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10 Ways to Find Time for Your Lover

Last Saturday I was standing in line at the post office when the Asian man in front of me turned around and looked at what I was mailing. One package was in a 6 x 7 box provided by the postal service.

Last Saturday I was standing in line at the post office when the Asian man in front of me turned around and looked at what I was mailing. One package was in a 6 x 7 box provided by the postal service.

He looked at me and asked, “Free?” I nodded. Then he opened a plastic bag and gently took out a small gold box wrapped with a shimmering red ribbon. The package was beautiful.

I helped him look through the boxes provided by the post office until we found the perfect size. As he carefully placed the ribboned box inside, he asked to borrow my pen. I wasn’t trying to snoop, but I saw him carefully write the name of a woman with an address in New York City.

This was clearly a gift for his Valentine.

Valentines Day is the time when feelings of affection and intimacy are high. But for you, has Valentines Day ever become a time to apologize for neglect? Has it ever been a time to make up for lost opportunities of closeness with the one you love?

Couples in long-term relationships have a habit of taking each other for granted which makes Valentines Day a good time to refocus on the importance of each other.

I frequently have seminar participants tell me they are so busy just getting tactical items done for work, that their personal relationships are way down on the list.

I look the participants in the eye say, ‘If you think your boss will be there for you when you are 85, stand up.’ The room fills with laughter as the point is made. People start reassessing their priorities and start putting relationships in their proper place.

The principle Brandau teaches is that jobs provide a measure of self-esteem and the money to buy the necessities along with the niceties of life, but sharing those with someone you love is what makes work worthwhile.

If you are caught in the work rat race and have a hard time finding time for your lover, try these tips:

1. Put anniversaries and birthdays into your calendar in Outlook, your PDA, or any other electronic devise with automatic reminders built in. Allow time to select the appropriate gift by setting the reminder for 1 week in advance of the actual date.

2. Make “do something” for your lover a “To-Do” list item. This “do something” can be as simple as mopping the floor, cleaning the toilets, taking in the dry cleaning, or sharing the remote control. As your love matures, “I love you” takes many forms.

3. Block time out during lunch for a telephone call to the one you love. A warm message or a listening ear can be great to lessen the stress of morning work and grueling commitments.

4. If you make a commitment to attend an event with your special one, don’t break the commitment. This example doesn’t strictly fit the “lover” scenario, but Sean Penn, winner of a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in Mystic River, missed the 2004 Golden Globe Awards because he had promised his daughter the evening out. He wouldn’t break that promise. Producer Clint Eastwood accepted the award for him.

5. Don’t take your time together on weekends for granted. Plan something special neither of you will want to miss: a trip to the museum, the park, a movie, the zoo, the beach…

6. Include your lover in routine activities but do the routine activities in a playful mood. Cooking a meal together becomes a fun event if it is peppered with lively conversation. Start this way: “Tell me something funny that happened to you today.”

7. When you are together, be there -- mentally as well as physically. There is nothing worse than looking loving in your sweetheart’s eyes and finding a distant look.

8. Hire people to give you more time to share love. There are great time benefits to hiring help with yard work, house cleaning, dog walking, buying gifts, etc.

9. Use the reverse scheduling technique: plan when you need to leave work to have time for your lover. Estimate the time it will take to do each item on your to do listBusiness Management Articles, then plot your time backwards from the time you want to leave work.

10. Remember to close the door on your professional life when you leave work. Open the door to your personal relationships: enjoy the time with your lover.

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Time Management expert Karla Brandau can be reached at 770-923-0883 or at Visit her web site at to sign up for her monthly newsletter: Tactical Time Management Tips for Professionals in the Trenches.

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