Work, school, church, housework…you name it. They all take time. You probably work at least 40 hours a week. Even if you are a stay at home mom or dad, you are busy with the household chores at least 40 hours a week. Don’t believe me? Ask any parent that takes care of the house. They would tell you that it would be easier to just work a full time job. Regardless of the event, too many hours are taken from our relationships. You probably don’t spend enough time with your immediate family, your extended family, or your friends. Let’s take a look at how your week probably breaks down…
168 Hours A Week…Where Does It Go???
We all have the same 168 hours in a week, and it sounds like a lot, but it often doesn’t feel like a lot. Let’s break down where you most likely spend your 168 hours each week:
Sleeping – 60 hours
Work – 45 hours
Commuting – 5 hours
Chores/Errands – 8 hours
Watching TV/Relaxing – 42 hours
Eating/Drinking – 8 hours
Now, this may not be the perfect break down for you, but it is probably pretty close. You may be taking some time from TV and relaxing and putting it into your work. Now work could mean your full time job, running the house as a stay at home parent, or going to school full time. All of those qualify. Most people average about 5 hours of TV and relaxing each day. I would say that number jumps up on the weekends since most people tell themselves, “I have worked hard all week. Now is my time to relax.” And who can blame you, you have worked hard. You may even sleep more than 8 hours on the weekends just because the work week has “worn you out.” Despite that, there is a problem with this list. Where is the time spent with family and friends?
Time With Family & Friends Is Squeezed In
The problem is that time spent with family and friends is often just squeezed in to other times on the list. For the busy office worker, you may squeeze family in during dinner time or during your 5 hours a day while you are watching TV. Or for the busy parent, your time with your child may be when you take them to school, soccer practice, or ballet. When it comes to your friends, your best shot is hopefully to schedule some eating and drinking time together. That is if your schedules sync up.
The problems with most of these times are that spending time with your family and friends is not quality time. It is usually just a byproduct of what you are doing. Just squeezing them in. You HAVE TO CHANGE THIS.
Make A Change
Instead of squeezing family and friends into other times, set time aside just for them. Put a recurring hour on your calendar to spend time with your son or daughter. My youngest son and I have a Power Hour every week where we read at the same time and then spend 40 minutes playing whatever game he wants. Make time for your family. Have a family game night. It doesn’t have to be a whole night. Just set an hour aside every week to just play a game together…laugh together. You could set a spot on your calendar each week for a couple hours with a friend. This could be going to lunch, going to the salon, or going to a show. Also, have dinner together. This is important and not considered squeezing them in. You can talk about life over family dinner.
The point is to TAKE TIME. You have to be purposeful each week to take time for your family and friends. And it is also important to schedule it. What gets scheduled typically gets done. Make it a point to put family and friends time on your calendar and follow through when it comes up.
Though you have 168 hours in a week, it goes by too fast and often family and friends are left out. You may try to squeeze them in, but the time together is not quality time. An hour of quality time with someone once a week is more valuable than the five or ten minute chats here and there. Since you can’t make more time, you have to take more time. Make it a point to schedule time on your calendar to ensure you are spending time with the people you love. If you don’t, life will put that time somewhere else. It doesn’t have to be that way. Spend that time each week with the people you love by making them important enough to take quality time just for them.