So now I have less time, less energy and more responsibility than ever before.
How does a new dad keep on top of things?
Here are a few life hacks for dads, tried and tested by myself… or if you just want to find out why I’ve brought a hot tub, skip to the end!
The newest research suggests the best way to change behaviour is to introduce micro-habits rather than radical change. This follows the idea of the nudge effect. E.g. if you want to eat more fruit, just put a fruit bowl on your desk. We are wired to respond to what is in front of us. If you want to change a habit, don’t do something radical, simply harness the things you already do.
Here’s what I’ve been doing to maximise time and productivity.
As someone whose role involves connecting people and whose job is rarely restricted to working hours, I’ve had to create undistracted time to focus on the most important things.
App Block has proved invaluable. You can set it to render your phone redundant during important times of focus (bath time for example). Or to block unnecessary apps for long periods of time (e.g. email, LinkedIn, bbc news, facebook etc).
If you are a borderline phone addict and want to claw back some space so you can be present, this is a must life hack. Alternatively if your whole family are addicts then you might want to check out Ransomly.
The stats are clear, all the high performing execs read, read and read...with the exception of Donald Trump. But how do we make the time? This dad life hack is simple.
During your morning commute, use Audible to listen to books that will help improve the way you operate and perform at work. You’ll start your day more focused and motivated, ready to hit the ground running. Set yourself the easy target of listening for just 10 minutes before you arrive at work.
Is there a gym near where you work? I’ve joined a gym that is just a two-minute walk away from the office. You could negotiate a day a week where you have a longer lunch break and take a shorter break on the other days. Pop to the gym at lunch and you’ll be more productive for the rest of the day.
Is the gym not your thing? This is going to be a bit out there but the other day I brought an inflatable hot-tub. While it can't travel back to a more simpler time, it does create a context for quality time. It was a spontaneous almost mid-life crisis style purchase. I was reflecting on the fact that now I’m a dad the evenings tend to be very homebound. And frankly using the free hour I have in the evening with my wife to watch T.V. every-single-night doesn’t do it for me, although I’m usually too knackered to do anything else!
She joked that we should get a hot-tub…so I did.
After a bit of research, I found a great deal on Tesco direct and went for it. We place the baby monitor within hearing distance, set the bubbles of and jump in!
Has your over-tired parenting delirium caused you to make any spontaneous purchases?
This guest post was contributed by Ben Woollard, Director of Authentic Recruitment and blogger at the Dad-Do blog in which he shares his journey of being a new father and the many nuances and learning experiences that come with it.