Family Planning

A big "act" in your relationship ring is probably your family or a "significant other". How do you keep track of and work effectively with the relationship performers in your circus? Here are a couple of quick suggestions:

  • Have a family/relationship calendar. My mom taught me this one. Growing up we had a big calendar that hung on the wall in the kitchen. Whenever we had an activity or event that we were involved in as kids, we would be instructed to "put it on the calendar." If it wasn't on the calendar, it didn't happen! Now, with technology, my family has an online calendar that we all have access to. This calendar has saved me so many times and has probably helped my relationships with my family as well. It helps me remember family events and activities before I make commitments that might conflict-whether it is a dance recital, birthday or the ever important anniversary. It helps me to include in my lineup the activities that my family is involved in. I am also more productive because I can immediately respond to requests that involve "after hours" or "travel plans" because I can pull up our calendar, look for conflicts and give an immediate, yes or no.

  • Sit down as a family at the beginning of the week and have a planning session. For one thing, this is a great time to review the calendar. What activities are going on in the next few weeks? Who needs a ride somewhere and when? Can we schedule time to actually sit down and eat a meal together? What about a vacation when everyone is free? With teenagers, this is even more vital. A weekly planning meeting doesn't take a long time and acts as "an ounce of prevention" for the week.

Family/relationship planning will not only help you get a standing ovation in your "relationship ring" but it will also help you in your "work ring". When you have a very busy schedule at work, the last thing you need to worry about or be distracted with is the great unknown of what is going on in the lives of those you care about. Relationship planning will allow you to stay focused and know when you can stay a little later at work and/or when you need to make sure to be out the door to make it home.