Two Resolutions for a Better School Year
Two Resolutions for a Better School Year
By Nikki Sacks, Co-Founder of PodKeeper and full time working mom of 2 energetic boys.
Why wait until the calendar turns to 2017 to make your resolutions? Make back to school time your new starting point. There is so much change going on anyway, it’s the perfect time to start fresh.
I’ve made these my resolutions for the New (School) Year, and invite you to do the same. I assure you, if you can effectively do these, it will make for a much less stressed and happier school year. It really boils down to two things – organization and focused attention.
- Resolve to stay organized.
The Virtual Stuff: My kids and I are involved in many groups and activities – soccer, tennis, PTO, room parent, supper club (and the list goes on). Unfortunately many of the other parents and group volunteers still use group email lists to keep the groups organized and all of us up-to-date. That means wasting time searching for information; reading through countless, annoying reply-all email chains; trying to remember what I signed up to bring to the class event or what field soccer practice is at this week. But not anymore. With PodKeeper (http://www.podkeeper.com), you can keep all the relevant information in one easily-accessible place. (Yes, this mention is self-serving, but if I had found a decent option out there that met the needs of parents, I wouldn’t have created PodKeeper, and keeping up with all their classes and activities is one of the biggest challenges of parenting).
The Physical Stuff: We all start the school year with the best of intentions. For the first week or so, we are extremely well-prepared. Lunches are made, backpacks ready and clothes laid out the night before. Pretty quickly one or two, (or all) of those tasks slip and are left to the morning, causing a mad rush, much yelling, and occasional tears (I plead the 5th whether they come from me or the kids). I’m exhausted at the end of the day, and the last thing I want to do is think about what needs to get done for the morning. But for every minute spent up front, you will be saving many, many more down the road. Think of all that saved time you’ll be able to spend accomplishing something productive
- Resolve to be more focused.
Like many moms, I try to do too much. And the way I have found to do that is by multi-tasking. But this multi-tasking results in distracted interactions, which is not fair to anyone. I’m not giving my family/friends/tasks the attention that they each individually deserve. I grab my phone to check emails as soon as dinner is finished. My kids ask if they can have my phone to play a game, and although I say no as I try to limit their time on electronics, I’m being a hypocrite and know I’m not teaching the right lesson. It’s really not that much time between the end of the workday and their bedtime, and unless there is truly something critical going on with work, my family deserves my time then.
Even if it requires doing each thing for a shorter amount of time, that time will be more meaningful and productive, and therefore better. Whatever you are doing at that moment should be considered the most important thing at that moment, and it should get your complete attention. I’ve always boasted about my ability to multi-task, but the truth is, it’s not good enough. It’s a matter of getting more serious about prioritizing, time management and staying focused on what’s important.
So let’s see how we do with these and hope they last longer than the two weeks at the gym each January…
About Nikki Sacks and PodKeeper
PodKeeper is a free online group calendar and family organizer app for any mom or dad who manages a youth sports team, scout troop, PTA org or is a room parent for a school class. As an online organizer, PodKeeper allows parents to seamlessly schedule events, create sign up lists, store files and photos, and provide reminders and important last minute updates. PodKeeper was co-founded by Nikki Sacks and Steven Sacks, two successful executives-turned-entrepreneurs who are committed to providing “usable technology” that helps parents keep organized with minimal effort. PodKeeper is completely free and available at http://www.podkeeper.com