We all know it's coming - the dreaded back-to-school crunch - but every year we seem to be caught off guard. Plus, as we struggle to prep for a new school year, work projects on hold for the summer suddenly go into overdrive as fourth quarter/year-end is just around the corner.It’s a double whammy and a recipe for disaster unless moms and dads, and employers, make a proactive plan to beat the crunch. Here are some doable tips to help moms and dads tackle the back-to-school/back-to-work tangle as part of a simple weekly work+life fit practice like the one outlined in Cali Yost's book Tweak It: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day.
First, identify, breakdown and plan the back-to-school activities typically encountered every year:
- Add 2013-2014 school dates into your calendar, including extra-curricular sport and activities
- Buy school supplies early, before the line is out the door and the shelves are picked clean
- Take advantage of back-to-school sales to buy a couple of basic needs but count on shorts and t-shirts for the first few weeks
Next, think about projects and responsibilities at work that will require attention after Labor Day:
- Ask if there is anything you and the team could do to prepare and get a jump start now
- Share dates you may need to take off or have additional flexibility around back-to-school, such as first day(s) of drop off and pick up
- Leave the evenings and weekends the week before and two weeks after the start of school as free and uncommitted as possible. If you have to schedule out of town travel or evening work activities, make sure you coordinate with your partner or friends for child care coverage well in advance.