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How to be the Dad with enough time to do everything you need and want
‘I just don’t have any time?’ Have you ever caught yourself saying this? How do you fit everything in your life on top of work and sleep?; Family, Sports, Entertainment, House work, personal growth.
I have great news for you, you do have the time. We all have the same amount of time: 168 hours in your week. We just need to revisit our priorities to make the best use of this time.
So how do you balance all that you need to do, all that you want to do and have time to Be the Dad?
- I’ve got 7 great keys to help you clear and create time for the important things,
plus I’ve created a time budget sheet for you to help arrange what is most important in your life around what you ‘must’ do.
Also because work can take more than its fair share of our time, check out 7 Keys to keeping work in work hours which is how to minimise your time at work with maximum effect.
Time is like watering a plant, the more time you pour into something, the more it will grow.
7 Keys to creating more time for yourself and making the most of your time
Don’t let the pursuit of success lose you your family and half of all you worked for.
At one of the jobs that I worked at there were a number of men in their 50’s who had worked really hard and long hours in their twenties and thirties and had ended up losing their marriage in the pursuit of success. All that hard work resulted in less time for their relationship and ended in a split which cost them half of all they earnt in the resulting divorce. It would have been better to have worked half as hard, ended up with the same 50% of money they could of had but kept their marriage and got to see their kids everyday.
Be time smart
You can maximise your time by combining a couple of activities. I want to be fit and receive personal development so when I exercise I will listen to podcast and get both of these priorities in one time slot. You can exercise by riding bikes with your kids or playing football together = fitness and quality time with the kids. On your commute to work, listen to an audiobook (personal development) or call a family member or friend (community) or listen to music you love (relaxation).
We need to invest in the areas that will give us maximum benefit, now and in the future.
If you could look back at the last thirty years and see what the best investments were in property, the stock market and new technology and go back in time to invest in them, you would be a rich man. With our lives, right now, we can do this. Through the wisdom of the ages and the experience of others, we know right now what the most important things are for us to focus on to give us the best return in 30 years:
So what are the most important things to focus on?
Wife/ Partner - Benefit: daily happiness, love and lifelong friendship
Children - Benefit: daily happiness, an excellent future for them and lifelong friendships
Exercise - Benefit: a long and healthy life
Sleep - Benefit: daily happiness, alertness (lack of sleep is the number cause of depression some studies say)
Work - Benefit: money to keep living, something to feel proud of, skills to grow and develop
Personal development -Benefit: mental and spiritual - a better future
Community - Benefit: people to love, help, support and be supported by.
Being a time smart worker at your job.
At my work, we employ some excellent Mums who have a 4 hour window in their work day. They are my role models for making the most of time. Mums are time balancing champions as they have to be to fit in everything they need to do. They are disciplined and well planned. When these Mums turn up at work, they bring these skills and time appreciation with them. They know that they have limited time and I’m convinced that they get 6 hours worth of work done in 4 hours. See bottom for smart keys for working better and not letting work enter all areas of your life
A balanced approach is the best approach
You see it in the lives of very successful people in film and sport. They pour so much time into being the best in their careers that they struggle to maintain their families. They would wish that they could spend as much time as we do with our families and with the time that we have available. Being balanced in your approach to all the areas that need your time will cause each area to grow daily. The short term result might look like grass growing, not that noticeable but over time you will have spectacular results.
Leave time to do What you love
With all of this time efficiency you can sometimes only leave enough time to do the most necessary things. But one of the most necessary things as being someone who loves life and is alive in life. Find out what you love, for me this is drawing or going for a run, and put aside time to do this. You will feel happier, rested and more fulfilled.
Identify time suckers
Time suckers are the areas of your life that give little return. They can be great in moderation but in excess will rob you of valuable years of your life. Social Media, Television and gaming. Create time slots for these and establish self discipline to turn off when the time allocated is up. On top of this and with no value whatsoever: wistfully looking at the past and worrying about the future.
Now check out this Time budget which will show you what you are spending your time on and what you can do to make room for the most important things:
The Time Budget
One of the most important things you can do for a great life.
1/ Write down a list of all the things that you would like to do in your week with all of the hours that they need, forget about the available hours that you have and just write down what you would like to spend. Firstly start with the obvious, Sleeping, working and eating.
Activity hours I want
I have created a sheet for you to copy and use from here:
Do your Time Budget
2/ Put everything in there in the green cells : Time with Wife, Kids, watching TV, exercise, gaming, reading, etc
It’s going to look like this:
3/ Now with the knowledge of the limited time that you do have you can tweek this sheet and make the hard decisions about what you want to invest your time into.
Once you have created a time budget, guard it. Our world is full of things fighting for our time and attention. Shut out the distractions that pull you from what is most important - your smart phone, phone calls, emails, auction notifications.
7 Keys to do keeping work in work hours
Here are Keys to maximise your work day productivity and to stop spending more time than necessary at work:
1/ Plan your day, set timers, work smart, prioritise. I recommend reading the 1 minute Manager to help with this: https://www.kenblanchard.com/Store/The-New-One-Minute-Manager
2/ Plan like you only have four hours in your work day to get all your jobs done, you will come up with great ideas to make it happen.
3/ Do a time budget for work, for the tasks that you have to do in your work day.
4/ If you are a salary worker, aim to get all of your jobs done in or under a 40 hour week, every hour over you are working for free.
5/ Your first two hours are your most effective - put your most important tasks in here - usually not emails.
6/ Plan tomorrow at the end of today.
7/ Only answer emails in work time, set an auto reply. Answer phone calls in work time, set a voice mailbox.
Be the Dad with enough time on his hands.