In May of 2022, I became the dad of two beautiful twin boys. Now nine months later, several things have changed for me. How I approached productivity, chores, hobbies, etc. is incomparable to the non-parent life. But how do I make time to do the things I love, when time and energy are one of my most scarce resources?

In this blog post, we will take a look at the lessons I learned on time and energy as a new twin dad.

Energy is optional

I used to think that motivation and to an extent energy was required to do things. I enjoy writing, but I usually waited before I got that “itch” where I had an idea that was waiting to get out. Same for working out, or when anything in the house needed to be done. In my 30 years on this planet without the responsibilities of kids, this worked fine.

But all of a sudden what do you do when you have an idea dying to get out, but you have two crying kids that require all attention? You try to bank the motivation and re-use it at a later time. With mixed results of course.

While reading Someday is today, and how Matthew get things done, I came across this beautiful quote by William Faulkner:

Well, of course I write on inspiration. Fortunately, it strikes every morning at a quarter past nine.

William Faulkner

But how does this work in practice? Whenever I had some spare minutes, as little as 5 to 15. Instead of checking my phone or watching Youtube, I got up to do a thing. It was difficult at first, but after a few tries I noticed a change. Motivation and energy are optional. I can start doing something by willpower, and the rest will follow.

When I discovered that I can do things just as fine without the motivation or energy for it. That moment changed my mind. I could no longer wait for the moment to get inspiration, but I actually had to grab the moment I had time.

Momentum is everything

When is it the easiest to do something? When I’m already in motion. If I sit down on the couch after a long day and when the boys are in bed, the chances are really low I will get up to clean the kitchen.

But while I’m cleaning the bottles of the latest feed for the day. It is much easier to just do one extra thing. I convince myself, “Just” put a few plates in the dishwasher before I sit down. This usually leads to “I can do this small thing as well”, and before you know it, you are 5 minutes in before you sit down. And that kitchen mess is all of a sudden much more manageable. This concept of doing one small thing I learned from the 2-minute rule.

Before you leave

Becoming a dad to twin boys made me flip my life upside down. While my life has changed dramatically. There are some things I learned that will help me with being productive.

  • Energy is optional. When you have the time to do something, do it. Inspiration/energy will follow.
  • Momentum is everything. Instead of sitting down, do one small task before you sit down. It’s much easier to keep moving than to start.

If you enjoyed reading about time, energy, and in general productivity, I have a series you might find interesting Fixing my attention deficit.

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