“As men, there is a temptation to become either wasters or workaholics. Instead, may we learn to see each day as an opportunity.”

Join co-hosts Andy Lamberton and Stephen Mullan as they chat with Austin Mackintosh – father to six!

Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music

Receive inspirational emails for Christian Fathers.

Related Links from this episode:
2 Minute Video explaining Legacy.
The Tail End Blog post

Prioritising Time – Article by Stephen Mullan.

In this episode, we’re discussing something every father can relate to: navigating busyness. Thanks to Austin Mackintosh for joining us on Legacy Podcast.

I remember reading the viral blog post by Tim Urban, The Tail End, where he estimated by the time he had graduated from high school, he had already used up 93% of his in-person parent time. 93%. Time flies in family life. We need to ensure we don’t miss out on the joy and opportunity of being there, as our children unfold into adults. Because as every older parent will tell you: “before you know it, it’s past”.

How do we start?

We might not have as flexible a job as Austin, but we can follow his example in taking the initiative and making changes to our day for the good of our family. For Austin, that looks like an early home-time, to ensure he is present from 4 to 7 each night. With six children, his wife values that intentionality. And I reckon his children do too!

Some of us do work too much. But what is untrue is less time at work automatically means more time with family. It’s easy to blame our jobs as the barrier to family life when it’s our attention we need to bring under control. If you had a hard-working father – praise God for him. We need to be men who provide for our families and demonstrate how to be industrial, enact real change and add value to the world through our jobs, but our work does need to be put into perspective.
List what’s important in your life, and I guarantee your family come before your work, yet ask yourself: does my calendar reflect this?
When I look at my life, I know I can give my family more time or certainly more of my attention. Can you?

What can we do?

Andy says in this episode, “Small things can make a big difference”

Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling:
Could you …

  • be ‘king of the morning’, so your wife has time to get ready for her day
  • negotiate with your boss to work four long days with a half day on Friday
  • guard your work calendar so that you are home for family meals on time
  • be intentional about family time on Saturdays and school holidays
  • put your phone in a box by the door when you get home
  • mute work chat during meals
  • talk to your wife about your work schedule

Do we need a perspective shift on how we view time?

Above all, we need to keep our use of time before God. As men, there is a temptation to become either wasters or workaholics. Instead, may we learn to see each day as an opportunity to worship.

In Andy’s new book Letters for Exiles, he talks about this:

“Instead of entering your day with a schedule, enter it as an act of worship. God, not time, will become your governing focus. Included in your worship will be all the tasks you have to do that day, but you’ll be doing them to God. Indeed, you’ll be doing them for God.”

I find this so helpful. With time management, we do not need more productivity courses. We need more worship.

When we are captivated by God’s glory, we begin to see life with new eyes. Our relationships become more precious. Our work is put into perspective. The big things of this world become insignificant. And the little, hidden things – like a family meal – become infinitely valuable.

By Stephen Mullan
Cohost of the Legacy Podcast.

Stephen directs the work of Dreamscheme Northern Ireland, a youth work charity that provides support and opportunities to young people growing up in housing estates. He also writes on the subject of youth via his newsletter Rethinking Youth. Stephen is married to Sharon and has two young children.

– Did you enjoy the podcast? Please share with other fathers you know and tell us what you think. Email: hello@legacyfathers.org