How do the busiest people seem so much more organized? Most work from their calendars of available time first. To be more effective follow these tips.
Make Big Plans First
Try to schedule six months out for things like vacation days, special time, school breaks or special events. If you’re planning 6 months in advance – put things on your calendar to “activate” your schedule. If it’s not in the calendar, it probably won’t happen.
Schedule Your Goals Quarterly
Businesses do Quarterly Planning to manage their workflow, how about you? If you have a weight loss or home improvement goal – you’ll likely think about it on a quarterly basis… as in, “to be comfortable on the beach this summer, I need to begin rigorous workouts by April”. Managing your goals quarterly gives you a natural milestone to work from. By looking three months forward, you’ll gain perspective by seeing the bigger picture of upcoming commitments, work and social events. This invariably will help you plan the details of today.
Share Your Schedule
One of the biggest frustrations families have is balancing the multiple commitments of each family member. When you have children, these commitments tend to multiply exponentially. One trick to be sure everyone is on the same page is to create a family calendar that everyone has access to and that is updated weekly. The choice of calendar should be determined by your family and their needs.
Whatever your scheduling tool(s) of choice, be sure to choose one that your family will use consistently. AND – don’t underestimate the VALUE of including your kids in the planning and communication loop. For the longest time – we would lose patience with our youngest, when he finally exclaimed “You never include me in what is scheduled! You just expect me to get ready when you say so!” He was right, so that is when we began to institute a Sunday evening planning routine.
We use a white board posted on our refrigerator. The white board calendar is updated every week (usually on Sunday night after dinner). Although designed as a monthly calendar, I assign each family member a row/week, and write our dinner menu on the top line. This scheduling system contains each family member’s commitments, as well as our weekly dinner menu. We write bus pick up times and any evening commitments that each of us has. This tool allows us have an updated, central location to find the week’s schedule, each person can update it if plans change, and we all stay more aligned and informed as a result.
We also have all moved to an electronic planning system for future scheduled
appointments as the children have gotten older and more computer-savvy. Any scheduled appointment is placed on the master electronic calendar – and are viewable by each family member on their electronic calendar. This helps us stay aware, and allows us to download them to our mobile androids and ipods.
What calendaring, planning and scheduling tips do you use to keep your family on track? Share them in the comment box below!