January 30, 2023
Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent more time working at the kitchen counter than I have working at my desk. In a way, that’s a shame because I have the perfect desk setup in our family office. The reality of my daily responsibilities means that for large parts of the day, I’m downstairs with the kids.
While working at the kitchen counter has been fine, I need more space. I’ve migrated from the kitchen to the dining room table. Now, throughout the day, the kids see me working away in the dining room as they play and get their work done.
It’s a daily challenge to balance my responsibilities at work and at home, but my children and I now share a special bond. I get to involve them in my work. They see what I do, got with me to visit customers, and get to share my love of aviation. I remember how special it was as an Air Force kid to go over to the squadron and hang out in my dad’s office, or walk out on the flight line and see the jets. Now my youngest daughter jumps with glee when I announce that we’re going to the airport.
Parents have plenty to manage when it comes to raising children; even more so when throwing work into the mix. It’s a special thing for me to be able to share my work with my kids.
January 23, 2023
It’s easy to be overwhelmed with work. There are busy seasons, bad weeks, and times when illness or scheduling get you behind the power curve. When your inbox overflows with emails, your task list falls apart, and you feel completely overrun, it’s important to remember that you have a productivity superpower.
We underestimate just how much we can get done with 90 minutes of solid, quiet work. The number of overdue tasks and unread emails may seem huge, but the time that it takes to process most emails is miniscule. A well-used time block can go a long way to clearing the backlog.
The best way to get back to a manageable pace is to push due dates. There are some tasks that are true priorities, but most can be accomplished in the reasonable near future. Getting behind is normal, so rescheduling overdue tasks to be completed in the coming days is usually all you need to get back on top.
Good work is only possible when you’re in a good headspace. Flailing from task to task, while feeling overwhelmed, is a recipe for mistakes that will require even more work in the future. When you get behind, take a pause and give yourself permission to push off due dates. You’ll be back in control in no time.
May 10, 2016
My neighbors love to sit outside and talk to one another. The other day, I was chatting with one of them, and he was telling me about his daughter who is just about to get her drivers license. He told me about how she wants a car, but how it has to be fancy and new. He then shared a story with me about his first car, a truck, that he paid off only to have it totaled shortly thereafter. In further reflecting on this gentleman’s predicament with his daughter, I thought about personal pride and how it relates to our lives.Read Article
Tags: Productivity Virtue
April 28, 2016
It’s really easy to cut yourself too much slack. You laud praises on yourself for a good week’s worth of work and award yourself a day off. That day off turns into two, and the snowball continues. Rest is not a reward, it’s a necessary part of work. Rest is rejuvenating, it restores creative capacity, and it promotes health. Too much rest is sloth, laziness, and leads to a sedentary lifestyle. In order to rest, there must be work.Read Article
April 04, 2016
If you feel guilty spending time with your family instead of working, you need to adjust your priorities.Read Article
February 03, 2016
If you work long enough at something, you'll see results and win. Persistence is the most helpful attribute that you can have when you're pushing for a goal of any kind. The diligent always prosper. Read Article
January 21, 2016
The New Year presents many interesting possibilities. You have a blank canvas of twelve months to go out and do something new, unique, challenging, and interesting. While many of us tend to think more about personal goals or dreams, I'd encourage you to consider your career as well.Read Article
January 07, 2016
I think that we have a tendency to discount work friendships. Work is not primarily a place to go to make new friends, but in the course of spending 40 hours a week together, you're bound to forge some new relationships. I think that we discount these friendships because they quickly fade when someone leaves the company. We need to change this.Read Article
January 05, 2016
The biggest downside to being self-employed is that there's no paid vacation. When I don't work, I don't get paid. This creates a dramatic tension that leaves me feeling guilty when I'm not working the hours that I need to be. Yet, intellectually, it's completely unrealistic to expect full employment and full hours, 52 weeks a year. Life isn't about money, but money is certainly important. Set goals, work hard, but don't exhaust yourself and lose everything.Read Article
November 23, 2015
I have a challenge for you this Thanksgiving and Christmas: disengage.Read Article
Tags: Communication Community
August 17, 2015
As I sit down to write this post, I'm surrounded my mountains of stuff. My office is a complete wreck and frankly, I don't work well unless my surroundings are clean. It's been a very crazy few days between flying, being sick, and chasing Benedict all while maintaining a household. I've been seeking a greater balance in my life that involves prayer time, reading time, play time, down time, cleaning time, family time, and exercise time, all of which take away potential work time. Whether you're self-employed, work from home, have a scheduled job, or are a stay-at-home parent, we all face this great balancing act. The sticky part is determining what qualifies as persistence and what qualifies as overwork.Read Article
August 04, 2015
The line between on the clock and off the clock has been blurred beyond recognition. Today's workforce is finding it increasingly difficult to stop working. Ever. We work at home in the evening, in the morning before work hours begin, and even, sadly, on vacation. I've allocated myself 7 hours during the day for work and, to be completely honest, I struggle to stop working even then. When I lay my head down in the evening, I'm exhausted from a day full of work and chasing Benedict.Read Article
June 12, 2015
I wish I had started my web design business back in college. The free enterprise system and the American Dream are built on the idea that if you can do something or sell something, then the only limiting factor is you. You don't need anyone's permission. Just get out there and get it done. If I had started years ago, I'd be in a very different place right now. Yet, I'm not going to spend much time dwelling on those missed opportunities. Instead, I'm going to blaze a path forward.Read Article
June 08, 2015
Idle hands are the Devil's tools, yet God rested on the 7th day. Rest and idleness are very close cousins and it can be difficult to figure out which is which. While rest leads to rejuvenation, idleness leads to a near occasion of sin. Which is which and how do we make sure we're resting and not simply idling?Read Article
June 02, 2015
While I was living in Michigan, I was particularly impressed with the Governor's mantra, "Relentless positive action." When he was elected into office, the State was experiencing a very tough downturn and Gov. Snyder seemed to not let any problem get in his way. He wanted to get the State back on track and improve the lives of its citizens. This mantra, combined with a dose of courage, helped him make some pretty remarkable political moves. I really liked the idea of relentless positive action because it demands that we always move forward, no matter how big the challenges are.Read Article
May 29, 2015
The reality of the finite nature of time is never more apparent than when you're doing something that you really love. For whatever reason, time seems to move particularly fast when you're engaged in a passion project, having a wonderful day, or experiencing some other great thing. For me, I have ideas of things that I'd like to do with Catholic Husband on a daily basis. Each idea has its own unique opportunity and could lead to other great things. However, I know that the key to success in any endeavor is focus. Without focus, nothing can be accomplished.Read Article
April 24, 2015
One of the more popular topics in the blogosphere lately is fear. More and more, people who've achieved some degree of celebrity have turned the spotlight onto the crippling fear that we all face when we chase our dreams. This light is being used to show that even people who seem to have it all, who are at the top of their game, had to battle it out with their own fears of inadequacy in order to reach their goal. Fear is paralyzing, but often is unfounded.Read Article
April 21, 2015
A few weeks ago, I noticed a drop in my productivity. I took a few days to consider the root cause of why I wasn't being as productive as I thought I should be. I have anywhere between four and eight hours a day when Benedict is napping in which to work and take care of other household tasks. In the past, I'd been able to eek out five to six hours of work without any problems, the rest of the time dedicated to reading, cleaning, or other tasks that popped up. Yet, lately, I'd been having a real problem getting to even just three hours of work. Then it hit me, I was being constantly derailed by notifications on my phone.Read Article
January 15, 2015
There are two types of leaders in your company: the named leaders and the thought leaders.Read Article
January 12, 2015
There seems to be a natural tension between employee and employer. At the company I was at before, though widely known for its many good works in the community, there was a massive turnover of employees before year three. The number one cause cited in exit interviews was poor management.Read Article
December 22, 2014
I want to begin this post by noting that I’m on vacation all this week. There will, of course, be new posts and some social media updates, but I won’t be writing and I won’t be actively working on any projects. It’s been a busy, and very successful 2014 thanks to both you and Alison. We’ve made huge progress on the Catholic Husband blog, published two books, and launched a podcast.Read Article
Tags: Productivity Wellness
July 24, 2014
“I felt like a bum.” Alison spoke those words to me two weeks ago. She was describing a team building activity that she participated in with her new coworkers. She felt like a bum because she was floating down a river on an inner tube while I was home taking care of Benedict. The funny thing is, I felt like a bum, too.Read Article
July 23, 2014
Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest in our lives. I’ve written recently about my Lenten journey this year to not work on Sundays. If you want to move towards not working on Sunday, what is the key?Read Article
October 08, 2013
“I work so that I can live.” That is the mantra for my generation.Read Article
August 16, 2013
Work is a key piece of our lives. Through work we do two things: we provide for our family and we use our God given talents to glorify Him and bring value to the life of others.Read Article
Tags: Community Generosity
July 01, 2013
The other day I was in a one-on-one meeting with a local business owner. I met him through my wife. We had a great meeting, one of the most diverse of my career.Read Article
Tags: Communication Prayer Reflections