Post by Kahuna Director of Marketing Micky Deming
Five months ago my wife and I welcomed our first baby into the world.
She has been pure joy for us, and has significantly altered the way we live.
Everything now revolves around the baby. We have more laundry, more cleaning and more diapers. Our hands are always occupied and we can’t take our eyes away from the baby.
Simply put, we are busy.
Sometimes we look at each other in this new life and ask, “What did we do with all of our time before the baby?”
We were Still Busy
We are busy now, but when we look back at times before the baby we realize we were busy then too. We still had times where we felt like there wasn’t enough time in the day.
How is that possible?
Since we’re able (barely) to keep up with this new life, it seems like before we should have been sitting twiddling our thumbs all day with nothing to do.
What I’m realizing is that being busy is not about how many things you have to do or how much time you have in a day or even what commitments you have.
It has to be about something else.
Looking back further in my life, I’ve always been busy.
If you had talked to me in college I would have said I was busy. Sometimes I would skip class because I “had too much on my plate.”
What was on my plate back then?
But also watching sports, playing rec basketball, sleeping until noon.
Being less busy is not about saving time, it’s about making priorities
In business, everything is about saving time. In marketing, you have to show your potential clients how you can save them time.
Everybody needs more time
We all have too much on our plate, and want just a little bit of time to breathe.
But saving time is an awful goal in and of itself.
Saving time accomplishes nothing if you don’t have priorities in place.
If saving time is not the goal, then what is?
I’d say the goal is to feel like we have meaning in our actions. We want to do the things that matter most to us and make a difference.
When we aren’t doing these things we don’t feel good and the default is to say, “I don’t have enough time. That’s the real problem.”
But if you never take the time to identify the 1 or 2 things you really need to be doing, your time saved will never amount to anything.
I want to help you save time, but I want you to save time so you do something meaningful with the time saved.
What does this have to do with accounting?
At Kahuna Accounting I can unapologetically declare that we can save you time.
But that’s not the point.
Our goal is not to save you time.
Our goal is for you to be more confident. Our goal is for you to be more profitable. Our goal is for you to have a forward-thinking business.
Our goal is for you to use your time on actions with a purpose.
So how do we find more meaning in our actions?
1. Understand that you are in control
Here is a statement that seems so simple it’s insulting, yet I think we need to hear it.
Everything you do, you are doing because you decided to do it.
We are in control of ourselves. People don’t truly “make” us do anything.
So if you are too busy and don’t have enough time, whose fault is it?
If you aren’t able to do the things that really matter to you, why is that?
When you understand that you are in control of the decisions you make you can be, as Stephen Covey says, PROactive rather than REactive.
Most of us are reactive. Rather than prioritizing what really matters and making sure to focus on those things, we simply react to whatever comes to us in our day.
If you want time and you want meaning, take control of your decisions. Decide what you are going to prioritize above all else and make it happen. And if you realize you are wasting time on things that need to happen, but are taking you away from what’s important, THEN is the time to look at time saving tools and tricks.
2. What do You Want?
Once you establish that you are in control of your time, your life and your choices, that’s when it is time to decide what you want.
Again this seems simple, but the truth is most people drift through their life hoping to arrive at the destination they envision.
If you are a business owner, think about what you want for yourself, your business, and what actions you really need to invest in.
I remember talking to a CEO once who said the only thing that made him successful was relationships. So he invested all his time pouring into people. He built new relationships, stayed focused on current relationships and invested heavily in the people in his business.
He said anything that takes me away from those people is a horrible use of my time, and I’ll find a way to step out of it.
But seriously, I have to do EVERYTHING
This is the challenge for startups or solo entrepreneurs. When resources are scarce, you DO have to do it all.
Or so it seems.
That’s when prioritizing becomes even more essential. Yes, it may seem like you have to do it all, but you can’t do it all well.
So it’s up to you to choose the things that really matter above all else – the things that drive revenue and provide value to others – and pour as much as you can into those.
You may find ways to save time, but if you don’t know what to do with that time, you’ll always be looking to save more.
I’m not that busy
Right now with a 5 month old, I feel busy, but I know I’m not. I know 10 years from now if we have more children with more obligations and we’re driving them to every event possible, I’ll look back at this time now and think, “What did I do with all that free time?”
But I’ll remember it’s not about free time. It’s about knowing I’m in control of my actions and truly deciding what I care about and what I want to be great at.
I don’t want more time. I’ll never have more time. It’s impossible.
I just want to be smarter with the time I do have.