As DAXKO grows we all have an increasing number of responsibilities (many hats). We also have an increasing number of opportunities. As a team member who has worn several hats at DAXKO, and usually two at the same time, I have become very interested in how to minimize busy-ness, senseless tasks, and distractions in order to focus on the things that really propel us forward.
Philosopher Antoine de Saint-Exupery (let’s just call him Tony) once said,
“If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood
and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
I am a firm believer that if people are committed to a greater goal that is outside themselves, they will have an uncanny ability to cut the crap, clear the clutter, and do what is most vital to achieving their goal.
At DAXKO their are many examples of goals outside of ourselves. Here are a few that I have heard from fellow team members:
- I want to make enough money for my spouse to be able to stay at home with our children
- I really identify with the work that happens at the YMCA, and helping them do it better is gratifying
- I love my team and want us to succeed together
- I strive to live up to the potential my parents instilled in me
- I want to buy a house for my family
- I want to be in a position to help a family member through a difficult financial time
- I want to see Birmingham on the national technology map, with DAXKO at the center
- I love building software that hits the mark every time, getting rave reviews from our market and the industry alike
- I want to learn everything I can about running this business because I have an idea for my own business one day
Whatever your motivation outside of yourself, getting there swiftly requires focus on the right things, not the quantity of things you do.
When we do not have a clear goal outside of ourselves, we rely on others to tell us what we should do and we occupy ourselves with “tasks” in the name of staying busy. Busy feels good. Busy feels productive. Busy feels like a badge of honor.
Why do we feel so great when check off 30 items on a to-do list in a day? Would one check mark beside a really meaningful thing be just as gratifying?
Maybe instead of a to-do list we should work on a “ta-dah” list. Looking back over your to-do list, how many of the tasks really contributed to achieving your highest goals? Is there anything on your to-do list that would make your “ta-dah” list?
If you think about what you connect to outside of you, what do you find? If you ask yourself why you are at DAXKO, what is the answer? If you think about the scale of success of this company, how does greater success impact your higher goals?
Mark Twain once said, “Having lost sight of our goals, we redouble our efforts.” Without any higher goal at all, I would dare to say our busy-load quadruples.