A man with brains and a shovel

A blog about goals and obstacles, motivation and procrastination, life's random events and getting things done.

Out of Office - Family Priority

Yesterday I chose the best kind of procrastination: Spend time with my son.

When deciding which important task to tackle next, I tried something new. I stepped back and looked at my responsibilities. Not just the employees, customers and suppliers who were competing for my attention. Not just the work that results in financial profit.

There are important people in my life who might not be calling me on urgent matters, trying to grab my attention. One of them is my 11 year old son, who is on summer vacation right now. Rarely do I find enough time to be there for him. The weather was great and he told me he'd like to ride a sailplane some day. Looking out the window I could see a couple planes circling in a thermal.

My todo list didn't give me any free time. Then I looked over the work I was supposed to do and wondered which of the task was more important that spending a few hours with my boy at the airfield. I'd do that first and then leave. Then I realized none of the tasks was worth it.

Soaring has been my hobby since I was legal to fly at age 14. I still have my license but realized I couldn't fit it into my schedule any more, so I'm not an active pilot right now. At the airfield I was happy to see familiar faces who liked to talk to me and offered to take junior for a spin.

The first flight was over after 5 minutes because they couldn't find any thermals. On the second try they got lucky, went up to 3,000 ft. He was quick to spot our house he later told me. I wish I could have been with him in the two-seater plane instead of watching from the ground. One day, when work is less overwhelming and the kids are older, I will start flying again.

After a day of catching up with old friends, providing my son with a nice experience, I wondered what my office day might have been like. Maybe I would have worked on a deal that never be closed or I might have wasted another afternoon procrastinating the important stuff by focusing on unimportant or easy stuff.

I guess karma was trying to reward me and tell me to do this more often: I later dropped him off at his best friends place for a slumber party. The friends dad asked me to just drop by later for a glass of whine. Instead of trying to cram the work into my evening, I grabbed a bike and had the glass of while with him and his wife. We had a wonderful chat as the sun went down and the kids were playing in the yard.