5 Tips for mastering your family calendar as a parent
Even if mornings aren’t your thing, you can still set yourself up for more productive days by mastering your family morning routine. The main trick is to put your efforts into the right place. Instead of trying to remember everything on your own, put that energy into maintaining a family calendar system that works well for you, removing stress rather than adding to it. Think this sounds good in theory, but unsure if it will actually work or if you really have time for it? Break out the family chore chart, because it’s time to talk about morning mastery! Here are 5 ways to make your morning routine better:
1) Simplify Your Mornings
Morning routines are best when they are not overly complicated. No one has time for unnecessary steps! Start by stripping down your routine to the basics… what are the essentials? This list will create an outline that will become the core of what you do every day. Each day might have one off tasks, but by simplifying your routine, you can be confident in knowing the important things are getting done.
We know that mornings can be stressful, but the goal is to do what you need to do and forget the rest. Instead of being the drill sergeant of mornings, use a tool the whole family can access so each person knows their role without you having to tell them what to do at every step. Hearth Display is a great option for this as it gets your whole family involved. With its touch screen and app capabilities, your kids might even think getting things done is more fun
Bonus: Can you check something off the list the night before? If so, do it! Your mornings will thank you.
2) Embrace White Spaces in Your Digital Calendar
In design, white space is an area left intentionally blank in order to complement the rest of the design. This is a concept you can carry over into your morning routine as well. If your morning looks chaotic and cluttered on a calendar, chances are it may feel exactly that when you’re actually going through it. If you’re using Hearth Display, you will be able to visually see those white spaces on your calendar at a glance.
Start by leaving a little space in your schedule for the unexpected and a few moments to just breathe. These little pauses don’t have to be empty of any activity, they just have to be free of anything scheduled. Consider it some surprise “me” time if you’re alone, or family time if your kids are around. These breaks will also give you the chance to double-check the necessary items on your to-do list or specific needs for that day.
Bonus: By stopping to pause, you can make sure you don’t forget something essential, but also may feel more prepared and less stressed. Win-win!
3) Decrease Stress in Your Morning Routine
Speaking of stress… it has no place in your morning. This is easier said than done. Stress may as well be in a parent’s job description; however, with the right steps you can work to reduce your morning stress and maybe even enjoy your mornings. Here are some easy tips for reducing stress in the a.m.:
- Change your alarm sound to something calm, not abrasive
- Choose your outfits the night before
- Prepare as much as possible the night before (i.e. lunches, backpacks, chore lists…)
- Wake up a little earlier than your kids, especially young kids
- Get yourself ready first – and try to grab a bite to eat
- Make your bed and tell your children to make theirs
Bonus: While you may not be able to shut out work completely, avoid opening emails or even text messages that may send you and your morning into a frenzy. Protect your space.
4) Reset Everyday – Clear Your “Chore Chart”
Clear your task list and your mind. Every day is a new day, so treat it like one and don’t stress over what happened yesterday. Did you check all the boxes on your family chore chart yesterday? Did you accomplish everything you wanted to? Was it a good day or a bad day? Did you go to sleep on time? Whatever the answers to those questions are, try to leave them behind and don’t allow them to impact your next morning. How you managed yesterday shouldn’t impact how you’ll manage today. Even if you slept late, you can still wake up and make it a good day. Adjust your mindset and allow each day to be a reset. Give yourself and your family a clean slate every morning; another chance to make the right steps. Practically speaking, this might look like clearing away unfinished tasks from yesterday on your family calendar and writing up a new list every day. Carryover the essential tasks, reschedule the less important tasks, and don’t forget to cut yourself some slack.
Bonus: If you and your family had a particularly rough day, that evening have everyone write their least favorite thing(s) on a slip of paper. Next, have fun crumpling them up and recycling them. Not only will this instill in your kids that bad days happen and are okay, but it will also teach them that good things can still rise from not-so-good instances.
5) Habit Stacking
Slow and steady wins the race! Morning routines revolve around establishing the right habits, but building habits is hard work! Make it a little easier by practicing habit stacking. Habit stacking is a method of pattern building that pairs something you already do with something you’d like to start doing. Research has shown that by pairing habits together you can actually develop and solidify a new habit more quickly and consistently.
For example, if you’re wanting to start a morning jogging routine, make it so that you reach for your running outfit immediately after waking up. It might be tempting to hit the snooze or even reach for your phone, but by putting on your workout clothes first thing, you’re more likely to actually go do it. Whatever you’re doing, make it your own. The whole point is to piggyback a new habit around an existing one, so that your current habits can serve as the cue for your new habits.
Bonus: This could also be a game changer for your family chore list. For kids, think about how they can contribute in small ways. After finishing breakfast, they can put their dishes directly in the dishwasher. Even a simple habit like crossing off a task on the to-do list or adding the day’s tasks in the morning can be a great place to start.
We hope these tips have inspired you to refine your family calendar and chore list. How you and your family tackle mornings will prepare you for taking on the rest of the day. Your morning routine matters – do mornings well and you’re more likely to manage your days better. Interested in how Hearth can help you have more frequent “better days”? Learn more here.