Family schedules are ramping up. We all want more time together as a family, time to do what we love and time to be a model for our kids. You can have all of these! A busy family schedule requires a combination of intention, planning and tools. Here are four tips on getting and staying organized.
Start with values
Family values are the solid foundation for your family schedule. Your intentions become goals, which translate to actions and activities. There are many “good” opportunities for familes that include building strong minds, spiritual growth and physical well being. Spend time with your partner or co-parent and discuss what this looks like for your family. Strong foundations start with strong goals.
The best way to share these goals and activities is with during your family meeting. Gather together to discuss what your time together and apart look like and the options for how to empower these goals. Gather the thoughts, write them down and place these where everyone can see these regularly. We see this in a lot of word art so why not have your own goals as the art itself.
These family values are also a boundary for everyone getting too busy. That’s when we feel overwhelmed. At times you will have to prioritize what is best for everyone because there are many “good” opportunities. By relying on your goals, it makes for easier discussions and decisions.
Tools to use
My first thoughts in every team effort is to build solid tools we can all use together. That’s why a family calendar is so important. Because of it’s easy access on everyone’s phone, it’s best to use a digital calendar to keep everyone’s information and activities.
- Add dates as soon as you learn about these.
- Block time to add a series of dates such as those that start the school year, holiday times and more.
- Add dates during the family meeting. Back into what’s needed to accomplish tasks by planning ahead about purchases and driving.
- Plan a month in advance if possible for big events like birthdays and anniversaries.
- Add alerts from your smart phone and smart watch. Use your home devices like Alexa and Google Home to help by seting automated reminders.
The hardest part of a family calendar is keeping it up to date and being alert to overlapping activities. It takes consistent management to be sure everyone in your family updates the calendar each day.
Family communication keeps everything running smoothly. That communication is more than verbal. It is in email, text, a Trello board, an Asana task and the list goes on. Give yourself space between appointments with short intervals to catch up with communication. Because so much information comes in quickly daily, you are not always able to respond at that time. Add a little wrap up communication time to your day. You will feel more proactive and more in control.
Work as a team
Research shows that we can promote teamwork within our family. Kids are natural helpers when they are young and we need to capitalize on this. When your kids offer to help, give them specific tasks and times to accomplish these tasks. An example of this is when you are making dinner and your kids are ready to help, answer yes to any offers.
No one wants to be the only one to do a task at home. Partner up with family members and create a chart that shares these responsibilities. When there’s a chart, there’s no nagging needed.
There is always more to do than time to do it when it comes to home responsibilities. Write in your family calendar the routines for cleaning the house, doing laundry and cutting the grass. In the calendar it is an appointment now!
Busy family times are happy family times. Keep a positive, optimistic, resilient attitude and tone of voice. We convey how we are feeling in our body language how we speak to each other. Try to overcome frustration by steppng back, aligning with positivity and moving forward after a pause. Listen to these signs and re-align your schedule with your goals to create more time for your intentions.