Personal Productivity Begins at Home

For the majority of people, home and family form the center of their lives. When things are going well at home, they tend to go better in all aspects of life – especially the levels of personal productivity.

Factors that contribute to a harmonious home life are: loving, healthy relationships, finances, and an organized, clean, smooth-running household. Each of those could be discussed at length, but in this article let’s look at the organized, clean, smooth-running household and why it is important.

Home should be a haven, the place where we feel safe, can be ourselves, completely relax, laugh, play, work, and enjoy intimate relationships with family members. Of course, that is a description of the ideal home, and most homes are a variation of that description. However, the more organized, clean and comfortable it is, the better the description will fit.

A messy home environment that lacks organization can be extremely stressful. It takes it toll on everyone and everything – especially on productivity for all member of the family. My mother used to say, “An organized home is the mark of an organized mind,” and organization is a critical component of productivity.

It is difficult to be productive when hours each day are wasted looking for things that you can’t find, when you are stressed because the clutter surrounding you is disturbing and seems to reproduce itself on a daily basis, or when you feel like your life is out of control because there are not enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done.

There are those who do not have a natural ability, nor were they taught as children how to create and maintain an organized home, but it can be learned – and is well worth the effort. Once it is done, it will make your life (and the lives of your family) much easier and more productive.

If you are among those for whom the learning curve is going to be steep, be patient with yourself! Learning something new takes time and determination. Your fabulously organized home is not going to magically appear because you want it to – wishing will not make it so. You have to be committed to making it happen. So, how do you start?

Create a Plan

Use some type of organizer – a large desk calendar or a white board are both good choices. Create an overall plan, enlist the support of your family, if at all possible, and begin to move forward.

First step is to identify each of the areas that need to be organized. Then, break down each area into smaller steps, and then even smaller. Also create a realistic timeline for each area. There is no doubt that your family is very busy and depending on the state of organization (or disorganization) in your household, the project could take a while. That is OK and to be expected. DO NOT try to tackle every thing at once.

Once you have your overall plan in place with a realistic timeline, which could be over a period of weeks or months, begin working on the project in small chunks (a day at a time).

Each evening, spend a few minutes planning what you are going to do the next day to organize your home and the way your family lives – then do it! Be realistic in your goals and make sure they are fulfilled each day. Small steps are easy, give you a sense of accomplishment, and as each is completed, momentum begins to build.

AS you are planning each day, be sure to include meals, meal prep, appointments, children’s activities, work schedules, and personal/family time.

I recommend that you use Cozi Family Calendar to keep track of appointments, events, activities, and individual responsibilities. It also includes TO DO lists (you can have one per family member), and a journal, which could be used to document your journey through this new adventure.

It can be accessed online and used by the entire family with only one user name and password. And… the best part – you can set up reminders that will send text messages to individual SmartPhones. I use it all the time. It has been an incredible tool for me and my family.

Schedule House Cleaning Activities

When I was growing up, certain things were done on certain days. Monday was wash day. Tuesday was ironing day. Wednesday was working in the yard, etc… and Saturday was cleaning house day – top to bottom. I am completely serious – and it worked well. In fact, I recommend it.

In the beginning, you will have to do some serious de-cluttering. Clean out your cupboards, your closets, and your garage – and your cars. Get rid of everything that you do not use – old electronic gadgets, garden tools, and all those things that you have kept because you “may use it someday.”

You will be amazed at how good this feels and the relief it brings. The best part is that there will be more room in the house to enjoy each other, to move, to play, and to work (business, personal and school assignments) – and believe it or not, there will be more room in your mind for clear thinking.

Now for the fun part of the planning…

Organize Family Activities

  • Have regular mealtimes for the entire family – and make those sacred. These should be the time to relax, laugh, and talk about your day – as a family unit.
  • Schedule a family day – or at least a family evening once a week – again, the time should be sacred time reserved for enjoying each other.
  • Have a once-a-month family outing or project. For example, a picnic in the mountains, a day at the beach, serving at a local homeless shelter, taking a day trip to a local tourist spot, etc. Be creative. Have a different member of the family plan the day each month. The possibilities are endless.

If you want all family members, including you, to increase their personal productivity levels – organizing the home and family is the place to start!