How to make family time a priority

Jun 20, 2014, 12:30 AM | Updated: 12:30 am

“Not right now honey!”

“Please! Let me get this done.”

“We will get a date night eventually.”

“I’ll play with you as soon as I finish this.”

“I don’t have time right now.”

Luckily, your spouse and children are resilient and will keep looking for ways to win your attention. If you’ve caught yourself saying any one of these phrases, or similar ones, you can count yourself among everyone else.

With so many demands in life, it’s hard to figure out how to balance your time. Being a good spouse, a good parent, a good sibling, a good neighbor, a good church member, a good citizen in the community, a good employee and a good friend can feel like an overwhelming amount of responsibility. Now, add to that all the other things in life, taking care of yourself physically, spiritually, emotionally, cleaning up the house, cooking your meals and staying on top of the chores — you wonder if making family time a priority is even possible.

Here are two ways that will help you make family time a priority:

Keep a family time budget

All of us do not have the same amount of money to budget; however, time makes us all equal. We all have the same amount of time regardless of what is in your bank account. You can manage your time and energy the same as the richest person on the planet. You are free to choose how to budget your time.

Matthew Toone, a wise business leader, explains how he is able to keep his family time high on the priority list. “Maybe it seems like an impersonal thing, but I budget time for my family. I know from 6:30-9:30 every night is my family time. Nothing is going to conflict with that. So even if I am working on an entrepreneurial venture or service in my church. . . there will be no phone calls, no emails — I will let nothing interfere with my family time.”

Sit down and talk with your family right now and set up a family time budget. All you have to do is set aside a specific time each day and protect it. Do not let anything touch your family time. Once you do this, you will be tested and it will seem as though everyone and everything wants to get in the way of that time. Do not let anyone touch it. Defend it and save it for your family.

Recognize the Time Thief

There is a tricky little devil running around that likes to steal your time. If you are not careful, you will look in the mirror and wonder who that old person is staring you back in the face. You can learn to recognize the Time Thief, boost productivity, fight him off and never wonder what happened to your life.

Anything that takes up your time and does not produce some kind of lasting benefit is an activity designed by the Time Thief. This could include countless hours on a video game or in front of the TV. It could include mindless browsing of social media sites or streaming media. The Time Thief will give you endless hours of entertainment for nothing.

Next time the Time Thief tries to lead you into a mind-numbing-pointless-waste-of-time trap, fight him off with productivity. Go on a walk with your spouse, go play with your kids, call your mom, call your dad — do something, anything with your family. The more you fight against the Time Thief, the more you will see family life improve. Here are some more ways to set priorities in your life.

You can make family time a priority. As you budget time for your loved ones and eliminate the Time Thief from your life, you will find greater satisfaction with life. You will be happier, and your family will be happier.

Dustin Wiggins is an optimist and entrepreneur. He owns Camistin Publishing, loves to learn and will often write about life lessons on his blog at Follow him on twitter @_DustinWiggins or email him at

Eyes on Parenting

(Pixabay Photo)...
Taylor Kinnerup

Report shows Arizona child drownings in 2021 doubled from previous year

A recent report shows 44 children in Arizona died from drowning in 2021, double the amount from the year before.
2 months ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Teen arrested for allegedly accidently shooting 17-year-old in Phoenix

A 16-year-old boy was arrested Friday afternoon following a fatal shooting in Phoenix, authorities said. 
9 months ago
(Pexels Photo)...

1-year-old in extremely critical condition after drowning incident in Phoenix

A 1-year-old girl was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition after drowning in a pool in Phoenix on Saturday, authorities said.
1 year ago
(File Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)...
Griselda Zetino

Arizona students get lower standardized test results during the pandemic

Results from statewide testing done in the spring provide a first look at how the pandemic has impacted students across Arizona.
1 year ago
(Pexels Photo)...

10-month-old in critical condition after drowning incident in East Valley

A 10-month-old boy in the East Valley was hospitalized Sunday evening following a drowning incident, authorities said.
1 year ago
(Pexels Photo)...

2-year-old in extremely critical condition after drowning in Phoenix

A 2-year-old girl was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition after drowning in a pool in Phoenix on Saturday, authorities said.
2 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
How to make family time a priority