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Tips for Maximizing Family Time as a Professional in the Mining Industry

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If you’re in the mining industry, I can almost guarantee that you’re working crazy hours. Whether you’re underground, in an office or flying around the country, mining is not a profession that gives a lot of free time.

That doesn’t mean you have to let your relationship with your family suffer. On the latest episode of Full Production, I spoke with Chris Clark of DCT on the sidelines of the Worthy Parts Industry Link – Auction and Expo in early December. Chris and I talked about all things mining, but one thing that stuck out was when he talked about how time with his family is the absolute best thing about his day every day.

That’s what it should be about, right? We work hard so that we can provide good lives for our loved ones. But if we don’t get to spend time with them, what’s the point of all our hard work?

I’ve put together a few tips to help you, as a mining professional, maximize productivity and manage time so that you can focus on what matters in life.

A lot of professionals, in any industry, will get up earlier so that they have more time with their families. If you can get yourself to wake up at 5 am, imagine how much you can get done — working out, cooking breakfast or knocking out a few emails so you’re not stuck at the office until 8 pm.

Our society is getting worse and worse at spending time together as a family. Breakfast is a great opportunity for this. Cook a healthy meal and sit down with your family before everyone rushes out the door for the day.

Here’s another one: consider whether it’s possible for you to work at home one day a week. Your kids will likely get home earlier and you can spend a few precious hours with them playing a bit of footy or getting dinner ready.

If we’re all being honest, some of us are very good at creating more work than we actually have. We complain about being slammed, but we waste countless hours flicking between emails or scrolling LinkedIn. Get real about what you really need to be doing. Are you spending your work hours being productive or just pretending to be busy?

One more good tip: try working in bursts. Some people do 50 minutes of work then take a 10-minute break. Or they just add a third of their time spent working to their break time — so 30 minutes on would be a 10-minute break or a 2-hour burst of calls and emails would afford you roughly a half hour of light working.

You might be thinking, ‘I don’t have time to take breaks.’ But, in fact, a lot of people actually get more done when they give themselves time to decompress throughout the day. As humans, we’re not meant to stare at a screen for eight hours straight or work through the day uninterrupted. It’s a great way to bring yourself to burnout.

These tips should get you started on finding that time throughout the day that you can allocate to the really important areas of your life – not just work.

Listen to my entire conversation with Chris here.