Manager was analysed in conjunction with one of my favourite poems, Count That Day Lost by Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot).  Please see the poem in order to better understand the context.

Worksheet 4

Count That Day Lost – Bridging Text and Context – Activity 1

The way we live each day ultimately makes up the lives we live and the people we become. The poem Count that day lost is a poem relating to this issue. The poem was written by Mary Ann Evans (under the pseudonym George Eliot) in an era when being a female writer was not easy. However, Eliot wanted to make a difference and make people think about the social injustice of her time, the responsibility they should take and the moral choices they must make, in order to create a better society.

Here's another poem I found on the net, that relates to how you spend your day. It's a poem about the meaning of time management:

Time Manager 

I am a Time Manager
A rich one at that
Because every day I receive
A lump sum budget of
86,400 seconds!

I may do with them as I please
But with every
I lose one
Never to return or be replaced.

28,800 of them
At most
Are spent in dreams.

9,000 taken up by the mundane
Time used to think.

The balance I must organize
And prioritize
So that I know
What I’ve done so far
What I’m doing after
But, most of all what’s happening now.

12,600 dedicated to silly games and fun
Because the child in me can never die!

21,600 dedicated to strength in sales
And making money
Because we all know
children are expensive.

14,400 of active learning
And planning
So that I get it right.
Although I always discover something new
With every day’s plight.

The schedule’s in my mind
And not on a wall.

It’s quite overwhelming
But I know I must see it through
Because I’m not Time’s employee
But a manager
Time works for me!

© Maja Dezulovic 2011

How does this poem relate to Eliot's poem? How does it reflect the issues that Eliot wrote about?


Here is another poem I wrote around the same time in relation to how we choose to spend our time.

Reasons Why I Cannot Sleep

I'm thinking...
What have I done today?
Was my day well spent?
Can I look back and say: "Hey! I did that!"
Can I recall a smile?
Did I touch a lonely heart, even if for only a short while?
Is there at least one thing I can point to?
Or is failure the reason I'm feeling so blue?

I'm wondering...
Was this day worthwhile?
Did I even try?
Did I love, did I say it and did they see?
Is there something to prove that I was alive?
Did I do what I set out to?
Am I twenty-four hours closer to my dreams?
Or... Did I sleep?

Was I dreaming...
It was all a painful haze,
I was running, chasing hallucinations through a never ending maze!

What did I do today?
Truth be told, I cannot say.
I do not remember anything.
I just know that I'm exhausted and all which I did -
it meant nothing! No thing! Not a thing!

So, no!
I cannot sleep.
Although it is already tomorrow,
I cannot relax from no effort.
I must work for the sleep.
One cannot rest from sloth.

So, I'll do something now.
When my body sleeps,
then my mind can say that it is okay.
"You can sleep now.
The monsters of lethargy have been set astray..."

© Maja Dezulovic 2011

12 Characteristics of the Modern Entrepreneur

Most of us have seen and read those banners, Google ads and pop ups claiming that people can earn a substantial income from starting a home business.
“Mike earns $3,000+ from his home business. You can earn too.”
Most of the time it seems too good to be true and it is. Many of these companies take the statistics for their top earners and represent them as an average in order to attract more recruits. The rest are scams.

However, there are many ways to successfully run a business from home without having to become an affiliate for some product or join a network marketing company. This has been proven over and over again by entrepreneurs all over the world for the past two decades. We live in a technologically advanced world with all the tools allowing you to be influential in many places at once. You can successfully run a small business from home and look as big as you want to be by using online tools and marketing strategies.

Telecommuting refers to the use of technology and modern telecommunications products such as telephones, VOIP, and the internet to enable you to work from home, or any other place rather than the traditional workplace or office. It is sometimes also called telework. Telecommuting is done by individuals who remain employees of a company but choose to work from home as well as by businesspeople running their companies from the household. If this lifestyle seems ideal to you then you may just be the ideal candidate.

“Work is something you do, not something you travel to.” That is the telecommuter’s motto. The work is the output and result of your efforts and not any particular place where you have to be. Instead of wasting countless hours in traffic on your way to and from work, going to work can be as simple as a few steps to your computer or home office.

Telecommuters or online entrepreneurs realise that the old methods and norms of doing business are slowly becoming outdated as the internet expands and opens the doors into a new, faster and more efficient means of getting things done. We can already take sneak peeks of this through the windows as an increasing amount of people join the online work force. It’s not so much about working from home per se, but rather working from anywhere. You can be on the beach, in a hotel, on a mountain top, in a busy restaurant or anywhere in the world.

12 Characteristics of Potential Telecommuters

1. You hate being told what to do and when to do it

This may be interpreted as revolting against authority, however it really means that you are free-spirited and like to think for yourself and do things your way rather than follow the instructions of others. It does not mean that you are disrespectful. You acknowledge and value the knowledge and experience of others but you also keep the following words in mind: “... the value of experience is overrated, usually by old men who nod wisely and speak stupidly... experience is comparable to fashion; an action that proved successful today will be unworkable and impractical tomorrow .” (pages: 53 – 54 of Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World)

2. Entrepreneurial spirit

You admire the likes of Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, Richard Branson and Warren Buffet. You want to start something for yourself and create significance rather than settle for a cosy office job. You are self-driven and motivated and a natural born leader. You want to drive part of the economy rather than just be part of the workforce.

3. A freelancer and not your ordinary 9 to 5 worker

This ties into being free spirited and an entrepreneur at heart. You hate being part of the grunge & submitting yourself to the ordinary life of the economy’s workforce. You’d rather be a freelancer or start your own business than join the rat race.

4. Open to new ideas

You’re always on the lookout for new ideas and perspectives. The internet and telecommuting still remains new and untapped by most people and companies and this intrigues you more. It’s also an exciting challenge to do it and make it work for you.

5. Adaptable

Your timetable and work environment is not set in stone. You can work any hours and during any intervals to get what you need done. You don’t mind working from an office, on the beach, in a coffee house or anywhere, as long as there aren’t too many distractions.

6. Tech savvy

You don’t necessarily need to know all the ins and outs of new technology and the internet but you are accustomed to using technology as a tool. Any new information and gadgets are a breeze for you to find your way around. You might not always keep up to date with the latest developments but you have a passion for Tech and making it work for you.

7. You hate wasting time and money

You despise spending precious time in pointless meetings and in traffic. Hence, you hate long commutes and rush hour. This is the perfect symbol of the rat race and you simply do not want to be a part of it.

8. Visionary

Telecommuting is still far from becoming a global norm so it still requires a fair amount of vision to see where the concept is going. You need to understand global trends and see the future that you want to become a part of.

9. Self-disciplined

You can’t afford to get distracted easily and not keep to your goals and daily objectives when working for yourself. Nobody is there to act as a policeman when you step out of line so you have the drive and discipline needed to keep yourself in check.

10. Self-driven learner and researcher

Successful telecommuting is dependent on telecommunications devices and any form of daily use of technology means that you have to stay up to date in order to stay on top of your game. Also, if you are an entrepreneur, you need to keep educating yourself about all that is related to your industry. Keep your mind active. As Jim Rohn put it, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

11. You believe in the power of the internet as an economical & entrepreneurial tool

Many of the successes stories online are of Internet Entrepreneurs. After the Dot Com bust some people remained skeptical of the internet and its capabilities but the resource continues to sprout more and more millionaires each year. The internet has infinite possibilities – you just have to look out for the gaps and make opportunities blossom into cash flow and success. This sounds much easier than it is, especially to newbies, however once you’ve waded through the rubbish that people claim, you’ll see the true potential. The beauty of the internet is that you can reach millions of potential clients in a moment, whereas it’s very difficult and expensive to do the same offline.

12. You realise that our most precious commodity is not money, it’s time

What did you achieve today? How did you create significance and value in the lives of others? These questions relate to how your time was spent. At the end of the day, nobody will remember you for your net worth but rather for what you did with your time spent on Earth. So, do you want to die having spent countless hours in traffic, meetings and with regret? Or do you feel that your time is worth more than that?  Realise that work is a tool used to create another tool – money! And the latter can be used as a tool to your freedom.

Realising your strengths and values in life is one of the first steps to starting a successful business. If you are an entrepreneur at heart, the next thing you need to do is find a need which you can satisfy and work passionately in providing your product.

Maja Dezulovic

For more information, also see A Short Introduction To Telecommuting: Advantages and Disadvantages

People Are Funny Animals

I watched an old Jamie Uys film the other day entitled “Animals Are Beautiful People”. I loved the way the director highlighted the similarities in which we live our lives as compared to animals in the wild, specifically those in the Kalahari Desert. We have more in common than we think.

My proposition is that people are funny animals. Animals follow their instincts. They follow the food sources and life sources which sustain them. If a river dries up, the animals migrate to the next closest water source. Granted, we as humans have become smarter and taken it a step further. We have built pipelines to bring the water to us. However, the comparison I am trying to make is not about following food and water sources. I am referring to adaptability.

For some reason, we have developed the habit of grabbing on to things. People lose their homes because they fail to talk to the banks or place their houses on the market the moment they realise that they can no longer afford the bonds on their properties. They stupidly wait until the bank comes in and repossesses the property. An old shopkeeper will hang onto his decaying fish ‘n chips shop in a dead-beat town because it is his life’s work, that is the town in which he grew up, raised his children and worked all his life. Why is it that we value comfort and attachment over all else? We were created to adapt and evolve with our natural circumstances.

Moreover, for some reason we have learnt to ignore our inner voices and rather base our reactions on so-called logic and social norms. Good detectives, wealthy businesspeople and most successful people attribute many of their achievements to following their hunches. Your gut feelings are there to guide you. I’m not saying that we must become primitive and act solely on impulse but we should supplement our “animal instincts” and control them with rational thinking rather than completely ignore them. The way many of us are reacting to life-changing events and living is counter-intuitive to nature.

Living your whole life in the same box, however big or small you may think it is, is not exciting.  The world is full of opportunities. It is ripe with places to see, people to meet and ways to make money. These things are also in constant change. Yesterday’s major city may be a ghost town tomorrow and vice versa. We must learn to go with the flow and not hold on to the crumbling remains. Life is about challenges and adapting to this ever-changing world.

Maja Dezulovic