Fall is a great time for fun family activities and having kids involved in sports. However, all these activities, meetings, school projects and other normal activities (laundry, cleaning, sleeping, cooking etc) all take time and there are only 24 hours in each day. By now you should have figured out what your child’s fall/school commitments are and you should have a good idea of what will be going on in the next few months. So this is the perfect time to think about doing some planning!
Planning priority 1: write it down. Don’t expect that you’ll just remember it all. Don’t forget too that others need to know what’s going on, not just you. Whether you make a computer document and email it to the whole family or you use paper and pencil, writing it down is essential.
Planning priority 2: do it together. You may be tempted to go ahead and do it all by yourself, but if you take the time to sit down with the rest of the family, they will think of things you’ve missed and add their valuable input into what they do or don’t want to do. You could start with the basics yourself, or doing it just you and your partner, but I do suggest, especially if you have kids that are in 5/6th grade and above, talking with them about the schedule too.
Planning priority 3: plan for flexibility. Don’t book yourself solid. If you don’t leave room for mistakes, sick kids/parents, mental health days, traffic, doctors visits, or surprise meetings, you will be more frustrated than before you started planning.
Planning priority 4: review it weekly. At the beginning of each week sit down with the family and review what will go on that week. This will insure you don’t get surprised mid week with something you should have known about on Sunday. It also gives your family the chance to mention things that have come up since the initial planning time to add to the schedule, such as play dates, projects, meetings, dinners with clients or family coming into town to visit.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, schedule a visit with someone who can help you organize your life. Share how planning has improved your life below!