Chris Lopez

Chris Lopez

#AlphaDAD to 5 Amazing Kids, Husband, Coach, Entrepreneur, Minimalist. For more workout stuff, check out

A Simple 3-Step Routine To Improve The Relationship With Your Family

My Daily Shutdown Routine

get off your phone dadA lot of attention is paid to daily morning routines. After all, if you conquer the first few hours of the morning, you conquer your day.

Taking control of those first few hours of the morning and sticking to a daily routine allows you to be proactive with your day and literally “run your day” as opposed to being reactive to other people’s demands of you.

That’s the number one reason why you should NEVER check your phone or email first thing in the morning…

Because you then become a slave to other people and of their schedule instead of focusing on what’s most important to YOU and your goals.

But today’s post isn’t about morning routines. If you’re stuck for getting the day started right you can read about my morning routine HERE.

Taking control of those first few hours of the morning and sticking to a daily routine allows you to be proactive with your day and literally “run your day” as opposed to being reactive to other people’s demands of you.

Today we’re going to talk about shutting it all down so that…

  1. Your brain can recharge and you can refresh yourself and
  2. So that you can be present with your family focusing on them. After all, isn’t that why you do what you do?

One of the biggest problems that I find when talking to busy dads is the inability to shut down when they get home so that they’re fully present to spend time with their significant other and the kids.

This is especially true of entrepreneurs whose minds are constantly thinking about work although, regardless if you run your own shop or not, we all have a tendency to bring work home.

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

You’re home from a long stressful day at the office and you’re speaking to your wife. She starts telling you about her day. Half way through her telling you about her day, your mind starts to drift and before you know it she’s asking you about what you think and you have no idea what the heck she’s talking about.

Scared to admit that you haven’t been listening to a word she said, you say something like, “That’s nice, honey”.

Bro, she know’s you heard nothing she said because you were too busy listening to that little voice in your head telling you that you forgot to do something at work.

You’ve lost her now. And that sets you up for a miserable evening because now she thoroughly annoyed that you didn’t pay attention to her.

You were there and you heard her talk… you just weren’t listening.

You weren’t present.

Oh and by the way, you can probably get away with pretending to listen to your wife – maybe, sometimes – but kids have a better BS meter than adults do, so don’t think that your kids don’t know when you’re not paying attention them.

Obviously I’m coming from full experience in this matter as I totally suffer from “Entrepreneurial Brain” where ideas, to-do’s and nonsense go running through my brain at all hours of the day.

My lack of presence with my wife and kids has been the subject of many an argument.

I needed a solution and so a mentor of mine suggested that I give a “Mental Shutdown Routine” a try.

Just like any habit, it takes time for it to cement into your psyche.

But if you make the effort to do this, I guarantee that your relationship with your loved ones will improve because you’ll actually be “there” with them. Not just in body, but in mind and spirit – fully and authentically engaged.

Here’s how the later part of my day plays out…

1pm – TRAIN

My training sessions are very simple and only last anywhere from 35-45 minutes at the most. If I’ve got a good mixtape playing on my iPhone, it usually pushes me to get good quality work done fast, so it may take me less to finish a session.

2pm – lunch & emails

Lunch will be simple – especially after training. Rice, vegetables and lots of meat. While I’m eating I’ll both check and answer emails for the day. At the beginning of the day I have a list of 5 people that I must contact – 4 existing friends or business partners and 1 introducing myself to someone I’ve never met offering value to start a relationship.

2:30pm – Read or Study

I’ve always got something on the go. Right now I’m reading “The Well-Developed Child” by Sally Goddard-Blythe in an effort to educate myself in developmental physiology. Original Strength has really sparked my desire to learn more about how we developed to be perfect as a child and how we lose a lot of our “perfection” as we get more immersed into Western Society. (I feel a rant coming on, so I’ll just leave it at that).

3:30pm – The Mental Shutdown Routine

So here’s where I think you’ll really get value out of this post. I’ve been incorporating a “Mental Shut Down” routine for a couple of years now thanks to one of my mentor’s Craig Ballantyne over at Early To Rise. The Mental Shutdown seals the deal for my day and tells my brain that it’s family time. It takes practice, but once you get used to it, it’s pretty amazing and is directly related to me improving my relationship with Rozanne and the kids.

Here’s the breakdown…

  • 1. Mind dump (15mins) – Take every thought, idea or task that’s in your head and “vomit” it onto a clean sheet of paper in my notebook. This could potentially go on for hours so I set a timer and limit myself to 15 minutes.
  • 2. Start Tomorrow Today (15mins) – Based on the thoughts and tasks that I just spewed out onto my notebook, I create a schedule for the following day. This includes – My 3 MITs (Most Important Tasks), contacts that I have to make and what I want to write about in my Daily Emails to you and any other project-based items that I have to work on.
  • 3. Meditation with Holosync (30mins) – Finally to “seal the deal”, I put a pair of noise cancelling headphones on an listen to my Holosync Mediation CD while I focus on diaphragmic breathing. This practice was especially hard initially because it was difficult for me to focus my mind solely on my breathing. Thoughts would race through my head at 100 miles per minute that my heart would start to race. Now I’m better and am refreshed after meditation.

When mediation is done, I turn OFF my phone.

Why? Because anyone that I want to speak to or have a conversation with is right within arms reach (i.e. the 6 members of my immediate family).

Granted, we all don’t have the luxury of ending our day at 4:30pm, BUT don’t confuse that with not having the luxury of being able to control our schedules.

We all have control of who we choose to associate with, what we choose to do and not do (even if we work in an office with a boss) and most importantly what we choose to say “yes” or “no” to.

Just remember, saying “Yes” to one thing means you probably saying “No” to something more meaningful and important. #TRUTH

Since I’ve been doing this shutdown, the relationship with my wife has improved.

My 16 year old daughter actually talks to me (those of you that have teenage daughters can relate, I know).

And I’m back to being the Hero in my kids lives.

And that’s worth more to me than any idea, to-do or message from my web team that a server is down.


No tricks or shady marketing crap… just my promise to send you articles like the one above a few times per month.

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