If you’re anything like us, the morning rush hour actually begins once you get the kids up for school and attempt to get them and yourself ready before heading out the door.

It’s madness.

There’s so much to remember and a strict deadline to make so any slip-up or change in the routine can throw the entire plan off kilter. That can lead to loads of tension. Plus, in the early morning many of us feel that we’re not quite firing on all cylinders due to a persistent sleep deficit.

With that in mind, the most important thing we can do for ourselves and our children is to plan ahead and find ways to save time and anxiety whenever possible. Here are a few ways to save time in the morning to make your routine flow more easily.

1. Do as Much as You Can the Night Before

  • Make lunches.
  • Iron clothes.
  • Set out clothes, shoes, etc.
  • Prep breakfast: fruit, bowls, utensils, coffee, etc.
  • Gather papers, books, reports, tablets, computers, and chargers.
  • Make sure homework is printed and any hard drives or USBs are where they need to be.
  • Make sure backpacks are loaded up.
  • Shower the night before, if possible.
  • Put stuff in the car if you’re afraid you’ll forget it.

2. Make Sure Everyone Knows Their Job

Each member of the family must be responsible for themselves. Discuss with your children so they know what their goals are in the morning – eat, get dressed, brush teeth, do hair, and gather things for school.

3. Get up Earlier

If you find that your routine is not running smoothly and that you’re consistently having difficulty getting out of the house on time, examine the reasons. Is there a flaw in your schedule? Do you need to get up earlier?

4. No TV

You must limit distractions. One way to do this is to avoid turning on the television or computer, which might steal valuable time that you need in order to get out of the house with time to spare.

5. Review Your Route

Is your route to school or work the most effective?

6. Explore Carpooling

If you are constantly late trying to get your kids to school, maybe you should reach out to the family down the street and see if they’d be interested in carpooling.

7. Ask Your Children to Feed the Pets

And, if necessary, take them for a walk.

Finally, when time is of the essence, it’s critical that everyone works together towards the common goal. No one wants to be rushed or be late for school or work. If you take the time to map out a plan and remain disciplined and committed to it, it will make those challenging mornings a thing of the past.