TIME-SAVING TIPS FOR YOUR MORNING ROUTINE
Hello there and welcome to Part II of our Time-Saving Series – Time-Saving Tips For Your Morning Routine. Brace yourself for 10 time-saving tips for your morning routine. Read Part I of the series here, if you have not.
On a scale of 1 to 10, your morning routine will most likely score 10 over 10 – as in being the busiest part of your daily schedule (especially during the school year). From getting the kids ready for school to making breakfast to beating the morning rush hour to clock in early at work – phew! That sounds like a task only Wonder Woman can pull off – we can use some of her Amazonian powers. No worries, we’ll make a superhero mom out of you and get you in total control of your mornings with our time-saving tips for your morning routine.
Okay then, let’s unpack this.
#1 MAKE A TO-DO LIST
Plan the next morning properly the day before and write it out in a to-do list or checklist. Make sure you’ve thought it out to the minutest details – all I’s are dotted and T’s crossed. This will save you time doing the guesswork in the morning.
#2 PREP UP THE NIGHT BEFORE
This is the golden rule of saving time in the mornings. Here are five things to do when prepping up:
a. Pack up your bag and the kids backpack with all the essentials needed. For example, books, stationery and pre-packaged snacks for the kids or files, folders and your mobile phone or tablet.
b. Choose outfits for you and the kids. On Sunday night before the week begins, select five different sets of clothing for everyone for the week. Listen to the weather forecast to help you plan out what you and your kids would wear for the week. Make sure they are laundered, ironed out and put in a place where they wouldn’t get creased like a coat bag.
c. Plan your commute by listening to the weather forecast and traffic news. This can help you to avoid any heavy traffic on your route and save you a lot of time, and also the hustle and bustle of rushing to get to your destinations on time.
d. Make lunch and breakfast and refrigerate them. Opt for simple recipes that are quick to make and can stay fresh for long hours even when out of the refrigerator. So all you need to do in the morning is to let them thaw, microwave them and voila! And remember not to miss breakfast, ever!
#3 STICK TO A STRICT SLEEP SCHEDULE
Make sure you and the kids go to bed early so you can have a good night’s sleep and be able to wake up early. Do stick to this time religiously. This will mean getting things done on time the night before like homework, bathing and having lunch. Also cut down on activities that might make you stay up late like watching TV, making calls or being on social media.
#4 SHARE THE LOAD
If your kids are old enough to do some tasks on their own in the morning like brushing their teeth, bathing and dressing up, then thank your lucky stars! You can delegate but with some supervision. You don’t have to do everything – even superheroes need some breathing space sometimes. This will free up some time for you to even have a few minutes of meditation or yoga or aerobics.
#5 BE ORGANISED
We all know how rummaging around for the car keys can be an absolute waste of time. You can prevent this mishap by upping your organisational skills a bit. Have a specific and permanent location for items like your car or door keys, bags, backpacks and coat. You can select a part of your house for this. Usually, it’s best to have it by the door, so you can grab these items and be on your way. For instance, you can have an organiser, a cubby or rack placed on the wall for this purpose.
#6 OPT FOR GRAB-AND-GO BREAKFAST
Let’s be realistic – there are times when you’ll be running so late there will be no time to sit and have breakfast. That’s when having a grab-and-go breakfast comes in handy. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so you and your family must not miss it. Make a list of easy to make grab-and-go breakfast recipes you can make in the mornings. That way, your kids can have breakfast while you’re driving them to school. Do make sure that you have lots of options to bring some variety and fun into your breakfast – kids love that!
#7 SET A STRICT TIME TO LEAVE THE HOUSE
Decide to leave the house at a time that will get you to your destinations on time and be disciplined to stick to it. Set a timer or use an alarm clock to remind you of this time. You can have two timers or alarms; one about ten to fifteen minutes to the time to leave the house and the other when it’s actually time to go. Make sure your kids understand what these alarms or timers mean.
#8 REVIEW THE MORNING SCHEDULE WITH THE KIDS
Let your kids know what the plan is for the morning. This is necessary if something out of the blue has cropped up (you may need to leave for an early morning meeting). Do also set timers or alarms to keep them on their toes for every activity from waking up to brushing their teeth to bathing, dressing up and having breakfast. For example, the first alarm going off means they should be done with brushing up and bathing, second alarm for dressing up and so on and so forth. Moreover, go over the items they need to take with them so that they don’t forget. Get creative and make this fun; use numbers or the alphabets (1 for backpack or schoolbag, 2 for lunch pack or snack, 3 for water, etc.) It’s not too early to start your kids on this type of routine, the earlier, the better. This helps kids to grow up to be responsible.
#9 CUT DOWN ON MAKEUP TIME
Ladies!!! We all know how we love our makeup. Sadly, it can take up a big chunk of our morning schedule. You can’t eat your cake and have it – you don’t expect to spend 45 minutes of your morning making up to look like Miss World and still get to make breakfast, get the kids ready, drop them off at school all in record time. However, with a few tricks of the trade, you can still pull this off, somewhat. A simple hack is to cut down your makeup items to the essentials by buying dual-purpose makeup products. For example, instead of using a concealer and foundation separately opt for stick foundations that double up as a concealer and foundation. Talk about killing two birds with a single stone!
#10 IGNORE MORNING DISTRACTIONS
If your kid sister is in the habit of calling you early in the morning to discuss what to feed her pet dog, now is the time to set your phone to silent mode or use your voicemail. You have a mission to accomplish for the morning and the farther away you are from any distractions, the better. Identify anything that might sidetrack you and ignore them – TVs, mobile phones, social media, etc.
So there you go. We hope these time-saving tips for your morning routine will help you free up some little time to connect with your kids no matter how brief these moments may be. Make the most of time saved; hug them, smile at them, chat, crack a joke or two – after all that’s what time-saving is all about.