You come home after work and start the 2nd shift. There’s always more to do than time to do it. Gather your family around you and think delegate, a.k.a. team building!
There are a few ground rules that apply at home, that don’t apply at the office. The complexity of family relationships makes delegating at home more challenging than at work. But it is not impossible. Truly applying team building makes this happen!
Begin with the family motto of “we’re all in this together!” Start with a family meeting to talk about what this means. Keep it simple but think through all the responsibilities at home and create a list of the options. There are lunches and dinner to make, groceries to buy, laundry to do, lawns to mow, toilets to clean and more. So getting a list together that hits on the most important tasks is a starting point. Here is where we start being creative!
- Works from family members’ strengths. Who is great at what? Give your family jobs they do well rather than struggle with.
- Give the chores different point values by “difficulty” of completion. Bathroom and toilet 3 points, kitchen clean up 2, dusting 1.
- Create partnerships to complete the chores, such as mom/sister make the dinner, dad/other daughter do the dishes. It is always more fun with a partner.
- Set a time everyone does the same task. Set the kitchen timer, turn on the high energy music, or sing the clean up song.
- Set a standard of completion everyone agrees on. What does it mean to have the dishes “done” or the laundry “complete”? Set a time frame for completion. Emptying a dishwasher after the dishes are piled in the sink defeats the purpose.
- Put aside your perfectionism. Encourage your family to do their best job, even if it is not to your standards, the manner in which you would do it or at the speed you would do it.
- Affirm each family member’s contribution each week. Praise goes a long way in getting things done.
- Create a chores chart and post it in a common space. It is the chart that reminds the family, rather than the parents.
- Incentivize your family’s work. Incentives can be whatever works for you, but the simpler the better.
- Use this method for every day responsibilities and upcoming family events, including holidays, birthdays and special occasions.
- Make it fun! Everyone wants to work together when the atmosphere is relaxed and happy.
For more tips and tools, visit www.professional-organizer.com, Facebook Fan Page Professional-Organizer.com, or twitter @TexasOrganizer. Happy organizing!
Ellen R. Delap, CPO®
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Certified Professional Organizer®
Certified Family Manager Coach™
Member/Past President NAPO Houston
Member National Association of Professional Organizers
ADD and CD Certificate/National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization