Even with the uptick in the economy, workloads are increasing and fresh demands are being placed on working parents who want more time with their kids. What’s a Mom or Dad to do?
- Be there for the big stuff: Put important events such as the kid’s recitals, sports events, and outings in your schedule. Being there for the right stuff can go a long way in the long run.
- Family master schedule: Put each family member’s activities on one calendar so you can see at a glance what’s happening and so you can plan ahead.
- Mealtimes: Make meals sacrosanct. These are critical times to connect with the family and where ideas, issues, and plans can be aired.
- Just say no: Consider which activities and projects are mission critical and which you can turn down in order to spend more time with the family.
- Play first, work later: Unplug until the kids are in bed, then work afterward.
- Timebox: If you absolutely have to work while the kids are up, or on a weekend, set a specific block of time aside that you will be working. Stick to the time frame. This way the family will know reliably when you will and will not be available.
- Speak of family at work: It’s OK to let co-workers and bosses know that life outside of work is important to you.
Try these out and then ask your family for feedback. See if they are getting more of the time they need with you. Are there other places where you might be able to find more time? What strategies do you use to squeeze more time in with your family?