Monday, August 4, 2014

How to Get to School On Time

For those who are now grumbling at me after the last post, here is a follow-up.  Remember that I am a chronically late person, and I live with three other people who have some form of ADHD.  We are all recovering “late-a-holics”.  Here are some things that I have used to get places on time – particularly in the morning before school.  Hopefully they will help you.

1.    Find a reason for being on time.  If not being late is not important to you, nothing below will make a difference.  People have different reasons for wanting to be certain places on time.  When my children were in high school and had to drive 40 minutes one way, getting up and out the door with plenty of commute time was a trade-off to Saturday School.  Maybe you just want your child to have time to transition in the morning.   Maybe you want them to learn that being on time is important.  Whatever the reason, you need to find it so that you will want to be prompt.
2.    Look at what you are doing right before you leave.  This is especially important in the mornings.  Can anything on the “to do” list be done the night before?  How about on Sunday?  I know one family that puts lunch components in plastic bags and containers on Sunday for the entire week.  Then they pull the lunch together the night before.  How about showers at night instead of in the morning?  I even know some families that give baths and put the younger children to sleep in the shirt they will wear to school the next day.  Can anything be eliminated?  Can the garbage go out in the afternoon instead of in the morning? 
3.    Resist the urge to get sidetracked.  Your routine should be your routine.  In other words, don’t load the dishwasher or clean the cat box one morning if it’s not something you normally do, or try a new hairdo that takes extra time.
4.    Have a bathroom schedule.  Not only does this streamline everyone’s routine, but it will also cut down on those folks who like to spend 25 minutes in the shower.  If you need to, put a timer in the bathroom and set it. 
5.    Cut down on electronic distractions.  No TV, phones, iPads, or other electronics before leaving.  Period.  This includes the grown-ups.  If your job means early morning email, it should be finished before your children wake up so that they have your full attention. 
6.    Speaking of being ready before the kids………This will probably be the least favorite suggestion, but do you get up before the kids?  How about getting up early enough so that you are dressed, fed, and ready to go out the door?  You can then spend your time getting everyone else ready.  If you are not distracted with your own activities, it’s harder for the little people to wander instead of putting on shoes, etc.
7.    Skip the drive-thru.   It’s actually not a guaranteed time saver.  You know that rule that says when you are cutting your time close, the guy in front of you will have four separate orders or the credit card machine will not be working.  While you are putting together lunches on Sunday, put together grab and go breakfasts as well.  They will probably be cheaper and have less fat.
8.    Allow for traffic.  Assume there will be an accident.  Better to arrive 20 minutes early than 10 minutes late.  A lot of smart phones will now estimate the time it takes to get to where you are going quite accurately at any given time.  If you have that feature, you can check on things 15 minutes before you would normally leave and possibly get out the door a few minutes sooner.

If you have other ways that you get places (especially to school) on time, I would love to hear about them.  Different things work for different people.  Feel free to comment below.  Find me on FB at Pamela Mecca Seymour, LPC or on Twitter @Pam327.

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