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NON-GTD Spouses ?? How to deal ??

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  • NON-GTD Spouses ?? How to deal ??

    I have a NON GTD spouse and 3 children (ages 8 and under) to incorporate into my GTD plans, and it's NOT working =(
    My hubby think it's all a joke, think i'm crazy and need to relax and my house is constantly looking like an atomic bomb hit it...
    Ive ALWAYS been task/list oriented, have lists where he can see them, ask him nicely. when I leave the house, I hope he will get some things done (most of the time Im leaving the house to do something productive whether grocery shopping, or working pt)
    He seems to think it's "the cat's away" time....
    unless I make a stink about things, but why do I have to make a stink about it to have our house in order ??

    Help ??!!

  • #2
    Seems like you have good humor about this at least!

    You cannot get anyone to "do" GTD. I'd give up on that.

    But you can:
    - model the behaviors
    - make sure you all have a shared outcome for what "getting things done" looks like
    - setup clear systems to make it easy for everyone to know who owns what (i.e. what are your agreements for who does what)

    I'm also going to post a podcast this week on GTD Connect with working mom Meghan Wilker, who talks about how she shares GTD with her non-GTD family. You'll find some good free stuff on GTDTimes.com too, especially from community contributors Meghan Wilker and April Perry, if you search on those two names.

    Comment


    • #3
      Non GTD family

      I am a follower of Flylady.net. One of things that Flylady says is that you have to clean for YOU and don't expect your family to have the same priorities. Don't allow yourself to be a martyr. Look at all the good that your husband does do and praise him for that. Adjust your expectations. Rather than making him feel like a failure for not living up to your standards, support him when he does. If he does the dishes, thank him and tell him how it makes you FEEL. Eg. "I feel supported when you do the dishes, thank you" or "when you wash the dishes I feel that you love me." I bet you that he will do it more often.

      Have a look at the books 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus' John Gray and 'The Five love languages' by Gary Chapman. They really helped my partner and I and may help you too

      Another idea is to have a family meting and work out what your family's priorities are. Does one of your children want to go to the park? Schedule this into your GTD system. Does your husband want to clean out the garage? Schedule this in. They will be more on board with GTD if it meets their needs too.

      Good luck Allie.

      Comment


      • #4
        Being non-GTD is not a vice...

        Almost every new GTDer feels that this is the way how everyone should work, and more so now that I am there to enlighten them. The feeling eventually subsides in a few months. In the meanwhile, please do not let your relations be affected by looking at them through GTD-colored glasses.

        Comment


        • #5
          What Duckienz said.

          Originally posted by Duckienz View Post
          I am a follower of Flylady.net…
          Duckienz stated almost exactly what I wanted to say, except I haven't read Men are from Mars… yet. Also, let me reiterate the point about doing it for yourself: In a way, you'll lead by example and your good habits and routines will influence your family.

          Consider it the “broken windows theory” of the household. Even if they never follow your same system, they'll eventually appreciate it when visiting a friend's chaos-ruled home or when Mom knows where the school field trip permission form lives.

          Comment


          • #6
            it's in the doing

            As David always says, the only thing you can manage are actions. When you make your list for your husband, give him next actions (put dishes in the dishwasher), not projects (wash the dishes). Keep making it simpler until you get some results, possibly to the point of giving him (them) a next aciton. Maybe even one of your 2 minute actions around the house instead of the longer ones.

            But probably the most important part is actually talking to him about said next actions every time you want him to do something. If they are simple/fast enough, it should work. Tell him you want him to do that and just that. Be clear that you want him to do just those things and that they'll be quick and that you'll be home in X number of hours/minutes.

            I have a similar situation. in reverse. It's taken me over two years to get my wife even slightly interested. She likes the "write it all down" idea but hasn't processed anything yet. Lots of random paper floating around the house. Bought a copy of GTD for her last month. She still hasn't started reading it.

            A friend in spirit.

            p.s. after re-reading your post, it occurred to me that it might be a culture thing. In some cultures (or better, households), men are trained to believe that all housework should be done by the wife and therefore no amount of coaxing or gentle reminding will get them to do anything. If that's the problem, then you might just want to make it ("get DH to help around the house" or "overcome DH's machoism") a project, or even a goal. Then, envision the outcome you want and plan (at least superficially) how to bring that about. Then file that plan somewhere (for future reference) and put your project(s) on your project list and your next action(s) on your context lists.
            Last edited by bradenchase; 08-25-2010, 02:07 PM. Reason: further insight

            Comment


            • #7
              I can sympathise with that! On the 1st Jan 2009 I set the NY resolution to have my whole house clean, tidy and organised in two months. I'm still working on it now. I have used Flylady a bit, and it helped with the decluttering but not the workflow.

              Last Friday I started my weekly review and found there were no loose papers on my desk, it was already tidy because I have a great project support and inbox system. Came home and saw a backlog of dishes, that took me over an hour to get through. Decided home has to get a GTD makeover. I am going to create 'workflow procedures' for the housework.
              Dishes do not go on the bench anymore, they go straight into the dishwasher or the large sink. When the large sink is full I do dishes. My son has now responsibility for putting dishes away. I also put 'put away dishes' on my evening checklist, in case he hasn't done it I will.
              So far so good. Next I need to makeover my home office area, the washing, gardening, etc. Then just teach the others in the house the workflow.
              Still have to work out what to do with their tasks.
              At least I feel better about it all now, and I'm more confident with the GTD approach than any other.

              Comment


              • #8
                find out what's in it for him and try to give him that...

                hi there,

                as someone else mentioned, it IS in the doing...

                I have been implementing GTD for almost 6 months, as I am self employed and work from home, I started noticing that private stuff started getting into my NA-list. I do have only one list, and don't really use contexts a lot. But it bothered me, so one day I took all the private stuff out and made a second list (you might call it a @private list vs @work).

                My @work list is in Excel and I never print it. The @home list is in Excel too (same file, different tab), but I print it out (mostly every two weeks) and hang it in the kitchen.

                And now the interesting thing... when my husband is at home during the day (he doesn't work on wednesday) he likes to have a todo-list. He used to draw up a list the day before with ideas that popped up. So now he's got this huge list of NA's where he simply can choose from. And he loves it...

                I am the one doing a review and updating the list (I try to do this on the laptop, with him around so I can talk to him while doing it) and he gives me his input. I explained to him the idea of NA, so he now knows that if he wants something on the list, he has to define the NA. I haven't talked to him abouw weekly review, projects, tickler, etc... but he does like the fact that ideas don't get lost, but get on the list, and that he always has a readymade todo list to pick items from.

                For the children (7, 5 and 3), this summer I made a @holiday list, paper based, also hanging in the kitchen, and they could tell me all the things they would like to have done after the holidays (you know, to prevent the feeling "damn, it's september, school is beginning, and I would have wanted to do this an that). That list is not a NA-list (you could call it a project list). And by now (end of the holiday), they know that if they have a new idea (let's say "I would like to go swimming"), they just have to tell me "mom, put it on the list", and when they get bored, they go over the list and find ideas in there.

                So, in a way I have been implementing the NA-idea with the husband, and the projects-idea with the children...

                It works well, we feel the advantages, and who knows, maybe there wile be more later...

                Myriam

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BoyMom View Post
                  I have a NON GTD spouse and 3 children (ages 8 and under) to incorporate into my GTD plans, and it's NOT working =(
                  My hubby think it's all a joke, think i'm crazy and need to relax and my house is constantly looking like an atomic bomb hit it...
                  Ive ALWAYS been task/list oriented, have lists where he can see them, ask him nicely. when I leave the house, I hope he will get some things done (most of the time Im leaving the house to do something productive whether grocery shopping, or working pt)
                  He seems to think it's "the cat's away" time....
                  unless I make a stink about things, but why do I have to make a stink about it to have our house in order ??

                  Help ??!!
                  My husband is non-GTD (and I know if I started talking about it, he'd roll his eyes and say I was off again with my personal development stuff). Actually in my experience there's not much point "hoping" about stuff. I'd suggest that you ask (when you feel calm and OK about him saying No ) if he would put away the dishes. Be very clear and explicit. Saying please clean up the house is alot less effective than making a request about hoovering the bedrooms. And be really appreciative when he does it. Another poster has mentioned here about "men are from mars...." highly recommended. It really works! But doing things like asking "OK, what is the next action here?" really starts to work. And to be honest if you have 3 children under 8...it's probably OK to have an untidy house!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's all about respect and keeping agreements.

                    My wife is a "NON-GTD Spouse" but I don't mind since she has her own organizing system which makes her a perfect "family team" member.

                    I think it's not about being GTD or NON-GTD Spouse.

                    It's all about respect and keeping agreements.

                    Comment

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