everyday basics: organize your helpers with the diary

Keeping a home tasks diary: so easy, so predictable. Yet, few do it

In one of women leadership trainings a senior executive I admire was sharing few easy tips of managing home. I was impressed how simple but how powerful these were and applied immediately.

First and key one – keeping a diary for your helpers and yourself

Like a good manager coaching employee – we are coaching our cleaners and babysitters, we are even coaching our parents when they come to help. Now, think what is most important in developing your people…  setting priorities, defining success and enabling with resources. My home diary serves exactly this.

  • On page 1. I have contacts of all helpers in one place (mine, my husband, names of our parents, names and contacts of other people – cleaning lady and nannies, address of school, home, kindergarden and children activities. These are basic resources anyone of them might need.
  • Page 2. base schedule  of typical week (school  schedules, kindergarden, activities)
  • Next pages are weekly tasks (priorities) – updated and discussed daily when we meet. More importantly when we do not meet. Often I leave house before our lead nanny arrives. She reads my notes for the day and has a list of tasks that she can do together with our son or when he sleeps (pick up dry cleaning, buy bread or milk, cook soup often with recipe or soup specifications). She also sees when other helpers come (if any) over a week and coordinates them. She leaves her notes as well.
  • We review each weekly at the end of the week together with weekly salary.
  • Pages onwards – if I know our travel/holiday plans I put the base pages ahead so our helpers can plan their time. we update weekly at the end of the week review

And the second even more important one: give feedback and positive reinforcement. I do it at least weekly.

Jobs of nannies and cleaners are even more difficult than mine or yours (I assume you are not a nanny J Work is endless, positive progress  is not noticed by clients in most cases and if we come home tired we are not open to talk, while they would appreciate knowing how they are doing.

End of week is a minimum time for feedback. Simple – was it a difficult week, what worked well and how upcoming week looks.  I also link to her weekly salary which varies slightly week by week depending on workload.

Ideally this coupled with some on spot feedback daily. No matter how tired or late I am, I am trying to keep at least 5-10 min to talk about her day (and OUR SONS’ day therefore), she list the things she did and I thank her. I always mention if something she has done was exceptional or if she made me happy in any way.  And as a miracle she comes up with better ways of doing things and often by initiative helps me to get my home things done ahead of me thinking.

I love it!

Have an easy well-planned week!

Polina