Making time for real accomplishment

September 27, 2012

By Bob Johnson, NAID CEO

First of all, I want to thank Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, for acting as NAIDnotes’ guest blogger this past Tuesday. Dr. Cavoukian is one of the most highly regarded privacy and data protection professionals in the world and is the creator of the internationally recognized concept of Privacy by Design.  She has been a great advocate of secure destruction and friend to NAID for many years.

So, it’s Thursday and time for another NAIDnotes post.NAID staff is talking in the halls about their weekend plans. Personally, I am wondering whether I will have time to finish the neglected yard work this weekend.  But, with yet another Friday in the headlights, there’s another thought that crosses my mind: “What did I accomplish this week?”

Did I work on a long-range, strategic marketing initiative or was my time consumed reacting to immediate operational issues? Was I able to conclude a project that will pay dividends for years to come, or was I preoccupied with random interruptions and administrative functions?

True, I had a lot of meetings but meetings are not accomplishments in it of themselves. We all know that there is a lot of truth in the saying “too busy to make any money.”

So, while I sit here thinking about whether those shrubs are going to get trimmed, I also have to determine when – amid the flurry and bluster of running this organization – I will prioritize my schedule so I have the time to spend on strategic marketing projects. I have to schedule a time to create.

Most of life just happens to us. But if everything just happens to us, we are simply victims. The difference between real accomplishment and the illusion of achievement may just be the ability to insert thoughtful, purposeful, intentional results in a world that is otherwise largely out of our control.

By the way, there is no shame in asking for help, especially if you are a small business owner. In fact, it is quite the opposite, the value of such collaboration is immense. A trusted marketing adviser is worth their weight in gold, not only for their proven creative aptitude, but because he or she imposes the required discipline to the process.