On today’s podcast we are covering about the beloved and hated HOME COMMAND CENTER! Check it out!
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Welcome Friends! Thanks for joining today! Today we are going dive into a topic that can be super stressful and super rewarding at the SAME TIME! And that topic is what I like to refer to as our HOME COMMAND CENTER.
What is going to be cover today is how we organize our schedules which includes daily and monthly activities, passions and pursuits, this years new plans for additional family time and how we are working that in, also few tid bits we have learned and tried along they way. So lets dive in!
Since becoming a mom it feels like I have been given this role of master scheduler, (this is not an official position and certainly doesn’t come with any addition pay ha!) But, has become a lifeline for our family. I can tell you from personal experience the power of our command center. See it has the power to inspire, dream, relax, and add ease to our lives OR it can if not done correctly become a source of confusion, stress, anger, desperation and truly I believe has lead to my increase of gray hairs!
So you may have a picture of what a command center looks like. And for our foundation of todays podcast I would like briefly provide you with picture of what ours looks like before we go into details. See our command center has one home base, and several sister locations. So lets so start when at the Home base. It is placed on a wall in our kitchen. On the wall it has the current monthly schedule and the following month schedule, these are on white boards and have a note section of the side. Along side the calendar white board we have a small white board (one that looks like you bought to put into a locker size) and on this white board we have created our to do list. And we will get more into what goes on that to do in a few minutes. We also have on monthly kid special dates paper, our Sunday Prep day and our cleaning schedule paper. Wow, listing these things may make me sound like a crazy person, and truly I am crazy person. But, I have found from listening, reading and talking with others about what works for them, is that every person has great ideas of what works and I what LOVE to do is take those ideas and mash them up and use what works for our family. SO I encourage to listen and try what inspires you, that might not be everything, that might be nothing and that might be everything haha.
But here go. SO what Darren and I have done, with the inspiration of lot of great people and books. Is we found that there is about 8 sections of life that ALL deserve our attention, passion and dreams BUT if we don’t look at them individually while we are making schedules and plans we have this tendency to GREATLY neglect several. A friend Kristin gave me the example of a wheel and if you took these 8 sections that we will go over, and spit the wheel like you would a pizza into 8 equal sections. IF you are not giving equal (or close to equal) attention then your lopsided wheel wont work effectively or at all.
So lets go through the sections, and what is included under them. Please note they are in no order, because we are looking at as a wheel. And while we are going through the sections they are all super important and may feel a bit overwhelming but will be focused on them individually in future podcasts, so only panic a little, just kidding, don’t panic.
- Spirit and Mind – which would include areas of: prayer, bible study, spiritual growth book, for example in the spirit area and in the mind area would include: mental health, emotional health, and books for growth.
- Health – which would include areas of: food/meal plans, nutrition, water, vitamins exercise, healthcare and more.
- Finances – which includes tithes and offering, budget, getting rid of debt, insurance, savings and more.
- Household – which is both inside (dishes, laundry, cleaning, chores, decorations and more) AND outside (gardening, Yard, garage , animals and more.)
- Career and Education – Which includes career goals, skill building, and more. Also Education including goals, and continuing education. We have also include a homeschooling area here as well.
- Family – which includes 3 areas, first being marriage like date nights, planning meetings, needs of husbands and wives. The next area in the family section is parenting including kids needs, health, training etc. And the 3rd area whole family, like devotions and family nights.
- Social – including friends and family (like get together, extended family, hospitality, caring for needs and more). It also includes ministry like church, small groups, discipleship and more.
- Lastly, FUN and EVENTS, which includes hobbies, sports, trips, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, movies, special events and more!
Those are the 8 sections encompassed a huge part of our lives. When Darren and I began this journey we were seriously overloaded in a few sections and lacking incredibly in others. Evaluating where we were at the moment was super important. With the encouragement of some Titus 2 ladies who hosted a planning retreat they opened my eyes to the whole picture.
So filled with passion Darren and I decided to plan a date night in which we brought this new information and went to eat kid free so we could focus and create a plan that would work for our family. Before we could start our command center to reflect a balanced wheel we needed to dive into each section individually.
And within each section we started with the end in mind. What is the purpose of this section and at the end what do we want for our family to look like in this section. For example, in the Health section we said a life goal would be: to live an active lifestyle as a family. After the big picture we moved down to Long term planning and vision, what do we want this section to reflect in 3-5 years for example in the Household section we said: All children are active members of household responsibilities. Hard to imagine now with babies at home but in 3-5 years that will become the reality. So in order to be at that spot in 3-5 years we then created a sheet for each section that said what are our 1-2 year goals. For example in the Fun and Events section, one goal is to have Darren and I go on a solo trip just the two of us.
Ok to recap these steps that we have done within each section, they DO need to be revisited but not on the regular planning vision meetings. It is always important to know where your finish line is and that you are running the right race.
So now within each section we have two steps, first being we looked at all the steps prior and we come up with our goals to be accomplished in the next 1-3 months. For example, in the Spirit and Mind section, purchase and set up box for new morning devotion with kids. Next step, it has taken us a long time to get to this step but will be the step we work on the most week-to-week. Once we have our goals for 1-3 months away we need to break it down into action steps. If you can remember back when I mentioned the locker sized white board to do list, well this is where we write out action steps. Since there are 8 sections Darren and I have determined that in order to keep all 8 sections, (since they all are important), as even as we can, we select 1-2 action steps to write on our to do list from each section.
The majority of our command center in the kitchen reflects these 8 sections. If you will remember I place a cleaning schedule on the command center, which was formed while review our household section. You will note there was a special kid date sheet that each of our 4 children get a special one-on-one time with a member of the family and that was a result of the Family section. We also have a Sunday Prep Day, which came out of the desire to review each week our schedule and to do list as parents and to set us up for success the following week. (If you would like more information on the special kid dates or the Sunday prep day you can go to raisingrices.com to read the blog on them.
The monthly calendars are in a way our convicting element. While looking at the week ahead we can really see by color coding if our wheel is feeling lopsided, and then when we see and feel it we adjust and remind ourselves of the end goal.
Ok, so I mentioned sister stations. For us we have tried to put as much as we could into our command home base in the kitchen but do to space and efficiency there are a few other stations around the house.
All of the papers of the 8 sections, can be found in a binder that sits on our computer desk. Darren who is much more tech savvy then myself would like to see our notes recorded on a computer but for now the binder works great, and when I set it up I used dividers so I am able to store extra papers and information that go with the subject, and helps to Declutter a bit.
Another sister station is found in my purse I have a year calendar that holds the information beyond the current month and following month.
Some of you might have heard me mention earlier about our planning meetings. Our planning meetings a little different then our check-ins during our Sunday Prep Day, see our planning meetings is what we try to do once a month. Just the two of us. This is a great time for us to make sure we are aligning with our pursuit, passions, dreams, and visions for our family.
During our planning meetings the topics we like to cover are:
- check in on our 8 sections, mostly in the 1-3 month goals and then create our action steps
- Check in on the month as a whole, any events, family or work related needs, anything to be aware in the scheduling
- We try to do check in on each kid, successes, needs, prayers, learning or training opportunities, (this time is great for me as a stay at home mom to express needs for Darren my husband to reinforce with the kids)
- And we try to go over the budget and pay bills.
This is truly a good time when it is done but can seem like a daunting task to start, so we usually like to make a special dessert treat to enjoy and we do it after the kids go to bed.
I leave you with this last bit, Darren and I are what feels like constantly changing and creating what works. I am hopeful that this plan we have in place will be the glue that keeps our passions, dreams, and visions on the forefront BUT I know they will always need attention and modification from time to time.
One of the recent areas we are excited to change and try something new elements to our family time, some of which are: family game nights, family read alouds, focus activities for a month and focused family bible time. These things and more will be looked at on another podcast so stay tuned.