I need to be where? When? Uh-oh…
With agendas overflowing the way they are today in most families, it’s essential that you keep track of everybody’s schedule in one master location. The most effective way to ensure you and your family members are where they need to be, when they need to be there is to create a family calendar. Schedules may seem chaotic, but with a central calendar at least it’s easier to keep things somewhat organized. You can use a personal calendar to keep track of the family yourself or create a large one to go up on the refrigerator or kitchen wall that everybody can interact with. Here are some thought starters for creating an effective system.
• Two critical components. We find that it’s most effective to post both a weekly routine or schedule and a monthly calendar to keep track of variances to that routine. That way you eliminate the inefficiency of inputting recurring appointments multiple times. The family schedule should have eight columns (Name, Monday, Tuesday… Sunday) and a row for each family member. Every person over the age of ten should be responsible for filling in their weekly schedule. Ideally use different colors for different family members. Then keep track of irregular appointments and events on the calendar. We find that the combination of these two tools makes for a family calendar that is relatively easy to maintain and yet fairly detailed on where everyone needs to be and when.
• Schedule ‘calendar time.’ A calendar does nobody good if it’s not up-to-date. Schedule a regular time each week to sit down with your family (after dinner on Sunday?) to discuss people’s plans for the week. Use that time to identify scheduling conflicts, coordinate rides for your children and schedule dinners. Don’t forget to plan ahead for some fun too - make a movie date or plan a fun family outing!