There was one comment we heard quite a few times when we had our first child: “We never needed <insert tech here> when we had kids! We used <insert manual, character building process here> and we were just fine!“.
Here’s the deal. Technology has advanced so far and so quickly, you’d be a moron not to embrace the technologies that would make your life easier and relieve some of the stresses caused by children. Why torture yourself? Just to say that you toughed it out? Please.
Over the past few years I’ve found myself using the following technologies to help with the kids and to get me a few minutes of peace. I swear I’m not lazy though!
While my beloved Chromecasts form the basis of my digital entertainment experience, there’s no denying they’ve helped with the kids. Who needs DVDs anymore when I can stream Youtube, Netflix or my local media straight to the TV via an app on my phone?
If you don’t have one, go get one NOW and thank me later. It makes old TVs usable again and will make physical media a thing of the past. The kids will love you for it too!
I’m currently reading the 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. Groan if you must. I reckon it’s a pretty good book. The concepts he discusses are interesting enough to get you thinking about your own situation which I think is great. In my case it was his take on being busy that inspired me. In fact, within the span of a few days I had a few different resources discuss the concept of being too busy – it’s like the Universe was trying to tell me something!
What being too busy really means.
Being too busy is a myth. We all have stuff to do. What makes one person different to another in this regard? We all have the same amount of minutes in a day. All that differs is how we choose to spend those minutes.
If you’re too busy to do something, it just means that you haven’t made it a priority (yet).
This is why I love the concept of the 4 Hour Workweek. We all busy ourselves with fluff and time wasting activities such that when we go to bed we complain about how little time there was in the day or that we didn’t have enough time to do something we’d planned on doing.
The first thing you should do is evaluate the tasks that make up your day. You’ll probably find there are plenty of things you do on a daily basis that are essentially time sinks. You put aside the core, important tasks that will help you move forward, for tasks that are just fillers. These are tasks that may seem important, but really don’t get you anywhere.
Take email for example. How much time do you spend a day checking and responding to email? It’s a big part of most jobs but does it really help you in the long run? Is maintaining a watchful eye on your inbox going to get you that next pay rise? I don’t think so.
Actually doing the things that you don’t really want to do because they involve work or are a challenge, these are the things that will move you forward. Don’t bother with the rest.
When you start focusing your time on the important tasks, you’ll find that you’re no longer “too busy” in the traditional sense.
If you’re on the productivity bandwagon you’ll undoubtedly have read or heard that having a solid morning routine is one of the key foundations to being productive and successful. Starting your day off correctly sets the mood for the rest of the day and ensures the right frame of mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally agree with starting the day on the right foot (or left!) but it’s just plain silly to promote to the masses a consistent morning routine of reading books while doing yoga on the roof at sunrise. It seems to me that the people promoting this notion don’t have children. If they do, who the heck takes care of them in the morning? Maybe their time management skills are just out of this world… something I don’t think I’ll ever comprehend!
After reading countless books and articles on productivity, to some success, I’ve been able to implement my own morning routine. Not so surprisingly, mornings with the kids completely differ from mornings without. I’ll cover what my productive morning routine is like at the end of the post (it’s not that exciting). For now, here’s:
A Morning Routine for the Rest of us
Thursday to Sunday (not super productive)
Let’s start with the days that the kids are at home (Mon – Wed they’re in day care).
6:00 – 7:00am: Somewhere in between this hour of death, the boys (obviously in cahoots with one another) decide to wake up. Our 3yr old will stand out in the living room yelling “DAAADDY” while the baby lies in his crib talking to himself at the top of his lungs (spoken in gibberish of course). Read more
Globally, 2015 was a depressing year. It’s a reminder that many of us have it pretty damn sweet when compared to people elsewhere in the world. Not that we’re not allowed to complain, but next time I feel the need to complain about peak hour traffic, I’ll try and remember that there are people out there who’d kill for that to be their only issue.
I decided to end the year by reflecting on the many things I’m grateful for and family topped the list. I’m the luckiest guy to have a loving wife and two amazing kids – kids that are all too easy to complain about. The whinging, the sleepless nights, messes, bodily fluids, all of the fun stuff! So many things can annoy us on a daily basis that it’s easy to forget just how awesome having children really is. Let’s kick off 2016 on a positive note with 11 Reasons I Love Being a Dad!
1. I finally get to watch children’s cartoons again without feeling bad