Schedules can feel like an overwhelming task to set up if you don’t have them. Maybe you have been winging it and getting out the door at the very last minute. Or you’ve started one before but it was too jam-packed for you to realistically be able to stick with it. But there’s a way to have a schedule that allows for spontaneous fun and takes the stress out of being ready each day.
Get a calendar or planner.
Whether you like pen and paper or prefer everything to be electronic, the first step is to have somewhere to schedule things out. Wall calendars are great for everyone being able to see what’s on at a glance, but electronic calendars can be easily updated and shared across devices. Planners tend to be more personal, but are still great if that suits you better.
Write in all the big things first.
Take 15-30 minutes to sit down and write all the big things into your calendar. It could be dance classes for the kids or swimming lessons or your work days or deadlines. Birthdays, Parties and Weddings can go in too. If you want to, you can colour code by the person so you can easily see who is where, when. This can take some time to set up the first time, but once you’ve written in the big things for the next couple of months it will be easier to maintain.
Write in the little things.
These are more specific to one person and might some with much less notice. A work meeting, a school excursion, forms that need to be signed and delivered, or when your bills need to be paid by. Pop them on the calendar and set reminders on your phone if you need them. If you’re working towards a long term goal, adding your to-dos for the month on your schedule will help them to get done.
Check you’re not overbooked and simplify.
Now you’ve got it all in one place where you can see what’s on and what needs to be done, check that you’re not overbooked and simplify if it’s feeling too jam-packed. Schedules can feel overwhelming when you start them and hope that they will automatically work like clockwork. They take some time to get the balance right and for everyone to feel that they know the system and get how it works. Give it time, it’s an adjustment like anything.
Pick a day a month for updating.
Once you’re settled in, pick one day a month (or two) to keep the little things and the big things updated. Maybe it can be something you sit down and do together or it might be easier to ask each person what they have on individually and write it up one evening. The best thing about it is that you can find what works for you, and work around that.
Having a schedule that you follow allows our homes to feel happier because there are less last minute moments remembering that we’re meant to be somewhere and with a gift too! It’s about seeing how much you have going on and seeing if there are ways to add some much needed slow time and (maybe even more needed) fun time too.
Sometimes when we write down everything that’s on we can see that there is space to take a break and other times it’s a great reminder that we need to add some white space. It’s going to look a little different for everyone, but having it work for you is the best way for it to become a habit.
Do you have a schedule for your home? What’s one thing you could do to make home feel happier?
*Calendar pictured is from Tiffany Han.