If you want your family to be more productive then discover these five steps to develop family routines.
You might if you consistently feel you’re not spending enough time together as a family, your house is always a mess or if you’re late to your youngest son’s soccer game three times out of every four.
The good news is, you can fix many family issues you feel dissatisfied about just by being more productive.
Yes, it can be tough to put family dinner on the table at night, keep a well-ordered house and make sure you get your kids to soccer games and practice on time, all while working and being a parent.
But productivity makes things more abundant and easier in family life, just like it does in work.
The secret is developing family routines.
With a routine, there’s no more waking up on Saturday mornings and deciding what to tackle.
You’ll have a plan for what to do every day, so it becomes habit. Habit breeds familiarity.
Familiarity breeds speed.
Here are five steps toward building those productivity-enhancing routines.
Set Your Goals
Just like any productivity plan, set your goals first.
You need to know what you most want to get productive about before you can achieve it.
These are your family life goals.
One good way to set goals is to analyze the size of the gap between what you currently have and what you want.
Do you want to make sure the family eats dinner together at least three times per week, for example?
By eating together, you won’t just ensure everyone is having a well-balanced dinner, but also gives you plenty of time to hang out and chat while building memories.
If you currently have real difficulty making it even one night per week, analyze the problem.
Do your family members’ schedules conflict with the goal? Does it take too long to shop and cook?
Do the kids insist on watching television or scrolling through their phones while they eat?
Once you know the problem, work toward fixing it.
If schedules conflict, see if you can move things around.
Institute time-saving methods of shopping and cooking, such as online grocery ordering, prepackaged meal plan delivery or getting everyone involved in making dinner.
Nix the TV and devices.
Establish Joint Commitment
No goal plan or productivity plan will work fully if both parents aren’t on the same page.
If you want family dinner and your spouse doesn’t, or doesn’t care one way or the other, the kids will pick up on it.
They will be harder to wrangle for productivity.
Sit down with your spouse and talk about what you most want out of family life.
Don’t establish any plan without getting on the same page with your partner about these goals.
Make Fun Family Routines
Norah O’Donnell, co-host of CBS This Morning, has an extraordinarily busy life balancing her family life and fast-paced work.
However, she makes time every Sunday night with her family for dinner.
O’Donnell says that she typically spends her Sunday mornings making a family breakfast, and at night, her parents join them for a family dinner.
This simple tradition will establish a family routine that will likely move your life closer to the goals you’ve set.
Make fun family rituals like a weekly dinner or a movie night to build a sense of togetherness.
Make To-Do Lists
Nothing establishes good productivity routines more than the venerable to-do list.
First, make a master list of what you want to accomplish.
Second, pick what you want to accomplish in a week from the master list.
Third, figure out what you have to do per day to meet your weekly goals. You might have to tweak this and move some goals to next week. That’s a normal part of the to-do process.
Fourth, look at the to-do list for each day and assign tasks and chores.
Say on Tuesday, you need to dust the living room, pick up groceries, make dinner, set the table, do dinner clean-up and make sure your youngest son’s authorizations for away games are signed.
Your oldest daughter could dust the living room.
Your spouse could pick up groceries.
Assign everybody dinner tasks, such as washing, prepping and cooking veggies.
Be sure to fit chores to age and ability.
Even 4- or 5-year-olds can help set the table and will find it fun.
Supervise to make sure you’ve got a fit.
Standardize Chores and Tasks
One crucial step to increasing productivity and family routines is to, well, make them routine.
Not only do you need a to-do list, you need to standardize stuff on it.
Once everyone knows they have set tasks and chores per week, they’ll do them with less prompting and nagging.
So, for example, if Tuesday is one of your designated family dinner nights per week, maybe your spouse’s chore is to pick up all the ingredients for dinner.
Make sure everyone else has an assigned task related to either cooking dinner or cleaning up afterward.
Developing family routines is a way to get your life in alignment with your family life goals.
Being more productive will give you more time to establish family togetherness and fun times.