Phyliss has a system that is an example of time management for high school students. Phyliss is my editor, a mom of two teens, She runs her business out of her home. (This post is part of a series on how real women manage their time. For more of this series, click here.)
Briefly describe your current time management system: its components, how it works, and how it came to be.
Once my older child started kindergarten, it seemed a good idea to get all family members’ schedules and events onto one calendar. Rather than using an electronic calendar, I wanted one that could hang on the kitchen fridge so we could easily see it in front of us, discuss it, and make any needed changes to it at home. After using a giant “busy moms’ ” calendar for a few years, I moved on to the At-A-Glance. I constantly consult both my personal to-do list and our family calendar to assess priorities.
Why does this system work for you given your life now? In other words, what’s good about it?
Because I work from a home office, the calendar is easily accessible to me at work. Everyone in our family of four can easily see the events coming up for themselves and for other family members. Anyone, including my two now-high-school-age children, can add/delete items and events as needed. The calendar is still located in the place where we all spend time together every day: the kitchen. I love that each day is represented by a very large rectangle; there’s enough room for everyone’s appointments to fit. It’s extra work, but I divide each rectangle into three parts with a pencil so we can see at a glance whether the commitments occur in the morning, afternoon, or evening.
How does your system fall short? What aspects of it could be improved?
Because of the calendar’s size, I don’t take it with me when I’m out of the house. So if I need to schedule, say, a follow-up doctor appointment, I may rely on my memory or take a guess as to when I or another family member is free. If I remembered/guessed incorrectly, I then have to change the appointment. Or I have to wait to make the appointment by phone after I get home, whereas if I had the calendar at my fingertips while out of the house, that wouldn’t be necessary. Obviously, having the family calendar in my smartphone would be much more efficient, but I’m attached to the large, tangible calendar. One further annoyance: I have to use four magnets to keep a calendar this size and weight up on the side of the fridge.
P.S. After Phyliss shared her calendar, it occurred to us that she should take a photo of her calendar with her phone as a way to keep it with her when she goes out!
(This post is part of a series on how real women manage their time and get things done. More on this series can be found here.)
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