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Chapter 8

Making Record Time

 By: James J Messina, Ph.D., CCMHC, NCC, DCMHS

MWO 8 Roster

8-1 Why I Don’t Have Enough Time for You

8-2 A Short Course in Time Management

8-3 Things We Waste Our Time On

8-4 Preparing a Family Time Budget

8-5 Leisure/Free Time Analysis

8-6 Shared Interests Exercise

8-7 Follow-up Work-Out Plans for Making Record Time for Each Other

MWO 8 Prologue

 

 • • • Josh never had any time for Lois and the kids. He found himself spending more hours at the office and bringing more and more work home. His briefcase became an object of scorn for Lois. She found Josh unapproachable and unavailable for activities they once shared such as dinner out and movies. Lois meanwhile threw herself into her volunteer activities spending nights and weekends out of the house. There never was enough time for them alone If time was “open" it was either spent with Courtney's personal activities or on Justin’s school work • • •

 

Managing time in marriage is an essential skill focused on in the following exercises. Frequently couples are hesitant to structure their lives by time schedules and plans, yet without any limits they might never find time for each other.This chapter requires a lot of time and planning. You will find it worth your while to make it part of your Marriage Work-Out.

 

Caution Advisory

The time budgeting exercises in this section are complex and can only be completed over an extended period of time. You two might choose to do the time budget exercises at the same time you cover other exercises in this book. That way you are working-out your time for one another and still covering other pertinent issues in your marriage. You must take time to do a Work-out.  This chapter is an important tool to ensure you are giving enough time to one another in your marriage.

8-1 Why I Don’t Have Enough Time for You

 

Do this exercise independently from your partner. Once you are done, compare your results. Read each statement. If it is true for you check box for True. If it is not true for you, check box for False.  “Job” means whatever you do on a daily basis during a typical work week. (e.g., paid work, housework, volunteer work, etc.)

 

True

False

 

 

 

1. I cannot spend more than a 45 minute period on my job without being interrupted.

 

 

2.  I bring job related work home to complete at least three times a week.

 

 

3. On the job, many people interrupt what I am doing during the day

 

 

4. I spend less than ten hours a week on a hobby or recreation.

 

 

5. On my job I am able to delegate very little of my work to others.

 

 

6. I spend less than two hours a week on self-improvement or education.

 

 

7. I usually have more than two stacks of work on my desk during the work day.

 

 

8. I spend quite a lot of time doing the work of others which, if they were more capable, they should do for themselves.

 

 

9. I love doing detail work.

 

 

10. I very frequently require extensions of my own deadlines.

 

 

11. I keep a finger on all of the work that is going on in my job.

 

 

12. Less than 50% of the work I do I enjoy.

 

 

13. I have no flexibility built into my daily schedule.

 

 

14. I spend a lot of time on my job talking with colleagues which could be classified as a "time waster.''

 

 

15. I spend a lot of time on my job on ritualistic and ineffective activities.

 

 

16. I engage in a lot of "time wasters" on my job.

 

 

17. I do a lot of work in my job which could be simplified.

 

 

18. I am not sure if I am meeting a predetermined definable purpose in my job.

 

 

19. At the end of a work day, I often say "where did the day go?  I don’t feel I accomplished anything."

 

 

20. I do not set quantifiable objectives on my job for me or for my subordinates.

 

 

21 When I arrive on the job in the morning,  I have no idea what it is I want to accomplish during that particular day

 

 

22. I experience that my job is running me rather than me running the job.

 

 

23. I feel uncomfortable if I do not bring my brief case home.

 

 

24. I feel so exhausted at the end of the work day that I prefer to spend my evenings quietly watching T.V. for an escape.

 

 

25. I resist or have not thought of making plans with my partner on how we will organize our time in the evenings and weekends.

 

 

26. I do not like or have not thought of structuring our days into "couple only" "family only” and “me only" times.

 

 

27. I do not like or have not thought of household tasks which are mine, yours, theirs and ours

 

 

28. I do not like or have not thought of keeping a family appointment calendar in a central place in our house.

 

 

29. I prefer that my partner and I do all the "household tasks" and do not want to delegate such chores to other outside or inside help (inside means if you have children, you don’t delegate major tasks to them).

 

 

30. I have never been in favor or thought of declaring one day or time slot of a day as "family only" time.

 

 

31.I have been heard to tell my spouse: "Sorry Honey, I can't get to that this week, maybe next week."

 

 

32. I have been heard to say: "I work best under pressure."

 

 

33. I pride myself in saying that: "If you want to get the job done right, give it to a busy person like me."

 

 

34. I don't know how to say "no" when it comes to volunteering my time in school, club, church, civic and community organizations' activities.

 

 

35. I resent time management workshops and programs.

 

 

36. I am very generous with my time to everyone who asks for it.

 

 

37. I find I am always "putting fires out" both on the job and at home.

 

 

38. I have a difficult time keeping conversations on the phone short and to the point.

 

 

39. I very rarely use a prewritten agenda when I conduct a meeting.

 

 

40. I find it difficult making it "on time" to scheduled meetings, social engagements and our daily Marriage Work-out sessions.

 

My Score:                    ______

My Spouse’s Score: ______

Our Couple Score:   ______

 

To determine your score add up all the True you have checked and put the score on the line. Then put your partner’s score on the appropriate line. To get your couple's score, add up the True (T's) you both circled. Count a True once on any item which you both circled. Your couple score should be between 0-40 if you've figured it out correctly. The following is the interpretation of the scores on this inventory.

 

Individual Score

Rating

Interpretation

0-2

Fantastic

You two should be able to spend a good amount of time together. Now you know you have the time. How well are you utilizing it? Leisure and recreational activities can improve the quality of time spent. Are you two having fun together?

3-6

Great

You two are on the road to utilizing your time well. You may not have "enough" time yet but with effort you will get there. You already have some time for each other, but the quality time might need some shoring up. The following time management and leisure/free time exercises should assist you to gain growth in this aspect of your relationship.

7-10

OK

You two are needing to get your time better organized. The excuses of not enough time seem to come more easily for you both. Take advantage of the following exercises. Be sure to work at the time management section first to ensure you have time for leisure and recreational activities.

10 or more

Boo

You two are caught up in the Time Trap. You are used to giving and receiving "time" related excuses to each other. You desperately need to work very hard on this chapter. Get the time management exercises done first. Otherwise you won't have any leisure/free time left.

 

In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

 

8-2 A Short Course in Time Management for Married Couples

 

I.  Introduction

Time management is geared to design a system that allows effective use of time to benefit your marriage and lives. Time Management techniques do not save time.  Time cannot be saved.  But it can be spent more effectively making every minute count. Usually, when we say "I don't have enough time," we really are talking about worrying about getting things done. As you practice time management you will find that there somehow is more time. You will worry less and find that you are working smarter, not harder.

 

You have but 168 hours per week. How you use this time helps determine the amount of satisfaction you get from your lives, marriage, family jobs, or hobbies. Just as it is difficult to quit smoking or lose weight, getting results from Time Management techniques requires that you choose one or two at a time and apply them every day so that in time they will become second nature. It is not smart to make a whole lot of changes at one time.  You need to remember not to start everything all at once. Start smal l and achieve several little successes.  Let them really become habits before you add new ones.

 

II. How Do I Spend My Time

Take a minute to analyze where your last week (168 hours) went. Put in the number of hours you spent on each activity listed in the past week. Then add up the total hours spent in the week in each activity and put it in the right hand column. How many hours were not accounted for last week?

 

Activity

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun

Total

Sleep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work: Office, At Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commuting/Travel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dressing/Personal Hygiene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family/Personal Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Educations/Self-Development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community & Professional Activities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leisure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hours accounted for:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

III. Four Principles of Time Management

1. Time Analysis: If you plan to change how you use time, then you must first get a good idea of how you have been using it. Form One is a time analysis record or log.  It has a listing of times down the side of the page in fifteen (15) minute blocks for the entire day. Next to each time write down exactly what you are doing at that moment. Do this every day for at least two weeks, in order to identify patterns in the use of your time. It is time consuming, but worthwhile.  It helps identify how your time is used so you can plan your time better. Copy enough of these sheets for you both. At the end of the 2 week period compare and analyze the results with your partner.

[Refer to Form One - Daily Time Log below]

 

2. Control and Plan Day:  Make a TO DO LIST as the important first step in planning your day.  Late in the afternoon the day before or that morning, make up a shopping list of things to do that day (or the next).  You probably could add to this list forever, but whatever comes to mind the first ten (10) minutes is what is the most urgent or important.  After you have made the list, then decide what is most important and what can wait.

 

It is often a good idea to make up more than one TO DO LIST. What is really great about TO DO LISTS is you can CROSS OFF as you get things done. This gives you a sense of ACCOMPLISHMENT and is satisfying in its own way. Another benefit of TO DO LISTS is that you have already made your plan so you don't have to DECIDE what to do next.  It is right there on the list. You don't have to waste time thinking of what else has to be done. TO DO LISTS actually SUPPLY you with your work and activities.

[Refer to FORM TWO - Daily TO DO LIST below]

 

3.  Priority Setting:   This step uses the TO DO LIST.  Take your list and decide what to do first, etc.  Setting priorities is based on the CONSEQUENCES of your actions or inactions. You are RISKING some DIRE CONSEQUENCES if you don't get a high priority item done. For example: It usually doesn't matter whether you rearrange the plants in your house. It does matter if you have an important deadline to meet and somehow don’t get it done.

 

To help meet priorities make a stack of "must do's," "should do's" and "nice to do's." Put the other two stacks away and tackle the “must do’s." PROCRASTINATION is usually the monster that gets in the way of getting things done. Attacking "must do's" helps to eliminate procrastination.

 

You can often make things MORE DIFFICULT or MORE OVERWHELMING or MORE UNPLEASANT if you wait and all the time you are waiting (procrastinating) to do something you get more behind.

 

4. Scheduling: The hardest thing to learn about scheduling is finding a healthy balance. A schedule full of tasks leaves you no time for interruptions or time alone. A schedule that is light often finds you running around at the end of the day trying to get a hundred things done at once. You have to plan for interruptions. You should plan for WORK TIME and QUIET TIME. You have to take into account various deadlines. Checking on how you did on the day's TO DO LIST or reviewing the TIME SCHEDULE will help in scheduling time. Find patterns and then BLOCK or SCHEDULE your time accordingly.   Schedules also help you to look ahead and plan for future tasks. Like PRIORITY SETTING, SCHEDULING frees you to get the work done at a normal pace rather than wearing yourselves out ricocheting from one demand to the next.

[Refer to FORM THREE - Daily Schedule Activity below)

 

Suggested Discussion Questions

 

1. How often do we use the excuse "I don't have enough time to do it," with each other?

 

2. What are some ways in which we work harder rather than smarter in our use of time in our relationship?

 

3. How do we spend the greater part of the 168 hours we have available in our usual week?

 

4. What do we do on a daily basis which we could delegate to others to do?

 

5. How productive is our expenditure of time on a daily basis? How does it benef it or hurt our relationship?

 

6. How comfortable are we with creating a daily schedule and following it?

 

7. What are some obstacles to us scheduling our time together?

 

8. What relationship-building tasks should we put on our daily TO 00 LISTS?

 

9. How difficult is it for us to prioritize our tasks in a day or week?

 

10. How prone are we to procrastination?

 

 

In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

FORM ONE – DAILY TIME LOG

Day of the Week:

 

Activity AM

Activity PM

12:00

12:00

12:15

12:15

12:30

12:30

12:45

12:45

1:00

1:00

1:15

1:15

1:30

1:30

1:45

1:45

2:00

2:00

2:15

2:15

2:30

2:30

2:45

2:45

3:00

3:00

3:15

3:15

3:30

3:30

3:45

3:45

4:00

4:00

4:15

4:15

4:30

4:30

4:45

4:45

5:00

5:00

5:15

5:15

5:30

5:30

5:45

5:45

6:00

6:00

6:15

6:15

6:30

6:30

6:45

6:45

7:00

7:00

7:15

7:15

7:30

7:30

7:45

7:45

8:00

8:00

8:15

8:15

8:30

8:30

8:45

8:45

9:00

9:00

9:15

9:15

9:30

9:30

9:45

9:45

10:00

10:00

10:15

10:15

10:30

10:30

10:45

10:45

11:00

11:00

11:15

11:15

11:30

11:30

11:45

11:45

 

FORM TWO:

DAILY TO DO LOG

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

5.

 

6.

 

7.

 

8.

 

9.

 

10.

 

11.

 

12.

 

13.

 

14.

 

15.

 

16.

 

17.

 

18.

 

19.

 

20.

FORM THREE:

DAILY SCHEDULE ACITIVITY LIST

Activity AM

Activity PM

12:00

12:00

12:15

12:15

12:30

12:30

12:45

12:45

1:00

1:00

1:15

1:15

1:30

1:30

1:45

1:45

2:00

2:00

2:15

2:15

2:30

2:30

2:45

2:45

3:00

3:00

3:15

3:15

3:30

3:30

3:45

3:45

4:00

4:00

4:15

4:15

4:30

4:30

4:45

4:45

5:00

5:00

5:15

5:15

5:30

5:30

5:45

5:45

6:00

6:00

6:15

6:15

6:30

6:30

6:45

6:45

7:00

7:00

7:15

7:15

7:30

7:30

7:45

7:45

8:00

8:00

8:15

8:15

8:30

8:30

8:45

8:45

9:00

9:00

9:15

9:15

9:30

9:30

9:45

9:45

10:00

10:00

10:15

10:15

10:30

10:30

10:45

10:45

11:00

11:00

11:15

11:15

11:30

11:30

11:45

11:45

 

8-3 Things We Waste Time On

 

Wasting time on your job can jeopardize your time in your marriage. This exercise focuses on TIME WASTERS on your job. Read each time waster and its causes. Put a check in front of those time wasters you use. Then read the solutions. When you are done, share your results with your spouse.

 

Time Waster:

Possible Cause:

Solution

Lack of planning

Failure to see the benefit of planning

Recognize that planning may take time but it saves time and effort in the long run

 

Action oriented

Emphasize results, not activity.

 

Success without it 

Recognize that success is often in spite of, not because of, methods.

 

Time Waster:

Possible Cause:

Solution

Lack of priorities

Lack of goals and objectives

Write down goals and objectives. Discuss priorities with coworkers and family members.

 

 

Time Waster:

Possible Cause:

Solution

Over commitment

Broad interests

Learn to say no

 

Confusion in priorities

Reassess your goals

 

Failure to set priorities

Develop a personal philosophy regarding time. Relate priorities to a schedule of events.

 

 

Time Waster:

Possible Cause:

Solution

Management by crisis

Lack of planning

Apply the same solutions as for lack of planning.

 

Unrealistic time estimates

Allow more time. Allow for interruptions.

 

Problem oriented

Be opportunity oriented

 

Reluctance of others to break bad news

Encourage fast transmission of information as essential for timely corrective action.

 

 

Time Waster:

Possible Cause:

Solution

Telephone, Cell Phone, Texting, E-mail

Lack of self-discipline

Screen and group calls & messages. Be brief.

 

Desire to be informed and involved

Stay uninvolved with all but essentials. Manage by exception.

 

 

Time Waster:

Possible Cause:

Solution

Meetings

Fear of responsibility for decisions.

Make decisions without meetings.

 

Indecision

Make decisions even when some facts are missing.

 

Indecision

Lack of confidence in the facts. Improve fact finding and validating procedures.

 

Over communication

Discourage unnecessary meetings. Convene only those needed.

 

Poor leadership

Use agendas. Stick to the subject. Prepare concise minutes as soon as possible.

 

Insistence on all the facts; paralysis by analysis

Accept risks as inevitable. Decide without all facts.

 

Fear of consequences of a mistake

Delegate the right to be wrong. Use mistakes as a learning process.

 

Lack of a rational decision-making process

Get facts, set goals, investigate alternatives and negative consequences, make the decision, then implement it.

 

 

Time Waster:

Possible Cause:

Solution

Lack of delegation

Fear of subordinates' inadequacy

Train. Allow mistakes. Replace if necessary.

 

Fear of subordinates' competence

Delegate fully. Give credit. Insure corporate growth to maintain challenge.

 

Work overload on subordinates

Balance the workload. Reorder priorities.

 

Time Waster:

Possible Cause:

Solution

Haste

Impatience with detail 

Take time to get it right. Save the time of doing it over.

 

Responding to the urgent

Distinguish between the urgent and the important.

 

Lack of planning ahead

Take time to plan. It repays itself many times over.

 

Attempting too much in too little time

Attempt less, delegate much more.

Time Waster:

Possible Cause:

Solution

Paperwork and reading

Knowledge explosion

Read selectively. Learn speed reading.

 

“Computeritis”

Manage computer data by exception

 

Failure to screen

Delegate reading to subordinates. Ask for summaries.

 

 

Time Waster:

Possible Cause:

Solution

Routine, trivia

Lack of priorities

Set and concentrate on priority goals. Delegate nonessentials.

 

Over surveillance of subordinates

Delegate; then give subordinates their right to do it their way. Look to results, not details or methods

 

Refusal to delegate; feeling of greater security dealing with operating detail

Recognize that without delegation, it is impossible to grow. Forget perfectionism.

 

Time Waster:

Possible Cause:

Solution

Visitors

Enjoyment in socializing 

: Do it elsewhere. Meet visitors outside work setting. Suggest lunch, if necessary or hold stand-up conferences.

 

Inability to say no

Screen. Say no. Be unavailable. Modify the open-door policy.

 

Make a Commitment Now!

I will no longer use the above time wasters.

I will begin to:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Share this list with your spouse.

 

Suggested Discussion Question

1. What time wasters prevent us from getting our work done on a typical day?

 

2. What activities this week that were ritualistic and relatively ineffective do we waste our time on?

 

3.  What tasks could we delegate so not to waste our own time?

 

4. What tasks did we do that could be simplified so not as to waste our time?

 

5. What single activity or habit wastes most of our time individually and as a couple?

 

6. How have time wasters rob of the needed time we could be spending with one another?

 

7. Where did we learn these “time waster” and what makes them so difficult to get rid of?

 

8. Are we currently teaching others in our lives how to adopt “time wasters” or are we helpful to others to get rid of “time wasters” while wasting our own time in the process?

 

9. How will our Marriage grow and flourish once we rid ourselves of the “time wasters” in our lives?

 

10. How surprised are you that we have been blind to “time wasters” all our time together. Why do you think is the case?

 

Study your answers, and take the steps necessary to eliminate your time wasters.

 

In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

8-4 Preparing a Family Time Budget

 

A Family Time Budget can help you organize the daily and weekly activities for more effective use of time. Below are steps to follow to develop the time budge for your famly.

 

Step 1: Make a list of the things that you two and the family do during a week’s time.

  • What must be done every day?
  • What is done at definite, started intervals?
  • What must be done, but comes at unpredictable times and requires unpredictable amounts of time?
  • Consider what emergencies may arise.
  • Be sure to include “my time” “couple time” and “family time” slots

 

Step 2: Determine the time you now spend on each task or duty – the average time under normal circumstances

  • Spot duplications of effort or tasks that could be done in less time
  • Determine what task or duty you are now doing that could be delegated to others.


Step 3: Prepare a time table base on the above factors for each day. Fix a time in a day to do each task. Use the time analysis you did in 8-2 in preparing your time budget.

 

Step 4: Allow time for special and creative work.

 

Step 5: Take into consideration when budgeting activities, those periods in the day in which you are at high energy level and budget those activities which require more energy at these times. Budget your low energy periods with those activities which do not require as much energy.

 

Step 6: Plan your tasks so that you complete similar activities in the same block of time, thereby eliminating excess time of getting supplies ready, and mentally orienting yourself to a new task.

 

Step 7: Set the weekly family time budget to begin from Friday (TGIF) to Thursday since the bulk of together time for couples and families usually runs from Friday afternoon to Monday morning.

 

Step 8: Use the time budget and correct it over the next weeks, months and years.

 

Create a Time Budget for you both (and your family) for the next week. Don’t forget to include your Marriage Work-Out sessions. 

 

Family Time Budget

Our Time Budget for the week of ________________, 20__

 

 

Daily Activities

Fri

Sat

Sun

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

6:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Family Tasks                                            New Tasks to be tried:

1.                                                                                 1.

2.                                                                                 2.

3.                                                                                 3.

4.                                                                                 4

5                                                                                  5

 

We agree to this Time Budget

________________________                  ________________________

My signature                                            My partner's signature

 

_________________________                _________________________

Date                                                          Date

 

In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

8.5 Leisure / Free Time Analysis

 

Do this task individually, then compare your results with your partner when you have completed the analysis.

 

Step 1: List in the first column Activity, of the chart below, twenty activities that you find: enjoyable, meaningful, and in some ways contributing to may your life worth living. If you can think of more than twenty, continue the list until your brainstorming is exhausted. How hard or easy was it for you to do this first task?

 

Step 2: Now under Date Column indicate the date you last did each of the activities. Review the results of the completed Date Column. How can you reconcile your use of time in carrying out activities that are most meaningful to you?

 

Step 3: Now under the Expense Column indicate the cost to you of each activity listed: free, under $5, $15-25, $25-50, $50-100 and over $100. Review the results of the completed Expense Column. How expensive is enjoyment for you? Do you unwittingly price yourself out of pleasurable activities?

 

Step 4: Now under Other People Column indicate for each activity listed whether the activity is done alone, with another person, with family, with a group, etc. Once you completed the Oher People Column, review your responses. How important are people in your meaningful activities? What role do your spouse, family and friends play in these activities? Do you have activities you do rarely because they are expensive and which you only do with certain people> How many of these activities are of interest to you and your spouse?

 

Step 5: Now under the Physical-Sedentary Column indicate if each activity listed provides similar or different physical opportunities from activity on your job. First determine if your job is physical or sedentary and then mark the activity same or different. Review the results of the Physical-Sedentary Column. Do you limit yourself to job-related activities only? Do you have physical outlets which require your use of physical or mental exertion different than what you have on the job?

 

Step 6: Now under the Job Column indicate if each activity or element of the activity listed can be transferred to the work site. If it can, mark yes, if it cannot, mark no. Review the results of the Job Column. Do the job or people from work have any influence on the choice of activity? Does your job contribute or not contribute to your life satisfaction away from work? Are your hobbies, interests and enjoyable activities able to be brought to your work site?

 

Step 7: Now under the Time Column indicate if each activity is usually done on vacation (large blocks of time), weekends, or can be done daily (consistently). Use VAC, WEEK, DAILY, for each activity in the Time Column. Review the results of the Time Column. Does most enjoyment get postponed for large doses of time? Do your large blocks of time activities cost a lot, need a great deal of planning with others and thus are infrequently experienced?

 

Step 8: Now under the Year Column, indicate how many more years you can envision yourself enjoying each of the activities listed. Is each activity temporary (TEMP) or lifelong (LIFE)? Now review the results of the Years Column. If the activity is temporary what keeps you from participating in it more now while you can still enjoy it? What makes an activity lifelong versus temporary for you?

 

Step 9: The topics on the chart were chosen for their value in encouraging you and your spouse’s analysis and understanding. You both are ready to prepare a plan to utilize your joint leisure time more effectively. You both are ready to relook at your environment at home and make plans to change it. Record your plans and commit yourself to them.

 

Our Life Enrichment Plan of Action

 

We intend to do the following steps to utilize our leisure time more effectively:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5

 

We plan on doing the following steps to change the environment in which we live:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5

 

Suggested Discussion Questions

 

1. Why is it so difficult to make time for the things we enjoy doing together?

 

2. How many things for which we share a common interest have w not done for a long time?

 

3. How important is money in determining what we do together?

 

4. Why are these hang-ups on letting each other pursue individual interests or activities?

 

5. What things brought us together in the first place, and why don’t we do them now?

 

6. How does our different need for physical and sedentary leisure-time activities affect our relationship?

 

7. How much do we support one another in our hobbies?

 

8. What part does jealousy play in not allowing each other to pursue our individual interests?

 

9. Why do we only do job related activities?

 

10. What does this exercise tell us about ourselves and our marital satisfaction?

 

In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

My Leisure/Free Time Self Analysis Chart

Activity

Date

Expense

Other

Persons

Job

Physical/

Sedentary

 

Time

Years

1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8-6 Shared Interests Exercise

 

This exercise is intended to assist you both to recognize that you each assume how the other partner feels or values interests or activities. Reach each list of interests, then rank order the given choices. Rank each choice for yourself only. Once you are done, then compare your results with your partner and record your partner’’ rating.

 

1. Where would you rather be on a Saturday Afternoon?

Me

My Spouse

 

 

 

At the beach

 

 

In the Woods

 

 

In a Mall or Shopping Outlet

 

2. What is most important in life?

Me

My Spouse

 

 

 

Money

 

 

Friends

 

 

Good health

 

3. Which season do you like best?

Me

My Spouse

 

 

 

Spring

 

 

Summer

 

 

Fall

 

 

Winter

 

4. My favorite sports to participate in are:

Me

My Spouse

 

 

 

Water sports

 

 

Tennis

 

 

Golf

 

 

Fishing or Hunting

 

5. If someone gave you $275 what would you do with it?

Me

My Spouse

 

 

 

Spend it on something I’ve always wanted

 

 

Save it

 

 

Buy my spouse a gift

 

6. Where would you rather live?

Me

My Spouse

 

 

 

A farm

 

 

Middle of a big city

 

 

Suburbs

 

7. Where would you rather vacation?

Me

My Spouse

 

 

 

In the mountains

 

 

At the ocean

 

 

Visiting a foreign country

 

8. Which would you like most?

Me

My Spouse

 

 

 

A trip to Las Vegas

 

 

A trip to Disney Word

 

 

A trip to New York City

 

 

An ocean cruise

 

9. If you were given a million dollars would you

Me

My Spouse

 

 

 

Share your wealth through charities

 

 

Really live it up

 

 

Put it in the bank and carry on with your present job and style of living

 

10. Would you rather

Me

My Spouse

 

 

 

Watch a baseball game

 

 

Play a game of baseball

 

 

Read a book

 

11. Would you rather

Me

My Spouse

 

 

 

Ride a horse

 

 

Do arts and crafts

 

 

Play a game of foodball

 

12 Would you rather

Me

My Spouse

 

 

 

Be alone

 

 

Be with two good close friends

 

 

Be with two casual friends and acquaintances

 

13. In your free time would you rather

Me

My Spouse

 

 

 

Stay home

 

 

Explore a new place

 

 

Go to a friend’s house

 

 

Go to a shopping center

 

14. Would you rather

Me

My Spouse

 

 

 

Visit a friend

 

 

Go to a movie

 

 

Play an outdoor game

 

 

Read a book

 

Once you have recorded all fourteen items for your both, review your different responses and consider these questions:

Suggested Discussion Questions

 

1. How important is it to the future of our marriage to be compatible in our outside interests and activities?

 

2. Is there a problem in pursuing independent leisure time activities and interests?

 

3. Why don’t we do more things together?

 

4. Why do we do so many things together? Is there a problem in too much togetherness?

 

5. How can we bring more fun into our marriage?

 

6. What are the obstacles to having more mutually enjoyable activities in our marriage?

 

7. How do (or will) our children affect the expenditure of our fun times?

 

8. Why are we hesitant to splurge money and/or time on one another?

 

9. Why do we have problems balancing alone time activities and group oriented activities? Why do we isolate ourselves so much or why do e always have to travel in a group?

 

10. What role does alcohol, drugs, smoking and gambling play in the decision of what leisure time activities we choose?

 

In your Journal Record Your Personal Notes on this Exercise

8-7 Follow-up Work-Out Plans for Making Record Time for Each Other


As a result of our exercises, discussions, and efforts in this chapter of our Marriage Work-Out on Making Time for one another, we have come up with this action plan to continue and follow up the health enhancing what we have just completed.


I. Making Time for Each Other’s Needs

The following are needs which we still have to address to fully achieve full health in making time for each other:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

II. Strategic Steps towards Growth in Making Time for Each Other

The following are specific steps we will take to address our needs to improve the way we make time for each other:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

III. Personal Responsibility Taking

The following are the things I will specifically do to ensure that we as a couple continue to grow in our ability to make time for each other:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

 

IV. Evaluation of Action Plan for Making Time for Each Other

We will know we have achieved our goal to grow in making time for each other by the following measurable behavioral changes:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10

 

We agree to the above Marriage Work-Out plan for making time for each other.

 

_________________________                ___________________________

My signature                                            My partner's signature

 

_________________________                ____________________________

Date                                                          Date