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Balancing work and family: Avoid the morning rush

Get a head start!

Are you frazzled when you finally arrive at work? Is your attitude at work and work performance affected by the a.m. chaos that occurs at home trying to get you and/or your family out the door to face another challenging day? If you feel you need some help with managing those crucial morning hours, why not look over these suggestions that provide advice for a morning without rushing?

Stressed couple eating breakfast

10 bright ideas for a happier morning

1Start going to bed earlier

It may take your body a few weeks to adapt to retiring earlier, but in the long run, it will be easier for you to rise at an earlier time.

2Place all items you carry to work in one place

It's a good idea to place near the door your keys, briefcase, purse, school supplies, important papers and letters to be mailed. Keep a petty cash fund handy for all those times that a quarter, 80 cents or $1.55 is needed for school or a parking meter, work, etc.

3Choose clothing for the next day

Laying clothes out the night before or thinking about what you plan to wear is made easier by stocking your closet with clean matching separates. Morning dressing becomes hassle free.

4Pull yourself from your pillow at least 1-1/2 hours prior to leaving for work

A few minutes added to your morning preparation time can prevent frantic dressing, no breakfast, and forgotten tasks that need to be done before leaving.

5Rise first and dress before waking others

Time alone in the morning, without bumping into others or being interrupted, can be just what you need to get yourself together.

6Have children make their lunches

If mature enough, have children prepare their lunches to save you time and get them involved in food preparation.

7Encourage spouse to share in morning tasks

Have your spouse share morning tasks so that you don't bear all the responsibility.

8Take time for breakfast

Set the breakfast table the night before - a good task for a younger child. Sit down for 15 minutes and eat a light, wholesome breakfast. If you're on the run, grab a piece of fruit, cheese and crackers, an enriched whole grain muffin, or a small filled sandwich. Eat while commuting.

9Set your clocks ahead

It may be psychological, but having your clocks and watches set 5 to 10 minutes ahead can keep you on schedule.

10Reward yourself for arriving at work on time

You'll be surprised how good you'll feel when you arrive at work, on time and relaxed! Sometime during the day, treat yourself to something you would not normally do: a leisurely bath, lunch with friends, or a new novel.

Up next: Head start morning chart >>

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