If you’re like most people, the calm—sometimes too calm—days of Covid have slowly been replaced by the full—sometimes too full—days of normal life.
With school and sports just around the corner, we’re bound to get even busier.
Enter: the seven hacks we all need to keep calm in the middle of calendar chaos. Give these tips a try and share your own favorite scheduling hacks on our Facebook page or Instagram account. We’d love to learn from you!
Put Your Calendar on Display
You know that twinge of anxiety you get when a waiter takes your order but doesn’t write anything down? We accept a similar risk when we store upcoming plans in our head—and even when we keep them to ourselves on paper. Share the wealth of knowledge with your family by putting your schedule on a calendar—go big if you can—and displaying it for everyone to see.
Utilize the Power of Color Coding
Embrace your inner middle schooler by grabbing some highlighters, washi tape, pens, or markers in different colors and applying a system of sorts to your scheduling. You might give each family member a color or divide colors by activity type: red for sports practice and games, green for school-related events, and blue for family outings.
Hold a Monthly Family Meeting
Gather your whole crew together at the start of each month to chat about how things went last month. You might ask: What’s going well? What needs to change? Are you feeling fulfilled with the pace of your days or are you feeling stretched too thin? Then talk about what’s to come. Fill in your calendar with known plans and discuss things you’d like to do or need to do in the coming weeks. Encourage everyone to participate in the conversation.
Set Aside Ten Minutes Each Week for a Check-In
You can involve the whole family in this check-in or, if you have young kids in the mix, just include teens and adults. This is your opportunity to avoid any confusion or assumptions over the big five: who, what, when, where and how. Quickly review your schedule for the next seven days to make sure all of your logistics are covered.
Limit Extra-Curricular Activities
A family with just one kid includes three people and, let’s be honest, even three people can accumulate a busy enough schedule to stress out the most type-A folks among us. It may sound harsh, but consider limiting sports and extra-curricular activities to one (maybe two) commitments per person each season. This will give your family some room to breathe and allow each individual space to think creatively and try out new hobbies and interests along the way.
Create a System to Stay on Top of Chores
Committing to activities outside the home sometimes means our house itself begins to suffer. That’s pretty normal (please tell us it’s normal!) but it can make those precious times at home with family a little less fun. Instead of cramming chores on your one free weekend of the month, establish a daily plan for tackling chores in small doses so nothing gets out of hand. You might do a daily ten-minute tidy, where everyone pitches in to straighten up before bed, or assign each family member a room that needs to be cleaned—top to bottom—by the end of each week.
Create and Protect Sacred Times
Consider your calendar and the personality of your family to settle on a sacred time when you can all be together without the distraction of daily life. Maybe you’ll do pizza and a movie on Friday nights. Or perhaps you’ll declare the first Saturday of the month an adventure day—hike, bike, and explore for the morning, followed by a family picnic. Protect these moments whenever you can. Because, trust us, life will only get busier and the time you spend together will become that much more precious.
Do you have an easy and effective hack for managing the family calendar—and all the craziness that goes with it? Share your ideas on our Instagram account or our Facebook page. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Published on Thursday, January 12, 2023 @ 5:56 PM EDT