Have you heard the phrase “time is money?” I’ve heard this so many times before but didn’t really fully understand what it meant. Then I started thinking about my role as a husband, father, employee, and so on, and asked myself “how am I spending my time?” If I am being honest, I probably don’t spend it the way I THINK I spend it. But what if I started to look at how I spent my “time” the same way I spend my “money?” ...
Think about your time like you do a paycheck. When you get your check, you start breaking out where things go, what gets paid off first, and what “extra” you might have after the main responsibilities are covered. Now, take that concept and turn money into units of time. Like this:
So if you look at time like a yearly salary, you make the same as the rest of us: 525,600 minutes a year. If you hand that number to an employee as a yearly wage- they would be pretty stoked. That is a lot of extra to go grab more coffee, pay down that debt, shoot- even buy a new house. But hand that number to a father trying to balance all the things in their life and somehow we always wish we had more time to spare.
Much like we look at our yearly income, we should look at our time. I know for me, I take my monthly check and see what I can or need to do with it that month. Car payment, house payment, groceries, yada yada- all this is broken down into what needs to be covered. We break down money based on how much we have and what our priorities are.
So is it time to look break down our time in the same way? I’ve never really given my time much thought other than “I go to work 5 days a week”, “I have 2 days off for the weekend”, “I am home from 5pm on...” things like this. I have never really stopped to think: where do I spend MY specific time?
If you took the idea of each day being 1440 minutes of “time” to give to any given thing, what would be your focus? What would you do for 5 of those minutes? What would you do with the bulk of those minutes? What DID you used to do with those minutes prior to becoming a dad? Would getting back to some of those things bring more value to the remaining minutes you have left?
See life, fatherhood, whatever-hood, comes down to taking the minutes you have and adjusting as you go. Before I was a dad I would use 480 minutes of my day at work, drive 60 minutes home, and then make dinner, watch tv, and go to bed (most nights). But as a dad, the 480 minutes somehow are not fully used the same way. Now within that 480 minute window I think about my son’s day at school, how my wife is doing with her day parenting the crap out of our son, etc etc.... That 480 minutes somehow gets split up and not fully attended to the same way as they used to. I am in a place of needing to adjust my allotted 1440 minutes to meet the new season of my life. This is something I struggled with as a new dad- big time (pun intended).
When I became a dad my minute allotment changed. Those times I would leave work to go home and relax are now replaced with wrestling on the floor or building LEGO’s. Those weekends where date nights were impromptu, now take planning, coordinating a sitter, and figuring out what time to be home by. When I first was faced with this I fought it hard. Now I choose to embrace it. Embrace the season and move my minutes around. But that is not to say things are always easy.
For many of us we often still stress about things, worry, and focus those precious minutes into things that don’t add value rather take value from our lives. Being in one moment but worrying about something outside of that moment can be a major buzz kill and distract us from squeezing every minute out of that yearly time salary. Think of it this way: you would want every penny from that $ salary each year, right? So why not with your time salary? It’s your time. Use it wisely.
So ask yourself: is my time adding or taking value from my life? Is the time I am spending with my kids really valuable to them? To me? Is my time at work really focused so I can do the best job while I am here and then move onto other things once I clock out? Is my mind thinking of things that are of good in my life or am I using those minutes and flushing them away with worry or stress about “what will this thing that may never happen do if it actually happened?” Time is money and it is not to be wasted. Last question: do you get pissed off when your kid demands something, asks more of your time, or you don’t get to do what “you want to do?” If yes- you may need some focused “YOU” time. You need some #DADTHERAPY.
Not on a couch (unless you want to) but some focused, dedicated YOU time. Time to recharge, refresh, and restore the many reasons you make a great dad. I found when I was spread thin and not focusing on feeding myself as a man, I made for a not so great father, husband, friend, etc. Why? Because in every moment with others I was yearning for some “me time.” So my minutes were wasted thinking about the 10000 other ways to spend those minutes. I was ordering off the Cheesecake Factory menu and pissed with what I picked because I played the “what if I had picked...” game. Ya feel?
Getting quality “you time” helps you feel complete in other times so you know your investment pays off in the end. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and you can fill it either when your holding 5 others.
So- here is the challange for you dads: get your minutes in order. Not because I have it figured out and you should be like me. Rather because you need it, your kids need you to figure it out, and your the best you when you can take care of yourself. Plus, who wants to be wasteful with a gift right?
Get out out there and get in some #DADTHERAPY!
Blog Post by: Steven, DadTherapy Admin