Early in my career, I was so driven to be successful I worked six days each week. I went to work early in the morning and came home late at night.
I didn’t see my wife or son enough. Together with my wife Priscilla, we came up with a plan that would allow me to spend all of my time on my one day off with my son, Daniel.
As I got promoted and traveled often for Marriott, I would talk to my son every night while I was gone. When I would arrive home on Friday from a week on the road, I took Priscilla out to dinner. It was a priority above anything else when I came home.
If your job requires you to be away from home, here are some tips to make sure your family remains a top priority:
Use Facetime and other technology to keep in touch with family.
While you are home, drop your hobbies. No golf, no beers in the garage with your buddies…make your family your hobby.
Make sure you are paying attention to each other. You want to pick up on it when your spouse if beginning to feel stressed or depressed.
Do things on purpose. Schedule time with your spouse and kids.
Make it easy for your family to reach out to you.
Change mindset when you get home. Drop work. Focus on your family.
It’s not always about how much time you spend together, but how you spend the time you have together.
When you know you are going to have to spend time away from your family, be deliberate and talk about it. How are you going to do it? What routines are you going to set up? How are you going to make sure everyone in the family gets special attention.
Even if you have not done a good job with this yet, it is not too late to get better. Think about how you can do better tomorrow.