Mornings can be the busiest time of the day. There are usually mouths to feed, lunches to be made and—of course—the battle over the bathroom. Not to mention coordinating dinner, pick-ups and evening activities before everyone goes their separate way. Taking a few things off the morning agenda by planning ahead can give everyone a little bit more peace as they head into a new day.
Planning lunches the night before is an obvious time saver, but having a roster of standards can make life easier. Tuna, hummus with cucumber and low-fat cheese bagels are all quick, nutritious options. If you’re cutting veggies Sunday night, slice up enough for the next few days. Then pack what you can into lunch bags and just grab them from the fridge in the morning.
Breakfast can also be easier with a bit of pre-planning. Just knowing what to grab from the cupboard as soon as you get to the kitchen takes the guesswork (and time-consuming decisions) out of the picture. Having a coffee machine with a timer is worth the investment. You can set your coffee to start brewing before you get downstairs.
Doing a little scheduling around bathroom time in the morning can also be a big help. For those family members that dawdle in the shower, get out the kitchen timer. When the timer goes off, their time is up. If possible, figure out what you and the kids will be wearing the next day (accessories included).
Other than saving time, you’ll again be saving the frustration of realizing your favourite black skirt is in the wash pile on the day of a big meeting.
Another good idea is to allocate a visible shelf space or organizer for documents like permission forms somewhere by the front door. You’ll save time looking for papers around the house—or worse—returning home for a piece of mail you had to get out that day.
It’s a good idea to check the calendar the night before and coordinate schedules with the kids and your partner. This way you won’t forget about a soccer game or appointment that someone has that could cause morning stress when figuring out transportation.
Finally, the biggest time waster can be trying to do chores around the house in the a.m. Being productive is only useful if you have time; otherwise it’s a source of stress. Does your house really have to be spic and span before you leave? If the answer is yes, be realistic: get up an hour earlier. Or just give yourself a break –you can use the sleep!