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Productivity

Commit Yourself to A Program

Person works on a checklist

What a privilege it is to live in the Modern era. No matter what goal I set for myself, someone has already achieved it, and their method is readily available to me. I want to lose weight, and there are plenty of plans out there to help me implement the proven program.Read Article

Momentum

Running shoes with a field in the background

A 10-day stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) will drain you. Lucy’s stay was a bit unexpected, and very frustrating. I think any parent of a newborn shares these emotions. Read Article

A Successful Day

City lights at night

Defining success is elusive. In fact, it’s one of the more personal determinations that we make. We’ve had some great examples of success with the recent Winter Olympic games. It’s easy to conclude that the gold medal is the only one worth having, but how good must bronze feel after a decade of sacrifice, training, and hard work?Read Article

The Necessity of Rest (and Why You Need More of It)

I spent four years in the workforce after college. The environment was challenging, but it was a nonprofit, so people were kind about it. There was a constant tension over work hours. The more experienced employees came up through the company at a time where results came at any cost. My peers and I were more interested in having a work/life balance. This difference of opinion centered on one critical element: the role of rest. To them, we were lazy. To us, they were unreasonable.Read Article

Personal Pride

My neighbors love to sit outside and talk to one another. The other day, I was chatting with one of them, and he was telling me about his daughter who is just about to get her drivers license. He told me about how she wants a car, but how it has to be fancy and new. He then shared a story with me about his first car, a truck, that he paid off only to have it totaled shortly thereafter. In further reflecting on this gentleman’s predicament with his daughter, I thought about personal pride and how it relates to our lives.
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Enough Breaks Already

It’s really easy to cut yourself too much slack. You laud praises on yourself for a good week’s worth of work and award yourself a day off. That day off turns into two, and the snowball continues. Rest is not a reward, it’s a necessary part of work. Rest is rejuvenating, it restores creative capacity, and it promotes health. Too much rest is sloth, laziness, and leads to a sedentary lifestyle. In order to rest, there must be work.Read Article

Keeping Priorities Straight

If you feel guilty spending time with your family instead of working, you need to adjust your priorities.Read Article

What Great Things Will You Do in 2016

I've asked you how you will use the fresh start that the New Year gives you, but today I want to ask you a different question. What great things will you do in 2016?Read Article

Cutting Corners is Weak

Personal integrity is a key component to success. In fact, America's millionaires rated integrity as the number one reason for their success. Laziness is perhaps the greatest human vice. We have so much potential, the power of our minds, the dexterity of our hands, and a multitude of tools that to take all of these assets and not use them for anything is a waste. Our time and our days mean something, though in the moment that may not be entirely clear. Laziness is more than just complete idleness, it's also cutting corners. It's acceptable to acknowledge our tendency to find easy ways out. Half of the battle is knowing just who your enemy is. Instead of cutting those corners, and inevitably losing, do the job right.Read Article

Persistence Wins

If you work long enough at something, you'll see results and win. Persistence is the most helpful attribute that you can have when you're pushing for a goal of any kind. The diligent always prosper.
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Try New Things in Your Career

The New Year presents many interesting possibilities. You have a blank canvas of twelve months to go out and do something new, unique, challenging, and interesting. While many of us tend to think more about personal goals or dreams, I'd encourage you to consider your career as well.Read Article

When to Quit

Around this time of year, I'm always excited by the potential of the new year. I have a long list of things I want to try and do, and inevitably I start running at all of them, at the same time. While the new year is a great time to add some things to your life, it's also the perfect time to pare down activities that aren’t producing results.Read Article

Take A Break

The biggest downside to being self-employed is that there's no paid vacation. When I don't work, I don't get paid. This creates a dramatic tension that leaves me feeling guilty when I'm not working the hours that I need to be. Yet, intellectually, it's completely unrealistic to expect full employment and full hours, 52 weeks a year. Life isn't about money, but money is certainly important. Set goals, work hard, but don't exhaust yourself and lose everything.
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2016 Goals

2016 is officially here! As is my tradition, I wanted to share with you my goals for the upcoming year. Just as I did last year, my goals are balanced across all areas of my life: financial, spiritual, intellectual, career, social, family, and fun. Sharing them with you is a great way for me to stay accountable to them. I began my goal planning at the end of November and started actually working on my goals in mid-December.Read Article

Setting Your Goals for 2016

I think that the most interesting aspect of goal setting is looking at them in hindsight. As I sit here looking at the goals that I set for myself, I have to laugh at how much things have changed over the past 12 months. Some goals I beat by huge margins, and others I completely abandoned. It’s the nature of the year and the nature of change. The real secret to having goals that get accomplished is to start planning, in detail, right now.Read Article

Never Quit

Quitters quit. In perhaps the most obvious statement ever made on this blog, I'll state it again. People who are quitters quit things. The strange thing is that many quit just before they hit their inflection point. I've been tempted to quit this blog dozens, if not hundreds of times over the past two and a half years. At this point, the momentum is with me, and I just keep rolling. My writing skills have improved and I've found my voice.Read Article

The Speed of A Year

The speed of time never ceases to amaze me. It seems like every time I blink a day, week, month, season, or year is over. Perhaps no season travels faster than Summer. When it comes to big units of time (months, years), I seem to be intentional in how I spend my time, but in the days and hours, I tend to be more carefree. If I want to make those months and years mean something, I need to keep focused and live each day with purpose.Read Article

Believe in Yourself

There's a direct correlation between how successful you are and how diligently you work. The hardest workers get promoted the fastest, get the biggest raises, and are given the most freedom. You can be the top performer in your company if you show up every day and bring your A game.Read Article

Cutting Your Schedule

It's said that the worst boss that you'll ever work for is yourself. At one time or another, you may take on a side job in addition to the work at your main employer. When you take on additional work, there's little opportunity for you to take on additional hours in the day. Instead, hours have to be reallocated from activities such as watching TV, surfing the Internet, or sleep. At the same time, a fast paced life is kind of fun. The American Dream compels us to get out of bed at 5am and stay up late into the night toiling so that we can have it all.Read Article

Persistance vs. Overwork

As I sit down to write this post, I'm surrounded my mountains of stuff. My office is a complete wreck and frankly, I don't work well unless my surroundings are clean. It's been a very crazy few days between flying, being sick, and chasing Benedict all while maintaining a household. I've been seeking a greater balance in my life that involves prayer time, reading time, play time, down time, cleaning time, family time, and exercise time, all of which take away potential work time. Whether you're self-employed, work from home, have a scheduled job, or are a stay-at-home parent, we all face this great balancing act. The sticky part is determining what qualifies as persistence and what qualifies as overwork.Read Article

Regroup Weekly

I clean our house every Saturday, both inside and out. The laundry is done, the floor is vacuumed, the car is washed, the bathrooms are cleaned, and the lawn is mowed. Saturday evening is a great time of relaxation for me because everything is in its place. By the following Friday, life has happened and the house needs cleaning again. I maintain this weekly schedule because at some point during the week, everything goes off the tracks and I need a reset.Read Article

Work Needs A Finish Line

The line between on the clock and off the clock has been blurred beyond recognition. Today's workforce is finding it increasingly difficult to stop working. Ever. We work at home in the evening, in the morning before work hours begin, and even, sadly, on vacation. I've allocated myself 7 hours during the day for work and, to be completely honest, I struggle to stop working even then. When I lay my head down in the evening, I'm exhausted from a day full of work and chasing Benedict.Read Article

The Secret to Winning Your Morning

The past six months have been a time of great change in my daily routine. With Benedict now walking and the weather starting to get nice outside, everything about my routine has evolved. I'm thankful to finally be able to walk in the morning again and also that the pace of my work is picking up. All of these changes have had a significant impact on how I plan out my day, although Benedict ultimately holds a veto over the schedule. Essentially, I've found that getting my morning started with just the right mix of prayer, work, and family gives me the best chance of feeling satisfied when I lay my head down at night.Read Article

Reset Occasionally

I keep rigorous track of my goals throughout the year. I've mentioned before that I use the HabitList app on my phone in order to keep tabs on how well I'm doing. HabitList uses a method called streaking in which the user attempts to repeat the same task for consecutive days with the goal of achieving the longest streak of days. After extended periods of failure and defeat, however, streaking can work against me. If I see that it's been a while since I've done a particular task, then I'm less inclined to do it. I fall victim to "one more day” thinking, in which it doesn’t matter if I skip today, because I can always do it tomorrow. Sometimes in life, and especially in the pursuit of a goal, it's ok to reset the clock.Read Article

A Place for Everything

I love living in a clean house. There’s something freeing about having wide open spaces with everything in its place. We all ensure that our homes are clean before we entertain or have guests over, but in the in-between times it’s often difficult for us to keep our houses completely clear of clutter. It just seems like cleaning ends up ranking pretty low on our to do lists during the week. One strategy that I’ve found to be particularly effective for cleaning is instead of setting things down, I put them away.Read Article

Blazing Your Own Path

I wish I had started my web design business back in college. The free enterprise system and the American Dream are built on the idea that if you can do something or sell something, then the only limiting factor is you. You don't need anyone's permission. Just get out there and get it done. If I had started years ago, I'd be in a very different place right now. Yet, I'm not going to spend much time dwelling on those missed opportunities. Instead, I'm going to blaze a path forward.Read Article

Rest vs. Idleness

Idle hands are the Devil's tools, yet God rested on the 7th day. Rest and idleness are very close cousins and it can be difficult to figure out which is which. While rest leads to rejuvenation, idleness leads to a near occasion of sin. Which is which and how do we make sure we're resting and not simply idling?Read Article

Relentless Positive Action

While I was living in Michigan, I was particularly impressed with the Governor's mantra, "Relentless positive action." When he was elected into office, the State was experiencing a very tough downturn and Gov. Snyder seemed to not let any problem get in his way. He wanted to get the State back on track and improve the lives of its citizens. This mantra, combined with a dose of courage, helped him make some pretty remarkable political moves. I really liked the idea of relentless positive action because it demands that we always move forward, no matter how big the challenges are.Read Article

Take Care of Your Home

I've gotten into a bad habit lately, where I ignore most of my daily to-dos for the sake of getting more work done. While it does feel good to make significant progress on writing and web design, it feels miserable living in a home that’s unkempt. I know that it's important to clean and I know how good it feels when everything is in its place, it's just that sometimes I let things get away from me.Read Article

Struggling with Focus

The reality of the finite nature of time is never more apparent than when you're doing something that you really love. For whatever reason, time seems to move particularly fast when you're engaged in a passion project, having a wonderful day, or experiencing some other great thing. For me, I have ideas of things that I'd like to do with Catholic Husband on a daily basis. Each idea has its own unique opportunity and could lead to other great things. However, I know that the key to success in any endeavor is focus. Without focus, nothing can be accomplished.Read Article

It's Okay to Rest

Go, go, go, go. The frantic pace of our lives has gotten really out of control. We run all day at work, only to get home and have precious few hours to recharge our batteries before starting a new day. Of course, those hours are often broken up by more work in the form of business emails, finishing up presentations, and work on other projects. We've become a culture that celebrates busyness for the sake of busyness, to the detriment of our wellness. The employee who works all day and goes home to work for several more hours is praised as a performer. The employee who works for 8 hours and then goes home and rests is reprimanded and regarded as lazy. We've forgotten that rest isn't a bad thing, and that it actually allows us to move forward.Read Article

Do Something Amazing This Summer

Believe it or not, the summer months are upon us! Schools will soon be shuttering their doors for the season and temperatures will continue to rise, allowing for a more robust daily outdoor schedule. Summer signals more than just a season of rest, relaxation, and recreation; it signals the midpoint of the year.Read Article

Confront Fear

One of the more popular topics in the blogosphere lately is fear. More and more, people who've achieved some degree of celebrity have turned the spotlight onto the crippling fear that we all face when we chase our dreams. This light is being used to show that even people who seem to have it all, who are at the top of their game, had to battle it out with their own fears of inadequacy in order to reach their goal. Fear is paralyzing, but often is unfounded.Read Article

Managing Notifications

A few weeks ago, I noticed a drop in my productivity. I took a few days to consider the root cause of why I wasn't being as productive as I thought I should be. I have anywhere between four and eight hours a day when Benedict is napping in which to work and take care of other household tasks. In the past, I'd been able to eek out five to six hours of work without any problems, the rest of the time dedicated to reading, cleaning, or other tasks that popped up. Yet, lately, I'd been having a real problem getting to even just three hours of work. Then it hit me, I was being constantly derailed by notifications on my phone.Read Article

Adult Report Cards

When I was in high school, in my Junior and Senior year, I was introduced to something truly horrible. It was a system called EdLine and it gave my parents direct, realtime access to my teacher's grade books. While I performed well academically, the pressure of constantly knowing one's grade was almost too much. With the press of a button, a bad test grade could ruin an entire weekend. My parents loved it because they had a granular view of my progress and could spot trends.Read Article

Don't Press Snooze

I have three layers of alarms each morning. My Fitbit has 3 silent alarms scheduled each morning for 4:55am, 4:57am, and 4:59am. At those times, it vibrates on my arm until I press a button to dismiss it. At 5:00am the lights in my bedroom slowly come on. Finally, as a fail-safe, at 5:05am, a very loud, and very annoying, alarm on my phone goes off. Most days, all I need is the Fitbit. Some days, I need the lights to help. On a rare occasion, my phone is there to save the day from getting away from me.Read Article

Room to Breathe

We all need a little wiggle room. In the course of a week, most of your time is spoken for. Living an overly burdened schedule can lead to exhaustion, burnout, and you not giving your very best every day. You deserve, and you need, room to breathe.Read Article

Be A Thought Leader

There are two types of leaders in your company: the named leaders and the thought leaders.Read Article

Why You Should Do Your Job Well

There seems to be a natural tension between employee and employer. At the company I was at before, though widely known for its many good works in the community, there was a massive turnover of employees before year three. The number one cause cited in exit interviews was poor management.Read Article

My 2015 Goals

The New Year is here! 2014 is over and gone and 2015 has officially arrived.Read Article

Why Resolutions Fail

We’re very rapidly approaching 2015 and with it, the onslaught of New Year’s Resolutions. Year after year, people make promises to themselves that invariably collapse by January 15th. Why don’t resolutions work?Read Article

Take Vacation

I want to begin this post by noting that I’m on vacation all this week. There will, of course, be new posts and some social media updates, but I won’t be writing and I won’t be actively working on any projects. It’s been a busy, and very successful 2014 thanks to both you and Alison. We’ve made huge progress on the Catholic Husband blog, published two books, and launched a podcast.Read Article

What to Do When You Want to Add Something New

Time is finite. Each day, we have just 24 hours to spend on our pursuits. Between 6 and 8 of those hours are dedicated to sleep, leaving us about 16 waking hours. How we spend that time directly impacts our lives and the lives of those around us.Read Article

Maximizing Your Time

How you spend your day is important. Each day there are gaps of time that could be put to better use. You already have a daily routine and it might be very loose or it might be very structured. Regardless, you have a series of activities that you complete each day in a given order. What happens when you want to add something new to that routine?Read Article

Your Ideal Day

“Begin with the end in mind” is excellent advice. If you’re able to visualize a project at it’s completion, you can better understand the steps you need to take to reach your goal. One of the best strategies for planning out your day is to follow this simple principle.Read Article

Block Out "You" Time

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

The Power of Discipline

In the moment, discipline is never pleasant. Once the occasion has passed, we all love it’s benefits. Discipline is the difference between a complete success and an utter failure.Read Article

Why You Should Wake Up at 5am

5am is early. As I write this, it’s 5:19am and I’ve been up for 25 minutes. It seems crazy. There really isn’t much of a need for me to be up this early. Or is there?Read Article

How to Avoid Wasting Afternoons

Wasting time is a waste of time.Read Article

I Feel Like A Bum

“I felt like a bum.” Alison spoke those words to me two weeks ago. She was describing a team building activity that she participated in with her new coworkers. She felt like a bum because she was floating down a river on an inner tube while I was home taking care of Benedict. The funny thing is, I felt like a bum, too.Read Article

The Key to No-Work Sundays

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest in our lives. I’ve written recently about my Lenten journey this year to not work on Sundays. If you want to move towards not working on Sunday, what is the key?Read Article

Rest on the Sabbath

Every year, it seems to go the exact same way. Just a few days before Ash Wednesday and I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do for Lent. I know that Lent is coming, I know that I need to take time to consider what changes to make in my life, and I still don’t give it the time it deserves. This year, I went with something really special.Read Article

Planning Margin Time

Think of the most successful people that you know. Consider what they do, their characteristics and all of the many obligations that they have. They’re pretty busy, aren’t they? The most successful people in life have a lot on their plate and they still get it all done. How do they do it? Disciplined time management.Read Article

Reclaiming Wasted Time

Time is our most precious commodity. Like our health, once it’s gone, it’s not coming back. Yet, with so many minutes at our command, it can be dangerously easy to let seconds slip to minutes, slip to hours, slip to days without taking advantage of them.Read Article

Evening Routines

The end of today tees up the beginning of tomorrow. The things that you do in the evening can have a direct effect on how well tomorrow goes. The key to this whole system is a solid evening routine.Read Article

Better Each Day

My favorite boss had a saying that has stuck with me. “It’s never too late to do the right thing.” As men, we struggle. We have mistakes that we make every day. Yet, each new day gives us the chance to do things right again.Read Article

Managing Family Time

We are living in a new era of working families. With many families having both parents working, it’s becoming harder to have time together.Read Article

Carry On

There’s only one thing you can do when you fail: carry on.Read Article

Time Is Your Most Precious Commodity

Of all of the resources that you have at your command, time is the most precious.Read Article

Managing Routines

One of the most difficult things that I’ve encountered in the married life is how to balance routines.Read Article

Make Evenings Count

My job frequently results in me working evenings. It isn’t particularly fun, it is just a fact of life. Of course, I make up for my hours by starting work later in the day.Read Article

Working Professionals

One of the major challenges for any newly married couple is how to balance two very full schedules.Read Article

You Define Your Success

Success is the currency that we all chase. No matter what we do, we seek success.Read Article

Two Areas of Your Life You Cannot Afford to Neglect

Time is our most precious commodity. For so many things in life, we can change the circumstances and regain what we have lost. Yet, with time, once it is spent, it is gone forever. When transitioning into the married life, you will now have new unique demands on your time.Read Article

About

CATHOLIC HUSBAND is a personal blog about marriage and family life, regularly updated since 2013. You may also enjoy the Catholic Husband Podcast. This short-form podcast features new episodes weekly and is available on Apple Podcasts, the Google Play Music Store, or wherever you listen. Let Catholic Husband inspire you to love, lead, & serve your family.

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About the Author

CHET COLLINS is a full-time sidekick to three small humans. He gets his best creative work done during their nap time. He’s the author of the The Transition: A Practical Guide to Engagement for the Catholic Man and Grant Us Peace. Chet also dabbles in web design when time permits. When he catches a break from the kids, you can find him enjoying the silence.

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Get new articles from the Catholic Husband blog sent straight to your inbox. You can expect no more than 3 emails per week.

About the Host

CHET COLLINS is a full-time sidekick to three small humans. He gets his best creative work done during their nap time. He’s the author of the The Transition: A Practical Guide to Engagement for the Catholic Man and Grant Us Peace. He dabbles in web design when time permits. When he catches a break from the kids, you can find him enjoying the silence.