What I’ve noticed since getting kids is there is no longer time to work on all the projects I used to have.
At one time I was way too busy:
– a wife and 2 dogs(they are part of the family) whom I love to spend time with;
– a full time job as a police officer(2 long days, 2 long nights, 1 sleep day, 3 off, repeat);
– running Haul Guys(marketing, answering calls, doing the odd haul job, handling/hiring/firing employees, dealing with equipment breakdowns, complying with monthly reporting to Worksafe BC/payroll, collecting delinquent accounts, paying bills);
– and a real estate portfolio with 9 units to manage(feels like in a constant state of filling vacancies, repairs/renos, working to attract JV partners for more deals).
I still found time to be on Facebook, volunteer with Big Brothers, watch a couple movies per week, read a couple books a month, and a couple reality TV shows with my wife(I’m embarrassed to say Survivor is one of them, I used to make fun of my room mates for watching it!)
Then the kids arrived.
Our kids are the answers to our hopes and dreams(and prayer), and we waited for them for over 3 years so we are overjoyed to be parents!
But, what it forced me to do was prune down my activity and eliminate the least fruitful activities in my life.
Since I am committed to pouring myself into my kids to give them the love and attention they deserve, this meant making some hard choices:
– liquidate Haul Guys(at a financial loss, although I learned lots from building and running that business);
– severely reduce my movie watching(now I understand why my friends with kids seemed 5 years behind what movies were in theaters)
– delete my Facebook from my phone;
– implement more systems for property management and filling vacancies(virtual secretary, better software);
– I was fortunate enough to get some leave from work while we are adjusting to kids, but going back to work will require more changes;
– take further training in time management(my weakness) and training in focus(I have been listening to audio programs by people like Les Hewitt who teach on the subject).
The time I have freed up allows me to focus on my family, and my real estate business(it’s nice things move slowly in Real Estate), and it’s crazy what even a small amount of focus business has produced so far!
Here are what I am striving for my days to look like for the next few months:
9-10pm to bed
4-5am awake and 2 hours to work online(looking for deals, blogging, researching the economic fundamentals, taking a training course)
630-830am kids are up, breakfast, play, housework
10-11am naps, I get another block of time to do some work(maybe an hour)
1200 lunch, play, go out shopping, walk dogs
3pm afternoon nap – another chance for me to do some work for an hour
7pm kids to bath/bedtime stories
8-9pm a chance to catch up with Marcy about the day, maybe do a bit more work, or some reading
Although I am not able to work on a project all day without interruption like I used to(unless I allowed it – Facebook or surfing online), I am now using short focused blocks of time to make slow progress on my goals.
– I feel much better about spending time with the kids, not feeling like I have other things to do. The kids know when I’m being not present to them and get cranky, so its impossible to do work with them awake anyway.
– I am able to build my real estate business at a steady rate, it is slower than I like but growing none-the-less.
– I can spend quality time with my wife and doing family things. We go swimming once a week, and things like pumpkin hunting at a farm, a corn maze, go to the par, and have dinner together every day.
Since everyone has the same amount of time every day(billionaires and regular Joes like me) the answer to getting more done is FOCUS on the proper things. I just need to keep tweaking my focus to keep getting the results I want in my life, and I hope you do too!
I hear the kids waking up, so I have to go! We are probably going to go do something fun 🙂
Until next time,