Spending time with family, friends, loved ones makes me more productive. Huh…well yes it does. I’ve spent my fair share of time in an office, traveling abroad for work, on long flights and in empty hotel rooms. It is interesting how when on those long flights, or working out of offices in Australia, Germany, Singapore, Mexico, Taiwan or other incredible places around the world, the most motivating factor for getting stuff done were simple statements from my wife, Paige, who would say, “just get done what you need to so you don’t have to go back”.
That took some courage of her own when we were expecting our 3rd child and I’m in India taking care of business and after an already two-week trip have to extend for another week.Those were long trips but the 80+ hours of interviewing staff, auditing the books, digging into invoices and details nobody else wanted to look at, the documentation and the reporting back to the home office would pay off when I could come home and spend it with the people I cared most about.
I have seen incredible places, traveled all over the world and aspire to much more travel.
What are my motivations for travel now?
Spending time with my family, my wife and my kids, doing something different, getting introduced to new cultures, ideas, concepts, architecture and the liking. I have seen Buddhist temples in Brazil, seen hundreds of wild koalas south of Melbourne, Australia and hiked dozens of miles in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia. I have been to towering castles in Germany and Italy and eaten some of the most authentic and intriguing cuisines imaginable. So when you are trying to find that work/life balance, remember why you are doing it and who it is that matters most.
My motivation is my family and it’s what drives me to manage the businesses I do, build the relationships I have and overcome the challenges I face.
How to be more productive, so you can spend more time with family.
- Paige reminds me regularly that it isn’t important for me to read the pop-up numbers on my phone or the notifications telling me I have a dozen more junk emails. This one task that I let drive me crazy. It distracts from the time we have as a family. There will always be new emails, Facebook notifications, tweets, likes, loves, etc. but if you forget to be present with those you care about they may forget to care about you. Eh, that’s awful but it scares me enough to try harder.
- Work is work
- Home is home
- Play is Play
- There are other things but you get the point. Try changing your mindset on the drive home from work. Remind yourself through a cheesy repetition like, “my family needs me and I need them” or “how can I earn a hug?” Either way, if you change your mindset from the last call you made or the hard client you just got done working with to my 5-year-old is learning how to read and I’m going to help her learn the word, “red” you may have a more pleasant evening.
Find the joy.
- It is easier to stay home, watch TV and veg. That kind of day fits every once-in-a-while but do something else that engages your family and adds value to who you are and what you want for your family. If you want your family to be active then go do something. Take them on a hike, take the stairs instead of the elevator, go bowling instead of to the movies. Find something that you enjoy and that they can enjoy with you. It doesn’t mean it’s everybody’s favorite thing but it’s that you are together and doing something meaningful together.
My productivity matters to my business and my family matters to my productivity. Keep up the good work and keep getting things done. Just remember your ‘why; is why you are at work, busting it every day.