Couples and families often look for ways to find more time together and to make better use of that time. Most people struggle to find enough time in their day for everything. In fact, according to Dr. William Doherty, those that care about each other often feel starved for time together. Consider some of the following ideas to make every moment count with those you love.
1. Create a positive atmosphere. Set the tone for positive interactions and show him/her that they are a priority by giving your loved ones your undivided attention when you say hello and good-bye.
2. Be here now. Life is full of distractions, especially with all the technology utilized by families today. Give the gift of yourself as you set limits on technology use and give each other your undivided attention and just enjoy being in the present moment together.
3. Take time to talk. Sharing thoughts, feelings, ideas, and desires with each other helps build relationships with others. Ask open-ended questions and then take turns listening and learning about the other person. Connection can take place in conversations as simple as asking about one important thing that happened that day or sharing one thing they appreciate or admire about each other. Establish a time each day to check in with each other, such as at dinner or bedtime.
4. Make the moment memorable. Quality time can sometimes be found in very small increments of time. Take advantage of five minutes and make a memorable experience happen! For example, stop to watch the sunset, swing at the park on the way home from running errands, or make a silly face on each other’s pancakes just for fun. Be silly and laugh together. Take a picture of the fun to make it even more memorable.
5. Make the everyday tasks count. Help each other with making dinner, folding laundry or cleaning up the yard. These opportunities may not be as exciting as a night on the town but they can give opportunities to connect with conversation and to lighten each other’s load.
While there never seems to be enough time for everything, regardless of the amount of time couples and families find to spend together, utilizing these techniques can help you savor the moments that really matter.
Brower, N. & Wallace, J. (2013). From Time to Quality Time: Making Every Moment Count. http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/Marriage&Relationships_2013-01pr.pdf
Doherty, W. J. (2013). Take back your marriage: Sticking together in a world that pulls us apart. New York, New York: The Guildford Press.
Gottman, J. M. & Silver, N. (2007). The seven principles for making marriage work. London, England: Orion Books, Ltd.