When a parent pleads “my crazy schedule” for why he or she is ghosting the kid’s event, or family time in general, if he or she will hear me, I have a pretty practical response.
Ninety-nine percent of the men and women we work with are textbook type A’s, shrink-wrapped into their calendars with no margin in the day. Zero. Most of them are cell-phone dependent, doing life by the quarter hour. When we tell them, almost first thing, to open their calendars and clear out hours—plural—it’s like waving scissors at a patient’s morphine drip.
Turns out, speed through the day is its own narcotic, and getting back to our souls, our families, our friendships, can be a cold downshift. A person who is serious about restoring relationships, though, does well to start with the chart: a spreadsheet anyone can knock out in five minutes because it amounts to six columns with six headings: Activity, Heart, Impact, Growth, Obligation, and Total.
In the far-left column, under Activity, he lists…