How to Have a Rhythm with a Job Schedule That’s Not the Same Every Day

Hey guys, Jeff and Jeremy here at the Five Minute Fatherhood Podcast and we have another question from our private Facebook group, Five Minute Fatherhood Facebook group from Wes. So Wes asks a great question. He says, “Planning our schedules, especially for those of us with the blessing and curse of flexible work schedules, fitting in time for all of the important things. Myself working out, Bible, writing, this is kind of like his own time with the family work. It’s hit and miss every week. Would love to get a convo going about how you do it.” I know I’ve heard this question a lot. There’s all the things that you need to do really as a person, as a man, as an individual, somebody that needs to stay healthy and then you get this flood of weight from all the responsibilities of being a dad. Man, that’s a really challenging thing to handle, especially when you have that flexibility and you have to actually make all those decisions and lead in that way. So Jeff, what are your thoughts for Wes?

Yeah, I would say the biggest thing and kind of the only thing that I think has really helped us is don’t think it’s like you figure it out once and then it’s done. I think it’s an iteration that you compound and add on for the rest of your life. So it’s a first of all, give yourself a lot longer play than I’m going to figure it out tomorrow. There’s a level at which I think you’re iterating until you die. Then two, the reason that’s true is because it’s a moving target. Even when I get in a healthy rhythm or I find something that works for me with a schedule, a wake up time, when I do this, when I do this, well then all of a sudden my kids were two but now my kids are four and that’s a very different age in regards to naps, and schedules, and eating, and feeding and this and that. Or my job changes.

So it’s always a moving target. So you kind of have to adapt and kind of think of it seasonally. Then also don’t be afraid to just test like crazy. See if something works, throw stuff against the wall, see if it sticks. That’s really been helpful for us. I know it sounds kind of inefficient, but it’s been really helpful for us because you want to do that but also be very quick to try and if it doesn’t work, move on. Move on, next thing, next try. So for us that’s what we’ve done and one simple example I’ll give you there is I was starting to feel this recently, probably this last fall with book writing and some other projects. It was just starting to feel a little too much for what my current rhythm was allowing, or at least I was drained or I couldn’t give time here. I felt whatever.

So then for me, I started to have to look at the schedule. Okay, I can kind of work when I want to. So when is the best, when am I most awake, et cetera. I realized I was trying to write a bunch of my book at noon, but at least for me, and there’s been a lot of data there that creativity does not flourish past noon. Your brain is kind of done. It’s the second half of the day, et cetera. So I started to realize I got to put this book writing somewhere else and then the morning was kind of a different thing because I had some other stuff going on.

So I basically kind of started waking up really early before everyone got up. I started waking up at six and seeing if I could write and do some things before then. Then I was like, okay, oh man. I start doing that. I started testing and I was loving it. My brain was on fire, I was awake, it was my freshest, most coherent brain. So I said, okay, I’m going to do another hour earlier because I’m getting so much ROI out of this. So then five. So then the same thing and now I try to wake up at four and I do the same thing now.

Now that’s probably as early as I’ll ever go because I still have to get eight hours of sleep and I go to bed at 8:00 PM for that, which is ludicrous for most people. 8:00 PM is senior citizen, but it works. It works for me. Some people it’s the opposite. I know my buddy stays up in the night, kids go down, he grinds then. Some people have flexible jobs, some people don’t.

But you got to test no matter what. You have to have really open lines of communication with your spouse and then what we learned from you guys has been really helpful for us is a weekly meeting. Me and Alyssa actually really pound through a schedule, pound through the action items. What do we actually need to get done? How are we going to do it? Who’s going to watch what and who and where? Again, the stuff like that. I would say those two together just kind of have made it all really, really go well and we test and if something flops then we say… We test to the needs. What are the needs? And we try to make that work and test and move and stuff like that. So I don’t know. What would you add to that?

Yeah, we talk a lot about this in the seven day family. If you guys want to check that out at familyteams.com will be coming out pretty soon. Maybe even by the time this podcast is released. But I would say that, yeah, the big picture level, you said Jeff, that don’t think about this as a problem to solve. Think about this as a process to embrace. This is the process of becoming one. This is the process of becoming more mature. This is the process of deciding what priorities or what is Lord of your life.

I mean those are the biggest questions in life and sometimes we think about scheduling and these conversations as just oh, these are annoying problems that keep coming up. I like what you said Jeff it’s like, yeah, they come up constantly. You don’t ever solve this problem. You embrace the process of maturing and I love it when people have a ton of flexibility in their schedule because it allows them to more quickly have to make all these really hard priority decisions and it really tests their heart.

So yeah, if you don’t have a process for this with a meeting with rhythms and things like that, check out the seven day family. We can give you kind of a template for how to think about that. But yeah, I would put it in that category and I would just embrace, Wes, the whole process of man, every single week I want to spend time sitting down with my wife, talking through our schedule and really wrestling with what’s important, what are things that I’m neglecting in my own life? How do I tweak our rhythms? So that is just something that’ll never stop being an issue, but it’s actually good that it’s ongoing.

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