We'd all like an extra couple of hours
But deep down we kind of know that we'd just do more of the stuff that's already distracting us...
What we actually need is focus and action
I know it can be tough...
At 7:45 tonight, the washing was still on the line, bath time was turning into fight time, and the mythical 8.30 bedtime was looking like a pipe dream. If only i had focused on running the bath earlier... I've had a lot of practice at getting 2 children to bed on my own, but I'm still hilariously rubbish at the timings!
It requires focus on the stuff that matters. Sometimes i'm good at it, sometimes i'm not. At least tonight the kids were fed and I'd done our dinner before i started the bath. And then just when I thought I had it under control our next neighbour started a bonfire and I had to grab the washing before it became infused with 'eau de burning ivy'
Since we know we can't create more time we need to be 'better' with the time we have available...
These are the things I do...
1) One thing at a time
The 'smart' thing is to focus on a task that is big and important, but equally it could be a case of 'Eat that Frog' - getting rid of the worst task on your list.
It's vital to set aside time for one thing at a time.. tonight it was playing 'Shopkins' Top Trumps with my daughter, this morning it was set up a Facebook Pixel.
Other times my first job of the day is that thing that is causing me stress, hanging over me - once this was to cut the lawn straight after the school run... ridiculous but necessary for my own sanity and using a mower definitely reminds you of the importance of focusing on one thing at a time...
2) Managing my to-do list
Every so often I get asked how I stay 'so' organised. In part it's just who I am. I've always been methodical and detail focused (in contrast I struggle to do things quickly and dislike taking short cuts).
But I make life easy for myself with an app called Wunderlist. Everything goes into it, notes, ideas, to dos and then i sort it into folders based on key aspects of my life. I can add dates, sub tasks and notes.. Plus it syncs with my Google calendar and it's on my phone and my laptop. It's a great little app.
3) To delegate list
How much of your To-Do list could actually be given to someone else? Or that you could enlist help to get you to where you need to be?
Tonight it was pick tomatoes, pick blackberries, tidy up the Lego train set, but there are times when the stress of the incomplete DIY jobs means the delegation goes to our 'super handy man' called Mick. Yes it requires money but it isn't healthy if your environment is causing you stress.
But most importantly...
4) Understand what is really important
Step 1 of the 6 Steps to Working Dad Success is called DESIGN THE LIFE YOU REALLY WANT TO LIVE. To make genuine progress towards Being a Great Dad AND Having a Great Career you really need to understand who you want to BE, what you want DO and what you want to HAVE.
Get that right and you have solid foundations to focus on in order to make the most of the precious time you have available.
In case you are wondering when it was time to make dinner we counted the cards - I won Top Trumps 16-14. Get In.