Back to School/Back to Work Routine saves time and energy
Summer is coming to a close; are you ready to jump back into your day-to-day routine? The weather is changing, kids are heading back to school and fall is in the air. Over the summer, many of us fell out of our usual routines and might now be struggling with early mornings and getting out the door on time.
Here are seven simple tips to help make the transition from a loose summer schedule back into a more structured fall routine without too much shock to your system. The best way to do this is gradually if you can, but even if the school year is upon you right now, these should help:
Establish a reasonable bedtime
What time will you need to be going to bed when school or your regular work schedule resumes? It can be really challenging to make the change at first, but it will help your body prepare if you do it gradually. You don’t want to start off the school year exhausted, do you? Try moving your bedtime, and your children’s bedtime, earlier by 15 minutes a night until you’ve landed at the time that makes the most sense for you considering the hour at which you’ll be expected to rise on a regular basis.
Set your alarm and wake up earlier
Move the alarm clock or alarm on the phone away from the nightstand. If your phone charges in the bathroom, or across the bedroom from where you sleep, you’ll have to get up when the alarm goes off and break the “snooze” habit. For teenagers that have been sleeping in until noon they may do best by transitioning to wake up earlier (coupled with getting to bed earlier) a bit each day until the optimal time is reached. If you don’t take the time to ease into your routine, the start of the school year may be a brutal awakening (literally) for you!
Start laying out your clothes each night before bed
This is very helpful, especially for those with younger kids, those who have hectic mornings and for those who may be indecisive. Lay out clothes the night before. Save time in the morning to spend on more important things, like making sure to eat a healthy breakfast.
Start getting in the habit of keeping a schedule and tracking your “to-dos”
Keeping a planner is crucial for your kids to stay on top of homework, tests, deadlines, etc. Have them include all of their activities as well and block off time for homework and studying. Use a school provided planner, a store-bought planner, or an electronic tool or app to track activities, appointments, commitments and tasks. We’re often asked, “which planner is the best to use – paper or electronic, simple or complex, etc.”. Our response is always the same, “The ONE you will USE!”
Make grocery shopping easy
Create a list of breakfast items, lunch items and healthy snacks and stock your pantry and fridge for when school starts. Consider a home delivery service for groceries, such as Amazon Fresh or Costco to help you save time. You may pay a bit more per item that you would if you shopped in person for the same, but consider the time, energy, schlepping, loading, unloading, gas, stress and did we mention time saved when you opt for delivery. You could actually save money by ordering from a list, instead of being tempted by impulse purchases in the store.
Create a study zone
Make sure your work space or study zone is clear of clutter and organized for the upcoming school year. It’s time to purge last year’s math homework and start this year off with a blank slate. Stock your study zone with all the supplies your children will need – paper, pencils, pens, markers, etc.
Do a Back to School inventory
Before you go back-to-school shopping for clothes and/or supplies, take an inventory of what you already have. The end of summer is a great time to go through your home and purge some toys, clothes, etc. Make a detailed list of exactly what you need before you go shopping. This will save you both time and money.
We hope these simple tips will help your transition from summer to school/work to be a smooth one! Let us know which was your favorite or what you do to ease back into routine. We’d love to hear from you.
Also, contact us if we can help you to get organized and establish productive systems and habits to carry you forward into the new season.