Let’s face it, it’s not always easy to juggle work and family activities. Whether you have a large family or a small one, it’s still possible to feel like you’re running around constantly from one end of town to the other. If your family’s activities are running you ragged, it’s time to put some time management skills to use with these family organization tips.
Get a large calendar that allows you to write in the individual dates. There are a number of “family calendars” that are perfect for this activity. Assign each person a particular color – use their favorite color unless more than one person has the same favorite – and then create a centralized calendar for the whole family.
Here’s an example: Your family has five members – Dad, Mom, Mary, John, and Susan – and their favorite colors are green, pink, purple, blue, and yellow. Purchase some highlighters of those colors to make this organizational tip work. When you have your calendar and your markers, you’re ready.
Have all family members write down every regular activity that they are involved in each month – business meetings, doctor’s visits, sports practices, sports games, volunteer activities, religious activities, play dates, spouse date nights, known school vacation dates, birthdays, etc. Write each activity on the calendar and highlight it the color of the person who is involved.
When new activities are added, use the same color coding system so that everyone in the family can see at a glance if they have activities they need to be prepared for. This will also allow you to know if your family’s schedule is too busy.
If your children each have activities on the same day, get someone to help you. Teach your children that there may be times that both parents won’t be able to attend an activity or important event. If Mary has a dance recital on the same day and time that John is graduating from Cub Scouts, there’s just no way both parents can be at both events. Get the kids’ grandparents or other special people in their lives to be there for them when you can’t.
You may want to consider limiting the amount of activities each family member is allowed to be involved in. If John plays all sports available at his school and wants to add guitar lessons, he may just be too busy. The same would go for Susan being in Brownies, playing soccer, and wanting to learn to horseback riding. Look at your already packed calendar and learn to say ‘no’ so your family has some time to spend together rather than running hither and yon.