The surprisingly simple secret to prioritizing your time as a dad.

The surprisingly simple secret to prioritizing your time as a dad.

In helpful tips, connected father by Kent Evans / June 06, 2019

Dads tell us one of their biggest challenges is balancing their time as dads.

 

Whether you feel like you have trouble allocating limited time, don't feel like you have enough time each day, need more quality time or feel like you are running out of time—this post is for you. 

 

 



5 questions
 

  

Question: Are you able to say “no” to the lower value, off-mission stuff? If not, is it because you don’t really have a solid mission filter yet? 

 


  

The secret to prioritizing your time as a dad: Get a personal mission filter.

 

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” —Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

 

Kent Evans discusses the secret to prioritizing your time (Video 5:03)


The above video is from The Connected Father digital course—full of videos, podcasts, eBooks, tip sheets and bonus resources to help you be the dad who leads with no regrets. 
Snag the full course at The Connected Father.

  
 

If God prepared good works for us to do, then we each have a mission!

 

If you’re like me, a zillion things will conspire to get you off your mission.

 

So, a few years ago, I built a mission-filter, mine has four parts, and just 8 words:

 

1) Love God

2) Serve April (my wife)

3) Disciple Boys (I have five sons)

4) Bless Others

 

 


  

Every time I say “Yes” to one thing, I’m saying “No” to another. I’ve learned how to say “No” to things that are outside my mission.

 
 

 

If you’ve never created a mission-filter, take a moment now and jot one down. It doesn’t have to be eloquent or perfect – just capture the basics.

 

Go ahead, I'll wait here.

 

Ready?

 

Okay, we'll move on. 

 

The main way I prioritize my time, is through this filter.

 

Every time I say “Yes” to one thing, I’m saying “No” to another. I’ve learned how to say “No” to things that are outside my mission.

 

We only have so many hours in the day, so we must make the most of our time – in some cases, this means we should trade pleasures for purpose.

 

You may ask if I’m suggesting that you give up all your hobbies. Maybe you should.

 

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So what? Hobbies are, by definition, things we do in our leisure time – who on earth has “leisure” time!?

 

I’m not suggesting that there’s no time for fun, but even that can have a purpose to it, especially if you include your family.

 

If you feel out of balance, like parts of your life aren’t getting the attention they deserve – dig deeper – look for the underlying issue there.

 

We don’t need “equal time for everything,” so we need to sort through that. Most of us don’t need more balance or necessarily even more time. We just need more clarity of purpose.

 

Gary Keller, in his interesting book The One Thing, said it like this, “In your effort to attend to all things, everything gets shortchanged and nothing gets its due.”

 

Let me share a personal story.

 

One day, I realized I’d been hard on my teenage son for several weeks in a row. I was really “in his face” a lot, and not often in a kind fashion.

 

I felt the need to apologize and to encourage him. I asked him to meet me at Starbucks. For over an hour we talked about life, respect, maturity – it was super.

 

You know what I wasn’t doing during that time?

 

Everything else.

 

Right then, he mattered the most.

 

Of my five kids, within the context of my marriage, ministry work, and everything else in my life, my relationship with that one son mattered the most for those 90 minutes.

 

I didn’t worry about what I “wasn’t getting done,” because right then, I was 100% certain that I was doing the most important thing with my time.

 

That’s completely “imbalanced,” but perfectly content. Don’t strive for “balance” – instead, get comfortable with always being in the “unbalancing act” of life.

 

We are always intentionally trading off one task for the other, knowing at any given moment, only one can command our undivided attention.

  

If you want to be a Connected Dad, learn how to prioritize your time by filtering every activity through the personal mission God’s given you.

 
 

Ask yourself: Are you able to say “no” to the lower value, off-mission stuff? If not, is it because you don’t really have a solid mission filter yet? Tell us in the comments below, tweet @manhoodjourney or email.  

 
 

About the author: Kent Evans

 kent-headshot-roundKent Evans is the Co-founder and Executive Director of  Manhood Journey. Kent's the author of Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You. He and his wife April have five sons and live in Louisville, Kentucky. Follow him @akentevens.
 
 
 
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