When I was growing up, the following song was always playing on the radio:
My son turned ten just the other day
He said, "Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let's play
Can you teach me to throw", I said "Not today
I got a lot to do", he said, "That's ok"
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah
You know I'm gonna be like him"
Harry Chaplin (Lyrics from the song The Cat’s in the Cradle;1974)
The Father in this song was always too busy too spend time with his son. In his older years, the Dad tried to make up for lost time, only to discover that his son followed his example by being too busy with the demands of life. The lesson here is that once you lose time, you never get it back.
Noted author and speaker Jim Rohn said it best when he said that we must all suffer from either the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. If you fail to apply the disciplines that lead to a balanced life, you will look back with regret.
As you continue to read you will learn one of the most important disciplines necessary to balance work and family.
Every minute wasted at the office is a minute of family time lost. Surfing the social media sites and processing emails are two of the biggest time wasters. According to a recent office time.net survey, 75% of the respondents reported that they spent at least two hours per day on social media sites. Thirty-three percent admitted to spending two hours per day reading and processing emails. What can you do to put your social media and email on auto pilot, so that you don’t end up like the Dad in the song?
This nifty app allows you to update Facebook, Twitter, & Linked In at the same time. Have you ever logged onto Facebook with the goal of quickly making a post only to be distracted by an instant message or friend request? Hootsuite allows you can make your updates without the interruptions.
The Hootsuite feature that I like best is the ability to schedule posts in advance. I simply dedicate a one hour block of time during the week where I schedule up to three weeks worth of updates.
This habit alone has saved me thirty minutes per day that I would normally spend on social media. I now spend the extra time at home taking my daughter to the playground.
Email Rules Have you ever struggled to focus on a project because of the numerous email alerts chiming through your speakers? The solution is to set your email rules so that these audible alerts are disabled. This will help you to check your email only at the specific times you set for yourself.
Even though I subscribe to several electronic newsletters and receive hundreds of emails per day, my inbox is usually empty. This is because I set my email rules so that certain emails go directly to my folders and not my inbox.
For example, I have a special folder for any communication that I am CC’d on. These emails automatically go to this folder and I can read them at my leisure since they are not addressed directly to me. This habit has saved me an hour per day of office time.
By Automating my social media and email, I save a total of ninety minutes per day. Ninety minutes per day over the course of the year works out to additional twenty three thousand four hundred minutes of free time to spend with your family.
If you need specific instructions on how to automate your social media and email, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner
PS. For additional strategies on how to balance work and family, get your copy of my ebook.