Across the country, the kids are all back in school. While we started in early August, I know many of our friends in VA didn’t start until after Labor Day. And life has returned to a much more predictable schedule.
- Parents wake before the kids and enjoy just a few minutes of solitude before the crazy of the day begins.
- Kids alarms start going off and fights over bathroom time erupt all across the country.
- Breakfast is guzzled down or grabbed as everyone runs out the door.
- Car lines and bus rides.
- Moms everywhere wipe down the kitchen counters or run past it making a note to do it later.
- Work, school, house cleaning, running errands and keeping up with life in general takes all day.
- Car lines and bus rides, after school activities and homework.
- Dinner time, hopefully as a family but maybe on the run nor picked up at a drive thru.
- Night time routines and every one falls into bed to repeat the next day.
I’m exhausted just writing all that. How about you?
Tips for Making the Most of Your Limited Time
I love the regular schedule, but I hate the limitations on my free time. I hate the inflexibility of it all. And frankly, during the craziness of school days, I could really use a couple of extra hours each day. Really!
But I have found a few tips that help make me more productive and seem to give me that extra cushion I need each day so I don’t feel like I’m just flying from obligation to obligation and not enjoying a thing.
- Whatever time your morning routine starts, get up 1-2 hours earlier. Don’t shower, don’t eat, just knock something off your to do list. Clean the bathroom, tackle a work project, organize a closet, get laundry going or even put dinner in the crockpot. Be productive. Then when your day is supposed to start, you are relaxed and ahead of the game. You might even can take a few extra minutes to enjoy your morning coffee.
- Plan out your meals. Pull your calendar out once a week or once a month, whichever works for you and plan your meals and your grocery list. Even better assign some of those meals to your kids to prepare and clean up. But having a plan and a stocked pantry makes all the difference in the world when you are crunched for time. You might even consider doing meal prep once a week or month to save additional time and headache.
- Choose your outfit. Yes, this is for adults and children alike. Set out your clothes the night before. It is crazy how long it can take to get dressed when being indecisive. Do the clothes fashion show the night before, lay everything you need out and you are ready for a quick morning before the busy starts. If you are like me, this might allow you to brush your hair too rather than your standard wash and wear.
- Prioritize. We all have things we MUST get done, and then we have the NEED to get done, followed by the SHOULD get done and then finally, the WOULD LIKE to get done. Write your lists down, or use a To Do list app on your phone. This will help keep you focused and accomplished as you check things off your list.
With just these few tricks, you will find yourself being able to breathe a little easier. You can take the time to chat with your child without thinking about the list of things you must get done before you can go to bed. And best of all, your kids will notice a difference in your demeanor. The constant rush will soon be replaced by the grin of accomplishment.
Do you have any other tips or tricks you use for making the most of your time?