Last week I wrote about the power of a great checklist. This week I wanted to follow up with an example of how I am using a checklist to keep my girls focused on getting their family commitments done during the day. Here is a screen shot of the checklist I created for the girls.
There is one for each girl. This one happens to be Grace’s from a couple of weeks ago and here is how they have been helping me keep a handle on things at home.
- Save Time & Energy – Since I have them saved on my computer I don’t have to write them out each and every morning before I go to work. I just pull up the previous week’s list on Sunday evenings and update it with changes. It saves me energy because I don’t have to check in a thousand times every day to tell them what to do. Nor do I have to remember the things that need done. I check in usually around lunch and right before I get home and simply remind them to make sure all their family commitments get done.
- Help Me Be a More Engaged Parent – Because on most days (not all) they have them done by the time I get home I don’t have to spend time when I get home from work managing family commitments. I have more time to hang out with them, catch up on their day, and sometimes get a game or two in during the evening.
- Give Me a Sense of Peace – In previous summers when I was more lax about family commitments and making sure they were reading consistently, I always felt a bit uneasy because I knew I wasn’t giving 110%. I knew I should have been doing more to make sure they were helping out around the house and exercising their brain and that made me feel at unease. Now I feel much better about all of our efforts and that knot in the pit of my stomach is gone.
- Easily Share Ownership – I’m a big believer in making sure everyone in the family contributes in some way to keeping our household clean (well relatively clean 🙂 ) and running smoothly. The checklist just makes it so much easier to take things that would normally always end up on my list and now share them with the kids. I have also found the checklist helpful when our nanny comes over to help. She knows exactly what they need to get done and I don’t have to take time to communicate the responsibilities with her.
So there you have it. Nothing fancy. Creating them takes me about 30 minutes each week, but saves me at least that in time and energy during the week.
Wishing you all the best,