As the CEO, you play an active role in making decisions regarding your family and each individual member. You may take care of all the scheduling, rescheduling of activities for yourself and your family members, and figuring out how to implement everything that needs to happen in your home and in the lives of the people who live there most likely falls heavily on your shoulders as well.
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I think the first step in being an effective CEO is recognizing yourself as just that. Not only will this recognition allow you to more efficiently answer this call, it will also give you the status and recognition you so well deserve. You are the CEO of your family. Own it.
So what qualities will an effective manager of a family unit possess? How will a CEO effectively manage everything?
- Define first. Determine all the various branches or job descriptions that your role as a CEO will require and write them down. This could include mom, nurse, cook, cleaner, chauffeur, and so many more things, but just realistically look at the things you are responsible for on a daily basis and write them down.
- Organize. Take all of your jobs from the first step and organize them into how often each job is done. For example, making meals most likely occurs three times a day or more with a family that is always coming and going while you may only do laundry three times a week. If you are a chauffeur only on certain days and at certain times, fill these things in at the appropriate times as well. I find organizing and scheduling these things as an overall whole are most effectively done on a simple calendar that you color code. Color coding by job, and listing things in the order in which they occur in a given day is easiest. This will take some time, but the organized method and ease of looking at what you are doing when will payoff in the long run.
- Filter your jobs through your mission statement. If you created a mom mission statement, be sure that the things you are doing are things you really want to be doing. Make sure that you haven’t lost sight of what you are passionate about doing. If you look at the jobs you listed in the second step and discovered that you need to eliminate a job or two, do so now, even if it is hard.
- Delegate jobs someone else could manage. Any effective CEO is a master of delegating. For years I held tightly to the notion that getting things done right was the only way to do them, and of course I was the only one who could do things right. This caused undo stress and demands on my time while also eliminating the opportunity for others in my family to learn valuable skills they could benefit from. If you are buying in to this same idea, just let it go now.
- Get the right system. Once you have clearly defined the jobs that you truly do have to own as the CEO, find an effective system for managing everything. It is ok to have a few different methods in which you do this. For instance, I am a list maker for tasks, but I like using an app on my phone for all the scheduling and keeping the calendar together. This way it can be shared between my husband and I. When there are appointments that involve my older kids, I email them the information. For example, I email my daughter the babysitting jobs she has scheduled so she can go back and reread them if needed. Having it in writing holds her responsible for being aware of where she is supposed to be.
- Develop a command center. Whether it is a desk, an area on your kitchen counter, or even just a cupboard, you need an area in which you keep all your household information. This will make your life easier since not only will you be able to find things, but your family will also know where to find things like lists, paperwork needed for an appointment, or information about an upcoming event.
- Create margin. Create some margin in your family’s day, week, and month because you will need it. We all learn the hard way that the best laid plans come to ruin at the most inopportune times. If you have margin to absorb these unexpected occurrences, stress can be avoided.
- Be prepared. Nope, I wasn’t a Boy Scout, I just know that when I don’t carry some simple first aid supplies in my car, have a few prepared meals in the freezer, or keep a spare pair of swim goggles tucked away somewhere, someone will need these things and it could be a disaster, especially if a tween or teen is involved.
- Give grace. Give grace to yourself, give grace to your family, and give grace to others around you who get in your way at times. You are not perfect and neither is anyone around you. Expecting perfection in anything, but especially in managing a home is not only unfair to everyone involved, it is unhealthy.
- Be ready to revisit these steps. Often. The more people you have to manage and the busier your household, the more often you will have to revisit and redefine. Expect it. The most effective CEOs are able to keep up with the ever changing demands of the job.
If you are the manager of your home, you deserve to be called a CEO. It will benefit you to work through these steps one at a time. Having clearly defined expectations and a way to organize and manage manage them while also being prepared for the unexpected are ingredients needed in an efficient home. This way, you have more time for the good stuff.