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Schedule Time With Your Partner

The core purpose of what you do is the one thing that need not change.

A lot of what I write about it workflow management and time management. Some may think these are techniques only to be used in the office, but your work and time doesn't stop when you clock out at work. You still have tasks to perform outside of work and your time is just as scarce a resource, if not more scarce, outside of the workplace. For this reason, let me make a direct recommendation: Schedule time with your partner.

Coffee and Commitment

As my followers know, I am in the midst of planning a wedding. I have a full time job and now a part-time job, yet we're planning our own wedding rather than hiring a coordinator. The reason for this, beyond the financial savings, is that we both want to walk through this process together. In order to do so, however, we are getting very specific about when we work on the wedding so as to not let it fall on the back burner.

This morning, I scheduled a calendar event with my fiancé and I to review the wedding plans. Being a corporate employee, I even found a catchy name for this meeting: Coffee and Commitment. I invited my fiancé to take an hour with me to discuss wedding plans over our morning coffee. This has the dual benefit of ensuring we have the time to talk as well as ensuring we both attain focused efficiency.

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Focused Efficiency

Focused Efficiency is the increased capacity for creativity and productivity you have when you are focused on one task at a time. Research has shown that working on two tasks can lower your efficiency by up to 60%. That's only with two tasks. How often do you find yourself only having two things on your mind? Usually we have dozens.

How often are you multi-tasking instead of giving your partner your full attention? Are you playing video games? Balancing your check book? Watching TV? Gardening? All of these are hobbies worth doing and should not interfere with your relationship, but if you are never dedicating time to focus just on your partner, then you are doing them a disservice. Additionally, you are doing yourself a disservice because one hour of focused attention to your partner can help your relationship be significantly strong in less time.

Romance and Time-tables

A few months ago my fiancé and I went to see a seminar from a speaker we both enjoy, Dr. Jordan B. Peterson. One of his topics was having a ruthless dedication to scheduling romance. He addressed the concern that many people do not see an overlap between scheduling and romance. Scheduling activities feels to clean, to cut and dry, and too formal. Romance is often stated to be whimsical and free form.

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Just like Dr. Peterson, I would argue that mature romance is neither whimsical of free form. Romance of the inspiration is a wonderful sign at the beginning of a relationship because there is so much to discover in one another. The free form activities are often necessary so as to give you the flexibility to jump from topic to topic, which really means jumping from value to value in order to identify which values you share. When you've been together for a period of time, this free form is no longer necessary. In fact, it can be harmful.

Mature relationships require a deeper conversation. You and your partner will dive into the fundamentals of your values rather than a survey of similarities. These deep dives require time and attention. Being whimsical prevents you from having the focus required to dive deep into what each other need. Instead, we need to take a span of time without distractions, without multitasking, and really dig in. As I said earlier, the best way to focus on these important aspects of your relationship is to schedule time so that you are not focused on anything but the relationship.

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