You’re not listening to me!

You are always thinking about work.

You’re not really present when you’re home.

These are familiar refrains of my clients’ family members. Entrepreneurship is all consuming. It leaves little energy and mind space for family and friends. They crave and deserve our undivided attention – to be “present” or ‘in the moment’ for, at least, part of an evening or a weekend. If they can’t have quantity, at least give them quality time. Here are some ways:

  1. What kind of a partner, parent or friend do you want to be? How do you want to show up, participate and fully engage with your family? Visualize that person.
  2. Are you being as productive as possible during the day so you can close the door on work at night? Poor planning, distractions and time-wasting meetings follow you home.
  3. During family time turn off your phone and all notifications, hide it, shut down your work computer.   
  4. When you walk into your home, you are entering a theater of experiences different than yours. Forget yourself and ‘get into the movies’ of your family members. Listen with rapt curiosity and try to imagine what the day was like for them.
  5. Plan family fun. Choose activities that are stimulating and novel enough to overwhelm the white noise of your work wins and woes.

Learn to how to shift your attention from yourself to others with a hefty dose of mindful listening. Get my book: The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction.