“I stopped caring about my career when I had kids,” he says. “Everything that I do, every decision that I make, is how I can get home to my four-year-old and six-year-old faster.”
I love this quote from Scott Hanselman, a program manager at Microsoft, author and avid blogger and speaker. It’s from a talk he gives about increasing your productivity.
One of the insights is to clean out mental clutter by making sure every decision you make helps you reach your ultimate goal. A goal you decide is most important to you, whether that’s making money, growing your business, or spending time with your kids.
The rest of the tips in the article are good, so definitely give it a read.
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Great quote. I feel very much the same way, though I admittedly dont like to verbalize it, because I fear that people will think I don’t care about what I do. Which is really the opposite of true. But my family is my life, and that’s all there is to it. And I hate myself when I find myself in bed, late at night, cranking away at work when I should be spending time with my wife and kid. It’s a tough thing that I hope I get better at.
I absolutely get what you’re saying about fearing people will think you don’t care about your work. And honestly, before having a daughter I might have been one to have that thought in the back of my mind hearing someone say a quote like the above.
But I think anyone who is a parent and has that added perspective knows your entire focus shifts after having kids. We all have those days where we feel guilty about working too much, and it’s a delicate balance.
Becoming a parent really spins you around, doesn’t it? Shuffles your priorities. Really turned the world from black and white into color. It’s so much easier for me to see what’s important to me.
In fact I think it’s made me better at my job. I don’t have quite the amount of time to doodle around anymore, so I work with increased focus. Though I may be delusional (that thought has struck me a number of times) I feel like my best work in life has been after having a kid. Even though I’ve had fewer hours in the day for it.
Priorities definitely shift after becoming a parent. It’s not that you don’t put as much effort into your work, but like you said you become a bit more focused knowing that you don’t have time (and don’t want to make the time) to make up the work you missed while messing around.
My family is the absolute most important thing in my life now, and that doesn’t mean work isn’t important or that I slack off. It just means the ultimate reason for _continuing_ to do great work changes from “the good of the company or personal advancement” to “being able to provide everything my child needs.”