If you're always racing around in a panic, desperate for some peace, it may be time for some new scheduling tips for the new year. January is always a brutal month, with life resuming as normal after a long break, but it doesn’t have to be that way. These scheduling tips for busy families will have you feeling (and looking!) cool, calm and in control, regardless of how busy your day is.
1. Plan Everything!
Honestly, how much of your week is planned in advance? If your weeks seem to rush past, and you are always missing appointments or forgetting to buy gifts, you’ll probably find planning everything helps. Make a list of everything you need to do each week, including food shopping, kids clubs, errands, phone calls, appointments and activities, and schedule it all in. You’ll feel so much better for it – planning is the single best of my scheduling tips for busy families!
I love lists. I have a notebook just full of lists, from present ideas to grocery store lists, menus, people to call and jobs to do. Not only does it stop you from forgetting to do something, but it stops you from having to remember the whole grocery shop, and you get a great sense of achievement when you tick a whole list off.
3. Color Code
Color coding things might seem time-consuming and unnecessary, but it can make life so much easier. I’ve got color-coded bathroom towels, homework folders, washing baskets, sports kits. It means you can easily find the right kit to be washed before an activity, and you know exactly who keeps leaving their towel on the bathroom floor.
4. Meal Plan
Have you started meal planning yet? It’s really taken off this year! There aren't just financial benefits, either. Knowing exactly what ingredients you need, and exactly what you’ll be cooking, takes the stress out of teatime. Whether you do it weekly or monthly, note down what you’ll be eating, what ingredients it needs and how long it’ll take. Stress-relieving.
5. 10 Minutes
Establish a routine of 10 Minutes. Once a night, get everyone to spend 10 minutes getting themselves ready for the day before. Setting up tomorrow’s outfits, finding sports kits, putting everything for school by the door, tidying up the toys, doing the last few dishes. It makes the morning much less stressful.
6. Don’t Agree to Everything
When was the last time you said no? Many families find themselves buried in obligations, activities and commitments because they just can’t say no. If it’s not convenient, don’t take your friends child to football practice. Having a family night? Don’t babysit for your sister. You need some free time, and some family time, to make life less stressful.
7. Have a Family Meeting
Once you’ve made that schedule, see when everyone is free, and schedule a family meeting. This is a great way to have some time to chat, and it’ll keep your schedule up to date, too. Ask the kids for any letters about clubs, change the calendar, plan vacations, address school problems, plan meals. Basically agree a schedule to stick too, and let everyone get involved. Your children might sigh, but they’ll benefit from a well-organized, relaxed mother!
Once you’ve implemented these suggestions, don’t be afraid to tweak them until they fit your family perfectly. They are a great way to get a handle on life and make you feel more in control! And what month is better than January from streamlining processes and making some free time?! Do you have a scheduling tip for families? I’d love to hear it!