- It’s annoying to hear a hectoring voice, so suggest tasks without words. Leave a note, send an email, put a bottle out on the counter to suggest that the prescription needs re-filling.
- If you need to voice a reminder, limit yourself to one word or phrase. Instead of barking out, “Now remember, I’ve told you a dozen times, stop off at the grocery store, we need milk, if you forget, you’re going right back out!” Instead, call out, “Grocery store!” or “Milk!”
- Don’t insist that a task be done on your schedule. “You’ve got to trim those hedges today!” Says who? Try, “When are you planning to trim the hedges?” If possible, show why something needs to be done by a certain time. “Will you be able to trim the hedges before our party next week?”
- Assign chores based on personal priorities. If you hate a messy bedroom, make tidying the bedroom your job.
- Re-frame: decide that you don’t mind doing a chore—like putting clothes in the hamper or hanging up wet towels. This is often surprisingly easy.
- No carping from the sidelines. If someone else makes the travel arrangements, don’t criticize the flight time. If someone else gets the kids dressed, don’t mock the outfits. If you want something done your way, do it yourself.
- Remember that messy areas tend to stay messy, and tidy areas tend to stay tidy. If you want others to be neat, be neat yourself.
Resolve to “Quit nagging.” After all—at least in my experience—it doesn’t even work!}