Not Enough Time
If there was one common enemy in the lives of our clients, it would be time. The great finite resource. You can outsource, delegate, organize, but you cannot buy more of it. It’s one constant in our lives that can never change, but you’re not alone in this fight. Total Family Management understands this struggle because families are our singular focus.
TFM is alongside clients who are battling not having enough time in two non-mutually exclusive ways: clients are both too busy and feeling like time is passing too quickly.
Our clients often don't have enough time to do the stuff they want to do and fulfill all of their obligations. These clients experience high levels of stress, feel they will never catch up and constantly worry they will disappoint someone. We help our clients plan for everyday life, and aid in handling the inevitable obstacles that arise.
Time passes too quickly
Our clients are often highly aware of growing older. They can feel pressured by time, as no amount with children or grandchildren will ever be enough; there is so much left to say and share. Typically, they have achieved high levels of success and are contemplating the Big Questions: What do I stand for? Outside of the money that I leave to my heirs, what is my true legacy? Do they know our wishes and our dreams for this family? Do they know where to find everything? We do this type of work with all our clients, but it’s particularly valuable for our older clients.
Where should I spend my time?
TFM suggests that instead of focusing on the perceived lack of time, we demonstrate how we can help you use your time better. We specialize in the ‘extremely important, non-urgent’ area of family life, sometimes referred to as the danger zone. If you don’t have family values tomorrow, you will survive, but if you go 40 years without values, you’re asking for trouble.
We will guide you through our process to take control and be proactive with your family journey. People often say that life is like a game of chess. John von Neumann however, argues that life is not like chess, because chess is simply a well-defined form of computation. There is a right move in every position. Life is not like this. Life involves hidden information and luck. Annie Duke argues that life is much more like poker than chess. Therefore, our goal is to build consistency, predictability, and decision-making muscle memory with our households.
We build consistency by conducting monthly check-ups with every household client of TFM; it’s non-negotiable. Our check-up calls allow us to work with our client families to help them create a process they can rely on, which provides balance and control. Each check-up call is led by an advisor with a background in psychology and strategist with a background in administrative tasks. Our goal? Improve communication between the heads of household and take things off their plate.
Making the most of your time
There will never be enough time, it’s true. How could we ever have enough time with our loved ones? No such thing. We all have a limited amount of time on this earth, and no matter what we believe happens before or after we go, making the best use of that time is something we'd like to help with. This is extremely heavy lifting despite the fundamental nature of the questions that follow:
- Who am I?
- What do we stand for?
- Where am I now? Where are we doing?
- How will we be remembered?
Questions this broad and important should not be answered hastily. These questions are not automatically solved over the course of a lifetime. Many people leave this world without thinking about them and that is tragic. These are questions to contemplate, not answer.
The process, the act of doing the work and attempting to answer the questions we pose above, is the point. In High Output Management, Andy Grove articulates that the process of notetaking is the end goal. Why do we take notes if we don't go back and reference 90% of those notes? Grove states that it helps keep us focused and shows the people around us we respect what they're saying. The journey of a family has no guaranteed pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the payoff is the journey itself and the moments we share with the people we care most about.
One day, it will be our time. Sometimes it’s fast and unexpected or it is gradual and foreseen. The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago and the second-best time is today. The same applies to the questions above. At TFM, we use quarterly Family Boardrooms to work through some of these questions, not to answer them. This is not the type of work fit for the morning before school, the evening after a long day, or over Thanksgiving dinner. These questions should be discussed in a setting deserving of their existential nature and with an objective 3rd party who you trust: that is why TFM created Family Boardroom.
Think of TFM as your partner in problem solving. Helping with the most simple and complicated matters in front of you and the resource for better household management. Every one of our client families are different. There is not one common approach for all households to tackle these questions. Instead, we work alongside our clients to first understand how they define success and then help them walk that path. Our sole objective is to help families thrive in whatever way they choose.
We’ll leave you with the good news. If you’re reading this article, that means you’re already putting thought and care and preparation into your personal and family life and that is the most important work that any of us will do. Keep it up and let us know how we can help.