Crunch Time – How to Stay Organized While Wrapping Up the School Year
Can you believe the end of school is here?! If you are like most parents around this time, you are running around frantically trying to juggle final class projects, helping kids study for their final exams, volunteering at class parties, and finishing up with parent organization responsibilities.
Below are 5 tips to keep you organized and stay on top of tasks.
- Evaluate What is Important: We can easily get wrapped up doing what is asked of us without questioning it. Before making a decision, think about your family core values. Think about what you would like to instill in your family and see if the task falls into those categories. Some examples include: interdependence, independence, resilience, integrity, community, and work ethics. If community is high on the list and you want to lead by example, then go ahead and work the bake sale and encourage other members of the family to help.
- Cut the Fat: Throughout the day, we do a lot of tasks that create busy work but are not important. Have you heard of the Urgent Important Matrix? An Urgent Important Matrix is a simple but effective tool for prioritizing your to-do list based on the level of urgency and importance of each task. It’s is sometimes referred to as the ‘Eisenhower Matrix’ or ‘Eisenhower Decision Matrix’. Make a list of your daily tasks that are Important but not Urgent, such as relationship building, training, and working towards a goal. Make a list of tasks that are Urgent and Important, such as deadlines and problem solving. Make a list of tasks that are Not Urgent and Not Important (distractions}, such as emails, phone calls and social media. Make a list of tasks that are Urgent but Not Important (interruptions), such as meetings, reports, phone calls and text messages. Evaluate your list and spend more time working on what is Important but not Urgent, which will eliminate tasks that become Urgent and Important. Avoid spending time on tasks that are Not Urgent Nor Important. For Urgent but Not Important, renegotiate deadlines, delegate tasks and eliminate projects that don’t add value.
- Don’t make last minute decisions: Remember, your plate is already full! So, when someone last minute asks you to bring something for the bake sale or attend a last minute meeting, don’t be so quick to answer. State that you would love to help but need to go home first and check your calendar. Yes, with modern technology your calendar is sitting right there in your purse or even in your hand, you want to look at it when you aren’t distracted or someone is in front of you pressuring you for an answer. Volunteering is important for your kids and the organizations which we won’t get into right now, but you need to address tips number 1 and 2 before you add more to your plate.
- Allow Time To Detox: When life gets busy, we don’t give ourselves any time to clear our head and take care of ourselves first. We tend to react too quickly and become irritable. Insist on some quiet time. Try driving with the radio off, hiring a babysitter, going to the gym, or working away from home at a coffee shop. Use these quiet times to assess what is important, accomplish tasks or just take a deep relaxing breaths to rejuvenate so you have the energy to power through what is to come.
- Call On The Family For Support: Let’s face it, everything you do is for your family. Sit down with all of them and ask for their support during this busy time. Discuss upcoming schedules and what needs to be accomplished during that time. Ask everyone how they can help make this time less chaotic and offer suggestions. Telling the kids what they need to do may be less effective then asking how they can help you. This meeting isn’t designed to nag them about their chores, but asking for their support and suggestions while wrapping up the school year. You may be surprised at what they can do when they think they came up with the idea and are proud of helping you out.
To learn about options for delegating some of your school-related activities, contact Fun Services. Fun Services in Southern California has helped coordinate school events for 50 years. Call 800-300-6380.