Does Your Family's Busy Calendar Spark Joy? 4 Ways to Simplify Your Schedule
By Intermountain Healthcare
Mar 28, 2019
Updated Jul 13, 2023
5 min read
Managing your schedule can be difficult. You have commitments for work. Responsibilities in your church and community. If you have kids, there are extracurricular activities. Multiply that if you have more than one child. Not to mention, you’ll have to find time to fit in family time, laundry, and dinner. When you’ve got a full calendar, it’s easy to feel stressed, irritable, and unhappy. Marie Kondo is a Japanese master of decluttering and author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Her method helps individuals and families decide what things spark joy and disposing of things that don’t.
Applying her principles to your family’s schedule can help you find the commitments that spark joy in your family life while cutting out the unnecessary.
When Marie Kondo advises someone on decluttering, she first has them gather similar things together. You may or may not have a calendar for your entire family. If you don’t, it’s easy to stress out when you realize at the last minute that your son has a project due for his science class the same day you and your spouse both have to work late. It’s difficult to evaluate your commitments if you can’t see everything laid out at once. Many families use an online calendar, but a paper calendar can be just as useful. Keep all of your family’s schedule, commitments, and responsibilities on one calendar.
With your family, go through your calendar for the upcoming month. For each commitment, evaluate if the responsibility serves your family the way you’d like it to. Does it spark joy? You’ll probably find some commitments that don’t offer the rewards your family wants. Essentially, this includes prioritizing what’s most important to your family. It may take some work to get everyone on the same page. Be sure to leave some unstructured time in your schedule. You’ll need downtime too. When you meet with your family to prioritize your family’s calendar, you’ll be left with only the commitments that will benefit you the most.
You’ve gathered your calendar items and discussed your family’s most important commitments. Now it’s time to cancel the fluff. Say no. Tell others you’re unavailable. It’s okay to say no to something in order to say yes to something more important.
The thing about calendars is that they go on and on. As time marches on, so will your calendar. You can’t simply declutter your calendar once. Repeat these steps every month to ensure your family is only spending time on the things that will benefit them most.
Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re happy. Decluttering your schedule will allow your family to really focus on the things that make you happy. Marie Kondo’s decluttering steps can help you cut the unnecessary fluff from your schedule. Focusing on simplifying your family’s calendar can help you make time for the things that bring joy to your life.