How to Prioritize Being Present With Those You Love

What is your number one priority in life? 

Hundreds of my clients have said that spending time with their family is their top priority. And yet, I find that our actions often contradict that. When we spend time with our families, are we truly there? Or are we still focused on work? 

Dr. Clayton Christensen hypothesized that if we got an extra hour in our day, we would use it for work rather than spending time with family. This contradiction often leaves my clients frustrated and saying things like, “I’m working so hard. How do I not have time for my family?” Why, despite our best intentions and what we value deeply, do we still prioritize work? 

As individuals, our psychology makes us need to feel valued. We also tend to prioritize short-term over long-term gains. We like recognition and our workplaces offer this quickly. That extra hour might get us a promotion sooner. And we like that. Our brains are also wired for fear, so we prioritize work because we are afraid to fail. In these moments we find ourselves saying, “I’m doing this for my family.” And we end up being unhappy but staying in this vicious cycle. Does that resonate with you? I know it resonated with me. 

I decided to try to stop this cycle and found that one of the best ways was to set boundaries. 

Here are three tips that helped me devote my time to what I valued most: 

1. Stick to a small change 100% of the time 

My first tip is to start small. Pick an hour, a night, or a weekend to spend time doing what you value most. Whichever it is, choose to commit to spending your time that way 100% of the time. 

2. Choose the three things most important to you 

Ask yourself, “What are three things that I want to go really big on?” This will help you really focus on the biggest priorities and create space to let some of the other things go. 

3. Establish new rules with your current support system 

When you reprioritize, some of your new habits may need to be communicated with your network. Work with your loved ones, coworkers, and friends to find ways to help you prioritize what matters most. An example of this could be when you tell your coworkers that 5 PM is your cut-off and you will be turning your notifications off to spend time with your family. 

Doing this work has helped me establish and strengthen boundaries that prioritize spending time with the people I love. I hope these tips are as fruitful for you as they have been for me.

  • Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get notifications when new videos are available!
  • Leave a comment below and let me know what you struggle with and which tip made a difference for you.
  • Share this post with others so they can get the inside scoop on (topic).  Simply click the social media sharing buttons below to impact some lives now!!

Have a topic you’d like me to share tips about?  Click here and let me know.  I’d love to hear from you!




Related Posts


Author picture

With the focus on enhancing joy, health, love and meaning in your life, my transformational approach is interdisciplinary and integrates learnings from spiritual wisdom traditions, philosophy, positive psychology, neuroscience and organizational development.

More About Ashish

Now Available

Hardwired for Happiness

9 proven practices to overcome stress and living your best life.

Be the first to know when the book is available!