Leading a simple family life doesn’t mean you don’t do anything.
There are always things to be done.
Running a home can be incredibly involved and time-consuming. Now as one who is very conscious of how time is spent, I’m always looking for ways to make laborious tasks more efficient.
In order to improve how I use my time, I have found that transferring certain office/work principles to the home have helped. Increasingly I’ve discovered improving communication within the household can save a lot of time!
In Fridays post I mentioned we hold a House Meeting at Chez Wright. If there is one recommendation I can make to a family who feels they are wasting valuable time or that communication could be improved, it would be to diarise a weekly house meeting.
Whenever I talk to people who are having issues in the workplace, my first question is always ‘Do you all sit down together once a week, as a team?’.
Why would it be any different at home?
We all have roles within the home. We may all be in the same building for certain parts of the day or week, but we have different priorities and commitments. We don’t necessarily vocalise those priorities and commitments, and I’m pretty sure that telepathic families are few and far between.
It may seem a highly formal process, but really just sitting down together for 30 minutes a week can improve efficiency and communication greatly.
Fancy trying it out? Here’s how we do it – The Wright’s Weekly House Meeting:
- Formally set a time to meet. We do it via our electronic calendars and co-ordinate. Although as one who has recently come round to the massive benefits of getting in a weekly routine, we try to do it on the same day at the same time if we can, rather than having to keep making a new decision as to when it suits!
- Thought is given in advance as to what needs discussing, rather than eating into the 30 minutes set aside to communicate. We come to the table prepared.
- Talking of tables, we sit at a table to have the meeting, as you would typically do in the office. Across from one another, no distractions such as TV!
- We have folders! 😉 I have a zip folder with any bits and pieces in required, flyers, notes, school letters. Along with my daybook (more on that in another post).
(I’m such a messy note-taker. But it makes sense to me. And I love to doodle!)
- Notes (aka minutes) are taken. The meeting is scribed. Any actions required are allocated with a date attached. Sounds very formal, but this is how the workplace would operate. It focuses energy and effort and prioritizes time.
- I write down any actions assigned to me onto my separate monthly planner. I don’t put the Hubby’s on there. Tasks have been delegated, and its our responsibility to get them done. We trust each other to do what we need to, to keep the home ticking over.
- Try to finish on a positive note. Our last meeting concluded with the initial selection of a possible location for our next family trip.
- Don’t use the meeting to proportion blame for things that aren’t going to plan. Remember you’re in this together, whatever shape or form your family takes, you are a team!
That’s it in a nutshell. Currently the Kids do not attend as they are too young, but due to the amount of time I spend with them I know whether they have anything to include. As they get older we’ll adapt the meeting to involve them, even if only for a portion of it.
I’d love to hear how you do it?
**As an aside, I posted last week about how to Just Do It. I wrote ‘Read. Absolutely anything.’. Interestingly, whilst writing this post, I stumbled upon a quote by Jarod Kintz. This is the first I have ever heard of him, but he’s funny. In fact let me share with you some of his, more serious, words of wisdom.
“I encourage everybody to write. Share yourself with the world. If there is one thing I like to impress upon people, it’s that you can do it, even if you can’t. Just keep can’ting until eventually you can. And you can quote me on that.” Jarod Kintz**