Deadline. Due Date. Drop Dead. All phrases that are intended to imply that something specific has to be done by a specific date or time. I deal with them every day both at work and at home; it doesn't matter what your career path is, whether you have children or not, if you're a human being chances are you have deadlines.
That really big project for that really important client has a due date of October 12th, the permission slip for my daughters field trip has a due date of October 10th, I have a lunch appointment on the 18th at 12:30,
my son has an important project that he will ask me to review due on October 8th, and the bank is expecting the car payment October 15th.
I also occasionally set deadlines for other people too -- the vendor needed to deliver a proof by October 1st with the final product due October 9th, my son needs to have his room clean by noon on Saturday, my daughter must be in bed by 9:30 on school nights, and I need to have the laundry done and house clean before I get to settle in and watch my favorite television shows.
Dealing with deadlines, planning for them, and reacting appropriately when they aren't met are all skills that are important to learn and perfect. As a mother I hope that I am able to instill in my children the importance of these skills through the example I set; unfortunately, with the schedule I keep it becomes more and more difficult to meet every deadline. So, instead of just walking the walk and talking the talk, I'm also trying to teach them the organizational and interpersonal communication skills necessary to handle deadlines and am hopeful that they will take these lessons into adulthood.
With a background in communications I’ve found ease teaching my children different ways to communicate in a mature and professional manner. The area I have found most difficult to teach and emulate is in getting and staying organized, after all it has taken me most of my life to come up with systems I use today.
One organizational system I've struggled with is finding a way to keep everyone in our family up to date on events, appointments, and other important scheduling details. Recently I've begun keeping a master family calendar on a white board by the door everyone uses every day. I'm able to add, erase, and manage this calendar much easier than any other system and am ensured that everyone has the most current and up to date information. The white board even has the added bonus of a small cork board area where I pin up checks, permission slips, pizza coupons, and even lunch menus the kids will need.
I also carry a briefcase style bag with me to work every day; my bag contains items specifically for work along with things that help keep my personal life in working order. Things such as my planner (I prefer a nice wire bound planner over a pda), a file folder for home items that need my attention, my portable knitting project and/or the latest book I’m reading, a supply of pens, pencils, & highlighters, and a notebook are all readily available. By keeping this bag together & ready to go at a moments notice I always have something to do when I find myself between appointments or waiting for someone.