Several months ago my wife and I implemented a weekly shared schedule (Pictured below). This was part of a larger goal to become more inter-dependent as a couple. We’ve found that establishing the process of the board has been the most useful tool towards that goal.

Every Sunday we sit down together and walk through our week.

The Top 2 Rows

Pretty easy, the top row shows the day of the week and the date. We also mark down Jennifer’s “long day” (she leaves early and comes home late).

Notes, is an interesting area. We mark down anything and everything. Major appointment? Put it in the notes.  Evening plans like Professional development or DnD? Put it in the notes. A conversation that we need to have like retirement, insurance, or finding a Church? Put it in the notes.

The notes make sure we know what we are both doing on any given day. They let the other person know, “hey I think I’ll need help on [day]”. We even star certain items that are extra important. You’ll notice D&D is stared. That’s because this is Jennifer’s first time as a Dungeon Master (one who leads the adventure).

As well, the planned conversations really go a long way for our relationship. We’ve talked about all sorts of things that might go unnoticed or unquestioned otherwise.

The 3rd Row

This one is also straight forward. This is where we assign who makes dinner and they note what they plan to make.

Monday’s we cook dinner for Jennifer’s family. It’s our way of making a conscience effort. Plus, Jennifer’s Mom works a ton. She deserves a night off.

“FFS”, if you are wondering, is not “For F*** Sake”, but means “Fend For Yourself”. Those nights can be anything like leftovers or eating out. It means that we don’t plan on having dinner together.

So far, this has allowed us to plan out some really epic meals. We’ve tried making ramen, oxtail curry, pot pie, and fresh homemade pasta. When you have the week to plan, you don’t have to worry about coming up with ideas at the last minute.

The Bottom Left

These are chores plain and simple. However, we roll opposing dice and the winner gets to choose. We developed these chores out of the most common tasks and grouped them into pairs of two of relatively equal difficulty.

In the “C” section is a neat little task called “Side quest”. This is off of our list of important, non-urgent, items. Some of them are fun. Some of them are simple or even easy. Some of them are just in good taste. This week I’ve been lucky enough to work on refinishing a coffee table that I’ve sanded down.

The Bottom Right

This quadrant is relatively new, but has proven invaluable to building up this process. We’ve reworked the IBM Feedback grid to fit out needs on a weekly basis. Before we do anything on the board, we talk

Essentially, each week acts as a sprint with it’s own projects we work on. Therefore, we treat are we as such. What makes the difference as a couple is our ability to set reasonable expectations. I mean, of course we would consider each other’s feelings!

It’s been incredibly useful. We give each other kudos and are honest about what didn’t work. We throw ideas up and list out important conversations. This informs us what we should be working on as a couple. We then take that reflective piece to improve on our ideas. We’ve found that it has greatly improved our motivation.

I’ll note as well that all the different colors hold meaning:

  • Red – Important to both of us.
  • Green – Items mostly relevant to me.
  • Purple – Items mostly relevant to her.
  • Blue – Just a simple note or indicator.
  • Brown – Stuff we have to do, but don’t necessarily want to.

This board is a tool that is apart of a larger concept called Wave 4 Planning. I’ll write about it tomorrow for my blog post and come back here to link it.

Let me know if you want help setting up a board for yourself or your family. I’d love to be able to walk you through what you need to do. As always, I hope you found something to add to your everyday rhetoric repertoire.  Thank you for reading.