5 Calendar Sweep Questions: Spring Break Edition

Mar 29, 2024

For many of us, spring break is upon us. Whether you’re like our friends in Texas on break in early-ish March or like my own kids who have a mid-April break, most of you are managing to take a week off somewhere in March or April (except some of you nonprofit folks who may be saving that time off for summer!).

I find the time right before a vacation to be a good moment to do another Calendar Sweep to look ahead to the end of the academic year. All my working mom friends have a running joke about how the end of the school year can often do us in . . . and I have the extra milestones of one kid finishing elementary school this year, and another wrapping up middle school!

Here are the questions I’ve asked myself in an attempt to keep ahead of the March – June mad rush!

  • Are there any upcoming events that require preparation or planning? In my case, one kid has a school chorus trip to Busch Gardens in May, and I have two big back-to-back work trips in June. Both of these things require special packing, materials, permission slips, and more. I am blocking that time in the calendar now, right down to the pickup at 11 PM after the Busch Gardens trip. It can feel like a pain to do a close read of the information sent my way the first time, but it prevents paper pile up.
  • Are there any Calendar Babies that have been released? I’m awaiting the volleyball schedule, the musical rehearsal and tech week calendar, Dr. Together’s work trips, and the travel soccer matches for the spring. I know sports and theater consume a lot of our household’s resources in the spring, so I want to identify any weekend conflicts early so I can ask others for help. In your world, you could be hunting for professional and/or personal calendars people have shared with you.
  • Are there any Entry or Exit processes before or after Spring Break? I’m not taking much time off this year, nor traveling, but I know that in the past, it has been helpful to block time to properly close down before a break, and make actual time to scan the inbox, communicate with colleagues, and post the OOO. And then, I have learned from experience to block time to ramp back up. That may look like no meetings the morning (or day!) of your return, arriving back home one day early, and/or strategically deferring some tasks until after break.
  • Are there any summer situations that need taking care of? I know I need to chat with my sister about our annual Maine road trip, some kids need physicals and medical forms before camp, the summer childcare spreadsheet needs some finalization with co-parents, and my team and I need to plan to cover each other for out-of-office time. I don’t want any of this to hit us by surprise.
  • What, if any, staff transitions or appreciations are coming up? With the end of the school year, some people may be moving on (off boarding checklist needed!), while others may have years-of-service or end-of-year celebrations. Peek at your staff list and make notes of any gifts, cards, or appreciations needed. This often gets short-changed in the rush of hiring and onboarding the new folks. Appreciation takes planning!

What about you? Does a Calendar Sweep feel valuable this spring??