Whether you have school-age children or not, there are scheduling factors to take into consideration with the start of the upcoming school year just around the corner. In the past, I shared these back-to-school considerations and recommendations later in August, but given that more and more school districts are starting much earlier than the once-traditional Tuesday after Labor Day, it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about these back to school factors in early August.
Your Work Team
Will any of your team members have a shift in schedule because their kids return to school? It will be important to establish expectations for work and communication schedules before they happen instead of after a hiccup or misunderstanding.
When teachers and staff start reporting back to school, there will be more traffic on streets, highways and expressways. Find out when teachers begin reporting back in your area, so you know to start leaving for work a little earlier. When students report back to school, there will be exponentially more traffic because parents will be dropping their kids off. Plan to leave even earlier when the kids report back.
Your commute through school zones
During the summer, most school zones shut off the blinking yellow lights, and you’re permitted to drive the standard street speed limit. However, when school starts, the speed limit drops to 15 or 20 mph, and police will be enforcing this during the first few days back to school. To avoid getting a ticket (and injuring a child!), remind yourself of where those school zones are. Perhaps you might even consider changing your commute route if the school zone will make a difference in your commute time.
Your high school children
As kids move into the teen years, they tend to become night owls during their school holidays. If this is the case for your children, consider a transition schedule so their bodies aren’t shocked by going from an 11 AM wake up on one morning to an alarm blaring at 6 A.M. the next.
Your children (no matter their age)
At least one week before school begins, talk to your kids about their schedules for the upcoming fall semester:
What time will you need to be at school?
Based on that, what time will you need to leave the house?
Which means you’ll need to wake up by what time?
Therefore, you’ll need to be in bed by what time?
And that means you’ll need to start getting ready for bed by what time?
After school, what will the schedule be?
How and at what time will everyone get home from school?
What time are activities?
What time is “study hall” at home?
What will the evening routine be?
By addressing all of these considerations ahead of time, you’ll save hours in miscommunication, dropped balls, disagreements and frustration.
Happy Back-to-School Season!
For details on how to better manage your time when facing any type of schedule change, check out The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer.