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Dividing up the Chores

July 12, 2011, at 11:07 AM

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We all have different roles we play outside our body, and we also have different roles we play on the inside too. So that we spread out the work, we tweak our roles inside as needed. For example, we have folk who are guardians from outside influences, people who are enforcers of our house rules, those who play mommy/daddy to our littles, those who make sure we keep appointments or go to work, and others who make sure our household chores are completed, etc. Most of our internal roles involve some type of monitoring, and a method for mobilizing a response to events, or executing routines.

We've delegated most of our hypervigilance to implementation intentions (article at Kinhost.org wiki). These are consciously-constructed reminders that bring your attention towards something when it happens. Consider it similar to how all "For Sale" signs suddenly are more noticable when you're looking for a home, or how you see everything blue in the room when you're looking for a misplaced blue item. It uses our skill of "reticular activation" to draw our attention towards something we're kinda looking for.

When the implementation intention is programmed, and then it alerts us to the proper circumstances, the resident assigned to that event takes action.

I think you'll find the article on implementation intentions an interesting read. It's one of my most valued resources. Try it with something as simple as "When I go into the kitchen, I will remember to clean my dishes." Make sure you picture going into your kitchen and remembering.

Have you ever used implementation intentions? Have you used them to help with working together as a team?

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