How to Make Time for Friends and Family

How To Make Time for Friends and Family

Most of what we choose to do with our time is perfectly fine, when we look at it by itself.
Work.
Recreational sports.
Hobbies.
Pet projects.
Our kids’ games, lessons or performances.

No inherent evils there.

Even lesser, normalized uses of time–TV, video games, surfing the internet, texting–are harmless, right?

The problem is most of us don’t consciously set out to waste or mis-prioritize our time. We don’t wake up thinking, “I want to be the parent who my kids resent for always <working, being on the phone, being gone> one day” or “I hope my friends come to see me as a workaholic.”

It’s not usually that intentional or planned out.

Instead life-wasters and priority-tumblers sneak up on us as thousands of little things–harmless chunks of half hours here or one days there–accumulate.

Instead of asking ourselves, What’s another fifteen minutes of surfing the net, we might be better served to ask, What else could I or would I be doing with these fifteen minutes?

Is the over-time at work causing me to miss the kids’ bedtimes?
Is that pet project or hobby cutting into nighttime conversations with my spouse?
Are my lazy couch-potato nights ousting time with my friends?

It may be easier to turn on the TV instead of going to meet a friend. To search the internet on our phones instead of playing with our elementary schooler. But easier, of course, isn’t always cheaper in the end.

If asked, someday, in our last years of life, if our activities were worth missing the combined hours with those we loved, will those little time-wasters still seem small? Or will we conclude–someday when kids are grown or friendships have faded–that those simple, harmless activities like internet surfing cost us more than we thought?

Making time for friends and family may be as simple as using that later-life wisdom to pare down our activities now.

What do you think? Are there things in your schedule that need to go?

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