Time-Strapped? Healthy Relationships WITHOUT More Time



"If only there was another hour in the day..."

This time of year is BUSY! But you don't need us to tell you. Many places to go, things to get done, shopping to complete, and many people in our lives...marriage, family, work, neighbors...  So, how do we enrich time-strapped relationships...without adding time?

What's the "In-Between"?

It is what happens around the "main events." It is some of the few less structured parts left in our lives that allow us, even for a few moments, to lay aside agendas or time commitments and see what happens. For example, when you are traveling for Thanksgiving or Christmas, it is the ride, or even the flat tire, that occurs on the way. The time for "small talk" with a co-worker before or after a meeting. The conversation as you wait for your doctor to call you or for a plane to leave. It is the ride on the way to church or the silly conversation with your children and their friends as you drive them to a movie.

The In-Between Impact

Patrick Lencioni, a guy who consults on communication and leadership (...and lives what he says), notes:

I recently returned from a vacation with my family, one that involved a number of big, fun activities. Interestingly, when I look back at the trip it strikes me that the best part of it, especially in terms of the lasting benefits to our family, happened during the times "in-between" those activities.

For instance, we loved the evenings when we were just hanging out together in the condo where we stayed. And the simple, informal meals we made when we weren't going out for dinner were the best ones of all. Even the long car ride from the airport at the end of our trip prompted a great discussion that we won't forget anytime soon. It was during those "in-between" times when we had the best talks and grew as individuals and as a family.

Keep your eyes open for your "in-between" moments!

"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15-16).

You can check out Patrick's discussion on this and other ideas here.

How do you capture the "in-between" with your friends and family?

1 Response

  1. A Busy Father
    Sometimes I do not have much time with the kids after work and before an evening activity. As I drive them across town I try to ask them about 1 good thing and 1 hard thing about their day. This can sometimes lead to some great, if short, conversations and connecting.

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