Here at Singer Burke we are in the midst of our annual “busy” season preparing corporate and individual tax returns in advance of the April 15th tax deadline. During these four months between December and April, two thirds of the firm’s annual overtime will be incurred. We have invested heavily in technology and our people to ensure that we are performing at a very high standard of professionalism and productivity. Efficiency and effectiveness are extraordinarily important to us, but not at the expense of the core values that inform our day-to-day behavior and communication with each other. Which leads me to a story I would like to share with you…
A few years ago my martial arts teacher, Albert Marrewa, a Kung Fu San Soo Master, wrote a short missive about productivity. He had heard a client of his express concern that she had not been productive enough during the past week. Albert reflected upon her concerns and defined some criteria in order to measure his own productivity:
I was counseling a client yesterday morning when the topic of productivity came up. My client, a woman in her early thirties, expressed some concern over not having a productive week thus far. She told me that she had a project deadline that most likely wouldn’t be met by the end of the week, and that she felt less than productive because if it. For my client, and for many people like her, a productive week is often narrowly defined by deadlines met, deals closed, income earned, and promotions awarded.
While all of these things are certainly worthy of our attention, a truly productive week for me is one where I’ve been able to meet many, if not all, of the criteria below:
- I had plenty of sleep, ate nutritious foods, exercised, and took time to rest my mind.
- I was true to my heart, gave my gifts, and led by example.
- I was mindful, appreciative, and grateful for the many blessings in my life.
- I treated my loved ones, friends, clients, neighbors, strangers, and even those I dislike with respect, dignity, patience, kindness, and compassion.
- I stretched beyond my own comfort zone—just once—in order to grow as a person.
- I extended myself to another without any expectations of getting something back in return.
- For one brief moment, I transcended my gender, age, body, mind, personality, personal story, education, and job title, and caught a glimpse of who I really am.
I wish you all a truly “productive” week as measured by your own, meaningful definition.
Matthew A. Burke
P.S. If you’d like to find out more information about Albert Marrewa, you can visit his website at www.AlbertMarrewa.com.