If you value your time, you are more likely to make choices consistent with your priorities.
They say time is money. I think it is more accurate to say that time is value. But unlike most things of value, time is the one resource that we can never get back. Which means we should all be very judicious in choosing what we do with our time. If we do this, so much falls into place, and we can make choices that are consistent with our priorities.
Yes, I know it’s fun to dream about winning the outrageously big Powerball lottery ($1.3 Billion as of this writing), but, let’s face facts, you’re not going to win. I’ve heard reports that perfectly sane people who never play the lottery are buying upwards of $50 on powerball tickets, and Fox News even had a talking head giving the advice to “buy as many powerball tickets as you can afford.” SMH.
Dear fellow working dads- this is crazy. There are so many better ways to spend $50 of your hard-earned money than on powerball tickets. Many involve buying yourself some much-needed family time. Here are the first 23 that come to mind:
While it is important to provide for our families, be careful not to trade off too much time for money. Our kids may want things, but they NEED time with their fathers more. As part of National Work and Family Month, here’s a post for my fellow fathers who feel torn between spending time at work and spending time with our families.
On October 3rd, my first article at the Huffington Post was published. I was invited to participate in National Work Family Month and contribute content to their month-long effort to raising awareness and support for work-family balance. Here’s the beginning of the piece, plus a link to the full article over at HuffPo.
How do you explain to a 5 year old boy that you can’t afford what his friends have because you’ve prioritized family time over financial rewards? Here’s one dad’s story. This is a guest post by Aaron Gouveia that originally appeared at his blog,DaddyFiles.com on July 8th, 2013.
What good is a fancy car if you only drive it to the office and back? What’s the point of buying your kids all the best toys if you’re not there to play along with them? And what good is that huge house if you’re never home to dance with your wife in the kitchen or chase the kids around that gargantuan playroom?
“Dad, are we poor?”
The question itself doesn’t bother me one bit. It’s an honest and insightful question that comes from a place of innocence and genuine curiosity often inhabited by 5-year-olds. It was the anxiety-riddled expression he wore on his face, and the hint of fear buried just below the inflection in his voice that did me in.
Many corporate cultures make it hard for dads to balance work and family. Let’s not compound the problem by also trapping ourselves. Here are 4 ways to avoid exacerbating our work-family struggles.
A Harvard Debate
I recently wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review Blog Network*. In it, I discuss men’s flexibility stigma– that is, men who make use of workplace flexibility for family reasons often face negative perceptions and tangible repercussions, even moreso than women.
I then call for working dads who have job security and credibility to start to chip away at rigid company cultures so that it becomes more normal to talk about fathers’ work-family issues. This is a first step, I believe, in a long-term process of making more employers more amenable to work-family concerns.
Overall, the article was very well-received- tons of shares, tweets and comments, almost all of which were complimentary. Many said the piece resonated with them and thanked me for raising this important but under-publicized issue. But there was some debate as well. One commenter:
(or, The Dangers of Valuing Money More than People)
Mark Promislo is a husband, father of two young girls, and a management professor at Rider University (and a friend, but most importantly an active blog reader and commenter!), who recently authored a great study on the effects of materialism on work-family conflict. I asked him a few questions about his life, his work, and his study– which I think has implications for working dads.
Freeing oneself of unnecessary possessions and financial commitments can eliminate stress and open up time and energy for the more important things in life- involvement with family and pursuing meaning in one’s career. Here are two people who have done it, and some advice for us all.
Last week, I heard from a state government employee who told me his current job provides him with “much flexibility and work life balance.”
Josiah (name/details changed to preserve anonymity) said he works an average of 35 hours a week, plus he can flex his hours as needed to meet family needs that come up. Oh, and he makes more than $125,000 a year.
All that’s the good news.
The bad news? Impending state-mandated furloughs along with 12% across-the-board pay cuts. It’s a salary slashing Josiah says he can’t absorb, forcing him to respond to an opening for another higher-paying job. A job where the culture is far from flexible.
Josiah came to me with his dilemma: “I’m devastated about the pay cut, but even more scared of the prospect of going to a new job where I no longer have the flexible schedule I currently have.”