So, as we move into 2014 and the holiday decorations are down, it’s time to dive into all those plans to organize your life. How about starting with your calendar?
With just a little effort up front, your calendar, whether tangible or online, can be the central planning tool for just you or for your entire family. Here’s how to start.
Select your calendar. If you choose a paper calendar, it should be one that breaks everything down at least by the week, so you have plenty of room for appointment locations and directions if needed. This is where an online calendar comes in handy. Many of them have plenty of space for whatever notes you need to make, as well as the option for reminder emails.
Fill in all family birthdays and special holidays such as anniversaries. Then run through and add all of the standard appointments such as kid sports practices or Monday morning meetings at the office. If there are a number of family members, you might want to assign each one a color so everyone can see their events at a glance.
Place a paper calendar in a good central location, possibly connecting it to a desk drawer with string so it can’t walk away. The kitchen is the best place because everyone walks through there at least once a day. If you keep your calendar on the computer, choose a program such as Google calendar that everyone can log into, so that access is easy.
Finally, make it clear that any appointments or events that are not on the calendar are not part of your responsibility. If a child needs a ride or a spouse wants you to attend a company party, there had better be a note about it on the calendar, after they’ve cleared your part of the task with you, of course. You can also set ground rules, such as that in case of conflicts; the first event posted on the calendar takes precedence, with exceptions to be negotiated individually.
While this is only the beginning of what you have to do to get organized, this small step is an important one in the right direction.