Gandalf: Three hundred lives of men I have walked this earth, and now I have no time!
Over the last six months this quote has kept me laughing at my own plight. Last year we decided to expand the training business within our company. We had been very successful using our expertise to offer training in 2014, and easily doubled our pace in 2015. To take it further meant a lot of extra work and scaling up of systems, staff and processes.
In November of 2015 it became apparent that the Atlassian-focused consulting and SaaS part of our business was also very effective and worth pursuing. We chose to spin this out as its own company, which required a lot of work to kick off. Negotiating vendor agreements, setting up the company, building out a web presence, all this took and still requires immense swaths of time.
I was faced with this level of activity back in the 1990’s during the tech boom. Everywhere I looked there was opportunity, a new shiny object emerged each month to capture my attention. I can honestly say I got lost in the glitter and I am committed to not making the same mistakes again.
It takes an immense amount of self-control to look at something urgent, and potentially profitable, and decide not to work on it. It takes a strong sense of planning to understand the implications of walking away from one thing vs. another. Yet, to live a real life with proper priorities, both are required.
I have various priorities in my life. My relationships are very important and they include God, spouse, children, grandchildren, people I am mentoring as well as those that mentor me, and friends. Not always in that order. I place a priority on making beautiful things, especially from wood. Getting outdoors is also a priority. I really can regain a lot of peace through engaging in God’s creation.
It is important to remember that these priorities are made possible by my efforts in business. There is a symbiotic relationship between the two that cannot be ignored. In my mind they are the two time-based tensions in life. I have watched some place all their energy into business with the idea they will have time later in life. Rarely does this work out as expected. I have seen others that throw themselves into personal priorities without any real investment in their ability to be productive members of society. They become consumers that have little hope in a future.
Finding a balance between these is an important goal. Over the past several months it has meant there was no time for writing. I have had numerous articles come to mind that needed to be set aside. I was frustrated for a while, but this period of time will also pass. While I wait I am going to focus on the most important things I can work on. Sometimes that will be work and at other times it will be relationship. After all I just have one life to live and with God’s help I choose to have the time to do what I need to.
Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking, into the future…
Alan Parsons Project