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If you don’t control your time, your time will control you. If you want to be a man or woman of God, properly prioritizing your family time is critical. How do you do it, though?
- Get away from your phone.
Smart phones are one of the greatest blessings, and simultaneously one of the worst curses. Family after family ruins precious family time by escaping into these time-sucking rectangles we hold in our pockets and purses.
When you get home, turn it off. If your work doesn’t allow that, and you have an iPhone, at least utilize the “Do Not Disturb” function so that no one can contact you besides people on your favorites list or folks who call you twice within 60 seconds.
- Eat as many non-distracted meals as possible with them.
Turn off the TV. Sit at the table. Eat with your family.
This does not necessarily just mean dinner, either. For example, I live right next to the church I pastor. I go home for lunch any day I don’t have a lunch appointment. My kids are both so young that they’re not yet in school, and my wife is a homemaker, so we get to grab some grub at lunch most days of the week. This has made my family life so much better.
- Position your career around your family, not vice-versa.
Most people in your career won’t remember more than a few minute details about you in a decade, let alone when you’re on your deathbed. Your family, however, will remember a lot.
When making career decisions, don’t just think about the raise for your checking account or the locale of your office. Think of your family.
- Say “no” to too many time obligations.
I know so many people who brag about how busy they are. I guess they don’t realize it doesn’t make them look important; it makes it look like they can’t say “no” to extra obligations very well.
Whenever you say “yes” to one thing, you are saying “no” to something else.
- Calendar strategic family time, and stick to it.
Fridays are my key family time. Recently, a man came up to me after church and asked if we could go to lunch. I said “absolutely.” He said he was off most Mondays and every Friday. I told him I was off Friday, and he said, “Oh, good. What time on Friday do you want to get together?”
I replied that I was guarding Fridays for my family, but would love to eat lunch with him a few days later on Monday. He agreed, and we eventually had a great meal together.
The point of me telling that brief story is that calendaring family time and sticking to it will sometimes require making it clear to people that’s what you’re doing.
I hope you and your family move to the next level of quality time together. Have any additional thoughts? Let me know in the comment section below.
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