168 HOURS: YOU HAVE MORE TIME THAN YOU THINK
“There is no lack of time. There is a lack of interest”
Can you remember a time in your relationship where making time for your spouse was easy?
It was easy to stay on the phone until the early morning hours, doing nothing but talking. “No you hang up first!”
Then you’d wake up thinking of how you could create more time to see your significant other.
You’d dream of little ways you could use your time, talent and treasure to make their life better. It might be a note in the mail, a bouquet of flowers, a freshly washed car or sweet nothings as you popped by to visit them at work.
Time was simply not an issue! Your passion for each other was enough.
It all seemed so easy. You may be thinking, as a lot of us do, but where did that sweet season go?
Enter, the time thief.
He comes clothed in great things.
New job opportunities, a nine month stork delivery, the subsequent caring for the little (and growing) bundle of joy, in-laws, New Year’s resolutions, errands, home repairs, doctors visits, workouts and the list goes on.
This can leave the relationship you once believed was timeless, feeling time starved!
No one really intends to make their honey the last thing on the “honey-do” list but it happens a day, a week, a month and a year at a time.
There are 168 hours in every week. How many are you truly spending to build your marriage?
And more importantly how do you get back what you once had?
How do you make your spouse the most interesting and interested time block in your busy calendar?
First things first, assess where you are, right now!
Do a time audit.
Be brutally honest with yourself and see where you’re spending every one of your 168 hours.
It may look something like this:
- Sleep: 56 hours ***parents, subtract accordingly 😉
- Work & commute: 50 hours
- Church or Volunteerism: 4 hours
- Kids Sports: 4 hours
- Family Dinners: 4 hours
- Workouts: 2 hours
- Friends and family: 4 hours
- Meals: 8 hours
Even with all the basics accounted for, depending on your unique situation, you’ve still got 50 or so hours to analyze.
Keep going until every minute is accounted for!
Brutal honesty on your time audit is key.
How much time are you spending with a screen in front of your face? Going to and from kids activities? How much is your “snooze” button costing you?
Once you’ve got a good handle on how you’re spending your 168 hours, chances are, you’ll see a lot of “leaks” that can be used to connect more with your spouse.
You may also find something very surprising.
Chances are, in the early days, scheduling time with your spouse or spouse to be, was #1 on your priority list.
Stephen Covey gives an example in time management. He says that your biggest priorities, or “Rocks” need to be put in your schedule first. If not, the “little rocks” eat up all the space and there is no room for what is most important.
It’s easy to see where we’re going.
When you did your time audit, was your spouse your biggest “rock”?
Are you intentionally making sure your time with them is sacred, specific and satisfying?
If so, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Schedule time to prioritize this, NOW!
Life is too short and time too precious to let another 168 hours slip by without knowing you’re giving the best to your one and only.
The more value you put into your marriage the more you’ll want to grow it. The more you grow it, the more value it will have.
That’s the type of growth cycle we all want to be on!
Now that you’ve got a handle on the quantity of time you want, start to talk through the quality of time you want to have.
This can be simple. Talk through how positive you want to speak to each other when you are together. Share how much physical touch you need.
Husbands, make sure your wife can count on your spending time to love her how she needs. Wives, schedule time to respect your husband how he needs it.
Don’t leave this to chance.
How connected you both feel to each other will ultimately be about how full your love tank is.
As the saying goes, love is spelled T-I-M-E.
Scheduling sex has always been at the center of what we do for this exact reason. You are prioritizing connection. The 7 Days of Sex Challenge is a great way to practice this or give your sex life a reboot.
If you are getting the idea, but having trouble putting it into practice together, check out this great resource on managing your quality time.
You’ve taken the time to read…
Now take action.
You’ve got to share your time with so many things, make sure your marriage gets the lion’s share.
As you do, get ready for one of the most exciting 168 hours you’ve had in a long time.
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