Take Time to be with Your Family

Family bonding time with parents and children enjoying outdoor activities

Take time to be with your family.

One of the toughest challenges of adulthood is finding the time to slow down and spend quality moments with your family. We often have this inclination to stay busy, sometimes to the point where we forget to savor life’s simple joys. I believe that the higher power understood this struggle, which is why we were given one day of rest every week. However, whether we choose to embrace that day of rest is entirely up to us.

Regardless of your beliefs, today I’m going to share a few simple steps to help you cherish your family moments while still feeling productive.

Rise earlier.

Before I even leaped into entrepreneurship, I began the practice of waking up earlier. Although I’ve always been an early riser, 6 a.m. was my usual time. Now, my new sweet spot is around 4:30. This grants me an extra hour and a half to accomplish a myriad of tasks before anyone else in my household even stirs. However, there are some tricks to this adjustment. Don’t do what I initially did—I attempted to shift from 6 a.m. to 4 a.m. in just one week, and it was a miserable failure. My kids even remarked, “Dad, you’re extra grumpy.” I was indeed quite irritable. A better approach is to gradually wake up 15 minutes earlier each week until you reach your desired wake-up time. For instance, in the first week, wake up at 5:45, then at 5:30 the following week, and continue in this manner until you reach your goal.

The second key to waking up earlier is to resist the urge to hit snooze; instead, force yourself out of bed the moment the alarm goes off. Hitting snooze sends signals to your brain that you’re not ready to start the day or that you’re too tired for it. As a result, when you eventually get up, you’re groggy and not at your best. After about three weeks of following my current schedule, I noticed that I was naturally waking up a few minutes earlier each morning. I’d even beat my alarm and silence it to avoid waking my wife.

Prioritize your family.

We frequently prioritize work, yet we often overlook the importance of prioritizing our families.
Consider how many times you’ve paused work for your family’s needs.
Now, reverse that scenario: How often have you disrupted family moments for work obligations?

I agree! It’s astonishing how many times work interferes with family moments. Here are some tips to help prioritize your family:

Schedule “do not disturb” times: Designate specific times during the day, such as breakfast, dinner, and bedtime, when you switch your phone to “do not disturb” mode. If that’s not feasible, leave your phone in your bedroom or home office while spending time with your family.

Silence your devices: When engaging in family activities like games or movie nights, turn off your phone ringer and consider removing your smartwatch. You might miss a few steps for your step count, but it’s worth it for quality family time!

Allocate specific time slots in your calendar for family activities. I thoroughly enjoy dedicating moments to collaborating with my children and wife on meaningful projects. Initially, I would schedule these sessions in my calendar under the label “family” and set reminders. It may sound unconventional, but it proved effective for me.

Arrange phone calls while traveling for work to stay connected with your family.

I used to travel frequently for work, and it took a toll on my marriage and relationship with my children. So, as a family, we brainstormed solutions to address this issue. Since stopping travel wasn’t feasible, we decided to schedule daily phone calls when I was away. Whenever possible, I made video calls each evening, ranging from 20 minutes to an hour. The key was to ensure I wasn’t distracted during these calls. I would retreat to my hotel room, turn off any distractions like the TV or laptop, and sit down to fully engage in the conversation, being fully present for my family.

Work in a shared space when you’re at home.

When I initially transitioned to working from home, I set up a cozy office space in my basement and spent most of my day there. It felt like I was secluded, only emerging for quick breaks. However, I soon realized I wanted to be more present when my kids woke up, so I started bringing my work upstairs to the kitchen table in the evenings. This allowed me to seamlessly transition to work in the morning while still being available to greet my kids. Eventually, I found myself working from the kitchen table full-time, and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made since working from home.

Now, I take more frequent breaks to assist my kids with their tasks and projects. There were some learning curves for both my kids and me. They learned that even though I’m home, I can’t always stop what I’m doing instantly. Similarly, I learned that it’s okay to pause and help them—it’s all part of enjoying life and spending time with those who matter most.

Plan a getaway to relax and recharge.

Plan a family vacation, or if finances are tight, opt for a staycation. Consider destinations like San Diego, where you can rent a house by the ocean and unwind without a packed itinerary. Stick to your morning routine, even on vacation, to ensure you have time to complete work tasks before everyone else wakes up. This way, you can fully enjoy your time with your family.

Throughout my life, I’ve struggled with this dilemma. I get so caught up in work that I lose sight of the reason I’m working in the first place. Ultimately, I work to create opportunities for our family to enjoy quality time together. It’s a constant reminder for me to take breaks and cherish moments with my children because they won’t be with us forever. Well, at least that’s my hope!

Ensure that you prioritize what truly matters to you. No one ever lamented on their deathbed, “I wish I had spent more time at work.” 
Even if you’re not a fan of country music, take a moment to listen to Billy Ray Cyrus’s song “Busy Man” and absorb the lyrics.

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