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15 Things Happy Families Do Differently

15 Things Happy Families Do Differently

Family life can be challenging at times. There are so many people’s feelings, lives, and emotions to consider along with your own. Not to mention, you expect them to be considerate of you! But creating a happy family doesn’t have to be a big chore or cause a lot of fights. Call a family meeting and gather around your computer screen to read these fifteen tips and find out what happy families do differently.

1. They each choose to be part of the family.

Families don’t work if certain members don’t want to be there. Being a family is like being a team – you’re together for better or for worse. Each member needs to make a conscious decision to be a part of the family, and that means to do their part, being considerate of everyone else in the family.

2. They build strong social ties.

Families are teams and need to stick together, sure, but they also need to build strong social ties. Don’t just wave at your neighbors as you go by – stop and have a conversation! Attend church or community organizations together and make friends from the same central location. Know each other’s friends – at least their names and defining characteristics, so you not only know who your family is spending time with, but can ask questions that go deeper than, “Did you have a good time?”

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3. They stick together through the good and the bad.

You can’t ditch your family just because the going gets tough. You might think your parents are getting too intrusive and want to hole up in your room, or your kid might be getting on your last nerve, but you have to stick together and work it out. You can’t call yourself a family only when things are good.

4. They are allowed to be true to themselves.

Just because you’re all a part of the same family doesn’t mean you all have to be the same person. If your oldest child is into soccer, don’t force your youngest to play too, especially if they seem more into art. While doing things together, like going on hikes or vacations, is always beneficial, don’t force anyone to have an interest they don’t feel naturally, just because the rest of the family does.

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    5. They make quality time for each other.

    Speaking of going on hikes and vacations together, spending quality time together as a family is crucial for happiness. You can’t feel happy as a family if you’re never together! Quality time doesn’t have to mean that you’re out spending money at a game or museum. Quality time can be as simple as having dinner together once a week, or cleaning the house together every Saturday.

    6. They go out of their way for each other.

    You’ve seen the movies where the bigger brother sticks up for his sibling who’s being bullied. It’s heartwarming, right? That’s how families are! They stick up for each other. They go out of their way for each other. You have to love each other every day (regardless of how unlovable some members may seem at times) and sacrifice your own feelings for the good of others.

    7. They take responsibility for their own happiness.

    You can’t depend on anyone else to make you happy. This goes for friends, partners, and family. You have to be able to find happiness in yourself before you can bring anything to the family. Depending on others just means you’re putting unreasonable demands on them, and potentially damaging their own happiness. If every member of the family focuses on keeping themselves happy, then that’s all they’re bringing to the table – happiness! Think of how enjoyable family dinners can be when no one is moping and everyone is smiling.

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    8. They keep promises.

    You can’t depend on anyone if you can’t depend on family. If you’ve promised to sit front row center at your child’s holiday performance, you better be there. If you promised your parents that you’d improve your grades, you better study hard! Keep your promises to family so they’ll know you’re reliable. On the flip side, also make sure that you’re making promises you can keep. Don’t get in over your head and find yourself floundering to prove yourself to a family member.

    9. They are patient.

    Don’t expect everything all at once. Change takes time, and family members should understand this and be patient. It might take time for your child to realize he needs to fold and put away his laundry. It might take a few reminders before everyone picks their damp towels up from the bathroom floor. Losing your cool and yelling never helps; be patient and kind and you family will want to change to help out you – and the family as a whole!

    10. They forgive.

    You might have to grovel to get your friends or partners to forgive you when you slip up, but families don’t hold grudges. These are the people who are with you day in and day out. They know you better than anyone, and they know you’re human. Everyone makes mistakes, so family, who truly loves you, is going to understand a slip up and forgive you and keep loving you.

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    11. They use caring words to communicate.

    Families don’t use harsh words to cut each other down. They don’t fuss or nag to get their points across. They use caring words to communicate. This fosters an environment of love and support in the home, so everyone knows that they can speak their mind and be heard without starting a fight, as well as being able to take anything spoken at face value, not as a hidden critique.

    12. They share their emotions.

    It’s natural to want your own space in your home, but don’t close yourself off too much. Happy families share their emotions. This will help create a happy home because each family member will know how the others are feeling. If there is good news to be celebrated, it will be shared. If there’s a problem that can’t be overcome by one person alone, that can also be shared. Your family is your best support system – take advantage of that, and be there for them.

    13. They are each other’s biggest cheerleaders.

    Families support each other. They rally behind the others when they have a tough test or major presentation. They help build each other up when confidence is needed, and keep each other from falling too far if something doesn’t go as planned.

    14. They all pitch in.

    There’s more to family life than a chore chart – though that can be important, too! Family members need to pitch in regarding all aspects of life. If everyone has assigned chores around the house, one member won’t feel like all the demands fall on their shoulders. Pitching in can also include anything from being available for emotional support to helping find car keys on a busy morning.

    15. They practice gratitude.

    When your family members pitch in, remember to show some gratitude! Just because you’re all related and live together doesn’t mean you can take each other for granted. Always let your family know how much you appreciate them and love them.

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    Last Updated on November 19, 2019

    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

    Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

    If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

    1. Create a Daily Plan

    Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

    2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

    Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

    3. Use a Calendar

    Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

    I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

    Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

    4. Use an Organizer

    An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

    These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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    5. Know Your Deadlines

    When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

    But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

    6. Learn to Say “No”

    Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

    Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

    7. Target to Be Early

    When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

    For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

    Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

    8. Time Box Your Activities

    This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

    You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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    9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

    Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

    10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

    Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

    You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

    11. Focus

    Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

    Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

    Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

    12. Block out Distractions

    What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

    I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

    When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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    Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

    13. Track Your Time Spent

    When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

    You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

    14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

    You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

    Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

    15. Prioritize

    Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

    Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    16. Delegate

    If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

    When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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    17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

    For related work, batch them together.

    For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

    1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
    2. coaching
    3. workshop development
    4. business development
    5. administrative

    I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

    18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

    What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

    One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

    While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

    19. Cut off When You Need To

    The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

    Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

    20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

    Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

    More Time Management Techniques

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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