I try to get everything I want from life without sacrificing time with my family.
Though I wouldn’t fully appreciate what it meant ’til later in life, my Dad put hours in at his restaurant for over 20 years to provide for us. Back then it meant making a choice—working 12- to 16-hour days six days a week to support the lives he wanted for us, or spend time at home and deny us the opportunities and access he knew we’d need to excel.
In short, he did it so my brothers and I needn’t do the same.
Years later, I work hard to keep the balance and make sure the family’s a foremost concern in my life—but I could do better. The blog, the job and other distractions mean I’m not always as present as I’d like to be, and I always intend to make myself as available to Sarah and the boys as I can.
But you know what they say—”if wishes were fishes, we’d all cast nets.” I’ll need more than intent to make it work!
And apparently I’m not alone—Leon’s recently ran Project Smart Furniture, a social experiment looking to see just how good Canadians are at spending time together. How good? Not good at all—the average Canadian family spends only 14% of their time together*, so Leon’s challenges us to change our ways and stop losing track of each other.
So how did they do it?
With a smart couch—yes, a smart couch—serving as a centralised family-time hotspot tracking the Ahluwalia family with personal tracking devices.
It made sense—the living room serves as a central location for gathering and spending family time together, so it was the perfect place to get some stats on whether the Ahluwalias could buck the trend and make more of the precious minutes they had each day.
And you know what? It worked—after a short amount of time, the Ahluwalias were spending 37% of their time together! It’s hard to tackle a problem if you don’t know it’s there, and Leon’s helped uncover an ugly truth about Canadian families—we need to invest our time in the right way before we lose the people who matter most.
What I Learned — What We Can ALL Learn from Leon’s Project Smart Furniture
I aim to be home by 5:45 each night for dinner. It’s not always possible (I’m in a financial shop—getting home at year-end while the boys are awake at all is an accomplishment), but that goal keeps me focused on making the effort to be continually present for my family.
Leon’s Project Smart Furniture has something it can teach us all—even if you think you’re the exception, the odds are not in your favour. On average, we need to make better use of 86% of our time, and Leon’s challenges us to take a good, long look at ourselves and our routines to make sure we’re using our time in the right way.
I hope this inspires you to make the most of the time with your family! Let’s all do our best to spend our days in a family way!
Until the next,
*Here, “together” means any time two or more family members are in the same place
Disclaimer: Leon’s provided compensation for this post, but I thoroughly agree with everything the Project Smart Furniture stands for!