Tips for a Family Workday

Getting the whole family to help with chores can be difficult. But it’s worthwhile – family chores can help teach kids about group collaboration, problem solving, and creativity. And kids gain a love for work – an attitude that fuels a lifelong motivation to achieve.

To help you create your own working-family environment, consider using a method that’s loosely based on a popular project management strategy called SCRUM – an approach that started with software development companies. Today SCRUM is used in diverse industries, including small businesses and school classrooms.

Why does this approach work?
– Kids and teenagers (just like adults) are motivated by autonomy
– They’re more full engaged when they are given decision-making power
– They care more about outcomes when they are given a voice in the evaluation process
– And, when they can get real work done more quickly, they see themselves as competent individuals – working slowly or procrastinating on chores doesn’t work very well!

Follow these steps to get the whole family working together:

Call A Family Meeting

Discuss the big picture goal?
Talk about what needs to be done in broad categories. Let’s say. you’re having out-of-town guests. Everyone agrees the house needs to be spotless.

Prioritize tasks
As a group, think of all the tasks that need to be done. Write tasks on sticky notes – only one task per sticky note. Then use three additional sticky notes to label three columns – To-Do, In-Progress, and Done. These serve as headers for three columns, which you’ll adhere to a table or wall.

Start by placing all your tasks under the To-Do column. Next, arrange these tasks in the best sequential order. For example, you probably want to dust before you vacuum, and do dishes before you wipe down the kitchen.

Note: Make sure everyone participates in the process of coming up with tasks and getting them in the right order.

Choose a facilitator
Choose someone, like a parent or mature child, to facilitate. The facilitator’s job is to help everyone work as quickly and efficiently as possible. If someone needs new supplies, the facilitator gets them. If someone needs an extra hand, the facilitator helps. The facilitator always boosts team morale by finding meaningful work to do, not just by sitting around and waiting to be called upon.

Set a timeline
Before works starts, talk about your overall timeline and set a sprint-based goal – typically 20 minutes to an hour.

Make assignments
Ask people to choose tasks they think they could individually accomplish in that timeframe. Or people may choose to work together during the sprint. Write each person’s name on the sticky note associated with each assigned task.

Ready, Set, Sprint!
The facilitator sets the timer. People move their first sticky note from the To-Do column to the In-Progress column, and then race off to work. When the task is complete, the first sticky note goes to the Done column. One-by-one sticky notes are moved through the columns – from To-Do, to In-Process, and then to Done. The cycle continues until the work is done.

5-Minute Eval
When the timer rings and the work is done, the family gets together for a 5-minute evaluation. What worked? What could have helped everyone work faster? Was the sprint timeframe about right? Who else could learn the facilitator role? Also, take a moment to edit your task list – how many sprints are needed? Work out the kinks so you are ready for your next big family cleaning!

Try this strategy on your next chore day and let us know what you think!

Top Mops offers regular house cleaning services to help you save even more time for what really matters. Whether you need regular maintenance cleaning, single deep-cleaning, or seasonal cleaning, we’d love to help you out. Let us take care of your least favorite chores so you can do the more important things on your list.

To request a free estimate for professional house cleaning services in Lexington, KY, call us at 859-276- 2222.