Find the “Secret Sauce” between Work and Family

meet dick.

Meet Dick

Dick has a dream, a day-job, a wife, and two kids. Dick knows there are only 24 hours in a day, and its impossible to bring harmony to all.

  • The day-job takes a good bit of your time.
  • The kids need your time.
  • The wife says you don’t spend enough time together.
  • And the dream wants prime time.

Own your time

The problem isn’t time. Everyone has the same amount of time in a day as you do. Look at Bob Marly, Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, and Albert Einstein. I know, but you have kids and they take all of the precious little time you have. Right? Well Bob Marley had 11, Edison had 6, Lincoln had 4, Einstein had 3 and I have two.

The phrase: “A successful businessman rarely makes a great father” is bullshit. These people don’t know how to manage time effectively or just work for work sake to feel productive.

The problem is organizing your time. It’s amazing how organized you can be in your life. Managing the budget, the family, the kids — yet when it comes to “Me Time” you’re scattered brain.

This is how you do it

The way I look at it, (on average) you can find 3-to-4 blocks of “Me Time”. You have to know where to look and (most importantly) schedule your time in the calendar like any other event.

1. Morning

My mom use to always tell me a quote from Benjamin Franklin: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

TRY IT: Tomorrow, set the clock to 4:30AM and work on that one thing you’ve been wanting to do. You’ll be completely amazed at what you can accomplish when the world is sleeping.

2. Lunch break

Do you have an ½ hour for lunch? 1 hour? More? What did you do on your last lunch break?

At the moment, I’m writing this article in a coffee shop with a pen and pad. Oh, and for you stay-at-home moms/dads who say “I have no lunch break,” what did you do on the last nap-time or the last two hours while your kids were watching at Team Umizoomi? Don’t waste your lunch break, avoid the water cooler and get the hell out.

TRY IT: Next lunch break, pre-make a quick meal (I normally make a peanut butter/honey + banana sandwich) that doesn’t take longer than 5-10 minutes to prep and eat. Grab a book or notepad and head out to the nearest park or coffee shop and just sit there for 30 minutes. Try to go to a different place every now-and-then. Just relax. 

3. Night time

The way my schedule is, when I get home, I normally spend time with my kids doing activities outside until dark. Then it’s homework, cooking, eating, cleaning, bathing, story time and bedtime. Now what? Hop on the tube and see what’s next up on the queue, stare other people’s junk on Facebook, browse the web until boredom? This is your time, don’t waste it.

TRY IT: Tonight, get a kitchen timer and set it for 90 minutes (or use the iPhone timer). Focus and work on the most valuable thing you can do right now and nothing else. After the 90 minutes are up, walk away from what you are doing and take a breather. Go for a walk, stare at the stars, take a hot shower, whatever.

4. Drive time

This might not be for everyone, but I have a 40 minute commute to and from work every day. That’s 80 minutes a day just sitting in my car, and that’s on a good day. I listen to audiobooks, now at double speed: it takes some getting used to but you can easily comprehend and finish it in half the time. Mainly, I listen to podcast: Podcasts are like blogs for radio. There are thousands of podcast to scratch any niche. And, did I mention, they are absolutely free? Also, check out iTunes U: world-class universities providing free content from their courses. Or, turn it all off: Take a vow of silence when you’re in the car for a week or two — I’ve had some of my best ideas doing this. Same can go with train/air travel.
TIP: Bring a tape recorder or use your iPhone to record any ideas or plans you come up with instead of texting while driving.
TRY IT: Tomorrow, turn off the radio and just listen to your thoughts when you are in the car. 

Maximize “Me Time”

So now, we’ve found at least 3 hours in your day. Some days things come up that you have to take care of, but for the most part you have 3 hours.
It’s your hour, don’t waste it by watching tv, surfing the net, or tinkering around on Facebook.

Think of the single-most important thing you can do right now: relax, meditate, run, ride a bike, read, write, idea thinking?

TRY IT: Grab some paper or smartphone and make a list of things you like to do. Call it, “Things I like to do”. Break it down into two topics: Learning and Doing (see example). Revert to the list when you are scheduling your “Me Time”. This list is not set in stone, and you should add/remove items as you live your life.

Schedule your “Me Time”

Ok, now that you have an idea in mind of the things you want to do, it’s time to figure out when your going to do them. Try using numbers to break down time periods: 1 = morning, 2 = lunch, 3 = night, etc.
Here’s an example of my time:

— ME Time —
I found my time and I’m not going to waste it anymore!

Dad day

Family day

1: Read book
2: Work on ideas
3: 15 minutes strength workout

1. Write/journal
2. Run/crossfit
3. Work on ideas

1. Read magazines
2. Writing at coffee shop
3. Movie night!

1. Read book
2. Run around the lakes
3. Work on ideas

1. Read book
2. Write at park
3. Dinner with friends

Stop Dicking around

It’s time to do something for yourself. Turn off the tv, phone, email and go outside.
Do what’s worth doing.


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