What really makes a morning rush hour derail into a disaster? Lack of routine. With this weekday morning survival guide, you’ll sail through the morning with ease. Take it from the FlyLady. Marla Cilley (nicknamed FlyLady for an affinity for fly fishing) empowers her readers by offering them baby steps toward an organized lifestyle. At the top of her list? Her “Before Bed” routine. “It’s my favorite routine,” Cilley says.
Cilley advocates preparing for the morning rush hour as early as the afternoon prior. “When the kids come in from school, dump the backpacks, clean up the lunch things, and get things lined up at the door,” she says. You’ll be that much ahead in the morning when you’re trying to get your children off to school.
Then at night, “Start with three simple things for an evening routine,” Cilley says. “Make sure the kitchen is clean. Lay out clothes for tomorrow. Look at the calendar.”
As you look at your calendar, take note of what is happening the next day so you won’t be surprised in the morning. Is there a soccer game? Get the soccer gear laid out. Need to get groceries on your lunch break? Write out your list, and tuck it into your briefcase so you’re not scrambling for ideas in the morning. Gather what you need for the next day – the night before.
The idea, Cilley says, is to ensure you don’t have to rush around in the morning – everything has already been taken care of. “It’s about going on automatic pilot,” she says. “Not having to think because your routines are your foundation.”
And Cilley’s final word of advice? “Go to bed at a decent hour. Set a bedtime and stick to it. You need to take care of yourself in order to take care of your family properly.”
Peaceful Home Front
To ensure a friendly home front in the mornings, establish – and enforce – a few simple rules and organization tactics. You’ll be glad you did!
- Stick to an early bedtime for your kids as best you can.
- Make a rule that only nice words are allowed, especially in the mornings. Arguments and insults can add tension to an already hectic atmosphere.
- Establish a bathroom schedule and use a timer to guarantee that everyone gets in and out in due time.
- Use incentives like stickers or small treats for being ready for school on – or before – time.