5 Ways To Create and Maintain Quality Family Time on a Busy Schedule From a Certified Holistic Coach

Have you ever felt as if there wasn’t enough time in the day? The time you do have is mostly spent on juggling responsibilities or checking items off of the to-do list versus spending quality time with the people you care about. You are not alone, many of us become consumed by the endless list of responsibilities. Before you know it your kids are half-grown and you find yourself wondering where the time went. As a Certified Holistic Coach, I’ll walk you through how to create and maintain quality time with your family.

I’ve been there too. In fact, my son walked up to me the other day and I thought, when on earth did you get so tall?! I started thinking about how quickly the years had gone by and made a commitment to myself and my son to make the most of the time we spend together. 

In this post, I will share the strategies and thoughts behind creating and maintaining quality family time. I invite you to adapt these strategies to best fit the needs of your unique family system. 

Prioritize What is Important to You

With an endless list of demands constantly competing for attention, it can seem overwhelming to know which task or responsibility you should focus on first. 

I am a mom, I am a corporate leader, I am a business owner, I am a homeschool teacher, I am a mentor, and I am the only adult in my household. How do I navigate the competing list of responsibilities, duties, and tasks? I prioritize what is important to me. Now, that statement alone sounds easy but it takes a conscious effort. 

Here are a few questions I ask myself anytime I feel out of balance. 

  • Where am I spending the majority of my time?
    • How does spending time in this area benefit me and/or my family? 
  • Where would I like to be spending my time right now?
    • Why are those areas important?
  • What would be the first step in refocusing my time on what is more important to me?
    • What is the second step? (and so on)

I once read a brilliant quote by Noel Gallagher that really put things into perspective for me. He said, “I don’t live to work, I work to live”. Although our work may be important to us, we work to provide ourselves with the means to live life. For me, this quote serves as a helpful reminder to prioritize living.

Create a Space to Come Together

Once you have mentally prioritized what is important to you, it is time to create a space to make it happen. Talk with your family members and come together to establish a time each week that will work for everyone’s schedules. This could be once a week to start or several days a week, the schedule is completely up to what works best for your family unit. The important part is that you are all committing to a specific time when you will come together as a family. 

Put it on the calendar. This is a key component of creating a space to come together. Not only are you all verbally agreeing on a time that will work, you write it down which makes it more concrete. Blocking time on the calendar acts as a reminder of the upcoming family time and also notifies others, outside of the family unit, that you will be unavailable during that time. 

Let Everyone Have a Voice

Look at what we have accomplished so far! We have set the intention to make family time a priority. We have found a time that has worked for everyone to come together. Now it’s time for the fun part, determining how you will spend this newly devoted time.

  • Have an open conversation with your family members, little ones included. Including the whole family creates inclusivity and excitement around the activity. This also lets everyone know that their voice, thoughts, and opinions are valuable. 
  • Let each person share how they would like to spend time together as a family and what about that activity is meaningful for them. Understanding what each family member is looking to get out of the time spent together will help members relate to one another. This helps to identify what each family member hopes to get out of the interaction. 
  • Make a list of the activities shared. Documenting what activities are important to each family member helps them to feel that their thoughts and opinions are heard. Maintaining a list of the activities shared will also act as a reminder when it’s time to schedule specific events on the calendar.  
  • Be creative and have fun! Is there an opportunity to combine activities? Look beyond the activity itself and focus on what each family member wants to gain from the time together. See if there is an opportunity to create a new activity together that is unique to your family system. This exercise is not only fun but will help to strengthen the family bond. 
  • Mix it up. Ensure everyone’s voice is heard and all members feel included in the activity. Switch up the type of activity from time to time to keep family members engaged and looking forward to the fun memories you will be making together.  

Create Margin

Now that we have our activities planned out and put on the calendar, what happens when life gets in the way? We all have busy schedules and sometimes things happen that derail us from our initial plan. Have a backup in place just in case something comes up. Below are a few ways to create a buffer, enabling you to maintain commitments to family time. 

  • Have a backup day/time available. Block off space in your calendar on a separate day of the week. This practice will create a space where you can move family time if something unavoidable comes up at the originally scheduled time. If you are able to keep the original family time commitment then you have just gained a free bonus time during the week where you can focus on other priorities that are important to you or take some much-needed time to relax or practice self-care. 
  • Create a 15-minute buffer before and after your family time. Avoid scheduling other commitments right up against your family time. This practice will reduce the likelihood of other commitments running into your family time, causing you to be late or reschedule. 
  • Set and maintain boundaries. Time spent as a family is important to you for a reason. Remember those reasons and don’t be afraid to push back on completing priorities/responsibilities that may interfere with the time you are setting aside for family. 

Make Lasting Memories

Creating and maintaining quality time with the ones you love will allow you to learn more about one another, develop stronger connections, and relate on a deeper level. Time is a precious commodity that we are not able to get back once it passes. Make the most of the time you have together. The lasting memories, connections made and family bonds formed will be a gift to you and your family members for years to come. 

If you have any questions about this topic or would like to learn more about other Family Systems topics from a Certified Life Coach email me at rita.curtis@depthreimagined.com

Rita Curtis, PCC: Certified Family Systems Coach and Coach Trainer at Radiant Coaches Academy

http://www.depthreimagined.com 

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