Some of the demands you face in the morning usually include getting dressed, eating, mapping out the day ahead, and ensuring your little ones’ needs are also met. Most days you will also have to be out the door by a certain time in the morning for work, to do the school run or to go to playgroup.
Fortunately, there are many practical ways to save time in the morning. This is despite the fact that it is often the most hectic time of the day. Many parents are facing the morning on limited or broken sleep and will find the morning more of a challenge as a result. Sleep deprivation can challenge the ability to focus or to meet your full potential.
By implementing these useful strategies you will save time and you are likely to find the mornings a far more productive and enjoyable period. The key is to have made decisions or taken action before facing the morning ahead.
1. Park the keys
Have two sets of keys. One of these should live by the front door. Always have a spot allocated for them because looking for keys can be an enormous time waster in the mornings!
2. You first
Lay your clothes out the night before and in the order you will put them on. This is a great way to save time in the morning. Firstly, it removes any decision-making at a time when you may not be at your best.
3. Get up earlier
If possible, try to get up before the family so you can dress yourself in relative peace and quiet. This is based on the life jacket theory that if you tend to your needs first before those of others, you will be able to help them out more effectively.
4. Stick to the plan
Stick to the rules with your little ones in the mornings. Make sure they are fed, dressed and packed-up for the day ahead before they do anything else. This is a good time to allocate some simple chores to older children and help to instil a sense of responsibility in them. With younger children and babies, make sure they are fed and changed and ready for the day ahead.
5. Pack a snack
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it is vital you make time to eat a nutritious one. However, the reality is that sometimes it doesn’t happen. You should plan for these occasions by having snacks in your bag so on the off chance you do miss breakfast, you have something nutritious to eat later.
6. Time it
Have a to-do list and stick to it. It is often helpful to set a timer to keep everyone on track. You can allocate tasks to 15 minute blocks. For instance, set that time for everyone to brush their teeth and get dressed. It is a great way to encourage little dawdlers to get a wriggle on in the mornings.
7. Weather Check
Check the weather before you leave the house. You don’t want to have to cope with an over-heated child or be in danger of hypothermia because you haven’t got the right clothes on! It’s always worth having an umbrella on permanent stand by in your hall or cupboard so you can grab it if needed.
8. Charge it
Leave your phone and/ or tablet on charge the night before so it will be fully operational for the day ahead. If possible, set up a charging station that is centrally located. You can leave your bag, keys or any other important items in that place as well.
9. Pack up
Have your bag packed and ready the night before and leave it by the front door. It will save you having to remember it in the morning. It’s also useful to ensure your little ones’ bags are packed with the items they will need for the day ahead.
10. Limit screen time
Check your phone messages, emails and texts AFTER you are ready to face the day ahead. It is too easy to get sucked into replying to them, or worrying about things that simply aren’t relevant to your morning rush. Your priority in the morning is getting yourself and the family ready for the day ahead. If you start using electronic devices before everyone is ready, you are sending a message that being organised for the day ahead isn’t really a priority.