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Are you sketching out your Fall schedule?

Yeah – you’re going to need the BIG calendar for that!

Whether you’re the family CEO or just managing your own planner, these three tips will save you from being over-scheduled:

Check the “why”. There are plenty of good reasons to sign up for activities.

What isn’t a good reason? Signing up because you did last year. You’re just trying to be nice. You don’t feel like you have a good reason not to.

When you keep going for those reasons, chances are that you’ll fade out midstream. And when you do, you could say good-bye to your reputation as well as the participation fees. Double ouch!

If “yes” comes before “no” in your vocabulary, try friendly turn-downs like, “I wish you a lot of success with your program, but I have other commitments,” “Our family isn’t able to participate right now. Please give this spot to someone on your waiting list,” or “Thank you for thinking of me. I am not able to commit to the program requirements, but I’m confident you will make it a success. Good luck!”

Use a monthly calendar. A monthly view takes you from discrete, day at a time decisions to the big picture (literally!).

Martial arts class doesn’t sound like a big deal…until you realize it’s one of three nightly or after-school commitments or that you’re driving kids in different directions.

Add in travel time, and plan for contingencies. Make travel time to and from the activity part of your calendar. Give yourself a cushion for unpredictable weather plus meal times. Beef jerky before band practice is a snack, not dinner!

Once you’re done, put your new schedule in an easy-to-find place. Say good-bye to someone shouting out, “Where’s _____ tonight?” Momof6.com has a suggested list of electronic and printed versions in “10 best family calendars for 2017“.

Organizer Julie Morgenstern says, “If your list is too long, you’re going to feel defeated, because what you do accomplish is just a drop in the bucket. Once your list is conquerable, you will feel empowered instead of overwhelmed.”

Here’s to fun activities and relaxed, happy participants. Be the confident boss of your calendar, Soul Bosses!