Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How To Be On Time

I may not be the most qualified to write a "how to" on the matter of punctuality, but I've learned a few tricks and I have needed to remind myself of them now that we are back on such a rigid schedule. Some people are just timely by nature and some of us have to work hard to be. I am one of the latter. These 5 tips have been tested and proven by me, the messy mom, to work with getting even the most "challenging" of pupils up and out and on time!

SJ on her first day of school this year.

5. Time yourself

In order to know how much time you need, you need to know how much time you take.
For example, when I had my second child I was shocked by how difficult it was to be even close to on time. So I would set a timer each morning and then stop it when we were leaving. There were actually several times I never stopped it and would come home from church and the timer was still running, but eventually I learned how much time I needed to get myself and two kids ready. 

 Last year when SJ started school I had my laptop open while I got ready and I typed out what time I did everything so that I had a realistic idea of how much time everything took. Even though no one was ever supposed to see this I am going to be vulnerable here and show you a copy 

Lastly, this year I have to admit that I have missed getting Z off the school bus TWICE already. Kindergarteners have to have a parent present or they won't let them off. I was so embarrassed. So what I started doing was taking a screen shot of my phone so that I know what time I left the apartment, then another screen shot when I get to the bus stop, then another one when the bus comes. You could just write everything down, but this way is so much faster. After some observation of these patterns I think I have the hang of it. I know when to leave without having to get there TOO early and feel like I am wasting my time. Isn't that the art of time management? 

4. Dress to the shoes

This is a fly lady thing, but it's helpful. She will tell you to get fully dressed including your lace up shoes, and even do your hair and makeup so you feel motivated and in the zone. When you are in your pjs and socks you feel comfy and lazy. This doesn't mean you have to get all dolled up. Trust me I usually look like a bad tabloid photo most days, but I do like to get myself ready first and have some solitude while the little ones are still snoozing. Then I wake the kids up at the last minute. I think of it like securing my life jacket before assisting a minor. 

3. Set everything out the night before

This is another one where I am preaching to myself. Twice I have panicked trying to find my keys at the last minute. Last year before SJ started school I posted a question on Facebook for advice on the matter of getting up early and getting to school on time and this was the most popular suggestion I received. I am going to work on it. 

2. Give yourself extra time

Something unexpected always happens. You may have to go back to the house because your child forgot their backpack. Or maybe you can't find your kids at the last minute because the lining of your purse has a hole in it and your keys slipped in there to become a part of some secret society. Or who knows you could even arrive at school to find that your child took both shoelaces out of her shoes and retied them into a the most intricate of knots that not even a high ranking boy scout could undo. These are just hypotheticals of course, but stuff like this could potentially happen. When you have done #5 and timed yourself add 10 minutes to whatever amount of time you have concluded you need.


When I asked for advice on Facebook last year the best tip I received was in all caps it said "DO NOT HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON". This has been the #1 thing for me (that's why I did 5 through 1 because I wanted to save the best for last).

Comedian  Jim Gaffigan jokes "The snooze bar is a wonderful invention. Nothing like starting the day off with a little procrastination! As my first decision of the day I will go back to sleep." His whole bit on the snooze bar is hilarious, and not to get all serious, but it did get me thinking. Do I really want to spend the first 30 minute of my day in groggy debate with myself about whether or not I have more time to sleep. Some of you you can't think of a better gift to yourself than hitting snooze and that's cool. I like to think of the snooze bar like a real bar. Some people can go to the bar and have a drink and it's a delightful little treat. Other people go to the bar to have a drink and wake up the next day with an enormous headache and a hideous pair of celtic boots they paid a gypsy $700 for (true story from my neighbor). I think I am a snoozaholic and saying no to the snooze last year may be a big part of why I was always on time. 

Alright ladies, or should I say "late-ies" he he. That's all the tips I've got for you today, but feel free to share your own. I'm still a work in progress myself. 

works for me wednesday at we are that family


nancy from ky said...

I have times myself on tasks before. As an adult it surprised me how short a time it really takes for many things.

{amy} said...

These are great tips! The main thing I do to save time is pick out my clothes before I go to bed. I can waste ten minutes of my morning if I don't.