“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
– Henry Ford
There was a not too distant time in my life when Friday night whistled work over and the weekend was spent resting, regrouping, and revving it up. That and the weekend = two days of squiggling lines through my to-do list.
Check. Cross off. Delete.
I did what I set out to do.
There’s no denying that getting ‘er done is satisfying – we all like a little TCOB, non? On Sunday nights I felt a.c.c.o.m.p.l.i.s.h.e.d.
That was then and this is now because the face of my weekend has changed. Munchkins entered the picture. It’s a parent’s song, but there’s no denying that my time is more spoken for than it was PK (pre-kids).
PK I had a looser agenda … there was time to putter. Now, if I want to push my own agenda, I must be methodical – breaking down projects into pieces, often into hourly allotments. For a couple years, I went with the flow and ended many weekends feeling frustrated because yes, we lived, but nothing was checked off my mile-long list.
Going with the flow wasn’t working for me.
I’m a paper-to-action gal, so I dialed back to what is my m.o. … a to-do list. I’m sure it’s not a cool statement, but list making is key to my peace of mind.
And although he’s less type A then me, I have to tell you, my husband is a list maker too.
Since we both work in lists, I capitalized on our shared organizational tool and started sending one to him each week.
This sounds oh so business-like, but it works for us.
It’s an offshoot of the traditional “honey-do” list. My hope is that you’re not thinking, my God girl, it’s 2016 and you’re sending your man a list of what you expect him to do?
Yes, it’s a list that has items on it that I want to make happen. Yet it’s not a honey-do-list because we’re a team in the process – I give the list to him in advance and ask for his input. It’s not a honey-do list because we are equal partners in our relationship, our family, and our house projects.
I write the words send le week-end in my little black notebook every week and on Thursdays, I open my saved le week-end word doc. I copy the original formal, edit it to mirror the pending weekend, and then I paste it into an email that I send to my husband. I ask for his input – what’s on your docket? I update the list with his weekend wants and print two copies – a his and a hers. It’s a page long and provides a snapshot into the weekend happenings.
I don’t create this list to control.
In fact, this list keeps me from turning into a taskmaster. This list helps me be present.
Here’s are 4 Ways Le Week-end List Works for Us
- It Prioritizes. I map out the weekend to use the time effectively. I start with the time slots of what’s currently on the docket each day, such as gymnastics lessons and birthday parties. Then I plug in non-time sensitive activities for the weekend, such as it’s going to be sunny on Saturday – family bike ride? The purpose of the list is to consolidate what’s happening and what we would like to happen on the weekend – both personally and as a family. It’s in a day-by-day format and times are often posted, such as 9 a.m. gymnastics, but I also like to map it out like this …
- Children’s activities: This is where I share what the girls have in mind, such as V would like a guitar lesson.
- Topics of conversation: This is where I spell out what’s on my mind that maybe built during the week, but we didn’t have enough time to discuss, such as let’s chat about what plants we want to plant on the deck.
- Personal Wants: This is where I plug in my desire to run and ask what’d he like for alone time.
- House To-Dos: There are so many things that pile up and when you’re left with too much to do and too little time, well, this list is helpful to pick what’s first.
- In the Pipeline: This is where I write about what’s happening in the next week.
- It Keeps Perspective: My list, his list, our combined lists … they’re never ending. There’s always more that what we want to do, to accomplish in this life. Without the list, it’s overwhelming to me. The list helps keep the weekend in perspective and helps me to not bite off more than I can for to-dos. I send it to my husband in advance because I want his input – my priorities aren’t always his priorities. I may want this, but he may say nah, let’s table that until next weekend. Agendas get pushed to the back burner, but it’s no biggie because our priorities are discussed.
- It Heads Off Frustration: I aim to enjoy our weekend together, yet it’s undeniable that household projects accumulate. It can reach the point where all I see is the nagging closet – reorganize me now! They’re many lists I compile in my head and in my little black notebook. I’ve learned to share what’s running through my brain before I get to overload and lose it – snap, cry, and say something I don’t want to say. Le week-end gets what’s on my mind out of my mind and lets him know that there are conversations I’d like to have. He responds with his and we’re off. The list reduces bickering because we’ve spelt out what’s in our heads. Neither of us are mind readers. (Although, I’m torn between flying and mind reading as the super power I covet. You?).
Do you remember the fight scene in The Break-up? Either way, re-watch this video, it’s so spot on.
Although, when it comes to the dishes, I’m Vaughn. “I’m just gonna hit the streets for a little bit,” he says.
- It Takes Back the Weekend: The face of weekends has since PK, but the weekend still = rejuvenation. I want to end the weekend feeling renewed rather than burnt out. I still savor time both regrouping and popping a couple of brewskis. The le week-end list provides a framework to our weekend that opens time to those moments. This list allows us to fill in the spaces with freedom on the weekend.
What’s your method to help you get ‘er done on the weekend?