Birthdays & Time Management

Thursday Bram had this interesting post over at LifeHack about being "ruthless with your time management."  Two of her suggestions included the importance of planning your day and ignoring irrelevancies.  Yesterday I took her advice to heart and scheduled a day off.

During my day off, I spent time with the family, talked with friends on the phone and chatted with nephews about the latest video game that just hit the market.  The less important details of life could wait and the cause of the day (the big 34) was enough to give everyone around me a boost.

For a great celebration of your birthday, try out these simple steps:

  • Make it a fun day: plan events that you can share with others.  A hike, a trip to the park or simply an adventure to find the greatest flavor of ice cream- all work well and cost very little.

  • Let those around you know what is important to you.  I'm not a huge cake fan so I let my wife know that I'm ok with other options.  I also go over the day's schedule with the kids and get their input, planning things that they will enjoy as much as I will.  Avoid the temptation of thinking that your family and friends will read your mind and get you the perfect gift.  If you really want something or want to go somewhere, make it happen.

  • Let your family know that you appreciate them: sure, birthdays are fun but folks are also glad when they are over.  Let your family know that you are grateful for their kindness and whatever gifts you receive.  Tell them that you had a great day and that they are special to you.

I've found that by making a big deal of my own birthday, it's created a template for other birthday celebrations in the family.  My kids now know that their birthdays are just as important and the entire family gets to enjoy and join in on the fun.