There are only 86,400 seconds in every day. Make sure that you are spending them on quality items.
One of the hardest things about being an adult is slowing down enough to actually take time to be with your family. We have this “want” to be busy. It so bad that we forget to slow down enough to enjoy life. I believe that the good Lord new this and that’s why we gave us one day of rest every week. Whether we choose to take the day of rest is on us.
Regardless of your beliefs today are going to give you a few simple steps to help you enjoy your family and still have enough time to feel productive.
Get up earlier
One of the things that I have started doing even before I took the entrepreneurial leap of faith was I started getting up earlier. I have always been an early riser but 6 am was my sweet spot. Now my new sweet spot is about 4:30. This allows me an extra 1.5 hours to get a ton of stuff accomplished before anyone ever even thinks about getting up in my house. There are some trick to this though. Don’t do what I initially did. I went from 6 am 4am in a week the first time I tried. I failed miserable. My kids said, “Dad you are extra grumpy.” I was literally a bear to everyone I dealt with. The better way to do this is to wake up 15 min earlier every week until you are at your goal. Example week one wake up at 5:45, then the next week set your alarm for 5:30, the next week 5:15, ect…
The second trick to getting up earlier is to stop hitting snooze, get your butt out of bed the second the alarm goes off. By hitting snooze, you are allowing your mind to think, “I’m not ready to start the day.” Alternatively, “I am so tired just a few more minutes.” When you get up you are groggy and not ready to do your best. After about 3 weeks of being on my current schedule, I started waking up a few minutes early every morning. I would beat my alarm and shut it off so it wouldn’t wake my wife up.
Make your family a priority.
We always make work a priority but we all too often forget to make our family a priority.
How many times have you stopped work for your family?
Now flip that question, how many times have you interrupted family time for work?
I know RIGHT its crazy how many times I have taken a work call while in the middle of a family game. Here are a few tips to help make your family a priority. Set your phone on do not disturb for certain times of the day. Breakfast, dinner, and bedtime are a great start. If that’s not an options for you then leave your phone in your bedroom or home office when you are spending time with them. For every family game or family movie you have turn the ringer off and don’t forget to take off your smart watch. I know you are going to miss a few steps for your step count, but I’ll bet you survive. Lol
Set time in your calendar for family time. Personally I absolutely love taking time to help my children and wife with projects where we can work together to accomplish something great. When I first started I would schedule time in my calendar labeled family and set a reminder. Sounds crazy but hey it worked for me.
When you’re traveling for work set up phone calls to stay in touch with your family.
I used to travel quite frequently for work and it played a huge toll on my marriage and with my children. Therefore, we discussed as a family what we could do to help fix the issue. Stop traveling wasn’t an option at the time, so we decided to set up time to call every evening when I traveled. I would video call when I could every evening for about 20 min to an hour. Here’s the key to this, make sure you are not distracted during the call. There is nothing worse than having a one sided conversation with yourself, especially when you really need that person on the other end. I would go to my hotel room, turn off the TV, shut my laptop, and sit on the couch or chair so I could really enjoy the conversation and be present.
Work in a communal area when you are at home
When I first started working from the house, I set up a nice office space in my basement and would spend the entire day down there. I felt like an animal coming out of my cage (office) for water and to pee then going back in and hiding until well into the evening. I made the decision that I wanted to be sure I was there when my kids woke up so I started bringing my computer upstairs in the evenings so I could just go to work at the kitchen table in the morning. Then when the kids wake up in here and can say good morning. Before long, I started working from the kitchen table all the time. It has been one of the best decisions that I have made since I started working from home.
Now I stop more frequently to help them with problems and work on their projects. Don’t get me wrong there was definitely some learning curves from both of us though. My kids learned that just because I’m home doesn’t mean that I can stop all the time. On the other hand, I learned that it’s ok to stop and help them. That’s the point of life is to enjoy it and spend time with those who are important.
Take a vacation
Schedule a vacation with your family, if you don’t have the funds then schedule a stay-cation. Our personal favorite has been the San Diego area. We rent a house for a week on the ocean and don’t schedule anything. We go and relax. I keep to my morning schedule even during vacation because it allows me to get up and complete all the work I need to before everyone else gets up and moving. Then I can relax and enjoy my time with them.
I have had this issue my whole life. I work so much that I forget why I’m actually working. Personally I work so that we can do fun things as a family. I have to constantly remind myself that it’s ok to take a break and enjoy my children because they won’t be living with us forever. At least that’s my hope, lol.
Make sure that you make time for what’s important to you. No one on the deathbed ever said I wish I had spent more time at work.
Even if you don’t like country music take a moment and listen to Billy ray Ciris’s song busy man. Listen to the words.