Tips for creating a family schedule – an important step to having an organized household.
With two very busy tweens, our family schedule can be a huge mess. It's almost a full-time job to manage the comings and goings, especially when it comes to can't-miss events like softball tournaments and performances. The amount of overlap can be so stressful. If your family is like mine, and you have a difficult time managing your family schedule, here are some tips that can definitely help. Here's what works for us.
Tips for Creating a Family Schedule
Find the Right System For Your Family Schedule
When you are working on your family schedule, the most important thing to do is figure out the right system. Some people, like me, prefer paper planners. But there are definitely cons to that system – specifically, it isn't something that can be accessed virtually. If you use a paper planner system, prepare to be the gatekeeper to the entire schedule – making sure that it's regularly updated, and providing regular updates as to what is going on each week.
Another option is to use an online system, like Google Calendar. If you use Google Calendar, then each family member can access the schedule on the go. This is a great idea particularly if each family member has an electronic device to use. That way, everyone can see the schedule at any time.
Regardless of the system that you choose, I recommend keeping a monthly calendar on your refrigerator or on your command center. That way, you can see the family schedule by quickly glancing at it.
Get Started With Your Family Schedule
To get started, pull all of your various schedules – sports, theater, dance, work trips, family vacations, etc. Then, make sure you add each into the family schedule, one at a time. If you start noticing conflicts, note those separately – you'll need to deal with them. If you can, try to color code based on which family member the event is for.
Then, pull out the conflicts and figure out how you'll deal with them. Sometimes you can compromise and do part of both, so be creative.
Keeping Your Family Schedule Updated
The most challenging part of maintaining a family schedule is keeping it updated. Make sure that the schedule is updated as soon as the various schedules are published. Don't delay – it should be done as soon as possible so that you are sure the schedule it up to date at all times. If things are changed, update the schedule as soon as you know. It can be easy for the schedule to be out of date – especially when it comes to rain outs of spring sports.
Naming the Keeper of Your Family Schedule
Although anyone in the family technically can update the family schedule, it's important that you have a keeper of the schedule. That way, any conflicts can be spotted immediately. In my household, I'm the keeper, and everything goes through me. I regularly update the schedule, and make sure that I know where we have issues. Since I'm the primary after-school driver, it's also important that I know exactly where I'm going each day.
I also recommend that you spend a little time each Sunday looking at the schedule. I regularly do this as part of my process for staying organized for the whole week, and it really helps.
Do you have a family schedule? How do you keep it updated?
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