I think a lot of moms think that because life with kids is so hectic, nobody can expect them to be on a timeline. Effective time management (“Planning”) is extra important when you’re this busy with kids.
Planning is not about using a specific planner (although a planner with daily, weekly, and monthly layouts can do a lot). Planning is about learning to use one calendar only and make it into one focused tool. You do not need a separate calendar for school, another one for work, kids etc. Planning systems like the block schedule, or week at a glance with half hour increments will not be as effective until you know what your month looks like first.
My goal with planning is to make sure that upcoming events I’m trying to fit in doesn’t cause big conflict with my full time job, children’s school schedule, or vacation I already planned for.
If you do not already have a planner with 12 month layout, print out 12 sheets of the monthly calendar from January-December. You can search monthly calendars online or search for a calendar template in Excel. Make selection, then print. Then grab a pen!
How I Plan My Month to Month
I begin writing things down for month to month for the entire year of 2020 plus the first 3 months in 2021.
I do all of this in the exact order:
- Work Schedule – anything in the month where I know I must be at the office and days where I should not miss work, arrive later, or leave early. In my case, it’s month-end close! On month end, I can be at the office from 8:30am-9pm. For February 2020, it was Feb 3rd through 7th, labeled as “D1-D5” on my calendar. I do this for the whole 12 months, because business days can land on a different day of the week each month.
- Bank Holidays – any holiday where your company is closed or little activity going on at work. I like knowing bank holidays for my job because when the Federal Reserve Banks are closed, all other banks, including online banks I work at don’t have daily work to prepare and review. I definitely do plan taking those days off. I prioritize that time to be with my kids. My kids need a break too from school & daycare to be with me at home.
- Kids School Schedule – most school districts do have their calendars published online for the current school year and upcoming school year. Write ALL those dates down for the next 12-14 months.
Once I have those 3 things hashed out for the whole year, it’s really easy to plan everything else that comes up! Dental appointments, pediatrician, school carnival, parent teacher, jury duty, church, Airbnb hosting etc.
I encourage everyone to give this a try, let me know how this works for you!
Also, be sure to subscribe for daily ideas and tips.