Catholic Husband

Love, Lead, Serve

Block Out "You" Time

We all need margin in our lives. Finding that margin can be difficult, but it needs to be a priority.

I love productivity hacks and I love planning my weeks and days. The thing is, most days, Benedict isn’t really interested in cooperating with my schedule. I’ve always performed better when I control a huge block of time in which I can execute my tasks or plan. Until the past two weeks or so, Benedict’s schedule has only given me small pockets of time. It’s been an adjustment to make to get motivated to do short bursts of work. What I really noticed is that if I don’t carefully block out personal time, it didn’t happen.

We need to be working. We need to be praying. We need to be sleeping. We need to be playing with our family. We also need to have some time each day for doing something that we really want to do. It may be reading, playing a video game, or watching a movie. We need time to ourselves that isn’t goal-related, that isn’t work, and that's 100% fun. So does your wife.

Getting this time to happen is always the challenge, and it’ll continue to be a challenge throughout your life. The way for both you and your wife to have this special time is to communicate your expectations.

  • How often? If you think of your time like a budget, you’ll quickly figure out that there are way more things that you would like to do than you have time for. I’d love to be working on multiple writing projects, apps, podcasts, and other Catholic Husband things to make this a better resource for you, but I just simply don’t have the time for it all. So I have to edit things down. You’re the same way. What does that mean for your margin time? It means that it might not happen every day. It might be every other day or a few times a week.
  • How long? In your mind, how much time would you like to have for this time block? I love playing Civ V, but by the hour and a half mark, I’m bored and ready for something new. By sharing with your wife how long you need (and vice versa) you can both be guilt free because you both know exactly what to expect.
  • When? As a husband, your time is not your wholly your own. As a father, you have the opportunity to share more of your time with your family. Finding a good time for this margin is going to be the most critical component of your success. It might be before the kids get up or after they go to bed. On the weekend, plan with your wife when you’d like the margin time and ask her to take care of the kids. Then, when she’s ready for her time, you’ll watch the kids. Teamwork is a beautiful thing.

If you have clear expectations with your wife, you can both enjoy your respective margin times without guilt, fear, or worry. Everything is taken care of, you aren’t being selfish, what you’re doing is an approved activity. It’s one of the most relaxing feelings in the world.

You need margin time in your life. You need alone time. You need fun. Plan to take some regular margin time and don’t neglect it!
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