Home » Blog » The Importance Of Family Time & How It Can Help Your Health and Happiness

An internet post by Indra Nooyi on Valentine’s 2022 was instantly viral, mostly because it was the voice of every leader out there. She wrote Valentine’s Day note for her husband Raj K Nooyi, appreciating him for having her back at all times.

The Pepsi CEO wrote, “The truth is, there is no such thing as balancing work and family. It’s a constant juggling act. And many times, it’s the people around us — like our life partners — who make this juggling possible. It’s a reminder that family isn’t female. Family is family.”

Family is one of the most significant components of our lives for many of us. Whether biological or chosen, we rely on our family members for support.

However, as with all partnerships, dynamics are at play. You need a place to go after a long, exhausting day. You need your support group to celebrate a success. Family is essential at the end of the day.

Our family relationships can have both beneficial and ill effects on our mental health. Consequently, it is essential to comprehend the significance of family dynamics to you and your family.

In this article, we will focus on how important family time is for one’s mental health and happiness. As we will progress we will also study the impact of missing time with family on both leader and their family.

What You Are Missing While Missing Family Time

We get it, business is vital. We would want to see those charts escalating.

Entrepreneurs like you need your time to concentrate on important aspects. Frequently, job difficulties result from confusing instructions and expectations. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the time, employees feel perpetually overburdened when management inadvertently labels every project as urgent and vital. When employees are aware of their priorities and how they should allocate their time, they obtain desired results and are motivated by their achievement.

Now here is what research says. In the Journal of Applied Psychology, according to University of Georgia experts, positive interactions with your child during your off hours can help you become a better leader. The study looked at two groups of managers, 46 and 113, to see if they had had pleasant contacts with their families each day after work, such as working on a project together or laughing together. Participants were also asked if they felt connected to their families and if they were content with their family life in general.

The researchers also looked at leadership behaviours, asking participants how often they did things like making sure staff were aware of expectations and assisting subordinates in developing their abilities. The managers in both trials completed one survey in the morning and another in the afternoon for a total of ten days. The findings revealed a relationship between positive after-hours family interactions and more successful leadership throughout the workday.

In another poll conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with the Crayola Experience, 2,000 parents (with children aged 3–16) found that 55 percent believe they’re missing out on the fun of parenting due to their other obligations.

In actuality, 67 percent of parents worry that they will miss unique moments while their children are still young, and 40 percent of parents admit that they have already missed at least one significant milestone in the life of their child.

According to the findings, 78 percent of parents wish they had more time to spend with their children, and 82 percent of the parents who participated in the study believe that their children are maturing far too quickly.

The poll investigated the challenges that respondents face as parents and found that they are not the only ones who feel as though they are missing out on time with their family.

It turns out that 82 percent of parents interviewed have had their child complain that they do not spend enough quality time with them, with a quarter (25 percent) of respondents hearing these types of concerns frequently.

Even when parents make an effort to spend time with their children, the youngsters frequently have the impression—a sentiment that is shared by the parents—that their parents aren’t giving the activity their whole attention. Seventy-eight percent of the people who participated in the study have heard their children complain that their parents aren’t giving their whole attention when they are supposed to be spending time together, and twenty-six percent of the children feel this way on a consistent basis.

More over half of parents, or 55%, admit that they are not totally involved with their children when they are spending time with them, which lends credence to the feeling that this is the case.

Your inability to spend quality time with your children may also have a psychological effect on them. According to research, it is extremely important to regularly set aside time to spend with your children as a family (Jones, 2017). However, the time you do spend with your children is of the highest possible quality despite the fact that you are both quite busy. Spending time with your children and giving them your complete attention while engaging in activities that they enjoy is an example of quality time. It does not have to be a major undertaking in order to spend quality time with your children; rather, it can be as simple as setting up a few minutes each day to spend together in an environment free of interruptions.

So why is quality time with our kids so important? According to Jones (2017), children have a lower risk of exhibiting challenging behaviours either at home or at school. Children who engage in more positive activities with their families, such as spending more time together, have a lower propensity to engage in harmful behaviours such as substance abuse and alcohol consumption. It is important for the mental and emotional health of your children that you communicate to them how much you love and care for them. Regularly spending high-quality time with your children is the most effective approach for you, as a parent, to accomplish this goal. Children have a greater chance of leading physically healthy lives if they spend more time with their families engaging in meaningful activities. Spending time with your children that is meaningful is not only beneficial to their development but also to your own health and happiness as a parent.

Let’s move on and find out the reasons why having a family makes one a better leader.

Family Life Can Make You A Better Leader 

The entire premise of this article is to highlight the importance of work-life balance with primary spotlight on family time. 

There is a popular notion among the extra hard workers that work-life balance inversely affects the productivity. 

In the field of mental health, we focus far too much on the impact that personal and family obligations might have on work performance. For high-demand, high-stress, long-hours jobs like management and leadership positions, this association between personal life and job performance can be notably relevant. The profession rarely pays attention to the importance of a strong family and home life in developing leadership and management skills.

According to the study’s findings, talents acquired while raising children at home can be used to the profession in a strategic way. Skills like assisting others in becoming successful, celebrating triumphs, identifying and building on strengths, working with others to support attainment of a common goal, appropriately demonstrating respect, concern, or enthusiasm, holding others accountable, setting limits, and articulating what needs to be done in approachable language and terms are just as important in family life as they are in the business. Relationship development is at the heart of all of this, and it’s an essential one in the workplace, where most work is done informally.

In a workplace, employees are more receptive to leaders who show empathy, care about their success while also encouraging them to learn from their mistakes. Managers that exhibit gratitude, honesty, and emotional intelligence in their dealings with their staff and clients are desired by employees. They are looking for leaders who will show them respect, define the mission clearly, and lead them boldly toward its fulfilment while treating them with dignity and respect.

How CEOs Balance Their Work and Family Life

You’re busy; you have a company to run or a job to go to every day. You leave early in the morning and return late at night. You want to spend more time with your children but don’t know how. Isn’t your plate already full?

But so does everybody else. From Zuckerberg to Larry Page of Google, everybody is changing the narrative that successful people don’t make time for family. 

“Every Friday at Google, Larry, Sergio, and Eric (three Google executives) spend time with employees, answering their questions and assisting them in focusing on their goals. It’s not difficult to help people prioritise and focus, but only if you spend quality time with them.”

“Nooyi informed the BBC that she speaks to her Indian mother twice a day. “Don’t forget you’re a person at the end of the day,” Nooyi said. “Don’t forget you’re a mother, don’t forget you’re a wife, don’t forget you’re a daughter.” She also ensures that everyone in her company is caring in the same way.”

“Facebook is recognised for its generous parental leave policies, which include 17 weeks of paid vacation for both moms and fathers, as well as a $4,000 “baby cash” gift for new parents. Even the company’s co-founder takes advantage of these enticing deals. Zuck took two months off before his first daughter, Max, was born to be with his wife, Priscilla, and their child. In August of this year, Zuckerberg announced again again that he will be taking extra time off to spend with Priscilla, Max, and their baby daughter, August.”

“When Sheryl Sandberg was working at Google before becoming Facebook’s COO, she would leave the office at 5:30 p.m. every day so she could be home by 6 p.m. to have dinner with her children.”

“Oprah Winfrey, the media magnate, manages to meditate at least once a day, if not twice, despite her rigorous schedule. Winfrey practises transcendental meditation twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, according to her website. What were the outcomes? ‘According to Oprah Winfrey,’ “More restful sleep. Improved connections with spouses, children, and coworkers… [and] overall increased productivity and creativity.”

Why the YouTube CEO always tries to eat dinner with her kids, and 6 more things to know

“Susan Wojcicki of YouTube, who has five children, concurs; yet, she believes that prioritising her children makes her a stronger leader. Wojcicki strives to come home by 6:00 p.m. every night so she can eat dinner with her family. “I try, because I’ve discovered that if I’m home for dinner, my children can fill me in on the day’s events,” she remarked in an interview. She expresses her desire for people to follow in her footsteps. “I want people to understand that it is acceptable to have a family.”

Now that we’ve seen numerous examples of entrepreneurs and leaders adjusting their lives to accommodate family time, let’s examine how they manage to have a good family life.

1. Every Leader Has Their Own Definition of Work-Life Balance

The term “work-life balance” conjures up pictures of healthy CEOs who spend eight hours at work, eight hours sleeping, and the remaining eight hours pursuing personal interests. However, this idea disregards the fact that individuals have diverse priorities in life. Executives construct their own work-life balance definitions.

Some entrepreneurs, particularly those in new enterprises and technology, are satisfied working 50 to 60 hours per week or more. Many even enjoy it; this lifestyle is ideal for them. Others require more time to spend with family and friends, choosing to work only 40 to 45 hours per week. Instead than conforming to established notions of work-life balance, effective chief executives create the idea for themselves.

2. They Make Their Family Time Creative

No matter how many hours CEOs spend in or out of the office, they have other responsibilities that consume their time. According to a survey conducted by CEO.com with 256 respondents, CEOs average between 10 and 11 hours of work each day and roughly 58 hours per week. In addition, they sleep between six and seven hours every night, allowing six to eight hours for other pursuits. However, these eight hours of leisure are mixed with other responsibilities. Commuting, cooking, and dropping off the children at school might take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, eroding an executive’s already scarce personal time.

CEOs that prioritise work-life balance are hence creative. They utilise carpooling to school as an opportunity for family connection, perhaps by listening to a child-friendly audiobook together, and they exercise during lunch.

3. They Engage In More Stimulating Leisure Activities

Numerous leaders adhere to a rigorous fitness regimen to maintain a mental balance. By creating a stronger heart and lungs, fostering emotional stability, and reducing both blood pressure and stress levels, exercise enables leaders to more effectively navigate tough organisational transitions. Additionally, exercise increases energy and alertness, heightens focus, and enhances cognitive processes in general.

Jack Dorsey of Twitter stated that resuming control of Twitter in 2015 while simultaneously leading payments company Square prompted him to adopt a new diet and workout programme.

Dorsey added, “When I returned to Twitter and took on the second job, I became quite serious about meditation and devoted a lot more time and energy to working out, remaining physically healthy, and examining my diet with greater scrutiny.” “I had to. Simply to remain afloat.”

Dorsey stated that the additional stress “made everything in my life better” and that he is thankful he accepted it.

Dorsey is renowned for his strict schedule. Prior to the coronavirus epidemic, Dorsey walked five miles to Twitter’s headquarters every morning, a journey that generally took him one hour and twenty minutes.

Obviously, exercise is not the only activity that enhances work performance. An individual’s creative problem-solving skills are enhanced through creative activities such as writing and playing music. In fact, according to a study published in Psychology Today, innovative scientists are more likely to win Nobel awards. The implication that these hobbies boost cognitive effort is extremely useful in a professional setting.

Hear this episode explaining how playing with your physical abilities and strengths is fulfilling your role: Nathan Farrugia – The xMonks Drive Podcast

4. They Are Mindful Of Their Responsibilities

CEOs must ensure that they have time for performance-enhancing recreational activities, which requires them to be resolute when work-related matters require their attention. As CEOs, they are aware that new responsibilities will arise every day, but they do not allow these problems to consume their lives. They refuse to sacrifice their personal priorities, which may earn them more respect from their coworkers.

This level of dedication to oneself is crucial. Although executives are not required to make the same decisions as well-known CEOs, they must be able to say no to certain time and attention demands. Part of establishing a work-life balance involves saying “no” to some requests.

5. They Do Not Repeat Same Mistakes 

Occasionally, CEOs who decline an invitation to a personal or business gathering subsequently regret their decision. They may have completed additional work by staying late at the workplace, or they may have left early to spend more time with their family. Instead of beating oneself up, effective CEOs view failures as learning opportunities. If they regret missing an experience, they recognise that it should be a future priority.

This final piece of advice is similarly applicable to the first: defining one’s personal work-life balance. In reality, each of these techniques is most effective when utilised to influence the others. Thus, future leaders can establish the behaviours necessary to navigate their professional and personal lives with skill.

Tips for Making A Quality Time With Your Children

Due to having a lot on their minds, busy leaders do not have the headspace to entertain their children, hence hampering the relation. Here are some basic suggestions that might be helpful for spending quality time with your children:

  • Communicate daily with your children and your family. Any form of connection with your children is crucial and beneficial, whether it is face-to-face interactions before school and work or a letter tucked into their lunch bags.
  • Tell your child every day that you adore them. Tell your child why you love and appreciate them.
  • Create a bedtime routine, such as selecting and reading a short book.
  • Appreciate favourable behaviours to reinforce them.
  • Prepare and consume a dinner together. This facilitates communication throughout the family and promotes teamwork.
  • Schedule time to participate in an activity with your child, allowing them to select. 
  • Examples include handicraft, baking, and family game night.
  • Even if only for a few minutes, engage in play with your youngster.
  • Tell your children jokes and laugh with them. Laughter is beneficial for emotional wellness.
  • Take a break from electronics for thirty minutes and simply listen and converse with your youngster.

Developing a meaningful relationship with your children is essential and may be easily incorporated into your everyday routine. This will have enduring effects on them as they mature into productive people in the future.

Having Difficult Family Time: Working With A Family Coach

Do you experience happiness in your family life?

Do you have a bond with your spouse and your children?

Are your loved ones content and supportive of your leadership?

What would your spouse and children say if you asked them if you spend enough time with them?

What is your definition of success, and does it involve your family? Are you congruent with that?

If you answered “no” to any of the preceding questions, we would suggest that you begin your real work around the home and family. Prioritize your family time before it is too late. Now is the time to construct a solid foundation of which you can be proud.

In terms of practicality, there are numerous influential leaders whose families may not be in good health. In this case, we recommend that you hire a Family Coach to assist you in transforming your family from surviving to thriving, so that you can lead your community with purpose, passion, and contribution as a family, because it takes a family to change the world!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important for a leader to be spending family time?

Family is an important aspect of everyone’s lives.  Family dynamics impact our mental health and happiness, hence it is important for a leader to be spending family time.

What are the benefits of family time?

For high-demand, high-stress, long-hour jobs like management and leadership positions it is important to have skills like assisting others in becoming successful, celebrating triumphs, building on strengths, being supportive, demonstrating respect, concern, or enthusiasm, holding others accountable, setting boundaries, and articulating what needs to be done in approachable language and terms are developed by a leader who has a deeper understanding of healthy family time. These qualities in a leader are the benefits of family time.

What are the tips to have quality family time with children?

To have meaningful family time with children, practice communicating daily with your children and express your love and support.

How can happy family time make a better leader?

A happy family can result in a creative leader. Due to fewer distractions from the family side, the leader can focus completely on the business.