Promise them that the changes you ask for have one goal in mind--a happier home. You're on your way to undoing months or years of busyness damage and creating a sanctuary for yourself and every family member. Sacred Schedules Another order of business for a family meeting is for each person to map out his or her schedule for the next six months or year. This is important to do because you'll not only be giving each person a voice in the family, but also teaching valuable life skills. Each person needs to list every important, save-the-day event he or she has coming up, as well as all the regularly scheduled activities.
You and your mate know your holidays, vacations and mandatory attendance activities. Every child's school has a master calendar. Don't forget to produce everyone's sports schedules.
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Soccer can monopolize so much time that some of my friends have admitted to praying that their kid's team doesn't get into the finals. Each person will make his or her own weekly schedule, Sunday through Saturday. Include all the details that are part of each family member's separate daily routine:.
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After individual schedules are made, get everyone on the same page, literally. Post a master calendar in the kitchen so each family member gets a better view and sense of working together as a team. It also gives everyone a dose of reality--how much time you actually do or don't have. You'll see how fairly you're dividing your time between family members, your job, commitments and yourself.
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Other family members will discover that they are receiving their fair share of family resources and attention. Most families post a paper or dry-erase month-at-a-look calendar with large boxes for each day. It's best when only one person writes on it--others can make requests with stick-on notes or verbally , but this keeps it honest.
Keep different-colored pens on a string for nearby use. Here is how it should be filled out:. You may already do this and have it all plugged into your handheld, but once it's up there for the whole family to see, they'll better understand your methods. They might even learn when they can and cannot push you. Print out the calendar and evaluate what needs to be curbed, altered or eliminated. Family members will learn to piggyback on each other's activities, saving not only time but also money on gas and with multiple-user discounts. They will start self-regulating and managing their own time when they realize that in order to pursue a new interest, they must give up another.
Everyone will choose those activities that align with goals and time available. Unleash Your Inner Bitch I believe that we've been afraid of our inner bitch for too long. In the literal sense, a bitch is a female canine that does not yield to scorn from her challengers--she'll stand her ground until they back down, especially when protecting her pups. If your "busy" is out of control at home, it's time to flaunt your healthy inner bitch.
Beware the Busy Manager
I know, you've probably already tried barking and snapping at your family or housemates. The problem with this is they all know they just have to outlast you or ignore you and you'll back down, give up and go away. It's time to be consistent--set your house rules and stand your ground. Implementing big changes in the structure and regulation of your household might seem so, well, military. But I've found one consistent thread of long-lasting marriages and families that are inoculated against chaos in the midst of crazy busyness--they are vigilant watchdogs of their values and standards.
In rough economic times or during health challenges, they had rules , which everyone could rely on to be consistent.
Stop Saying You’re Busy. Here’s How To Manage Your Time And Get More Done - By Robert Glazer
You want your home to be a touchstone of consistency upon which all family members can trust, rely and receive comfort. The pups family members may rebel at first, but display your healthy inner bitch and stand your ground for the new house rules. Family Time The inner bitch sets a regular time that is absolutely, positively no-excuses family time without interruption, meaning zero distractions--phone ringers off, no TV, no texting, no earbuds.
Make consequences for absence or infractions, such as losing a privilege or exacting a financial penalty. Start with the same night each week and work up to more. Most families start with "family dinner night. You may be chewing in silence with sullen teenagers, but stick to it: You're building a tradition. You're building something valuable--a running dialog. Create those spaces, because communicating now means less acting out to be heard later.
To the inner bitch, family time saves time, energy and busyness in the future. Feeding Time The inner bitch makes meal shopping routine and meal prep possible for everyone. Teach everyone how to nourish himself or herself quickly, without a drive-thru. Start by having a whiteboard on the fridge with the week's menu and prep assignments posted. In the beginning, you will have to be the diet dictator until the family starts taking initiative and responsibility.
For example, the whole chicken can be washed, seasoned and put in the oven by a teen; the frozen veggies can be microwaved by a preteen; the rice directions can be followed by your mate; and even a young child can concoct a dessert with flavored yogurt and fruit. In the summer, you can teach everyone the basics of grilling, and wintertime is perfect for an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink soup in the slow cooker. Assign each family member to plan a dinner each week. Post the weekly shopping list.
Tell everyone that if it's not on the list, it doesn't get bought, including TP, toothpaste and tampons. Teach everyone how to shop and follow the list. Not only can this list save money on impulse buying, but it can also cut down on the need for frequent grocery store trips and fast food. Just think how much your busyness will be decreased when you're not the only person in charge of meal planning, shopping and preparation. Online Time Harness your inner bitch by instituting rules that include surfing the internet, gaming, instant messaging, e-mailing and social networking, whether on a desktop, laptop or handheld device.
House rules apply to everyone, and some examples are "no electronics during meals," "black screens from 10 p. Is it any wonder you start your day rushed and busy? When you and your mate follow these rules, your kids will benefit in many ways--you will be modeling good behavior and saving the next generation from the "busy danger zone. TV Time We buy these complicated surround-sound, large-screen home theater systems, and they become the centerpiece of our homes. With digital recorders, we can even zoom through the commercials except for the ones with a cute puppy.
But do we really have to watch reruns of Two and a Half Men every night and have the nightly news as background noise for dinner? Turn off the tube. The answer lies in good time management. The highest achievers manage their time exceptionally well.
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By using the time-management techniques in this section, you can improve your ability to function more effectively — even when time is tight and pressures are high. Ironically, the opposite is often closer to the truth. Good time management lets you work smarter — not harder — so you get more done in less time.
It may seem counter-intuitive to dedicate precious time to learning about time management, instead of using it to get on with your work, but the benefits are enormous:. Spending a little time learning about time-management techniques will have huge benefits now — and throughout your career.
Time management is the process of organizing and planning how much time you spend on specific activities. Invest some time in our comprehensive collection of time management articles to learn about managing your own time more efficiently, and save yourself time in the future. This site teaches you the skills you need for a happy and successful career; and this is just one of many tools and resources that you'll find here at Mind Tools.
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Too Busy for Your Own Good-Get More Done in Less Time With Even More Energy
For Your Organization. By the Mind Tools Content Team. What Is Time Management? Working Smarter to Enhance Productivity.
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