Getting out the door on time can be quite challenging for a lot of people, particularly those of us who have children. This isn’t surprising considering women spend roughly 2.6 hours a day doing household activities, like cooking and cleaning, according to a 2014 American Time Use survey. Add working outside of the home or a full day of taking care of your child(ren) and you can see why we often feel so rushed! There aren’t enough hours in the day, right?
I’ve learned a few strategies that have helped me better manage my time in the morning and get out the door quickly. Some of these require a bit of planning in advance, however, once you get into a routine you’ll start to do these without even thinking.
1. Prep dinner the night before
I use my crockpot a lot. To save time in the morning, I wash and chop my veggies the night before. I also put my crockpot on the counter and lay out all of the seasonings I plan to use. When I come downstairs in the morning I can just throw it all in the pot and add my protein. Here are some of my favorite (and simple) weeknight crockpot meals.
2. Pack your lunch in the evening
Since I workout at lunch most days I usually bring my lunch and eat it at my desk. I pack everything the night before so I’m not scrambling in the morning to find something. I typically have leftovers from dinner or a salad with protein. I also pack a lot of snacks like nuts, apples, and dried fruit. As you know, I’m a snacker.
3. Organize gym clothes the night before
Pack your gym bag with everything you need for your workout and leave it in a place where you will remember to grab it. The last thing I do before I go to sleep is throw my workout clothes, sneakers, and training notebook in my gym bag and leave it downstairs next to the door. That way I can just grab it on my way out. I also fill my water bottle up and leave that in the fridge to save me a step in the morning.
4. Prep breakfast the night before
Alternatively, try using smoothie freezer packs for a delicious drink that is ready in minutes.
5. Set your coffeemaker the night before
We always prep our coffee at the end of the day. I couldn’t imagine measuring out coffee first thing out of bed. If you have an automatic timer, try setting it to start brewing 10 minutes before your alarm goes off. That will definitely get you out of bed!
6. Shower in the evening
If I plan on washing my hair I usually shower in the evening, let my hair air dry, and then I style it in the morning. Plus, having a warm shower is a nice way to wind down in the evening.
7. Lay your clothes out the night before
I usually have two different outfits in mind and then I select something completely different in the morning. Obviously, I need to get a bit better about this! 😊
In the end, it just comes down to doing a bit of planning. It will be a lot of trial and error to begin with, but once you get into a groove it is so worth it. I can’t always predict how the girls are going to behave in the morning. Will they fight me on getting dressed? Will there be a morning meltdown? How about accidents? But if I can take steps to ensure that I have my things taken care of, I will be better able to manage my kids’ needs.
Want more time saving tips?
Do you have any tips for saving time in the morning? What do you do to get your kids ready and out the door faster?