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6 Ways to Save Time in the Morning

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Mother carrying son (6-11 months) , using mobile phone
Peter Dazeley/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Busy working moms are always looking for ways to save time in the morning. The list of morning tasks seems endless, and it's very easy to get behind schedule.

Take control of your morning schedule with the following six tips and save time in the morning.

Start Your Day 20 Minutes Earlier

Adding 20 minutes to your morning schedule may seem a little like cheating; but it can save significant morning minutes later on. Use this time to get yourself ready. Then you can calmly turn your attention to keeping everyone else focused and on schedule.

There's nothing worse than coming downstairs to leave on time only to find that no one else is ready.

Prepare Your Coffee Maker at Night, Before Bed

If you are a coffee drinker, nothing gets the morning off to a better start than the smell and taste of a fresh cup of coffee. Save time in the morning by preparing the coffee pot the night before.

If you have a timer on your coffee maker, your first cup will be waiting for you when you get up. If not, simply flip the switch and move on to your next morning task while the coffee is brewing.

5 Minutes at Night Saves Time in the Morning

Take five minutes at the end of each evening to check in with your children:

  • What are they planning to wear tomorrow? Make sure the entire outfit (shoes, socks, tights, etc.) is pulled together and ready to go.
  • Are the book bags packed?
  • Is there anything you need to sign?
  • What activities do they have tomorrow and what items do they need (gym clothes, musical instrument, a change of shoes, etc.)?

Then, make sure all items your children need for the next day are together and waiting by the door. Do not let your children try to convince you that you don't need to worry about it and that it will all be ready in the morning. Having everything finished and ready before bedtime should be a non-negotiable rule.

Hold yourself accountable to the rule as well. Make sure your briefcase, laptop, power cords and cell phone are all in one centralized location ready to grab on your way out the door in the morning. Setting a good example for your children will help them to follow your lead of preparation, planning, and organization.

Sign Up For School Alerts and Email Newsletters

Even the best plans and advanced preparation can be foiled if your child forgets about a deadline or a form that is due. You can avoid morning tears and frustrations (both yours and theirs) by staying in your school's electronic communication loop. Most schools have websites, and many send out weekly email newsletters. Make it a habit to check those resources regularly.

During your nightly five-minute check-in, you'll then be able to prompt your child about the field trip permission form, the PTA bake sale or the upcoming chorus concert and save time in the morning.

Stay "Unplugged" to Save Time in the Morning

Resist the temptation to check email first thing in the morning. One minute quickly turns into 10 when you're online.

The same applies to morning television -- for both you and your children. It's very easy to become distracted by morning news shows and cartoons. By keeping the television off, you'll also avoid arguments with your children when it's time to leave "right at the good part." If you must check weather and traffic, tune in to your local radio station instead, check the Web or subscribe in advance for daily alerts to be sent automatically to your phone.

The "Key" to Saving Time in the Morning

If there is something you absolutely must take with you in the morning but are likely to forget (dry cleaning, a cake you've make for an office event, a package you need to mail), put your car keys with that item. You might still walk out the door without it, but you won't get very far.

Nothing adds minutes to your morning routine like having to turn around in traffic and head back to the house.

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