Family Bonding Through Time Management
In the last two years, I’ve been making huge improvements in my time management capabilities. And while the process has been an amazing journey for myself, one thing that’s been evident from the get-go is that I can only get so far on my own when the rest of my household isn’t on the same page. Thankfully, my husband doesn’t really like flying by the seat of his pants, and we’ve been working toward finding a way to get our household on board with planning more effectively.
Many of us going through a time management journey understand the personal challenges that arise along the way. You’re breaking bad habits, implementing new strategies, and working diligently to forge a new path toward self-improvement. When things don’t work out, you’re working diligently to make adjustments. Those of us with families understand the challenges that arise when other family members aren’t involved or act indifferently toward the same time management goals that we’ve created. Getting the rest of the household on board is no easy task. But the burden of task management for the entire family shouldn’t fall squarely on your shoulders. There are many fun ideas and techniques to help get the entire family involved in the planning process.
Why Family Should Get Involved
Controlling your own planner is challenging enough. When you throw in different schedules, preferences, and organizational aptitudes, you’re likely to meet additional difficulties with your household. Finding fun ways to get the rest of the house involved has many tremendous benefits beyond lightening your load. Getting the household on board with planning can help with:
- Improving a household member’s responsibility toward their schedule
- Feeling heard and respected
- Knowing what to expect in the weeks or months ahead
- Handling unexpected events or emergencies cohesively
In my experience, there is no greater frustration than planning something for yourself only to find out that another member of the household has an activity that’s equally important hours before the event takes place. Beyond the schedule, planning together can help family members understand one another while working together to meet goals and expectations.
What Activities Families Can Plan
When it comes to getting the household on board with planning, most imagine that this process helps to improve:
These are all very important things to plan. I mean, yes, we need money to survive, schedules to organize our days, and food to nourish us. But you can get even more creative when it comes to household planning topics.
Household members can help create and modify family rules. You can plan upcoming family vacations and break down the steps to prepare ahead. Not to mention, you also can work on identifying long-term goals for each family member and work toward creating the steps to achieve them. You can even modify or remove existing plans if they are no longer useful or relevant.
How to Get Your Household on Board with Planning
One of the best parts of planning with family members is there is no right way to go about achieving the task. Here are some great ways the whole family can get involved in the planning process!
Conduct Regular Household/Spouse Meetings
This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get your household on board with planning. Household meetings bring every single family member together at the same time to discuss whatever is important to them. Household meetings allow family members to review the past, make adjustments for the future, and get everybody on the same page. Plus it’s great bonding time!
Your family may decide a weekly household meeting is best, while other families may do so monthly. Each family will have to determine what is best for them based on household age and availability. For instance, if your children are too young to participate, it’s alright to conduct the meeting without them.
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My husband and I meet every Sunday evening, but when our daughter is a little older, we will include her as well. We discuss the week ahead regarding our activities, work schedules, chores, and meals. We also talk about future goals, date nights, and family vacations.
Digital Tools For Time Management
While household meetings are amazing opportunities, life is busy! Parents work, and children have school. In between, there is homework, housework, various other activities, and sleep to manage. But that doesn’t mean that meetings are out of the question. There are several useful options to help keep everybody on the same page even if people are busy.
Looking at digital tools is a terrific way to get the entire family planning together, even if everybody operates on a different schedule. With smartphones and tablets increasingly prevalent in our society, each family member has the chance to monitor and adjust activities from their pockets.
Two terrific free digital options for families include:
Google’s version of the digital planner. This planner is a terrific option because it’s easy to separate individual schedules (by assigning a specific color to a person) while having the ability to see everybody’s calendar at once. Family members can access Google Calendar on the computer, phone, or tablet.
This digital app is great for businesses and work teams, so why not families? After all, running a family sometimes can feel like running a business. Each member can take responsibility for their own board by writing their tasks and to-do lists on each board. There can be a generalized family board for reminders and information. If you choose to utilize Trello, make sure that you share the boards so that family members can monitor the boards for new information.
If you’re afraid, you may miss an update? Trello has notifications that tell you when team members make changes on boards. Another benefit Trello offers is that it is compatible with many other online programs. For instance, using a ‘power-up’ can let you connect your tasks to Google Calendar!
Set Up A Family Command Center
Do you love the concept of how inclusive digital products can be toward planning, but prefer something a bit more concrete? Creating a centralized command center in a common area of the house is another amazing way for families to communicate their plans, chores, and activities.
How can you create a command center? Decide as a family a centralized location where you can set this up (this can be on a special table or on the wall). The most optimal place is to have the command center in a location commonly utilized by the household; such as the kitchen. Having it in a shared space accessed frequently makes it easier to monitor and friendly for everybody to use.
What you put in the command center is completely up to you! Some families may include a simple wall calendar as the primary feature. Other families may get a bit more sophisticated with many different calendars, charts, and systems utilized. There is no need to get complicated, as a simple whiteboard or hand-drawn chore sheet works wonders. For timesavers, you could try these awesome options that are perfect for family command centers:
Use Family-Focused Paper Planners
If you like the concept of the family command center but need something a little more simple to control, you may prefer to utilize a family-focused planner. While this option alone may put one individual in more control of the family’s schedule, you can choose to combine it with family meetings for optimal effectiveness.
Family-friendly paper planners vary in shapes, sizes, details. Some may include spaces to write for each family member throughout the week. While others may include more practical details, such as a chore sheet and grocery shopping list. Here are some terrific planner options that are great for families:
The Magic of Planning Together
When you take the time to include the entire family in the planning process, there are some incredible changes that happen in the process. Spouses and children feel heard when they have the opportunity to discuss their thoughts and emotions. Every member gets the chance to give their opinion and offer their ideas for future changes. Family members have the chance to air grievances and make adjustments when things don’t work out as well as hoped. Ultimately, planning together as a family provides an opportunity for each member to maintain responsibility for improving the function of the household.
Have you gotten your household on board with planning and time management? I’d love to hear more about your experiences! Feel free to share in the comments what planning systems your family uses and how your household likes them.
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