15 minute Mornings: Everyone & Everything Else Ready Too

We have 96 intervals of 15 minutes every day, meaning you have many opportunities to make a difference.  Each day this month, I’m giving you a 15-minute project idea. Pick your favorites to improve your day, yourself or your world. I promise you have time for this.

It takes me one hour to get ready each morning and it consists of four 15-minute increments. This saves me time and energy each morning because I know what needs to be done and I’ve got a system to make it as easy as possible to accomplish everything with low or no stress.

We’ll be reviewing each of the four 15-minute increments in the next few days:

Have a System in Place for Everything.

Just one tip today, but tons of options to accomplish this tip.  Having a system in pace for everything will save you tons of time and stress in the mornings when you’re trying to get everyone and everything else ready in just 15 minutes.  We have great days, good days and average days in our morning routine.  We don’t have bad or terrible days because we’ve got a system that works and we stick to it.  I don’t make decisions in the morning and you shouldn’t either.  Just accomplish what’s already decided!  Your mornings can be low-stress by using these smart (and quick!) solutions.  Remember, stick with your system!

Wake up kids at the same time every day.

Our kids wake up at 7:30 am and come into our Living Room to watch one of their favorite TV shows.  While they’re waking up, I help them get ready for school or daycare. Your kids will appreciate the routine, even if they don’t show it every day.

Tip! Know what you can handle.  I usually get our oldest son ready in the morning because he has to be on time for school.  Our youngest son will leave with my Husband.  If you’re able, separate kid’s morning routines to make everything more manageable.

Provide standard breakfast options.

On school days, the kids can choose Eggo Waffles & Syrup, Toaster Strudel, Cereal and Milk, and Fruit as breakfast options.  And that’s it.  I usually only offer them two of the options so they only have to make one decision.  And depending on the sleepiness level, they may just get breakfast with no options.  By having these ingredients on-hand, it makes it much easier for the kids to decide what they want to eat. For myself, I usually pack uncooked oatmeal and brown sugar and take it into work to eat while I’m reading my emails. Think of basic choices that work for you and your family.  Keep these ingredients stocked regularly.


Give kids a “signature style.” 

Our kids are both boys and have standard, comfortable clothing choices.  Long or Short sleeved shirts, pants or shorts and shoes or sandals.  In the mornings, the kids can grab these options and get dressed quickly–no major decisions needed.  Many days, they’ll dress themselves–and if they look a little wild, great! If necessary, set out clothing options for kids to help speed them up in the mornings–or if they’re old enough, have them pick out clothes the night before so they just have to get dressed in the morning, with no decisions.


Help Yourself Remember.

The evening before, I prep my workout clothes, confirm homework is completed and in the backpack, and corral all necessary items that we’ll need for the morning.  I put everything in the correct bag and put the things I need to remember by the front door, so I just grab my bags and go in the morning–I don’t have to even think about these areas because they’re already done.


Pack lunches with standard options.

For our oldest son, the standard breakfast options include a Lunchable or Sandwich, Fruit or Yogurt, Crackers or a Granola Bar, and Kool-aid or Water.  I just grab what we have on hand and pack it in his lunch.  You can pack the lunch the evening before to save even more time. When ready, lunch goes in the backpack and backpack goes at the front door, so it’s ready and I don’t have to think about it.

For me, I pack 1-2 cups of frozen vegetables (peas or broccoli) and main dish for lunch (like pre-cooked spaghetti or black beans and cheese in a tortilla–I don’t buy pre-made meals because I can do it myself much cheaper and easier when I prep on the weekends), 3 pieces of fruit for snacks (keep healthy snacks visible so you choose them first!), cheese for a snack.  I keep crackers, peanut butter and granola bars at work already, so I can add these to snacks as needed. Consider setting up 5-7 healthy, delicious lunch options for yourself so you can rotate choices and stock healthy, lasting snacks where you need them so you can eat them through the day, even if you forget to pack them at home.

Make it a game.

We have to leave by 8:02 am to walk to school and get there on time.  And wouldn’t you know it, kids are unpredictable and aren’t always cooperative.  So I made it a game. The TV show is over at 7:55 am and we “Super Race” to get kids dressed and out the door by 8:02 am.  I count down the time and our oldest son gets ready so he’s learning time at the same time we’re trying to leave the house.  Try to add fun into your morning routine so you don’t spend your morning frustrated–games help, especially learning games.


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