Here we go…back-to-school is upon us! And honestly…it feels overwhelming and filled with uncertainty. The good news is that we will get through this. I really believe that. One thing that I am going to do this year to help alleviate some of the craziness is to start a family weekly planning routine.
Planning not only helps you to be more productive, but having a well planned week has many other benefits like reducing stress, helping you maintain healthy habits, and may even save you some time. Creating a weekly planning routine for your family can become a habit that may help to create more balance and get your family a little more organized.
Your planning routine can be as simple or as elaborate as you like (or need), and this simple habit will help you to really see the direction that your week needs to progress, set priorities, and anticipate what is upcoming.
Start With the Basics
Starting with the basics is the easiest way to get going. Pick a time and place to work on your plan. Since you are dealing with kids, deciding on a time and place over the weekend may pose fewer challenges. By picking a place, you should set an environment that allows you to give planning the proper attention. Add a snack and some refreshments…and you have a habit in the making.
Routine tasks are the things that need to be done on a regular basis. These could be things that are once a week or every day. If your kids bring lunch to school (when they are in school), or your teen needs to shower in the morning, these are routine tasks that can help to create a starting point. For example, if the morning routine is showering, personal care (gotta brush those teeth), and eating breakfast, you are able to estimate the amount of time this will take so that you know what time everyone needs to get moving in the morning.
Tip: Since mornings are usually crazy, while going over the routine tasks, ask yourself if any of them can be moved to the night before. Say you have an indecisive dresser. Setting some time aside on the weekend to pick out outfits for the week may cut down on some morning angst.
Having a family calendar system is beneficial on so many levels. Be it a whiteboard in the kitchen, google calendars for everyone, or a paper calendar, having some type of calendar is almost essential when juggling multiple schedules.
During your planning session fill in as much detail as you can on your calendar. Putting the whole family’s schedule in one place, then recording things like practices, tutors, tests, and all those other appointments that come up during the week, you are able to see the full picture of what the week is going to hold. By having your planning session be a team effort, everyone is able to add their input.
Check out examples of family command centers on my Pinterest Board by clicking here.
Set Priorities and Goals
Use the planning time to help everyone set and understand their priorities for the week. By understanding everyone’s priorities, you will be better able to support each other when needed. And don’t underestimate the power of goals, even if they are just simple. Come up with a question that everyone needs to answer that will shed some light on their goals for the week. One example, “what are the three things that have to happen this week for you to feel amazing on Friday afternoon?” or “what is one thing you are looking forward to this week and why?”
By starting a family habit to have a planning session once a week, you are creating a communication system that can move through their week with fewer surprises.