You open your eyes. You’re already late.
You rush to the restroom, kitchen, dining room all at the same time (OK you try). Eventually somehow you hop into something that moves and pray to the traffic to be nice to you until you find yourself at your workplace, thrown raw into the chaos of another crazy day.
I’ve been there. I’d be glad to remember my spouse’s name on days like those, leave alone “spend quality time” with him.
“Time-strapped” is a way of life today. For most of us, there’s no way to avoid it, irrespective of our profession. And in the race for survival, connecting with one’s family or spouse is often not the first thing on one’s mind.
Is there any way out of this rut? Here are some tips for finding time for yourself and your spouse in the midst of the delirium.
- Prioritize: In the mad rat race to the elusive “top”, we often forget the real important thing – people. Make sure you’re not making this mistake. Make a list of your usual day-to-day activities. Commuting to work, work, household chores, cooking, watching TV, going to the gym … include every tiny thing. Now take a long, hard look at it. Is every single item on that list equally important? I don’t know about you, but for most, they aren’t. Is it possible to cut-down on watching TV to find a little more time for things which are a little more important? … After this exercise many “busy” people realize they’re not busy at all. :D
- “Us” time: When was the last time you talked about anything other than grocery lists, jobs, kids, the traffic and the latest Bollywood release? But Surprise! Surprise! These are not the best romance enabling topics of the world. “Us” time is meant to force you to turn the necessary off and the romantic on. It’s a tiny 10 minute block that you set aside everyday – only for each other, for romance, for talking about the little nothings of life, for connecting. No, that doesn’t include connecting with laptops, iPads, phones or other kids.
- Family dinner: Whatever you do, you can’t miss having dinner together. Every single evening. Rituals are powerful and a simple “family ritual” like this strengthens familial bonds – between couples as well as larger families with kids. Try keeping the TV switched off during at least one dinner per week. Being forced to talk to each other is a great way of bringing yourselves together.
- Dinner dates: Go on a dinner date on a Friday. Instead of meeting at home first, meet directly at the restaurant. The anticipation of waiting for him/her, the excitement of meeting them at an enjoyable environment outside the home bring back the freshness of your initial dating days (besides saving commuting time ;)).
- Lunch dates: In most cities of the world the business district is concentrated in a particular area of the city. If you’re lucky and your workplaces are nearby, how about meeting up for lunch? Besides scraping up more couple time out of your day, this provides you a much needed stress buster midway through your crazy workday.
- Stay in touch always: A simple “Have you had your lunch?” or “Just beat the deadline…done and dusted…” from time to time in the midst of your busy work schedule can give a sense of being by each other’s side all the time.
Are there any homemade strategies you and your spouse use to get rid of the too-busy-to-live syndrome? Do share with others by leaving a comment.