This week’s Guest Post comes to you courtesy of Rachel Denning.
While creating your Virtual Lifestyle, one objective is to outsource as many jobs as possible, leaving you the time to focus on your ‘key’ role, the thing that is your talent, the contribution that people are willing to pay you for.
When it comes to your personal life, there are a lot of ‘jobs’ that you can outsource, or eliminate, as well- such as mowing the lawn, checking email, walking the dog, or washing the car – leaving you with more free time to spend doing the things you enjoy.
But when it comes to parenting, there aren’t too many ‘jobs’ you can delegate. You can’t employ a virtual assistant in India to listen to your teenage son when he needs to talk. It’s not a good idea to hire a virtual Dad to watch your daughter’s soccer games via webcam, or to pick your son up from kindergarten.
There are certain things that only we can do for our children- most importantly is actually being there for them, physically and mentally.
As Chris mentioned in a recent post on why being a Virtual CEO was going to make him a better Dad, many of us recognize that we’ve traded precious time with our kids in pursuit of goals that we later realize have lesser importance.
In fact, many of us our now pursuing the Virtual Business Lifestyle in order to have more time to spend with our families. But even while we’re building this new business lifestyle, it doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our family life.
So what can you do to ensure your family and children get the priority time they deserve?
Here are four tips to help:
1. Make time together a priority
If there are high priority tasks to accomplish with your business, you make sure that they get done. You plan them out, work on them with focused attention, and follow through. Our families deserve the same consideration.
If they are as important to us, or more, than our business, or our golf game, then we’ll do whatever it takes to schedule quality time to spend with them, give them focused attention, and follow through on our commitments.
2. When you’re with your kids or spouse, be with them
This means that you stop talking about or thinking about work. Be in the moment with them – laugh, cry, talk.
Look into there eyes, really listen to what they’re saying, and enjoy this moment with them. It will never come again.
Having a good time together is a great way to bring your family closer together. But having fun together doesn’t have to happen just by accident. Plan for it.
What interests do your children have? Find out and spend the time doing it with them – even if it’s new to you and outside your comfort zone.
Take a day or an afternoon and get out to do something – visit a park, a museum or attend a concert, volunteer or go for a hike.
When you can, plan for a family vacation – a time when you can just be together and have a great time. Get your kids involved in planning it. Ask where they would like to go, and what they want to do, and try it make it happen.
4. Work together
Time with your kids doesn’t need to be all fun and games. Some of the best experiences happen when you work together toward a common goal.
This might mean doing a project together like building a tree house or a model rocket. Or maybe you plant a garden, volunteer at a homeless shelter, or take a humanitarian trip abroad.
Not only do you get to spend time together, but your children learn firsthand about the value of work and service.
What have you discovered to help you spend more quality time with your family? What does your family enjoy doing together? Please share in the comments below.
To find out more on Rachel’s parenting musings, check out her blog Discover Share Inspire, and her awesome video on Living the Best Life You’ve Ever Dared to Dream (loved this, Rachel!). You can also follow her on Twitter, too.