You get up early, work out, get ready for your day, eat breakfast, go to work, work hard, go to meetings, fight traffic, come home, eat dinner, and then you're available for your family.
You know this drill, right?
It's a terrible drill.
The way we currently work isn't working. What it means is that when we come home, exhausted, our families get what's left of our time, attention, energy, and concern.
This isn't how it's supposed to be. Work isn't supposed to get our best and our family isn't supposed to be stuck with what's left.
Some days, this is just how it happens, but when it's a pattern, there's a huge problem.
Why do the people we love the most get our second-rate selves?
This doesn't mean we have to slack off at work and do our worst. But it does mean we need to step our game up when we walk in the door and see those we love.
Want to make sure you have the best to offer your family? Here are four things that work for me:
Hang up the phone before you open the door
If you use your drive home to catch up on phone calls, make sure you conclude the call before you walk in your house. Nothing says that something else is more important than blabbing into a phone when you unlock the door to your home.
Take deep breaths and say goodbye to the workday
If you're head isn't clear, your family will be the first to notice. Even if you need to hop online once dinner is over and the kids are in bed, clear your mind before you engage your family.
My dad did this when I was young (so did Mr. Rogers), and apparently Tina Fey (as she recalled in Bossypants) does it, too. When you come home, slip into something more comfortable. Then, you'll be perfectly dressed for crawling on the floor, going for a walk, or doing something fun and messy with the family.
Want to show your family you care? Make dinner. Tidy up. Read every book your daughter demands you read to her. Bathe the kids. Make the bed. Wash the dishes. Love often looks like cleaning up, I've learned. Prove to your family that they come first by doing anything and everything to help them.
Remember: our family deserves what's best, not what's left. Make sure you have enough in the tank for them as often as possible.
What would you add?
Any tips that help make sure you give the best to those you love the most?