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The Executive Assistant’s Guide to Managing Your Family

Managing familyIn my day job, I’m an executive assistant.  There have been periods of time where I have had to keep up with the whereabouts of four busy executives.  Scheduling world-wide travel, getting them to meetings, making sure they have lunch, and pushing them out the door for their kid’s football game.  That makes it cake when it comes to managing the schedule of my own family of three.

Here are my top Executive Assistant tips for taking care of your family and getting everyone to where they need to be:

  1. Put EVERYTHING on the calendar.  Whether you use the calendar app on your phone or you keep a physical book, but it all on the calendar.  Everything.  School picture day and early close days.  The birthday party you might not have time for.  Grandparents’ vacations.  This way, if someone ends up sick, you know who is available for back up for after school pick up, AND you’ve got all the details on the calendar, so it’s easy to add grandparents to the calendar invitation and they have all the details–saves you time and sanity!  Add reminders for Teacher Appreciation Week and friends’ birthdays, or reminders to schedule doctor appointments.
  2. Review tomorrow’s calendar near the end of the day.  Not too late, though.  You want to leave enough time to take care of last minute items that may have been forgotten: a run to Michael’s for a school project, or a trip to the grocery store for tomorrow’s class party.
  3. Anticipate the day.  Review the Meal Plan, get backpacks ready, roll up the nap-mat.  Did your hubs forget his workout towel last week?  Put it with his stuff.  Set reminders to email the school about after school pick up changes.  Make sure your wallet gets transferred from one purse to the other.
  4. Start looking ahead.  I work in about two week chunks, knowing my husband only works in one week chunks.  When he’s ready to start talking about next week, I’ve already got most of the week’s schedule committed to memory and I can walk him through the plan.  But this also gives me time to figure out if we need to book a sitter or send the grandparents an email with details for the overnight weekend plan.  If things are looking really crazy, you can set side time aside for family time.
  5. Pay attention to their habits.  Where do they usually put their shoes?  Where do they sometimes put their shoes?  When their shoes are lost, you’re bound to find them there.  Watch what they push aside on their plate at dinner.  Make a mental note.

Not only do these tips keep me ahead of the game at work, but they help me to keep up with my family and know what they need!

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