Details for FAMILY FOCUS COVER 16

Tips to tame
morning mania
Assign bathroom times so
no one is competing for space
in the morning.

Prepare as much as you can
the evening before.

Few things can derail a day more quickly
than a stressful morning. It can be hard
to recover one’s good spirits when the
first part of the day is a frenzied rush
mired in chaos.
Julie Morgenstern, an organizing and
productivity consultant and New York
Times best-selling author, coaches
families on how to better manage their
morning routines. Too often parents
rush out the door only to wonder if
backpacks are filled, shoes are matching
or the day’s schedule is known by all.
A hurried morning atmosphere can
become routine if time isn’t taken to
quell the chaos. These tips can make
mornings less hectic for all involved.
Establish a place for everything. Know
where belongings are at all times. That
means established spaces for frequently
used items (backpacks, shoes, briefcases,
etc.) and consistency in regard to
returning those items to their respective
places each day. Then it’s just a matter of
grab-and-go in the mornings.
Do more the evening before.
If your’s is a family that strives on eking

out as much beauty rest as possible and
doesn’t want to set the alarm an hour
or so early, then you must be diligent at
night. Make and pack lunches, set aside
paperwork for the office, lay out clothing,
pack sports equipment bags, and do
anything else to make mornings less
hectic.
Eliminate distractions. Certain
things can lead to distractions, which can
make it hard to get things done
in the morning. Establish rules that
there will be no electronic devices, such
as televisions or tablets, used in the
morning.
Assign jobs. Dole out morning tasks
depending on ability and age. Someone
may be in charge of popping waffles in
the toaster oven, while another may be
responsible for letting the dog out in the
yard. Delegating can spread out the work
so one person is not overwhelmed.
Set a bathroom schedule. Mornings can
be challenging when multiple people are
competing for bathroom space, especially
when everyone needs to be out the door
at the same time. Create a chart with
assigned times and set a strict time limit.
Parents can shower in the evening to
save more time.
With this advice in hand, many families
can enjoy more relaxing mornings.

Time-saving tip
Working parents frequently say they feel
stressed, tired, rushed, and short on
quality time with their children, friends,
partners, or hobbies, according to a
2015 survey from the Pew Research
Center. Mornings are a time of
day when things can get especially
hectic, as each person is trying to
get out the door on time. Doing
things the night before can take
some pressure off of morning
routines, and setting up breakfast
in advance can be one of these
prearranged tasks. While many people
use slow cookers for ready-to-eat dinners
when then get home at night, these
devices also can be put to use in the morning.
Purchase a slow cooker with a timer and set it to go on sometime in the
early morning hours. Fill the cooker with oatmeal, eggs, farina, or any
make-ahead breakfast recipe so breakfast will be cooked and hot when
everyone wakes up. The aroma of a homemade breakfast may even entice
people out of bed. Homemade food can be doled out quickly, and it’s
also likely to be more filling than breakfast bars or quick snacks nabbed
before going out the door.

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