One of the hardest things I have been struggling with as a parent, a company owner and someone who has a full life is keeping everyone’s schedule straight. From dental appointments, to soccer practice, art class, spanish immersion – the list is endless. Add in my schedule, my husband’s schedule, my parent’s and my assistants – I am ready to go batty. I am looking for any great ideas from those of you who manage multiple schedules. I use Outlook for my company but find that my personal items get messed up with my professional committments and I am rarely with my blackberry at Karate Class. I came across these simple tips that I would like to share -but am open to any new ideas! Sandra Beck
Step 1 – Analyze Your Day
Do a simple, but consistent time study. I did this, but then I forget. I went back and tried to recreate, but forgot even more. They said the easiest way to do this is to print a daily calendar. Here’s a good one from My ParentTime except I don’t need any more paper in my kitchen. Note what each family member is doing at each time of the day. Look for the problem times, and think about how the schedule can be structured to eliminate problems related to behavior, stress, fatigue, hunger, and disorganization.
Step 2 – Brainstorm What You Want
Less confusion in the morning, homework done by dinner, children in bed by a certain hour, family play time, relaxation, a clean house – this is the time to think about what you want in your family life. Focus on a balance of activity and rest for your family. Take an honest look at both parents’ and children’s needs. This was really hard. I kept writing down. I need more sleep. I need more sleep. An honest look? Ha ha ha…oh.
Step 3 – Write It Down
Follow the example you see in SuperNanny! Get a poster board and a marker, and write it down for all to see. Post it in the kitchen, and tell the kids that you will now be following it. You’re likely to get some opposition, so parents need to stand firm. From whom? The kitchen Nazi? Like anyone in my house reads or follows my directions.
Step 4 – Follow the Schedule for a Week
Check the schedule often, and let it guide your days for at least one week. Instruct the children to check the schedule and follow it. If you must remind them, do so; but, your goal is for the children to learn to take responsibility for their part of the schedule. Again, once I stopped laughing about the goal – I sobered up. Okay, I will try.
Step 5 – Tweak the Schedule
After the first week, take a look at what is working and how the schedule need changing. Make changes in the schedule, and write it on a new poster. Now I have gone from wasting paper in my home office, to killing trees in the kitchen with my new posters. Continue to follow your daily family schedule until it is second nature. (This never happened.) In a few weeks, you’ll marvel at how this simple tool has changed your family life for the better. (what?) Note what each family member is doing at each time of the day. Look for the problem times, and think about how the schedule can be structured to eliminate problems related to behavior, stress, fatigue, hunger, and disorganization.
Step 6 – Ask your Friends For Help
This is where I am at. Once upon a time when I only had 1 child and 1 dog, a friend told me to cook pasta, rice and a whole chicken and a whole roast beef every Sunday. It has become a habit and gives me the basic to put meals together during the week when I am rushed – throw in a few extra bits and you have soup – roll it into a tortilla it becomes a wrap – toss it in a salad = instant lunch. So I am looking for some scheduling ideas that you might have that we can share.