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Achieve Productivity in Your Personal Life

Getting Out the Door

You wake up in the morning, get dressed, and have breakfast…it’s almost time to leave for work. Sounds simple, right? The kids are up and ready…you’re about to leave. Then it hits you. The school lunches… the dirty laundry… the empty gas tank! The list of things to do feels endless and you think to yourself “I’ll never get out the door!”

Everyone has had a morning like this at some point. For many, this is the most hectic part of the day, and is filled with last minute chores and frantic activity. But it doesn’t have to be this way. By using a few simple tips, you can turn getting out the door in the morning into a stress-free routine.

The first tip is to prepare ahead. The night before, pick out your and the children’s clothes — making sure they’re pressed and clean. Make and pack the lunch, get the table ready for breakfast, and leave out nonperishable foods like cereals, so they’re ready to be grabbed first thing in the morning.

Before they go to bed, have children pack their schoolbags with their homework, textbooks, permission slips or gym clothes. Don’t forget to pack your own briefcase or laptop bag with any devices or paperwork you’ll need that day.

It’s also a good idea to fill up your gas tank the day before, so you’ll have enough for the morning. For instance, you could make it a habit to fill up during your lunch break, or on the way back home from work. And of course, don’t misplace your car keys — you won’t get far without them! Always leave them in the same place — such as on a hook, or in a dish near the front door. You could even leave them on your lunchbox, so you don’t forget either of them in the morning.

The next tip is to teach children to become responsible for getting themselves ready in the morning. Young children will always need your help for this, but by first grade, they should know what they need to do and how to do it. At the outset, create a checklist and help children make their beds and tidy their rooms. Eventually they should be able to complete these chores on their own so that they’re ready to leave on time.

Next, time wasters — avoid them! If it’s not related to getting out the door in the morning, then don’t do it. So don’t read e-mails, pay nonurgent bills, or put on laundry loads that can wait until later.

Finally, use a monthly planner. This is great for maintaining and updating a schedule and for figuring out who’s responsible for certain weekly chores…like whose turn it is to take out the trash.

By using these few basic tips, you can avoid the morning mad dash and get out the door on time and stress free.