This week is full of activities; yesterday we had a field trip, today I had a doctor appointment, tomorrow is grocery shopping and dental appointments, and don’t even get me started on this weekend. Not every week is this busy, but when it is, there are some key things that I can do to ensure events are as stress-free as possible.
Before planning out an event, there are some questions I should ask myself:
•Did I pray about this? (Perhaps the Lord has other plans?) •Did my husband say it was okay? (As a Christian wife, I respectfully keep my husband aware of all that I plan to do.) •Will it take away from my first responsibility? (My first job is to be the Keeper of my home. If this event will prevent me from doing that, I need to rethink going.) •Will my family benefit from the event? (Not all good ideas are good for us.) •Will I stress out trying to make the event possible? (Do I already have too many events planned on the same day?)
If my event has passed “inspection”; off to the calendar I go. I prefer to do my scheduling on my computer, there I can schedule email reminders and sinc with my iPod. It will also allow me to add notes regarding the event, such as “pack swimsuits”.
Prep for the event by getting any necessary materials ahead of time. Certain events, such as potlucks, often require me to bring along some food. When putting the event on my calendar, I will make sure to add these items onto my grocery list. If I have a birthday present to purchase, that will be added to my errand list. (See Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Part One) The day before the event, I usually try to make sure my car has enough fuel; it is always a pain to get in the car and realize I now have to stop for gas… talk about stress!
On the day of the event, I map it out. Knowing what time your event starts is helpful, but (especially having kids) that information isn’t always enough. How long will it take me to get to the event? How long will it take me to get out the door? How long does it take to straighten up my house and kids before heading out the door? Do I have anything else going that morning that also needs to be done? See what I mean; lots of factors will determine how the day goes. I don’t like leaving things to chance; therefore I like to “work backwards”. It looks something like this:
Event Time: 3:00pm (With a drive time of 1hr.)
Leave Time: 1:45pm ( I like to have extra time.)
Kids shoes on: 1:30pm (Plenty of time to brush teeth, hair, shoes on, and get in car.)
Straighten House:1:00pm(If not decent, I don’t leave.I can’t tell you how often that pays off.)
Lunch: 12:00 (Plenty of time to eat in peace, wash up, and grab food/presents.)
This schedule works very well for morning events too. I simply plug in my start time and “work backwards”. This will help me determine what time I need to wake up, what time my kids need to be up, and everything else that needs to get done before heading out the door.
Because my event was organized to the best of my ability, I am not rushing around trying to do things last minute. Everything I need is set in place and ready to go. Barring any last minute changes, I am free to enjoy my day and anticipate a wonderful afternoon.