The advent of fall can be a chaotic time of year for families, as they try to coordinate new work and school schedules along with all the other family and kids’ activities on the docket. One of the best ways to transition from unstructured summer days to a busy fall itinerary is by creating consistency within your family’s weekly schedule. Here are eight easy ways to create a regular schedule — both for your kids and for yourself:
Getting your kids organized:
- Ease them into the adjustment from sleeping in late to waking up early regularly. Try instituting a new sleep schedule (waking up earlier and going to bed earlier) at least a week in advance so the change does not come as such a shock.
- Implement set routines into their days. Make designated times for them to bathe, do their homework and play, to help them adjust to having more priorities.
- Create designated spaces. Ensure your kids have a proper place to do homework, one where they are within sight in case they have questions. Designating a homework area separate from their toys and play area will help them to focus.
- Plan ahead. Most kids prefer to sleep in until the last possible moment, leaving little time in the mornings to get ready. Make sure your kids plan everything the night before, including choice of outfit, making a lunch and packing their school bag.
Planning your family schedule:
- Plan meals ahead. Before you get too stressed, tired or busy during the week, plan the week’s meals early. Decide which meals you want to prepare for the entire week, including which groceries you will need to purchase. You can even do some of the cooking prep work earlier in the week to save time later.
- Spend less time running errands. Always bring a list to the grocery store (or when shopping for clothes, kids’ school supplies, etc.) to make sure you don’t forget anything important. You will also save time wandering each aisle browsing for items when you know exactly what you need. Try to run all of your errands on the same day, planning your route to nearby locations, to save time driving around.
- Set timers to stay on track. Since schedules are often packed with appointments and other time constraints, make sure you stay on track throughout the day. Use the alarm on your phone to put a time limit on shopping or to remind yourself to transfer laundry to the dryer. This practice will help you maintain an organized, intentional schedule.
- Use a shared calendar to keep everyone in the know. To help your spouse and older children stay organized, use a shared calendar that everyone can reference. By using an electronic calendar that can sync on everyone’s phones, or by using one shared physical calendar in the kitchen, everyone remains up to date.
Hopefully these tips help you and your family transition from summer to fall with ease. For more time management help, register for our upcoming webinar “Time Management 201: Gain Control of your Workflow.”
To read more tips from Innovatively Organized and organizing and productivity expert Elizabeth Bowman, check out the Innovatively Organized blog, where new tips, tricks and information about the latest apps and organizing products are posted regularly. Innovatively Organized is a Seattle-based organizing and productivity firm that provides effective organizing solutions for busy professionals, teams, and families. You can contact Elizabeth Bowman via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter at @iOrganized or visit her website at InnovativelyOrganized.com.