Do You and Your Spouse Have the Same Priorities?

A Simple Tool To Help...

Priorities are a funny thing, especially when it comes to your spouse and family. I must admit; I didn’t have it right for many years and still get wrong occasionally. This week is a quick “tech tip” my wife and I have been using to keep us aligned on to do lists, shopping lists, home improvement lists, etc.

We have been using a little free app called wunderlist that has made a huge difference in our life. It started when our 3 daughters were living at home and they would ask my wife to add things to the shopping list. The requests could come from all types of sources – texts, email, sticky notes and so on. That got a little frustrating for my wife.

I saw this frustration and came up with a solution which was a shared shopping list in wunderlist. It is really cool and allows you to share many lists with many people. In this case, it worked perfect. I created a list called shopping list and shared it with our family so all they had to do is add it to the list, make notes and even take a picture of the label if needed. This took a lot of stress out of our life. I like to share this little tip with as many people as I can and they always come back and let me know they love it.

I took it to the next level after I taught a retreat on Getting Things Done. The premise behind the method is to make sure you have things in the right priority bucket and in a safe place. I did this with our home improvement to do lists because I didn’t want to be working on something that we weren’t in agreement on. This could waste time, cause friction, and just not be a positive thing for me, our relationship or the household in general J.

How it works is I setup 6 lists like below:

  • Home – 1 (Now)
  • Home – 2 (Next)
  • Home – 3 (Soon)
  • Home – 4 (Later)
  • Home – 5 (Someday)
  • Home – 6 (Waiting)

I then shared this with my wife and when we discuss things to do around the house. We discuss which list is should be on and adjust accordingly. The key is you can only have 3 items on Home -1 (Now) bucket because your probability of working on more than 3 are significantly reduced. After you complete items from one list, you can have nice conversations of what needs to move around from each priority list. This EQUALS – HAPPY HOME.

Action Items

  • Download the wunderlist app (mobile and/or computer).
    • Setup an Account.
    • Setup a list called “Shopping”.
    • Share it with your spouse and enjoy the peace.
  • Setup another list that you want to track things like vacations, bucket list, etc.
  • If you feel advanced, setup the above lists for home to do’s and share them.
    • Practice moving items from list to list.
    • Add pictures, notes and sub lists.

Good Luck and I hope this helps your household collaborate and prioritize better as it did mine.