Managing a home and a family can be very rewarding experiences with the right amount of attention. Life may seem chaotic at times with work, school, clubs, sports, washing, maintenance, cleaning, bill paying, gardening, dentist appointments, visits to the vet, and more. Any parent reading this will relate to that list and mentally add a few more items of their own.
Running a more efficient household requires a parent to handle multitasking with ease. However, reaching that desirable state takes diligence and a commitment to routine. Following the 10 steps below will help any busy parent to become more efficient.
- Learn and utilize active listening skills to improve overall communication. Commit the family to having regular meetings. Furthermore, insist on using face-to-face communication, rather than texting, for critical issues.
- Synchronize family schedules in one central location. This may be on a bulletin board, white board, electronic calendar, or any other method that works for your family. The key is to ensure that each family member reviews the calendar daily to update information. In addition to logging appointments and dates, include other responsibilities, such as who will do certain tasks … such as driving or organizing group snacks.
- Keep a running list of items to buy at the store. If each person participates, then you will need to make fewer shopping trips, save on gas and time, and have the necessary food and other items to run the household efficiently.
- In addition to keeping a shopping list, start a task list as well. Review, add tasks, assign responsibilities, and cross off completed tasks on a daily basis. This keeps the chores on track and the accountability transparent.
- Utilize online shopping rather than trips to the store. While grocery and retail stores charge a fee for the service, it saves you time and gas. In addition, many store websites will let you keep an electronic list of frequently purchased items, which reduces your time online to place an order.
- Plan ahead for the week. Make this task a part of the weekly family meeting to get every person on board for the week.
- Make it a priority to teach your children responsibility and independence. This will instill confidence in them as they grow and prepare to enter adulthood.
- Organize rooms, drawers and closets. Donate and toss unused and unwanted items to eliminate clutter. You will set a positive example and become more efficient by having necessary items accessible rather than lost at the bottom of a messy drawer.
- Take a break on occasion. Maintaining your own inner peace and balance will actually increase your productivity. Take a break to recharge and regroup.
- Use stress reduction techniques such as meditation or even counting to 10 before acting. Stress adds to the frenzy of busy families, and many parents create their own stress without realizing it.
Once these daily and weekly routines become second nature, you and your family will have better communication, a less stressful home environment, and more time to spend together and to enjoy life!