Preparing a family schedule can help busy families take control of their lives, establish priorities, and live a less hectic lifestyle. In broad terms a family schedule is an outline of a family’s activities and can either be in a daily or weekly format. Outlined below are steps you can take to create a daily family schedule, but can be easily modified if you prefer a weekly schedule.
Make the Schedule
- Take a quick inventory of all the activities and tasks in your family’s life. Your family activities and tasks may look a little like these – Homework, Grocery Shopping, House Cleaning, Jobs, Laundry, Kids Activities, Family Nights, Meal Prep, Doctor Appointments, Read, Watch TV, Errands, Bookkeeping/Bill Paying, Care of an Elderly Parent, Personal Hygiene. This is only a partial list, so be sure to add any activities that are unique to your family. Tools to help you with this: – Family Life Time Inventory Printable
- Sort the activities into the following buckets – School, Extra-Curricular, Household Cleaning, Laundry, Household Maintenance & Repairs, Lawn Work, Volunteer Commitments, Faith Commitments, Administrative, Meal Planning, Household Finances, Fun Stuff, Personal, Auto/Transportation, Family Commitments, and Other. Tools to help you with this: Time Bucket Printable
- Once you have a good list of the typical activities for your family, it is often a good idea to take some time to understand what it all means by asking yourselves these questions – What buckets or activities are taking the most time? On what buckets or activities should we be spending more of our time? What buckets or activities are causing the most stress? What buckets or activities are the most enjoyable? What buckets or activities are the least enjoyable?
- Once you get a handle on how your current family life is running, it is important to take time to design how you WANT your family life to be by asking yourselves these questions – What things do I want to spend less time doing? What things do I want to spend more time doing? I want our family life to be less………? I want our family life to be more…….? I personally want to be more…..?
- Using the answers your family came up with in the above questions, sort all the buckets you created into three categories – High Priorities (Must Do’s and Want to Do’s), Medium Priorities (Want to Do’s and Should Do’s), and Low Priorities (Maybe Do’s)
- Create anchor points to your day. Anchor points are the ideal start and stop times to your day.
- Use all of the information above to create a family schedule by downloading this family schedule printable and making it work for your family.
Maintain the Family Schedule
Now that you have your family schedule created here are some tips to help you stay on track.
- Post the schedule in a central location so that you MUST look at it every day.
- Add reviewing the family schedule to your daily routines.
- Work on anticipating disruptions and managing disruptions, so that you can stay on track.
- Don’t be afraid to change the schedule if you find something isn’t working. Most if not all families will have to make some changes to the schedule and this is okay!
- Use the family schedule as a guide and learn to be flexible when it comes to making changes and deviating from the schedule from time to time. Letting the kids stay up an hour later occasionally isn’t going to ruin the schedule just as long as you don’t let it become a habit.
- Practice delegating, deleting, and simplifying certain activities so that you can fit everything in at a comfortable pace.
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