Have you ever been told, “Don’t wait for retirement to have the life you want?” These words are wise but not necessarily helpful. If you’re working hard to design your best life, the last thing you need is guilt that you’re not enjoying it all the time. How much fun do you have each day?

I encourage you to think of the weekend, your vacation, or your retirement as an extension of the life you’re creating right now. 

Start small. Imagine the weekend as a time to do what you wish you had more time for during the week.  

Sometimes, during the workweek, I don’t have large chunks of time to play. So I get a little creative. My son and l will play a quick game of tag for five minutes. We have a few good laughs and then I go back to work. On a good day, we’ll have a dance party after dinner that may or may not turn into a dance fight with some karate moves!

I benefit from the little moments of play, it energizes me. It’s also reassuring to know the little moments of connection are future invitations to play.  On weekends when my son asks  “Mom, wanna play?” I know I’m doing okay. 

Adults and kids benefit from play.

Science tells us to play, helps us not take ourselves too seriously, gets us thinking creatively, and can heal our emotional wounds. Here are five ideas to get you having some fun as a family in under five minutes. 

5 Fun Activities in Under 5 Minutes

  • Music: Listen to a song you heard when you were your kid’s age and see if they like it. Bonus if you dance too!
  • Look for Joy: One of my son’s teachers encourages students to look out a window for half a minute. I will sometimes join him and look for birds, squirrels, or other animals that are passing by our yard. 
  • Share Pop culture: Pick one of your favorite TV show intros and share it with your kids. Next, wait and see how long it takes for them to one day in the not-so-distant future, show you a reference to that same intro on one of their shows. 
  • Move: Challenge your family to see who can run the fastest for 5 minutes continuously.  
  • Word Play: Create a one-word story by each of you saying one word and coming up with a beginning, middle and end. 

There is power in pausing, laughing, and having some fun.

What fun activity are you going to try for five minutes today? 

It’s like running a marathon. Sometimes the last mile before the finish line can be the toughest. In business, for example, we run marathons all the time:  landing that next sale, or onboarding that new team member to free up your time. 

After the marathon, it’s important to recover, stretch, take a break, and have fun. Sometimes I need that reminder too. 

One Saturday morning after an intense week, my own guidance on how to take a break came back to me from my eight-year-old. During the family time after breakfast, we each talked about what we wanted from the day. When I said I was going to do some work on my passion project my son said, “What?! You’re not going to use the computer? You worked so much last week!”

I shared how much I enjoy the work I was about to do. “Okay,” he said. “Why not work one hour, then take a two-hour break?”

I chuckled in agreement. I couldn’t argue. That’s what I would have said to him or one of my teammates. 

It can seem easier to keep the “go-go-go” program running: it may even be comforting. Keep going, work hard, and accomplish those goals. It takes practice to stop, reflect, and restore. 

My family sometimes coaches me. They remind me when I’m pushing the limits without breaks. When they see my listening and acknowledging their observations without being defensive or feeling guilty, our bond is reinforced. 

I was able to hear their thoughts…because I asked them. I asked us to all share what we wanted out of the weekend. I was vulnerable and open to their input and concerns. 

We ended up having lots of fun, and my passion project got done. I didn’t have to fit my work into the day; my family helped me create space to do it guilt-free. I love this quote from Brene Brown:

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive substance and strength from the relationship.” 

I practice this connection with family and the teams with whom I work. When we courageously connect on this level at home and at work, we grow. 

If you need to force-fit tasks in a day, I encourage you to ask your family what they want and share what you want. The secret? Be vulnerable. Express your needs. Listen to theirs.

I feel more energized and focused when I time block everything in my schedule. 

I have a love/hate relationship with my schedule. I’m a bit of a rebel and don’t want to be told what to do. For a while, I resisted the time blocking on my schedule because I wanted the flexibility around all that was already scheduled. 

I also thought it was going to be limiting, that I’d feel bad moving the times around when I don’t get everything done like I thought I would. 

Then a really good coach of mine asked me to just try it for a week to see how I felt. They inspired me by asking me to imagine what it would be like if I didn’t have to try and remember everything.

So I put everything in my calendar—the work stuff, the rituals, the fun time, the family time. 

And I loved it 90% of the time. I admit that when that bedtime alarm comes around and I’m in the middle of my next big idea it’s a bit frustrating. Sometimes I just keep going and make a conscious choice to adjust my schedule the next day. That’s the key, staying flexible amongst the routine. 

Do some days not go as planned? Yes, of course. But not as many as I thought. 

And here’s the bonus part: our family now uses alarms to keep on track for our family time too. It’s been a game-changer. When our son knows that it’s time to stop playing Xbox with his friends, a little eight-year-old voice says “I have to go, I want to spend some time with my parents before bedtime. ”

No fight. 

No big fuss.


Of course, our family routines will change as we all grow and evolve. And some days tend to blend into the next as we all work and learn from home during the pandemic. 

But the cool thing now is we’re starting to create new rituals that bring us joy on the weekends. We just picked the time of day on Saturdays and Sundays that we’ll all go for a walk together. 

What matters most is you map out your calendar for what matters most, what you need and want to happen, at work and at home. 

If you aren’t sure what those are, start by reflecting on the last week: 

  • What were the three highlights?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • What do you learn about your family?
  • Did you get the focus time you needed to work on your business?
  • Did you get the quality time you needed to be with your family?
  • Did you get the quiet time you needed with no demands on you?
  • Did you do your best?

If you still need a little inspiration, here is one of my favourite quotes from Chris Hadfield.

Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become.  Chris Hadfield

Some days I only get four hours of sleep.

I noticed a pattern: whenever I’m trying to grow my business, there are days when I only get four to five hours of sleep.

Instead of trying to change that pattern, I go with it—but I’m not doing it alone. I’ve got a little help from my friends, and I get creative with my time. 

I know it’s best to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. That’s not always possible. I don’t want to feel bad about it. I’d rather be healthy and face my reality. 

I invested in a nutritionist to work on a recovery plan for the days I have less sleep. It’s been a game-changer!

Now for you, it may be something else that is against the norm and best practice. I want to encourage you to do what you think is best, and prepare to push your limits. 

To show up as your best self on the tough days: 

  1. Plan. I’m very intentional and clear about the Why?, What?, and When? during these times where I push my limits and get less sleep.
  2. Prepare. I have monthly, weekly, and daily rituals that save me time during the week and energize me. 
  3. Pause. When I need to recharge through the day or take a break, I take five minutes to reset.

My questions to choose what’s best in the moment:

  • What serves me right now? 
  • How can I best serve
    • my family?
    • my clients?
    • my community?
  • Do I have the right kind of energy to serve myself and others?

You know what you want to do and why it’s important to you. 

How do you challenge the status quo as you grow your business?

Stop spinning your wheels and start taking action. Live the life you deserve. Explore the good, the messy, and uncomfortable parts of being a parent and owning a business. 

Receive five-minute strategies and tips on how to eliminate guilt and live debt-free. You can make a positive impact on your family, business, and community.

Be Purposeful: Live an energized and intentional life, every day.

Be Poised: Eliminate guilt and anxiety.

Be Present: Get four hours a week in your schedule for free time!

Be Peaceful: Enjoy quality time with the people who matter the most.

Enjoying your family and growing your business. That’s balance. That’s a Parentpreneur. Let’s explore.