Before I became a Dad I had so much time. I still can't believe that my wife and I would binge-watch house hunters for five or six hours straight. There are days I would love to sit there and watch just one uninterrupted episode of House Hunters, although now I would feel way too guilty to even watch 10mins.
As a husband, father of 2 kids with a start-up business and a full-time day job I realised now that my time is my number one commodity. Although I try to cram as much into the day as possible, I still feel like I could use just a couple more hours. No longer do I have the satisfaction of finishing my to-do list, there seems to always be a growing list. Instead, I make sure I have time for my priorities in life, my kids and my wife. To do this and stay fully present I have figured out ways to optimise my day so I can up my dad game.
This one is obvious but not always easy. Every morning that I get up early I feel great. I head to the gym, go for a surf or run down the beach as the sun comes up. After just an hour I feel incredible and ready to take on the day. My energy lasts through the day and I feel great. When I get home the family is usually asleep and I already feel like I have had a successful day. I usually allow for 1 day a week for a casual morning, usually a Sunday, although it feels good to get that extra hour of sleep it doesn't compare to how good I feel if I get up and go.
It is crazy the hours you can clock up watching TV over the course of a year. The average Australian will spend one month a year watching TV! Sometimes we need to unwind and watch a movie or sport, and I definitely slot this in. But I am aware of time on youtube and haven't let myself get into any series lately. No time to TV binge with kids and a business, I don't get stuck watching TV just for the sake of watching.
I like to wait until I have a few texts or emails before I sit down and start replying. Jumping between tasks slows my momentum and distracts me from what I'm trying to achieve at that moment. I try to batch everything; emails, texts, calling people, research, dirty dishes. My wife asks why I haven't done certain jobs around the house, I just explain to her that I'm batching all the work around the house, it's working for me so far.
Don’t waste your time talking about pointless stuff, especially when you spend time with your partner. Catch yourself talking about people and try to instead talk about events and ideas. Do you really want to spend your time chatting about gossip and random stuff or talking about what is truly important to you and your family?
Avoid scrolling through social media and anything that isn’t that constructive or uplifting. You might say it's you're the time to relax and unwind but are you really relaxing and unwinding? Multiple studies are linking an increase in depression to time spent on social media. Use social media to connect and interact.
Create a goal for the day and stay focused on this throughout your daily activities. By knowing what you want to get out of the day you are less likely to procrastinate or get distracted by pointless things. I like to categorise the top 3 priorities I need to accomplish in my day. If something else comes up I try to finish my goals first then tackle those other jobs. Those 3 priorities can be; take daughter to the park, fix her bike, then call Taiwan distributor. Once I finish these then I can focus on the un-pressing emails sitting in my inbox or I can relax with my family.
These are just a few ways I have optimised my day so I get to spend more time doing the things that I love. If you look back at your week or month and recap, are you doing the things you love with the people you love the most? In my life, I have made these a priority and I feel that it has created a more fulfilling work-life balance. There are always emails to be sent, calls to be made, chores to do, errands to run, it's the endless to-do list but at least I am having fun doing them.
"Time is the only thing on earth that is equal for everyone, everyone has 24 hours in one day. " Tony Robbins
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