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Mar 2, 2006
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Save Time on Your Busiest Mornings

From Jennifer Wolf,

Your Guide to Single Parents.

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Learning to Save Time in the Morning Will Start Your Day Right

The start of your day sets the tone for everything else. In fact, to a large degree, your morning routine impacts your mood, your relationships, and what you'll accomplish in the course of the day. Use the following suggestions to help you save time in the morning. You'll not only get more done in less time, but applying these tips will help get your entire day off to a great start!

1. Do as Much as You Can the Evening Before

This includes laying out clothes, making lunches, gathering books, and running the dishwasher. The time you invest in the evening will actually save you time-and-a-half in the morning, because you won't be rushed and stressed out. In addition, get your kids into the habit of doing whatever they can do to help out the evening before as well.

2. Keep Super-Easy Breakfast Foods on Hand

A healthy breakfast is crucial, and, fortunately, eating well doesn't have to take long. Cold cereals are packed with vitamins and minerals. Add some milk and a banana, and you have a well balanced meal! Or consider the benefits of yogurt. It's a handy snack that's full of protein, and it will keep you from feeling hungry quite as quickly as some other quick-meal options.

3. Don't Turn on the TV Until Everyone is Ready

If your kids enjoy watching TV in the mornings, use this knowledge to your advantage. Make a rule that, until everyone is ready to go, the TV stays off. That means no TV (or Gameboy) until the kids have had breakfast, washed up, brushed their teeth, gotten dressed, and put their shoes on. If they really want to watch TV, they'll meet your expectations in order to gain the reward.

4. Designate a "Space" for Each Family Member to Store Bookbags, Keys, Etc.

How much time to you spend each morning running around, scrambling for car keys, library books, I.D. tags, and more? This is time that you could be spending with another cup of coffee! To prevent this frantic rush, designate an area of your home for each person's "stuff." For the kids, this might be a hook inside the hall closet, where they can store their jackets and bookbags. For yourself, this might be a small drawer close to your home's entry.

5. Take a Deep Breath

When you're taking the time to breathe, you're more aware of what's happening around you. What do you notice? You'll probably begin to recognize small changes that can make your mornings even more smooth and productive. Over time, everything that needs to get done will get done. You'll get there! Give yourself a break and do what works for you.

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Thanks! i'm not really a single parent, but as far as doing things the night before.. I'm such a procrastinater, and then I'm rushing around the next day. I will get better. LOL!

great advice thank you, i know ill be home alone alot, so this will be useful!

The one about doing things in the evening is a big help! When I wake up to perfectly clean rooms it makes the morning 100 times better. I love that.

If I get off to a good start in the morning, I'm on top of things all day. If I let things slide in the morning, that's it...

Great tips! Making/doing as much in the evening as possible is wonderful, as is not turning on the tv in the morning until everyone is ready! Definetly helps at our house!