While summer is still upon us, fall is quickly approaching, and with it, more responsibilities and tasks!

If balance is hard to find during the summer months, achieving it during the school year can be even more difficult. After all, there are work and school schedules to coordinate, after-school activities to plan for, and outings and general chores that still need to happen.

When things get busy during the school year, sadly, the first thing to go is often quality time together as a family. While this isn’t something that we do intentionally, it’s bound to happen when you’re being pulled in different directions—unless you get intentional about it!

There are a number of different ways that you can prioritize your family and ensure that you’re spending time with the ones you love. If you’re looking to prioritize family time in your life, here are five simple strategies to do just that.

1. Make It a Priority

Before you can start rearranging your schedule and making more time for your family, you first need to make it a priority in life and ensure that you fully understand its value and benefits! Time together helps to build self-esteem, creates bonds, and nurtures positive behaviors—just to name a few. As you know, it also builds memories, strengthens relationships, and can leave us feeling less stressed and much happier as a result! Once you have determined to make it a priority, it will be much easier to carve out time in your busy schedule and ensure that your time together doesn’t get pushed aside in favor of other things.

2. Evaluate Your Schedule

Summer is busy, but school time is especially hectic. With so many different schedules, commitments, and responsibilities to tackle, family time can often fall by the wayside. If you have started to notice that the quality time you are able to spend with your family has been reduced to short conversations and words spoken in passing, you might want to stop and reconsider the schedule you and your family are keeping.

While there isn’t anything wrong with staying busy, if your family’s schedule is too busy to make time for each other, it could be a sign that something needs to change.

3. Look to Involve Your Family in the Ordinary

You don’t need to have grand outings in order to spend quality time with your family. Things that are part of your everyday routine can easily be transformed into family time. You can even spend quality time together doing simple things such as household chores. Go shopping together, make dinner together, or go for a walk in the evening. If you have young children, they’ll especially love getting involved with whichever tasks you’re doing!

4. Make Time to Unplug

If possible, leave your work at work and aim to avoid checking your email or replying to messages after work. Instead, take some time each day to unplug from technology and enjoy each other’s company. Instead of texting each other, have a conversation face to face. You might just be surprised at how much you really will enjoy dedicated time with your family.

5. Stay Organized

Finally, perhaps the biggest timewaster of all is a lack of organization! Not being organized only results in us constantly running in circles and never truly catching up. Instead of spending quality time with your family, you’ll be frantically searching for car keys, backpacks, and lunch boxes; or missing an appointment that you forgot you had.

Having a planner can be especially helpful for keeping track of all the tasks you have to accomplish and can also be helpful in reminding you to take some time off, to enjoy your family.

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Spending time together as a family doesn’t have to be complicated or over-the-top. And you don’t have to have extravagant outings in order for the time that you spend together to ‘count.’ As the saying goes, often it’s the little things that mean the most. Try not to lose sight of that—even as things get busy this school year!

Looking for some help managing your time this school year? Be sure to check out Day Designer, the strategic planner and daily agenda created for your busy schedule. Take a look at our academic year collection today!

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