It’s Monday. Your alarm goes off. You jump out of bed and in a panic, wake everybody up. The kids are cranky. Everyone is rushing around trying to get dressed, brush their teeth, eat breakfast, make lunch perhaps. There is no time to talk about the day ahead. What are the kids activities? How about the homework? Who is responsible for dinner? What we are going to have for dinner? Who is going shopping?
Does this describe your typical morning?
For families, weekday mornings can be the busiest time of the day whether it’s summer time schooltime or even in this strange time we are living in. Coronavirus has impacted families routine dramatically, and in some cases, made it worse. Parents need to be on top of their family and work activities. There is so much to do and so little time.
It all may seem normal to you, but it feels quite chaotic to most children. Furthermore, it can be very stressed for both parents and kids. No time to talk, no time to be together and enjoy each other.
But don’t worry, there are ways to improve your family routine, get things organised and planned and have a much more peaceful life. I’m talking about weekly family planner. Have your heard about that? No. That’s OK. Today you will learn a bit more about it. You will understand why planning and organisation are key, how family planners can help you, and therefore you will have peace of mind when it comes to your family activities. Hopefully, it will inspire you.
The equation is simple. Planning plus organization = Weekly family planner = Peace of mind
Planning And Organization
Families need to communicate in order to keep everyone of the same page. Kids need to have a routine and an organised life. They need to know what time they need to wake up, have breakfast, going to school, do their extra activities, what they are going to have for dinner etc. They seem to move at a different pace and things go more smoothly when they are on board with your plans. When they have time to play a quick video game, eat a bowl of cereal and watch their favorite morning television show, they can wake up and could be more willing to get ready on your schedule.
It’s the same in reverse for the evening routine. You’re trying to get dinner on the table, the kids have homework, the soccer game starts in 45 minutes and then there’s bath time and reading time to get around to.
Planning is key to turn the chaos into a well organized daily life and never miss an appointment. Be in control, scheduling each daily activity and chore, plan your meals, your workouts, reminder and so much more. When you do that you immediately feel a sense of freedom. It definitely reduces stress, free up more time for yourself, ultimately improve your mental health and family life. You don’t need to remember everything (appointments, deadlines, tasks, etc) and neither keep looking in your diary or call your other half. Keep track of everything. Everybody will benefit from that. I can’t recommend it enough but don’t get my word for it, test it yourself. You will be amazed by the results.
Weekly Family Planner
A weekly family planner can help you stay organized as it keeps track of everyone’s schedules and all members of the family have access to it. It is the perfect visual tool for clear communication. As school and sports schedules are released, all practices, performances and games go on the monthly family planner. Mark doctor, dentist and optometrist appointments, parent-teacher meetings and days you’re working late. Take a photo of the weekly family planner every weekend and you’ll have it on your phone to refer back to all weeklong.
Let’s check some options that you may consider. Remember to keep it simple. It’s easier to stick with the plan if it is simple, practical and reflect you family routine.
FAMILY PLANNER (MAGNETIC) WHITEBOARD
My favorite. I’m passionate about the whiteboard planners. Most of them are magnetic and can be easily put on your fridge door or cupboard or in any centre stage place where it is visible to everybody. They are practical, easy, fun and so much more. It depends on which one you choose but we can highlight some points that are commun to most of them.
- They come with MARKER PENS and you also can buy PINS and STICKERS to make if even more fun. Use different colours for members of the family or the type of activities and reminders you have. Writing some encouraging words or surprises on the board can promote your family’s emotions and life interest when they notice it!. Use your creativity. The kids will love it.
- EASY TO WRITE AND WIPE. Don’t worry, high quality products won’t leave any stain if you follow the instructions.
- SCRATCH-RESISTANT: Smooth surface that makes it easy to write and clean, therefore, it makes your text easy to view and read.
- PERFECT SIZE for fridge door or cupboard and with ENOUGH SPACE for you to write down your tasks and reminders.
- MULTIFUNCTIONAL as you can utilize them for a variety of purposes, like plan your weekly meals, your weekly workouts or even social events, as well as reminders and shopping list.
- CHECK BOXES for you to tick off your completed actions, which gives you a sense of accomplishment and it makes you feel good. I love it and blue is my color for completed items.
- DURABLE and well-designed.
- WARRANTY. Most of the brands offer warranty if you are not satisfied with the product or it has been damaged.
FAMILY PLANNER WALL BOARD
If you have more space in your house your might consider a wall board. They are more expensive but also bigger and with more space for you to use your creativity and plan your week in advance.
- MORE SPACE to write things down. It is particularly useful if you want to use the Family Planner for multiple purposes.
- Some of them COMBINE White Magnetic board and & Cork Board, where you can pin your notes or photos.
- They can be DECORATIVE. You can use in the kitchen or in any other wall of your house. Some of them have a very classic design and can sit beautifully in your home.
- MAIL Sorter that can hold bills, letters, magazines, etc
- EASY TO INSTALL. They come with everything you need to install it by yourself.
- ECO-FRIENDLY design that is reusable and recyclable.
FAMILY PLANNER CALENDAR
Calendars are another great way to get organised. The main thing about them is it shows a monthly planning at a glance. They are more limited in terms of space but they have enough space to write down you meal planner, reminders and to-do lists. The other thing is that you don’t have the facility of right and rewrite things. The good thing about them is that they come with dates. Easy to plan. Let see some more highlights.
- DATED PLANNER for every day of the month. In general, it comes with a one-year round planning.
- MONTHLY OVERVIEW: Easy see all your appointments, reminders and obligations for the month. Holidays marked.
- MULTIPURPOSE: notes section to write ideas, meetings & appointments.
- CLIP-ON PENCIL WITH ERASER….. things can change.
- Beautiful DESIGN and COLOURFUL.
- They are RESISTENT from the damage by air and light. Some of them comes with hard back cover.
- WALL display. It can fit any desk or you can also stick to the wall.
Tips To Help You Get Organised
If it sounds impossible to build in some extra time for planning, don’t worry. We have some tips that will help make your mornings run better and the rest of your days go more smoothly.
Plan your week in advance. Getting a good start to your day – and your week – begins with preparation beforehand. Start by posting your family planner on a wall in the busiest area of the house. This might be a wall by the front door, the refrigerator door or a kitchen cabinet. The point is to make sure it is visible and accessible for all family members.
Then, consider getting one hour of your weekend and plan your week. It will help you to create a habit and once you are into it there is no going back. If your children are very young, draw pictures or use stickers to mark events so they understand what is going on. If you have teens, make sure they know they are responsible for writing their own events and deadlines on the weekly family planner.
Review tomorrow’s menus and activities. Everyone needs a good breakfast before they head out the door. If you have young children, ask what they would like and then gather together the appropriate items. If your son would like frozen pancakes, for example, set the breakfast table with a plate, fork, cup and bottle of syrup. When the alarm buzzes, all you need to do is pop the pancakes in the microwave and you’re good to go.
If you pack your child’s lunch, take care of prep duties before you go to bed. Keep items refrigerated and toss in the lunchbox in the morning.
Decide what to wear. Have everyone chosen their outfits based on what they need for the next day’s schedule. This includes uniforms for scouts and sports. Make sure all pieces are cleaned, pressed and ready to wear. Don’t forget about any jewelry you want to accessorize your outfit with and shoes, too. Getting dressed in the morning will be a snap since there won’t be any frantic searching for lost items. Some families lay out their clothing for an entire week to free up time in the evenings.
Take care of paperwork. With school-aged children, it seems like there is an endless supply of permission slips, reading logs, daily planners and other papers to sign and return to the teacher. Check your child’s backpack every evening for these items, sign and return to the backpack. This is also a good opportunity to check for any homework assignments that need to be completed so there are no last-minute surprises the next day.
Get enough sleep. Children of all ages tend to be more amicable if they are allowed to wake up naturally instead of to a loud alarm or you barking at them to get out of bed. If they get enough sleep, they should wake up on their own. By the way, this same advice applies to parents as well. You’ll feel better if you’re well rested and ready to tackle the day. If you have a weekly family calendar, you can rest easy knowing everything is well organized.
Peace of mind!
By now, you might agree with me. It is possible to enjoy QUICK and EASY PLANNING, and stay ORGANISED all weeklong. Planning can be fun. Get you family involved. There is no more important thing then spend time with our loved ones and that is what you will get when you have a more organised family life. Peace of mind and free time to focus on what matters.
Start planning your family life now!
I would love to hear from you. Share your experience in the comments below.