Mornings are busy, especially when you’re trying to hurry both yourself and your kids through your morning routines. If your busy schedule is causing you to rush each morning and often end up late, there are several simple things you can do to get back on track. Make a few basic changes to start your day a little more smoothly.
Set Your Alarm Earlier
Start by setting your morning alarm fifteen minutes earlier. This will give you time to get oriented to the day or snooze a few extra minutes before getting up. You might want to designate that time for planning your activities, meditation, or prayer to start your day on a productive or positive note. Once the kids get up, things are going to get hectic, so giving yourself some time to simply relax before the day begins can help reduce stress through the rest of your day.
Make Breakfast Easier
Getting all your kids fed and out the door on time can be a struggle, so do what you can to make breakfast as simple as possible. Arrange a convenient breakfast set up so everything is ready to go when your kids get up. Older kids can serve themselves. You could prepare some hard-boiled eggs the night before or pour cereal into an enclosed container and leave it on the kitchen counter overnight, just adding milk when you’re ready to eat. Stock containers of yogurt and prepare fresh fruit ahead of time, so you and your kids can eat and run if you need.
Whether you want to enjoy your coffee in the peace before the kids are up or in a to-go thermos on your way to take everyone to school, you can make your morning coffee more convenient too. You can preset the coffeemaker or use a Keurig with K-cups to make fresh coffee easily without having to deal with the cleanup.
Prepare Ahead Before Bedtime
Have your kids pick out their clothes the night before and make sure they are ready to wear the next morning. That way, you can get them dressed quickly without having to search for a matching sock or their favorite t-shirt. You can do this with your own clothes as well so that you don’t spend your precious morning searching for the neck scarf that coordinates with your silk blouse.
Have your shoes and your kids’ shoes cleaned up and ready to slip into before leaving the house. Check the weather ahead of time and make sure that you all have your umbrellas, coats, or boots ready, depending on the forecast. With your briefcase, their backpacks, and everyone’s lunch bags packed and ready to go before bed, you can save time in the morning.
Organize a Schedule
Establish a basic schedule on your Family Organizer for each day that helps you prepare accordingly and helps your kids stay on task when they’re getting ready. Think past your job hours to when you get off work and run errands before heading home. Take along whatever will be needed, like your workout clothes for the gym or a fabric shopping bag for the supermarket. If you plan to stop at the bank on your way home, put your checkbook in your bag to ensure you won’t forget it. If your kids have extracurriculars after school, make sure they have all their supplies in the car and ready to go before you leave.
Planning ahead and giving yourself a little more time on some of your morning prep work can save time and reduce stress for the whole family. Think of ways you can streamline your schedule to have everyone ready to leave at or before your regular time.
By Anita Ginsburg
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.