I am so excited to have Tara Newman from Family Sport Life here, guest posting today. She is a productivity and organizational expert, a lifestyle coach, and a wonderful blog friend. Honestly I can’t remember how I met Tara, but I can tell you I consider myself very lucky to know her. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in real life as well, and she is just as genuine and wonderful in person as she is online.
One of my favorite recent posts on her blog is How to Create a Weekly Template. I fly by the seat of my pants much of the time, and I was looking for something like this to help me with my productivity during this upcoming school year. Using this will allow me to be proactive with my time, and I thought you would find it helpful too, so I wanted to share it with you today. Even if you’re the most organized person around, I am sure you will find her blog helpful in one way or another!
I love this time of year. Late summer and fall are my favorite seasons. The harvest at the farmer’s markets are plentiful. The weather is warm with a little crispness at night. Apple picking is on the horizon. And then there is Back to School – the joy of fresh school supplies and the impending terror of adapting to a new year of activities and schedules.
Whether your children are just starting kindergarten or you are a seasoned pro at sending your kids back to school, the feelings of overwhelm can be such a buzz kill this time of year.
We all have different challenges when it comes to back-to-school. I am not an expert in problem resolution but I do know brainstorming solutions before the problem arises is always easier. Here are some problems I have faced in the past, maybe you have too.
Practical Solutions for Back-to-School problems:
Does sending our children back-to-school makes you feel anxious, emotional or even depressed? As much as we look forward to the start of a new school year, it can make us sad. Be kind to yourself. Take the day and go to lunch with a friend or do something special. I always take the first day of school off from work!
Bracing yourself for the onslaught of paper that comes home in backpacks? Purchase a scanner and set up a process for scanning papers into an electronic filing system. Need to scan on the go? Try an app like Scanner Pro to scan documents using an iPhone and then upload to Google Docs, Drop Box, or Evernote.
Are you a mom who works outside the home? That can be stressful when it comes to school holidays, half days, and snow days. Sit down with the school calendar and plan childcare ahead of time. This is also a good time to request any days off you will need due to the above mentioned days. I know my boss is always appreciative of my prior planning when my time off requests are made in early August.
Do you have a child who is most certainly NOT a morning person? I do! At the age of 6, my daughter is hyper aware of her crabbiness in the morning. This sounds counter-intuitive but we wake her up earlier to give her plenty of gentle wake up time. Nothing makes her grouchier than being hustled out of bed and rushed through her morning.
Dreading those last minute trips to Michael’s for project supplies when someone forgets to communicate a due date? Stock up now on some of the essentials. Grab some poster board, markers, crayons, poster paints, and index cards to keep in a supply cabinet.
Not ready for everyone to be scattered in a million different directions? Want to maintain the sense of connection you established all summer? Schedule a family dinner where you re-communicate family values. Establish times to come together as a family to enjoy your favorite activities. Put these times on everyone’s calendars. They will only be as important as you make them.
Not sure how to coach your children to establish new habits? Try the Seinfeld Method where you put an x on the calendar for each day your child successfully completes the habit. This is a simple visualization tool to help create lasting habits. For example, use the Seinfeld method to get young children in the habit of getting themselves ready for school in the morning. Buy a fun calendar and let them cross off all the days they get dressed by themselves. The goal is not to break the chain!
Bonus: Not sure how to feed a busy family healthy dinners during the week? Look for simple recipes with few ingredients. Find some recipes for freezer meals. Bust out the crockpot. Or cook for the week on Sundays like we do.
Here’s some great 30 minute dinner ideas:
Tara is a Performance and Lifestyle Coach. She helps individuals, families, entrepreneurs, and athletes leverage key strengths to achieve greater success in their personal and professional lives. Her blog, Family Sport Life, focuses on personal leadership, productivity, organization, healthy living, parenting and triathlon. She holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and 15+ years experience in Corporate Leadership Development.
She is also a skilled life juggler, a mom to “The A Team”, and a proud Sherpa Wife to her husband (and co-author) John. She’s passionate about living an authentic life. In addition, she enjoys running, reading, skiing, paddle boarding, travel, organizing pretty much everything, and game night with her family.