Christmas is a time of harmony and is undoubtedly the biggest family holiday of the year. For many families, however, planning the perfect Christmas can result in a lot of stress. Combining work and family life with buying presents, preparing a luxurious dinner and decorating the house can create a lot of tension which can destroy the harmony under the
There is a lot the professional project management world can teach us when it comes to Christmas planning. The collaboration experts at Swedish Projectplace, explain how some simple basics from professional project management can help to ensure that your Christmas will be as harmonious as it should be.
1. Planning and coordinating tasks
Get the family together ahead of time to discuss everyone’s wishes, from food to decorations, and create a to-do list. Break the list down into different categories (e.g. food), divide the family into work groups and assign them tasks. Decide on a project manager that follows up on the progress of each group.
2. Time to involve and trust the kids
Make sure that everyone gets involved. Even the smallest task for the youngest family members will make them feel involved and appreciate the festivities even more. Parents should not feel the pressure to do everything themselves. Give your kids the feeling that you trust them with important tasks! By simply keeping track on each family member’s progress
there will be time to jump in and assist if necessary. This can be done, for instance, by pairing grown-ups with kids in work groups.
3. Christmas time – Time for evaluating old roles!
When celebrating Christmas, we tend to stick to established traditions. Grandma is the one responsible for the food and dad usually untangles the Christmas tree lights while the kids are watching TV. However, sometimes it is time to get rid of some of the old routines. It can be exciting to shift things around and try something new. Ask which Christmas-related tasks everyone is interested in. The oldest son might be interested to be in charge of the kitchen. And does it still make sense that grandpa gets the Christmas tree all by himself?
4. Communicate more and share important information
Set up recurring meetings in which everyone reports on their progress. This also leaves room for flagging if anyone needs help with their task. Every project is subject to changes and plans often need to get thrown around. Communicating on a regular basis will help to adjust tasks and finding solutions to problems as a group. Also set realistic deadlines: when does the grocery shopping need to be done? When does the Christmas tree need to be bought?
Obviously, there might be one thing that you don’t want to disclose to the younger family members: The fact that the man in the red Santa coat actually is a family member and not the real deal from the North Pole!
5. Don’t underestimate the power of appreciation – feedback is important!
Encouragement is a key instrument for a project leader to keep team members motivated. Fulfilling one’s role without getting any appreciation can be very frustrating. In families this is often the case when everyone is taking for granted that mum is the one cooking dinner. These days we are quick to give encouragement by clicking the Like button on
Facebook, but why not show your appreciation face-to-face? Make sure to give credit where credit is due and also find encouraging words when needed. If your family feels engaged and
motivated you can be sure that this year’s Christmas will be a great success.