Autumn brings with it a busy time of year spent coordinating school, work, activities and family time. If you have a busy family that seems to be traveling in different directions constantly, you know how challenging it can be to coordinate everyone’s schedules. Between projects and deadlines at work, meetings with your children’s teachers, after-school activities like soccer practice, not to mention household chores, it can be a dizzying and confusing task. But if each family member is committed and communicates effectively, the task of creating a combined family schedule is a manageable one for you and your family.
Commit to Family Meetings
Coming together periodically and consistently with your family is the first step in organizing chaotic schedules. Make it mandatory that each family member is present so that the schedule can be discussed and organized. This will also double as a great opportunity to spend quality time as a family. Make sure it is held at a time when everyone is able to attend.
In order to avoid a business-like (or boring) feel to your meetings, be creative in the way they are executed. You may begin by offering praise and compliments to each family member, share funny stories from the week or center your meeting around a family movie night or family game night.
Design an Easily Accessible Schedule
If a schedule is easily accessed by all family members, everyone will know where everyone else should be at any given time. This can be done by designing one yourself using materials such as poster board, markers and index cards that can be attached to the schedule – this will allow for changes that can occur from week to week.
Consider creating a schedule digitally that can be saved onto your computer’s desktop so that it is readily accessible by all family members. Changes can also be easily made to a digital schedule.
Have family members indicate on the schedule specific addresses or contact telephone numbers if the activity is new or changes from week to week. Be sure that care providers for your children, such as grandparents or babysitters, are familiar with your scheduling system and know how to use it.
Things change and one tiny happening may throw off your entire schedule. It is okay. By having your schedule organized and easy to access, you will be able to accommodate any changes that may suddenly happen. The point of creating a schedule is to create and maintain harmony in your family members’ lives – don’t allow it to dictate every coming and going. Allow some flow when scheduling and planning your family’s activities.
By committing to a family schedule and accepting every member’s input, the family schedule can be a useful tool to organize your life and avoid chaos when it comes to coordinating multiple activities and commitments.