Q: I always have trouble getting out the door in the morning. There’s never enough time and someone always ends up forgetting something! How can I get out of the house without missing a beat?
A: Getting out the door in the morning can be hectic and stressful for anybody! Morning madness beleaguers even the most organized households; coordinating bathroom, eating, and exit schedules is no small feat. Having a stressful morning leaves everyone feeling out of sorts and affects the workday and school day.
The morning routine can be streamlined by taking the following steps:
Get real about how long it takes. Mornings need to be mathematically timed out to account for staggered wake-up times, how long each person truly needs to get ready, and hidden tasks. For example, if your six-year-old daughter likes to change outfits several times before deciding what to wear, build that in. If you or other family members like to throw in a load of laundry, take out the trash, or do a quick clutter pickup before walking out the door, factor those in.
Stage manage the mornings. Get as much done as you can the night before by pre-setting everything from backpacks, briefcases, afterschool/afterwork gear, permission slips, the coffee pot and breakfast fixings. This will make mornings more about “showtime”, and less about hunting, gathering, and decisions.
Create a land/launch zone in the entryway. Create and post a checklist with everything you need to remember before you leave (cell chargers, keys, soccer stuff, dance gear, or any other essentials). Most folks are too sleepy in the morning to rely on memory alone!
A simple and predictable routine leaves time for a nurturing and energizing start to the day. Use the time (and stress) saved in the morning to slow down and connect -- wake everyone with a big smile and tender hug, savor conversation at breakfast, or do some morning yoga together. As one of the few touchpoints in the day between you and the people you love, it’s nice to send each other off into the wold with a strong, (organized!!) and loving start.