Good grief, Charlie Brown! Families are running around like crazy – and it's chaotic, to say the least. Here's my question: Is this the experience that you want your children, nieces, nephews, parents, and friends to remember about any time spent with you, ie, that it's chaotic and crazy? Hmmm …. I think not. So, here are some ideas for putting in protected pockets of time and energy for your friends and family.
- If your children or other members of your family are involved in an organized sport, limit it to one per person per season. This is easier on the child and on the rest of the family. Running around like a nut is not building anyone's relationships nor their overall health. Choose one sport / person / season.
- Have one day or evening a week that is "off limits" for anything scheduled, at all. Open calendars – heavenly. These open spaces are protected pockets. Everyone needs that – especially as a family. Just be home and eat together, watch a movie, play board games, talk (really … just talk and find out what is happening in everyone's lives), or whatever else would be pleasant and would help build the relationships and the feeling of ahhhh … space.
- The "off limits" day refers to you, too. Regardless of whether you are a member of a 'traditional' family or friends group, you need a day / evening where you don't have anything scheduled. It's your protected time. You can rejuvenate and be better for everyone if you have this time and space.
- Establish ASO time. Too many families are using all their time pockets for screen time (TV, video games, movie rentals, computer, etc.) and should consider instituting limits. Start with an "ASO" time ("All Screens Off") by a certain hour or until a certain hour.
- Define what pockets look and feel like for you, as far as your relationships and time with friends and family. First, get clear for yourself – and then let others in your personal circle know. Next, find out what it looks and feels like for them. You might be surprised.
Putting in protected pockets for and with your family and friends help keep chaos at bay – and let you lead a life that is more peacefully productive. That's what you want isn't it?