Busy Business Man On Telephone In Front of Computer Holding Baby

Trying to Find Time to Be a Truly Present Dad?

I work 80+ Hours a Week. Is it realistic?

Balancing an 80+ hour workweek with quality family time is challenging but achievable with strategic planning and intentional actions. Here are essential strategies to help you find time and be fully present for your children despite a demanding work schedule.

Prioritize and Schedule Family Time

Effective time management is crucial. Prioritize family time as you would any important work meeting. Schedule specific blocks of time in your calendar dedicated to your children, ensuring these slots are non-negotiable. Even short periods, if consistent and meaningful, can make a significant impact. Aim for daily touchpoints, like a morning breakfast together or a bedtime routine, to maintain a regular connection.

Make the Most of Mornings and Evenings

Utilize mornings and evenings to connect with your children. Morning routines can include shared breakfasts or a few minutes of playtime before work. In the evenings, prioritize dinner together and engage in bedtime stories or conversations. These rituals, though brief, create a sense of stability and closeness.

Optimize Quality Over Quantity

Focus on the quality of interactions rather than the quantity. When you are with your children, be fully present. Put away work devices, minimize distractions, and give them your undivided attention. Engaging in meaningful activities like reading, playing games, or simply talking about their day fosters strong emotional bonds and reassures them of your commitment.

Delegate and Seek Support

Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks at work and home. At work, consider delegating responsibilities to trusted colleagues or team members to lighten your load. At home, involve your partner, family members, or a caregiver in daily routines. Seeking support ensures that essential tasks are managed, freeing up time for you to be with your children.

Leverage Technology Wisely

Technology can be both a blessing and a curse. Use it wisely to stay connected with your children when you can’t be physically present. Video calls, voice messages, and texts can bridge the gap during long work hours. However, ensure that when you are with your children, technology is set aside to avoid distractions.

Incorporate Children into Your Routine

Whenever possible, involve your children in your routine. If you work from home, create a small workspace for them nearby where they can do homework or engage in quiet activities. This way, you can be physically present even while working. On weekends or days off, consider bringing them along to work-related events or activities, allowing them to see your professional world.

Plan Special Outings and Activities

Plan special outings or activities during your time off. These don’t have to be elaborate; even a simple trip to the park, a movie night, or a family game night can be memorable. These planned activities give your children something to look forward to and create lasting memories.

Practice Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is essential to be an effective parent. Ensure you get enough rest, eat healthily, and take breaks to recharge. A well-rested and healthy you will be more present and engaged with your children. Consider stress-relief practices like meditation, exercise, or hobbies that rejuvenate you.

Communicate Openly

Maintain open communication with your children about your work schedule. Explain why you work long hours and reassure them of your love and commitment. Understanding the reasons behind your absence can help mitigate feelings of neglect and foster empathy.

Use Weekends and Holidays Wisely

Maximize weekends and holidays for family time. Plan activities that everyone enjoys and make these days special. Avoid work-related interruptions during these periods to focus entirely on your family.

Reflect and Adjust

Regularly reflect on your balance between work and family. Assess what’s working and what isn’t, and be willing to adjust your approach. Flexibility and continuous improvement are key to maintaining a healthy balance.

Balancing an 80+ hour workweek with quality family time is challenging but achievable with strategic planning and intentional actions. By prioritizing and scheduling family time, focusing on quality interactions, delegating tasks, leveraging technology wisely, incorporating children into your routine, planning special activities, practicing self-care, communicating openly, maximizing weekends and holidays, and continuously reflecting and adjusting, you can ensure that you remain a fully present and engaged parent despite your demanding schedule.