Managing a home is similar to managing a company. It requires document management, communication, planning, meetings, logistics and negotiation.
A Family Command Center is an efficient system to manage your household and all those who live in it.
Here’s how to set up your own Command Center:
1.) Choose a Location which is highly visible to all family members on a daily basis, common locations include the kitchen or family room. Teaching children, the tenets of time management, planning, and coordinating are important life skills and can begin right here.
2.) Create files for each child which will contain current and active items only. I recommend a hanging file with the child’s name and manila folders inside the hanging file labeled with your child’s various activities such as sports, music lessons, scouts, school communication, etc.
Containerize your files into a decorative or functional file box that can sit on a counter, inside a cabinet or drawer.
3.) Process communication daily by sorting through and filing documents or information as it comes in. Before filing away any papers be sure you have executed any required followup steps. For example, you’ve received the soccer team snack schedule- before filing this paper into a folder, mark your calendar with the designated snack days. Other action steps may include writing a check for a field trip or scheduling a conference or concert.
4.) Utilize One Family Calendar, as multiple calendars increase the possibility of double booking or missing appointments. When you receive a calendar for school, after-school activity, game schedule, etc, take the time to upload or fill in important dates immediately. A large wall calendar works well for everyone to view. I recommend using different colored highlighters for each family member. As children get older, you will likely migrate to electronic calendars, sharing and syncing all data.
5.) Outfit your command center with the necessary tools to run it efficiently. Some suggestions, as your space may allow: phone, charging station, calendar, shop list, chore charts, envelopes, trash receptacle, shredder, stamps, check book, pens, markers, address book, stapler, file folders or white board.
Taking the time to setup a central location for family operations and making it your own will save you time in the long run and impart your children with some useful life skills.
My colleague, Lisa Purk, has a bit more to contribute on the subject of communication…
Take a moment to reflect back on a time when you discovered a new idea that you were certain would benefit your family.
Did your excitement grow as you planned out the implementation? Did you have a “There’s no stopping me now” kind of feeling? Did you anticipate the rave reviews you would receive as you shared the idea (….or your already implemented progress) with your family later that evening?
Except rave reviews were not the reaction you received. As their lack of enthusiasm became all too clear, did you struggle to contain your feelings of rejection? Or maybe you didn’t. “Fine, you figure it out then” you said (yelled?) as you stormed away or became silent.
When two or more people careabout one another, but their communication style isn’t conducive for reaching resolution and collaboration, the result is misunderstandings. Further, there is a chipping away at the joy, the connection, and the togetherness the family could be experiencing.
When it’s time to share and implement a new way of doing things, open communication is crucial. Here are three tips to gain the collaboration (and household peace) you desire.
- Respect similarities and differences: Some family members are quick decision makers, and some take more time to think about things. Some are drawn to graphics and colors while others want just the simplest of details. The more you recognize, respect and work with both the similarities and differences, the greater participation you’ll experience.
- Resist a perspective of right and wrong: You may have designed a system that works super well for you and that makes it “right for you” but that’s not the same thing as “right.” An “I’m right, you’re wrong” mindset stirs up resentment and resistance leaving zero room for collaboration and compromise.
- Remain focused on the issue: When differences become evident and frustrations elevate, it becomes easy to default to finger pointing and blaming. Be intentional with staying focused on the issue not the person. When you find yourself ready to lash out and accuse, take a deep breath, and listen to understand their perspective instead.
When resolving an issue or determining a satisfying solution, remember there are always three points of view. There’s “I”, “Other(s)” and stakeholders. When you take all three into account, you’ll go far toward finding the answer that is “right for all of you.”
Lisa Purk is a Life Coach who specializes in helping individuals learn how to overcome fears, self-doubts, and other sabotaging inner chatter so they can achieve clarity, strengthen relationships, and live with confidence. You can learn more about Lisa at www.LisaPurkLifeCoaching.com; follow her on Linked In, Facebook and Instagram at Lisa Purk Life Coaching; or join her FB group, Purk Up Your Life for daily tips and strategies. Contact Lisa directly by emailing