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Family Calendar for Family Communication

family calendar and family organizing

 

It’s 5 pm and you are headed home from work! Who will be there when you get there? Where did they go if not?  What’s going on this weekend for you and your kids?

 

Its time for your family calendar.

Why use a family calendar?

We all know we live in a busy world. Being busy sometimes means we are not able to communicate as consistently or effectively as we need. Here comes the concept behind the family calendar.  It is the one spot where everyone’s activities are recorded and the connections created.  Having a family calendar posted where everyone can see it means that there is subliminal information being shared!  It works best when the family holds a weekly gathering to add information.  Don’t be deterred by trying to find a day and time to meet.  Set a time on the weekend, when there is a little more flexibility, and just be sure to hold your meeting each week.  If you are using a technology calendar, no problem! Simply print out the week or month at a glance and post it.  Now you have the best of all, an on the go calendar and one for everyone to see!

Great family calendars come in many forms

 

No matter how much or how little your family does, a calendar gives you a spot to see it all.  It’s easy to know goes where and when.

 

Tips for organizing families here!

Time Management Tips

 

time management tips

How are you? Busy? Busier than ever? Never thought you would be this busy? How is it we never have enough time?

No matter our age or stage, we all feel and deal with time issues.  We lack of control of our schedule with too many demands, too many balls in the air and too many meetings.  Having no time means we have disorganized space.  There are so many interruptions and distractions.  Tasks take longer than we think.  If you are organized, you think you can squish in just a little more.  Is it time for a change?

How we use our time comes down to creating a new awareness of it and a baby step to make change happen.   The first step is the awareness of how you use your time.  Ask yourself some questions.  What is working well?  Are you getting places on time? Are you always on the go, with too much to do? Do you feel like you are productive and get tasks done? Do your planner and task list work well for recording commitments and tasks? Now ask yourself what is not working! That is where your first baby step will start.

Not getting places on time

  • Set a timer to alert you 15 minutes before you want to leave.  This gives you time to gather up and get going.
  • Plan on arriving early.   You get the best seat, you stress less about parking and traffic, and you are in prime position for whatever you are doing.   Bring your magazines to read now!

Always on the go with too much to do

  • Everything can’t be equally important to you.  Assess if you need to join both girl scouts and adventure princesses, volunteer for church and PTA, and work second and third jobs.  Spend time thinking about what you want to commit to for now.  One of my favorite sayings is, “we can do it all, just not all at the same time.”  Simplify your time with one big commitment at a time.

Day to day productivity

  • Put the big rocks in first, as said by productivity guru Stephen Covey.  Be sure you know what the big rocks are for your job and get these done early in the day.
  • If you are smothered by small tasks at work, group them together and consolidate to be more effective.  Having a call list, an email list, and an errand list for work to group and conquer!

Your Calendar and Task list

  • First decide if you are a paper or technology person.  See what works best for you and all the jobs you have, including parenting.  You can cover a  lot of ground with the google calendar to match up to your partner.  If you love paper, think about www.plannerpads.com.  It consolidates your tasks and your calendar.
  • Find a work flow that works with your style.  With your family, host a family meeting weekly to update your calendar.  At work meet with your assistant or colleagues to be sure you are on top of dates.  Having partners makes the process more effective and fun!

This is a long list!  Please pick just one of these baby steps to own this year.  You will be glad you did!  Please share with us your choice and how it is working for you! We want to help you get this done.

You can also find more organizing ideas at http://www.organizewithsandy.com/2011/01/10/organizing-mission-monday-link-party-week-4/

Organizing and Academic Success

organizing and academic success

 

School just started and already there are possibly some anxious moments of lost homework, a disheveled backpack and unknown test dates. Whether it’s keeping track of homework or remembering to bring home a backpack, all students need to be organized to succeed in school. For many students academic challenges are often due to disorganization. Organizing for academic success is a learned skill and the right tools and routines can make a difference for any student.  Organizational academic skills are what leads to life skills.

A planner is a vital tool for the organization plan.

The planner helps your student keep track of long range and daily assignments, tests and homework. A “week at a glance” format is best, and be sure there is a space to record assignments for each class each day and extracurricular activities. The best choice is a planner sold by the school which will include vacation and exam dates. To begin the year, gather all syllabi and record all the dates for major projects and exams. Then go back, working backwards and write in the “baby steps” that lead to preparation for the work. Daily assignments should be written in each day, as soon as assigned, regardless of how small the assignment is.

Each afternoon review the planner, adding to it using additional resources found on the teacher’s web page and any additional assignments or test preparation. With consistent use, your student will know when to turn in papers for class in a timely fashion. The planner should be the one calendar the student uses, so be sure to include all other activities from sports to social engagements. Consistently using a planner is a lifelong skill well worth investment in the student’s time and effort.

Routines are a critical aspect of organizing for academic success.

Creating a structure for homework time is equal in importance as the other aspects of organizing. Check with your student’s teacher to find out the amount of time homework should be taking each night. Set aside that amount of time and designate it as “Homework Time” on a nightly basis. On a given night, if your student has fewer assignments or finishes up early, the remaining time should be spent studying for an upcoming test, working on a long-range project, or reading a library book. If your student knows that 30 – 45 minutes will be spent on school related activities each night, he/she will be less likely to try to rush through assignments, or to skip them altogether.

Create a daily routine that has homework at the time of day that is best for your student. A snack and a few minutes of time to unwind before beginning homework is a good break and then your student is ready to begin. For effective and efficient study time, it is best to limit distractions. Low music can help some students concentrate, however other technology such as television or computer should be discouraged. Many studies have shown how ineffective “multi tasking” is for all of us, and students are no different. The final part of this routine is to repack the backpack and place it at a “to go spot”, ready for the next day. By reinforcing consistent and committed use of the planner and the accordion file as well as homework routines, your student is best prepared for school each day.

Establishing good organizing systems and routines should begin at the outset of the school year.

Talk with your student about the importance of being organized, what benefits your student and your family will experience from being organized, and how to begin and incorporate the process. If your student is not experiencing the success you think is possible, the book The Organized Student by Donna Goldberg and Jennifer Zweibel is an outstanding resource for more ways to organize for academic success. Commitment to the organizing process and your student’s desire to be organized is all it takes to make a difference!