Time for priorities and passions

You are industrious and passionate about your business, but what would you do with your time if you had more moments to spare?


Anne-Maree Brown

How many times have you taken a step back, a deep breath, and said to yourself, ‘If only I had more time? What would I do? What really matters to me?’ Be rest assured you are not alone. We all get caught up, busy being busy. The hustle, the schedules, trying to fit it all in. HOUSING speaks to some business owners and experts on making time for what matters.

Community, cocoa and ceremony

Snaking northward on Barrenjoey Road in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the view is splashed with palm trees and advanced conifers with glimpses of sea and sand. Driving through the village of Newport, just before the beach opens up to the right, you would probably see a buzz inside Cocoa Bar café. Whether you’re lining up for brunch, grabbing a rich brewed coffee or a fruity gelato on a warm day, you will most likely see the smiling face of Nuala Quigley. 

Eleven years ago when Nuala, a beaches local, started the café with her Hawaiian husband Martin, she wanted a place rich in a sense of community and family. ‘I love connecting with locals, seeing the same familiar faces. We want to know the people behind the orders,’ Nuala says.

With four young children in tow, it’s important for Nuala to find the balance of work and play. ‘When we close the door at the end of the day, we want to spend time with our family,’ she says. While she knew service – not administration – was her strength, she needed to make this work seamlessly. 

Over time, this was achieved by choosing the accounting software, Reckon. It meant she could spend more time on growing her business, not managing her finances. 

‘Reckon has saved us a couple of hours every week. We take time aside at the end of each day to reconcile. I feel so confident now that this side of my business is taken care of.’
The upside is more than just family and time with her customers. Nuala now finds time to fit in her second passion – becoming a marriage celebrant. ‘I managed to complete the course online and now it has just snowballed.’

Nuala now has time for family, chats with the locals and the odd nuptial duties along the way.

Nuala Quigley, owner of Cocoa Bar

Finding wheel freedom

In Kelvin Grove, one of Brisbane’s inner-northern suburbs, fun-loving Ben Silver is all about life on two wheels.

Ben runs Benzina Zero, a startup that distributes electric motor scooters. As this Ben’s first foray into running his own business, it’s a tad daunting.

‘I’m passionate about providing environmentally friendly transport solutions. I’ve also made sure I have enough time to be healthy and happy,’ Ben says.

A big part of that equity for Ben is being able to cycle to work every morning, often riding through the local bushland.

Reckon provides Ben with freedom and flexibility, since the software is cloud based and can be accessed on his mobile anywhere at any time.

‘I was concerned about being bogged down by admin, but I found it’s user-friendly and efficient,’ he says with a smile. ‘After all, anything that provides free time is a winner.’
And Ben’s found that using this accounting software gives him plenty of time for what ‘wheely’ matters. 

To see more case studies or to learn more about Reckon’s time-saving solutions, visit their Time for What Matters hub


Discover how to find more time for what matters. 

  1. Focus on your strengths: If your strength is customer service and not bookkeeping, outsource what’s not your core tenacity.
  2. Automatic for the people: If there are tools, payroll apps or accounting software that can automate anything you are doing manually, set yourself up for automatic processes.
  3. A little bit every day goes a long way: Just like dealing with an overflowing washing basket or overgrown lawn, leaving hard work for another day just makes the task bigger. Get in and do some tax or admin every week, or even a little every day.
  4. Be organised. You may not need to have an Instagram-inspired workspace but take time to clear out and tidy up so you can work in a controlled space and find what you need quickly.

Freedom from fear

The word ‘procrastination’, which comes from the Latin words ‘pro’ (for) and ‘cras’ (tomorrow), means to leave something ‘for tomorrow’. Basically procrastination is the postponement of something we know we should do now. It’s because we have ‘feelings’ around the task, feelings that are not nice ones. It’s often fear. 

When your body perceives a threat, the amygdala – the part of our brain responsible for our emotions – triggers nervous responses and stimulates the production of hormones that affect the body. Called the ‘amygdala hijack’, these feelings are often immediate, overwhelming and can result in an inability to move forward.

The best weapon in the war against procrastination is enthusiasm. This is what makes the difference between reaching our goals and giving up before we get started. Tackle a problem that’s been a thorn in your side. When you get in the habit of making things happen, your enthusiasm goes through the roof.

So, think in terms of ‘face your fear and do it anyway’ and take time to reward yourself once you get to the other side.


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