While it’s fun to be spontaneous on special occasions, people do really well on a schedule. When you set up a daily routine you will find yourself more organized with less time wasted.
Have each member of the family create a list of everything they need to do in the morning and estimate how much time each task takes. Work backward to figure out when each person needs to get up in the morning to be ready on time.
What is necessary each day…
- to get to work?
- to get the kids off to school?
- to eat meals?
- to exercise?
- to do chores?
- to stay organized?
Are there systems in place already that are working for the family? Do they need adjustments?
The biggest goals in the morning are to get up, eat breakfast and get going. Be the first in your household to wake up, you could be the first in the shower and well on your way to face the day.
Do you have trouble getting up on time or find yourself often running late? You may have an easier time in the mornings if you do some things the night before. Tonight, lay out your clothing for tomorrow. Precious minutes can be saved when you don’t have to think about what you are going to wear when you are rushing to get out of the house. Put gas in the car on your way home instead of needing to stop in the morning.
During the week you might have a piece of fruit, cereal or a power bar for breakfast. On weekends you probably have more time for a larger, more leisurely meal.
Performing tasks in the same order every day makes them easier to remember. Drink juice, eat breakfast, take a vitamin, brush your teeth, take a shower, etc. When you set up the order think about running up and down stairs, going back and forth. Do things in the most logical order that saves time.
If you are not at work, this time period might involve running around doing things with kids, parents or both.
Most people do their best thinking earlier in the day so tasks that involve a lot of thought are best done at this time. Avoid distractions if at all possible while you are “in the zone.”
Don’t feel badly if you need to use checklists. They are great helpers. Try to keep the lists concise and do things one at a time. Checking things off the list as you do them will give you a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.
Evenings are all about homework, baths for kids, dinner, relaxing and getting ready for bed.
Go over your kid’s homework in the evening, and avoid doing it in a rush in the morning.
Dinner is important for bringing the family together. Start thinking about tomorrow’s dinner tonight, which might include defrosting something or shopping for food tonight.
Set an order for helping with homework and kids’ baths. Watching tv, practicing an instrument, playing sports and playing video games can be added into the late afternoon/evening schedule.
When there are unexpected changes in your daily routine, you have to be prepared to adjust and go with the flow. You might have to ask someone to pick up your kid from baseball practice or your spouse might have to take over dinner duty.
Try your schedule for a week or two and then tweak it to make adjustments. Once you have the daily schedule figured out, try adding a weekly and/or monthly schedule. A set schedule can reduce stress and make it easier to sleep at night. If designing a schedule is too much for you, please contact me for help.