Parents, are you ready to conquer your biggest mistake of back to school time?
The kids will leave for school and you try to get busy. But, before you know it – time’s up. Once that bus pulls up again your time is no longer your own.
You made the mistake of not having a set plan to maximize your time.
The good news is, you can turn it around and get lots accomplished while your kids are at school. Make these five essential steps part of your back to school planning:
1. Start Ahead of the Game
Your morning should run like clockwork, but it starts with preparation the night before. So, spend some time the night before planning breakfast, making your kids’ lunches, packing their backpacks, and checking their homework.
This way you’re not starting the day with a scramble, and you’re not wasting your work-time in recovery mode. Your morning time should be quality family time — a peaceful morning can set a positive tone for everyone’s day.
** Planning Tip: Schedule a nightly school-prep routine and create a checklist for all that’s required for each child, each day. Include meals, permission slips, gym clothing and other specific activities.
2. Plan Over a Cup of Coffee
Don’t jump into your day without a plan. Start every morning with a 5 minute planning session over your first cup of coffee where you create an action list and confirm your appointments.
** Planning Tip: Make priorities. Divide your tasks into those that you “Must Do,” those that you “Want to Do,” and a few that you would like to do “If There’s Time.” Order them not only by importance but how they fit into your daily schedule as well. Also, plan your meals for the day – it gives you a chance to see if you’ll need to do any grocery shopping.
3. Organize Your Housecleaning
Always clean with a plan so that you don’t feel yourself randomly wandering into projects that monopolize your time. Group similar tasks together and you’ll be more productive. You’ll also spend less time gathering different cleaning supplies.
** Planning Tip: Divide and conquer. Divide your household cleaning chores into categories and plan them for separate days or time periods. For example: Group 1: Bathrooms; Group 2: Kitchen; Group 3: Bedrooms/hallways; Group 4: family room/dining room; and Group 5: closet/entryway.
4. Schedule Your Errands First
The morning hours between 9-12 a.m. offer a solid stretch of uninterrupted time. Run your errands during this period because you are less likely to run into crowds at the grocery store and traffic on the way home. It will also ensure that you’re not risking missing the school bus.
** Planning tip: Before you leave, be sure to prep a list of what you need and where you are going, — and don’t forget to throw in a load of laundry before you leave.
5. Sneak in a Break Before the Kids Come Home
Maintaining balance is a core component of life. Schedule some “me” time in the two o’clock hour before the kids come home. Give yourself time to recharge and prepare for the next phase of your active day.
** Planning Tip: Ensure that you make quality time with yourself. Create a list of meaningful downtime activities in your planner. It might include hobbies, reading, phone calls to family and friends, and exercise time.
Start your back to school planning today by incorporating these five steps into your routine.
Do you have a sixth tip you’d like to share? Please comment!