For most of us, planning the month ahead for our families is really being the gatekeeper of the calendar. Writing in events and activities and the endless family and friend obligations. It’s then up to the gatekeeper to shuffle things around to fit in with what’s already on the calendar.
While it may seem inevitable that a monthly plan will become just a calendar of events, it doesn’t have to be. Here’s our reasons why you should take monthly planning seriously.
1. Boost your mood
Starting with filling in all the events, activities, birthdays, and appointments the family already has booked in gives you something to look forward to. Having these to look forward to instantly motivates us and gives us a lift to make it easier to get through less enjoyable activities, like going to school and work each day.
2. Reduce overwhelm
This is the most obvious benefit. If you have an idea of what is coming up, there is less uncertainty in your life and therefore less anxiety and overwhelm about what may or may not happen. It also helps you see when things are happening quickly so you can go ahead and schedule time to prepare for those events and occasions.
For example, you have a friend’s wedding at the end of the month but need to buy a new dress and present for the bride and groom. Look at the calendar and schedule in time to do the prep for the event. Now, you won’t be rushing around the night before trying to borrow a dress and search the supermarket for a half hearted gift.
3. Save time
This continues from the previous point. When you make time to get things done, it means you won’t waste time when you can’t spare it. You may be able to schedule a time to shop for all the presents, and other sundry items you will need for upcoming events (i,e, 2 birds, 1 stone). It also means you’ll be spending less time each week thinking about what is happening and what you need to do to prepare for it.
4. Support better work life balance
By seeing everything the family has on, in front of you, you can easily pick out a few days to support work projects. You can quickly identify upcoming days that you can dedicate ahead of time to staying back to catch up on a work project, or to be available for the end-of-month crunch. No more feeling guilty having to phone your partner to say you’re stuck at work.
5. More quality family time
I think we’re all guilty at times of not dedicating enough quality time with our families. Weekend sports and other obligations always find a way to take over. But what if you planned your month to include some fun, family activities ahead of time, so they aren’t an afterthought. Priceless.
6. Stay focused on your personal goals
If you’re a parent, your default mode is survival mode. But we all dream of achieving other things in our life. It may be working on improvements to the house, coming up with a new budget to help with a financial goal, or undertaking some short courses to help with future job opportunities.
By planning the month ahead, you can schedule in time to work on your goals that light you up. This will make the dream a reality and keep you motivated to keep going. It also means that when the dedicated time comes around, you will make sure not to waste a minute of it.