What do Clothes have to do with Dinner Together?

21 Mar

How Asking 5 Questions Allowed Me to Eat Dinner with My Kids

I was intrigued when I read this headline. Why wasn’t this family eating together?

2 parents with busy work schedules. 2 kids with a babysitter who doles out snacks when they were starving. And lots of good intentions that slipped by week after week without dinners as a family.

What’s the solution?

According to the author of “Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business” the key is to keep asking questions until you get to the root cause of your challenge.

In his family’s case, it turned out that one small adjustment to their schedule, identified through a series of questions, resulted in more time at the end of the day to share a meal.

Here’s how it flowed:

Problem: The family was not eating together often enough.

Why was this true? Because the parents were getting home later then expected.

Why are the parents getting home late? Because there were lots of undone tasks from the workday that pile up.

Why are those tasks being ignored during the workday? Because the workday starts with a bang – with no time to get anything done, so they are saved for the end of the day.

Why are the parents arriving at work just in time for the first meeting? Because getting everyone out of the house on time is a huge challenge and often they ran late.

And why is the family running late? Because getting the kids dressed in the morning is taking too long.

Solution: The kids pick out their clothes the eve before.

Now this may sound simple, but root cause analysis is a successful tool used in business every day. So, why not in your personal life too?





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