Dads Need R&R Too: Making Time Without Cutting Corners

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Being busy isn’t something that comes about overnight. It’s something that creeps up on you over time. You adjust your life when you have children, and rightly so. But the rest of your life doesn’t stop or slow down to keep pace. Everything keeps on going. Then a project at work comes up, and your boss asks if you could stay behind a couple of nights. Those two nights creep into ‘most nights’. And that’s on top everything you have to do around the house. Before you know it, you’re tired, stressed, and feel like you’re on a treadmill.

If you can relate to this, it’s time to take stock, reassess and find ways to create space in your life and quality time with your family.

  1. Stop

When things become too hectic, you reach a place where you feel you can’t stop or slow down for fear of dropping the ball. This is precisely the time you must stop. You can’t make changes without stopping, thinking, and giving yourself a little space.

Jot down everything you do in a typical day. Include everything here, even small tasks such as taking out the trash, etc. If your days vary, then jot down everything you do over the course of a few days or a week. Is there anything in this list that could be removed immediately? For example, things you’re doing that are just not productive and don’t make you happy. Are you being too much of a perfectionist? If you’re hoovering the carpet every day, could you swap this to every other day or even twice a week? Be honest and brutal and find areas that you can change immediately.

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  1. Enlist Help

The second step is to look for areas you can delegate. This doesn’t just relate to work. It relates to your personal life too. If you find you’re spending time clearing up after the kids or other family members, sit them down and explain that they need to do this themselves. Even young kids can help by putting their toys away at the end of the day or placing them in a toy box or bin.

  1. Time-Saving Tricks

Look online for simple, time-saving tips and tricks. There are certain things that you have to do, but they needn’t take so much time.  Here are a few simple examples.

  • Many of your friends and family are having children and a lot of your weekend time is spent shopping for gifts. Save yourself hours of time by buying baby gifts online. Often, the items you purchase are not available in the shops, and you can find something unique and personal. In fact, moving a lot of your shopping online, including grocery shopping, can shave hours off your week.
  • Complete quick tasks straight away instead of saving them for later. This is where something will take you a couple of minutes to complete but if left, is likely to take longer. A good example of this is dealing with the post. Open mail straight away and either action, file, or bin it.
  • Keep baskets in all living areas of the house. This is a great tip for a quick tidy up. Go around and toss in any items that are lying around. The room will look better immediately, and you have a blank canvas from which to tidy and clean.
  • Establish barriers and only agree to what you’re comfortable with. If people try to overstep, learn how to say no in a firm but polite manner.

Time to yourself and time with family is extremely important. Make sure you schedule this in as a priority. And for the rest, get through what must be done and adopt time-saving strategies where necessary.

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