When I was in college my mother stumbled upon "Boyton Mom's Family Calendar". A wall calendar that hung on the bulletin board in our kitchen for many years. Each day had space for each family member to have an activity, a square just for them. I loved this calendar. It meant that my mom could keep track of what my Dad and I were up to and we could find time to do things together as a family much more easily. It was my mom's habit that established "family calendaring" as an essential part of an serious, adult relationship. She also encouraged me to set up time to speak with her about specific things - meetings, were a common tool in my life growing up to air grievances, discuss matters of personal important and resolve tensions/challenges. As consequence, I love a good meeting. Which should make it no surprise that each Sunday, from 10:00am - 11:00am you'll find my partner and I having our weekly family meeting. Complete with an agenda, running notes and dual to do lists, these meetings have become a hallmark of our relationship.
Here's how they run:
- 9:45am PREP- I open up the running "Mimi and Simone Weekly Running Notes" note in Evernote and draft anagenda. The agenda always includes a calendar review, weekly goals and a review of the goals from the week prior.
- 10:00am CONVENE & MAKE AGENDA The TV & Radio are turned off, I sit down at my desk or open my laptop, Mimi joins and we review and amend the agenda together. I then lead the meeting.
- 10:15am HARDEST THING FIRST We start with calendaring because it's the most time consuming part of the agenda. In involves sending out Gmail calendar invites, updating existing invites and responding to social invitations from friends for the next 30 days. Of note, we have a meeting the first week of spring to plan out our week calendar from Memorial Day to Labor Day as the summers are the most dynamic part of the calendar because of our cabin upstate and apartment in the city, with both of us working in different locations on different schedules.
- 10:30am REVIEW OF WEEK PRIOR We review the goals we both had from the week prior. Goals include personal aspirations and professional commitments. In addition to discussing what we did or did not accomplish, we also take a moment to discuss why something did not happen. As a couple, part of our commitment to one another is to help each other achieve our goals, which makes that understanding obstacles is essential.
- 10:45am CO-WORK After the calendar is settled and new to do items are generated we discuss any points of conversation, perhaps there are we need to draft the wedding guest list together or discuss an arts funding report that one of us read. There's always time during each family meeting to get work done together.
- 10:55am EXPORT TO-DOs I take the final to do list and export it to Mimi's Swipes App and my Trello inbox. And then we conclude.
These meetings make me so happy and help keep our little family functioning. Building upon their success we are going to add in 60-120 minutes of writing time as we both have various writing projects (i.e. - my blog and her screenplay). Wish us luck for Family Meetings 2.0!
Best, Simone aka The Management Geek