I was talking to a busy working mother recently and she made the comment, “Sometimes it feels like I’m running a business with these Excel documents for family expenses and a master calendar for all meetings and activities.” The truth is (as much as it’s strange to say) your household is very similar to a business, and sometimes you need to use business tools to stay organized. The biggest area of strife for families is not being aware of commitments, and over booking. Most of the time this happens because there isn’t one central calendar visible to all parties. So first things first – create only ONE family calendar.
This will solve many of the problems! But of course, I have a few more tips up my sleeve. Next, you need to decide if you’re going keep it traditional using a paper calendar, or if you want to use an electronic option. I’m a big fan of using an electronic calendar like Google Calendar. It will also sync up with your phone’s calendar so you can get reminders wherever you are.
Whether you choose paper or electronic, assign a color to each member of the family. That way you easily see who has conflicting obligations – or meetings – and plan accordingly.
The next important thing is making sure you’re holding weekly family meetings to ensure you’re updating the calendar with the latest and greatest activities and meetings. Over communicating is always the best policy.
The last tip is to check your calendar daily. Similar to the workplace, you should wake up and consult your calendar so you can plan your day. There is nothing worse than remembering at 2pm that you were supposed to pick up the kids for an early release at 1pm.
As we dig deeper into the fall and winter seasons, remember that a central calendar is your best friend – and saving grace!
Photo: Mom of 6
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