All of us have 24 hours in a day. Not one minute more. Some use it brilliantly, others let it slip away.

Take my accountant, for example. Let’s call him Tony. Known him for years through the football club, done our family work for years. He’s nicely set-up with his own practice in Melbourne’s CBD.

Taking chances is not something commonly associated with accountants, but years ago he took a gamble on a development site and bought property out in the suburbs. It was a land subdivision, and Tony did pretty well. In fact so well that through buying and selling property over a number of projects, he’s since been able to sell his accounting practice. He’s only consulting there two days per week now, and following his true love – horse breeding. Fancy that.

I was having coffee with Tony only recently when he shared something else of his personal success story with me. No, it’s not to get your tax in on time, buy some property or take up an equine business. His considered advice? Use your time wisely, because you don’t ever get it back; focus on quality time, spend time following your passions.

Donald P. Coduto says, “The most important thing, is to keep the most important thing, the most important thing.”

It’s a great reminder for all of us when we’re planning our future: Work hard, take a few risks, but leave time for your most important things. For Tony it’s his horses.

In business we are constantly forecasting and strategising for the future success of our organisations. It took an accountant to remind me that our most rewarding investments in life aren’t those we’ve calculated to make some money for our retirement. I’m planning to get the most out of my 24hrs, spend more quality time with the family, keep the body moving at the gym… and get my tax return in early to Tony.

How do you get the most out of your 24 hours? How have you brought your passion to your world @work?