Following my TEDx talk on time management 🇹🇷, some people claimed that such approaches are impossible for parents because children take too much time & energy. I would like to share my opinion on that.
In his book “An Introduction to Algebraic Topology”, author Joseph J. Rotman says:
“To my wife Marganit and my children Ella Rose and Daniel Adam, without whom this book would have been completed two years earlier.”
That quote pretty much summarizes the deal.
Parenthood is a choice. If you have kids, you focus your time & energy on a limited batch of (small) people to serve them in great detail. If you don’t have kids, you (can) focus your time & energy on a large batch of (adult) people to serve them in general.
Both choices can be rewarding.
If you raise a great person, he/she could be one of the best indirect contributions you could ever make to the society. Like the parents of Tesla – to a lesser extent, probably.
If you don’t have children, you could user your spare time and energy to contribute to the society directly. Like Tesla himself – to a lesser extent, probably.
However; having children doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything else but looking after the kids.
Without kids, you can presumably focus two hours of your daily free time on an additional subject. If you need 400 hours to finish a book, you can write it in 6 months. Or, you can finish in one year and focus on an additional discipline meanwhile; such as music.
With kids, you realistically won’t have that much sustained free time and energy. However, you can still finish that book in a longer term if you make an effort to create a daily empty time frame for it.
It should be possible to allocate 30 minutes every day (or 1 hours every other day) for most parents. You can focus after the kids go to bed, or you can wake up earlier than usual to start writing. Assuming that you need 400 hours to finish that book, it would take you two years.
- 30 minutes x 2 years = A completed book
- 0 minutes x 2 years = Nothing
Even if you have 30 minutes per day, sustaining this effort time over longer periods of time still brings results. You may not be able to finish things quickly or operate in multiple disciplines, but you can get one thing done over a longer period; and move to the next goal.
That’s a natural trade-off of being a dutiful & attentive parent. As expressed by the author Joseph J. Rotman; things will take longer. But he still wrote and published a book, didn’t he?