Personal Schedules: Tips On Organizing Time

Scheduling children's lessons, school, and other miscellaneous activities. Hints on keeping schedule straight.

In today's busy world, people often have trouble keeping everyone's plans straight. Families have more activities than ever, and even young kids are busy after school. How can everyone keep it straight? Here are some ideas on how to plan as a family so nothing important is ever forgotten again.

As a family, choose one day to sit down together. Make the "meeting" for about an hour, and schedule it for a time when people aren't very busy and there aren't likely to be conflicts. Here, everyone should bring his or her own schedules for the following week. Any days that Mom and Dad are working late, any school meetings, sports practices, music lessons, etc. should be laid out. If meetings are regular, family "get togethers" about the schedule will become less frequent. Some families prefer to know each other's regular schedule and to deal with random events as they come. As long as some system is used, it will be fine.

The older members of the family (or anyone who's busy) should keep a "to-do list." On it, all goals for the week should be listed. They can be meetings, personal goals, events, etc. Anything that's going on in his/her life for the next week. This will help because each person will know his or her time limits and what s/he needs to accomplish in the week. Schedules will be kept straighter, and more time may be made.

Stick with the schedule as much as possible. Obviously there will be times when one cannot stay with it for a number of reasons, but it should be tried as much as possible. This will keep a routine flowing, and will make everyone less likely to forget what's happening. Also, it will make conflict less likely if everyone knows what everyone else is doing and where they are when they're not home. There are no shaky terms.

Try to compromise. If both Mom and Dad have a work meeting, and Daughter needs to get picked up from a music lesson, she should see if someone else could drive her home first. Then, if that's not possible, she should try to see if her lesson can be rescheduled, or if she can walk home. If that's still impossible, then Mom and Dad should check their schedules to see if they can get off for a little while to pick her up. If nothing can be done, she will have to skip it for the week. Everyone should know all the options and they should decide together what to do.

Important events should be written a "family calendar" in the central room of the house. That way, if anyone does forget, or something special comes up, any member of the family can write it what they're doing on the calendar. Important phone numbers can also be kept here. If children know what's going on, they're less likely to call their parents at work to ask why they aren't home or to say they need picking up on one of Mom's regular workdays.

These tips will help everyone keep their sanity while rushing around in a busy world. Keeping things organized and making one's plans known to every other member of the family will keep tempers down even when everyone's stressed out. Even with this type of scheduling, families should try to spend some time together, just doing whatever they want. This can be scheduled, too, in case of conflicts. Though many wish this wasn't necessary, in today's hectic and often unpredictably busy world, it is. One should be prepared for it as much as possible.

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