By Owen Watson
We have all heard the saying, “It’s not quantity of time that counts but the quality of time that is important”. I think in most cases this is true however, there are some exceptions. I’m proud to be the father of two teenage daughters (I’m not saving for their weddings, I’m saving for their bail money!) and yes, it’s very important to spend quality time with them. Although, I have learnt that quantity of time spent with my daughters is also very important. Very often it’s during extended periods of time spent with my girls that quality moments arise. I have found that simply being around them and being available for them gives them an opportunity to spontaneously talk about the things that may be worrying for them or causing them harm. Quite often they may not immediately be ready to talk about their “stuff” when simply asked at a convenient time for me. Sometimes it takes longer amounts of time spent with loved ones for quality moments to come out.
Ok, so this all sounds good but we’re all very busy right? How can a person who is a full time professional in their field or simply juggling all the complexities of life afford to find quantity time?
Here’s the answer, planning and making good life choices.
I spent around a decade in senior corporate management before making a decision to start my first business 17 years ago in Melbourne. In my corporate role things were good however, it was coming at a large cost to my family and my available time for them. Now let me be clear here, running your own business will not necessarily give you more time, certainty not at the start but, for me I wanted to craft business in a way that worked for my family as well as my financial requirements. For me, this was a good decision.
Quantity time will not just happen, you must plan for it. Block out time in you diary as family time. Make appointments with your loved ones if you have to, schedule time to do family activities or simply hang out, book holidays with the whole family at the start of the year before you get too busy to take one. For our family we always try our best to have dinner together at night, no TV on in the background just us together catching up. Sometimes it’s the only time we have together in the day. Is it difficult? Yes! My wife also works full time in a senior management role but the pay off is well worth the effort. You know, even simply just hanging out in the same room will bring huge benefits.
In my last blog I addressed why I became a business consultant. Can I make good money? Yes. Does it give me job satisfaction? Yes. Do I get to help people? Yes. Does it give me flexibility in my time? 100% YES!!