1. Calendars Things to consider:
- Electronic or paper
- Phone and/or desktop
- Ability to sync across devices
- Sharing capability for the family
- Access for children – do you need to print a weekly schedule, or do they have access to the same online platform?
Use weekly family meetings to review your schedules, upcoming events and potential conflicts.
Block out realistic time frames directly on your calendar. Consider drive time, wait time, rush hour, weather delays. An appointment begins when you get in the car, not when you arrive at your destination.
- How long will the appointment at the doctor’s office REALLY take?
- Did you include travel time, time to go to the pharmacy?
- Do you need to build in time to pick up your child at school or to run errands? · When will you eat lunch?
2. Home Staging Area
- Choose one location on the main floor of the house, preferably by the door.
- Each EVENING, before bedtime, place all books, briefcases, school projects, retail returns, mail and school projects in the staging area. This will make mornings less hectic.
3. Checklists and Reminder Notes
- On the back of a door
- In the bathroom
- In the car
- On the TV screen
- On lunch bags
4. Pattern Planning
Choose the same day each week for errands:
- groceries on Monday, dry cleaners on Wednesday, etc.
- Request the same appointment day and time when setting up routine visits such as dental, medication check-ins, counseling, coaching.
- Set up a pattern for household chores for everyone. Use your shared calendar!
- New ideas are great, but too many of them at once can create chaos and take up much of your time. Try to implement new ideas one at a time.
- Be sure that the change is a good choice for you and your family. Just because a time management idea works for a friend or neighbor, it does not mean it will work for you. You may be wasting more time trying to fit your self into a system that is not right for you!
- Remember that each family member learns and processes information differently. When starting a new plan, acknowledge yourself and your family members for effort in addition to success.
- Learning to manage your time is a process. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.