In today’s world, one of the most common and urgent needs among fathers is tips for managing their time. The ability to do this is a key to success at work and with your family, and the beginning of a new year might be a great time to start some new habits in this area.
A recent article offered time-management tips from Muhtar Kent, the CEO of Coca-Cola. His strategy involves five key tasks every day, which add up to a 60-minute investment that reinforces his top priorities.
Here is Mr. Kent’s approach:
- He spends 15 minutes a day “rehearsing” so he can effectively communicate the company’s vision.
- 10 minutes a day are devoted to getting advice from someone.
- Usually near the end of the day, he takes 20 minutes to be responsive and communicate to people in a timely manner.
- For 5 minutes a day, Mr. Kent keeps a journal.
These first four ideas are seemingly all about succeeding at work, but we could also apply them to fathering: rehearse communication; get advice; keep a journal; be responsive. Those are great habits for dads. But the fifth task for the remaining 10 minutes is what really caught our attention:
- Phone home. No matter how busy we are, it’s vital, sometime during the day, to connect with the people closest to us. We can catch up on things, but this also grounds us and reminds us of what’s most important.
- Call home to check in with family members — every day.
- Make unstructured time with your family members a high priority. (They probably don’t like being squeezed into your busy schedule.)
- What time-wasting habits do you need to change? Ask those around you — co-workers and family members.
- Use your errands and household projects as opportunities to spend more time with each of your children. (And expect the projects to take a bit longer than usual.)
- Renew your commitment to do regular one-on-one activities with each of your children this year — maybe near their birthdays, half-birthdays, quarter and three-quarter birthdays.
- What time management strategies do you use? Send them to us and we’ll pass them along to other dads.
– Business Dad: How Good Businessmen Can Make Great Fathers (and Vice Versa) by Tom & Julie Hirschfeld
– Balancing Work and Life by Bill Butterworth
– CEO Dad: How to Avoid Getting Fired by Your Family by Tom Stern