कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन

मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भु मा ते संगोत्स्वकर्मणि

The meaning of the verse is—

You have the right to work only but never to its fruits.

Let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction.

Even if we work very hard with clear action plans, we cannot control the outcome of our actions.

So, if you really cannot control it, you shouldn’t try to. You should only focus your attention on what you can control. Then you can control only your actions.

For example, if you are a singer, you should sing because you like singing, not because you are dreaming of making a lot of money by doing your performance. The joy of doing the action itself should be your reward. Living a life like this has some practical limitations. But this is where we should be headed too finally.

When we are creating a time management system for ourselves, we are always worried about what will happen if we don’t accomplish those things. We are motivated purely by the desire for rewards. It often resulted in fear and anxiety of losing the rewards. Sometimes we feel guilty. The guilt of wasting time, or guilt of not doing enough. We waste our time thinking of prioritized tasks, scheduled back-to-back. We never think about whether we are liking what we are doing.

To follow the doctrine of Geeta, the first and foremost goal of the time management system should be that you should enjoy creating a time management system at all. To achieve this, we start doing the exact opposite of managing our time. We should create a list of tasks and mark them done as we complete them. At the end of the day, we start listing what tasks we finished that day and crossing them out as if we completed them on the plan. It’s like throwing a dart at a blank screen and going and putting a circle around wherever the dart hits. In Jonathan Livingston’s book ‘Seagull’, there is great advice the great seagull gives to Jonathan while talking about going from one place to another in a flash. “The secret of going there is to realize that you have already arrived.” So, in a way, the secret of successfully managing time is to realize that you are already managing it well by doing your work mindfully.