Thursday, April 27, 2006

Tug-O-War for Household Chores

Tug-O-War for Household Chores: "Task division requires more effort to figure out which tasks are how much work and for whom, but allows specialization. Both approaches are fairly inflexible, however, in the work load required each week. Attempts to allow exceptions, such as for sickness or deadlines, often slip into large-scale shirking.

When both my wife and I were employed, we split the task of cooking (or picking up) the evening meal with a 'Tug-O-War' board, like:

---------------------------------------
|h /#\ | h|
|i 0 0 ### 0 0 0 0 e|
|m \#/ | r|
---------------------------------------

This has a row of seven holes, with a peg sitting in one of them. The rule is that when you cook, you get to move the peg one step in your direction. If the peg gets all the way to your end, the other person *has* to cook. Now you can cook a few nights in a row if you feel energetic, or wait a few nights if you're sick. If neither of you wants to cook, the person farther down is expected to cook."

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