Trying to get out the door each day doesn't have to be one mad dash. Remember these golden rules for saving time, and your mornings will become a breeze.
- EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE
The biggest time-waster is looking for stuff that you can't find. The answer? A home for everything and everything in its place. The more you use something, the nearer it should be to where you use it. That may sound screamingly obvious, but if you're looking for your keys that you've left in a coat pocket, your shoes that have been pushed under the settee, and your handbag that's got lost under a pile of laundry, there's no wonder you're having to run for the bus.
- DON'T BE A HERO
If you're trying to eat your breakfast whilst washing the kitchen floor and talking to your mother on the phone, you've probably got your priorities in a muddle. So, decide what is essential, what's urgent, what's kind of important, and what would be nice to do but isn't the end of the world really and do them in that order. Remember, you can't do it all.
- TURN OFF THE TV
Reducing distractions and interruptions can save you valuable time in the mornings, so if you're really pressed for time, turn off the TV, put the phone on answer and your mobile through to voicemail, to prevent any unscheduled hold-ups. If you really can't ignore a call, keep it short and sweet, and ask if you can arrange to call them back at a more convenient time.
- BUY A CALENDAR
There's no bigger time-drainer than realising you've got a gym class booked or need a change of clothes for after-work drinks just before you leave the house. Buy a calendar, hang it in a communal place like the kitchen, and check it every evening to avoid last-minute panics.
- DO IT THE NIGHT BEFORE
How many minutes have you wasted running around in search of a ladder-free pair of tights, or the right shoes for your outfit? By planning what you're going to wear the night before, making sure it's ironed and laying it out ready to put on the next morning you can save up to 10 minutes, if not more. It doesn't just go for clothes either - preparing your lunch while you're cooking the evening meal means all you need to do is take it out the fridge, and pop it in your bag the next morning. This applies for your kids too; get their uniform ready the night before, lunch packed and school bags near the front door. You could also lay the breakfast table the night before.
Image: Stuart Miles, Free Digital Photos