People wonder how I manage to do so many things successfully in such short times. I am able to do it only because I have almost perfected the art of managing my time and managing people. I don’t take work home or home to work. In fact all work can be done between 10.00 am and 5.45 pm. There is no need to work overtime or on holidays. We are like mobile phones; we need to recharge, and that recharging can happen only when you spend quality time with your family or do things that make you feel joyous.

Let me take the example of managing a district. A district Collector has to conduct about 75 meetings in a month, and this they do by staggering it all over the month. But this has a problem. For example, the heath department has 12 meetings, and it is mostly the same set of officers who have to attend all these 12 meetings. I mulled over this challenge, because a Collector’s power comes from travelling all over the district, meeting people, understanding their problems first hand and taking acting on them; and one needs time for this.

That’s when I hit upon this idea, that I would conduct all 75 meetings in 7 working days from the 1st of every month; one day for health, one day for rural development, Mahalir Thittam, NGOs, one day for Revenue, L & O, land related matters, one day for SC/ST, BC/MBC departments, one day for health, one day for education, child labour, JJ Act etc. and so on.

But the crux of this is how to minute these meetings, i.e. what was the discussion, what decision was taken and who should implement the decision and by what time, and ensure that the minutes were adhered to. Thus I had almost 20 days a month for travelling, ideating, innovating and implementing…that’s why I was able to make huge transformational contributions in Sivaganga and Krishnagiri districts, and of course on all jobs I have held.

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