Written by Amy Koebert

Unpacking a jam-packed schedule

After working an almost 10-hour day, arriving home makes you want to relax with your family or enjoy well-deserved time to yourself. But there are always so many other things to do: dinner needs to be on the table soon, dishes and laundry are piling up, the bathroom is crying out for a good cleaning, the lawn needs mowing, lunches need packing, and the list goes on and on.

How do we accomplish all of the things that we need to do around the house after a long day or week, and also make the best of our time, for ourselves or with our families? Here are a few insights on how to connect with others with a jam-packed schedule.

Turn off the phone and share a meal

In today’s working world, it feels as though the emails are constant, even into the wee hours of the morning, which makes it important that we turn off our phones and sit down to share a meal with others.

Enjoy a positive conversation about your favorite part of the day, and encourage your family or whoever you are with to join in. You can also share some concerns, to help vent any frustration from the day, and for those with children, dinner conversation is a great playground to practice conversation skills.

There is a profound amount of positive outcomes that occur when we eat dinner and share with others, such as improved moods and stronger, more compelling relationships.

Find uninterrupted, intentional time

On top of sharing meals with others and disconnecting from technology, it is important that we forget about the stresses of chores and other tasks to focus entirely on where we are. Engage in conversation fully; truly step back from work and other commitments to focus on enjoying your time with who you are with.

For those with children, it is even more important to provide undivided attention for at least 30 minutes a day. You play a game, paint a picture, ride your bikes, kick a ball around the yard, read a book and explore what your child enjoys the most.

Encourage family chores

After enjoying a meal together and spending some time with your children, it’s time for the chores. Chores are another great way for children to learn life skills while enjoying the company of family. Can the children clear the dishes after dinner? Can they put the laundry into the washing machine? Or maybe even put their own clothes away that were already washed?

By making these items a part of our daily routine for our children, we get to enjoy another way of spending time with them, while teaching responsibility and independence, all while accomplishing mundane tasks that occur within each household.

I believe that increased interaction with family members assures our children are getting the support and love they need. With increased interaction, children can feel proud of themselves and become more independent individuals in situations where they are not with their parents.

Spending focused time with your significant other

Focused, attentive time with your partner is equally as important and just as beneficial as spending time with others. Try to put all the distractions away and enjoy your significant other by talking over dinner, going for a walk, cooking dinner, or listening to music. Ensure that no matter how you spend this time, you give your partner your undivided attention.

There will always be distractions in our lives, but it’s important to spend those uninterrupted moments in an intentional way. Maybe it’s with your best friends, your children, your significant other, or your loved ones. Spending quality time with others lays the foundation for deeper, more compelling connections. It can create more joy and appreciation for those around us, help us become better listeners, and remind us to be present in the moment.

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