Beating the clock

Image 078Everyday we run for our lives through responsibilities and seemingly never-ending
‘to-do’ lists.

Not enough can be said about having starting blocks. Seriously, think about it.

When an athlete is about to run that 200M sprint, he’s hyped up yet focused on the task ahead and he gets his start from well-placed blocks on which to start his run to glory. So too must we. Preparation is key, and having the tools to get you on your way are critical to yours and your family’s success.

We all know we must have a good breakfast, but how many of us actually have time to sit and enjoy it? How many of us eat on the run?

This is where a little preparation the night before can always help us to get off the blocks smoother in the morning. Role model these tips for your kids, get them to follow your lead and then everyone will be running in the right direction, instead of tripping all over each other like in a 3-legged race.

The night before (straight after dinner, during the ad breaks on telly), lay out your clothes the night before, iron that shirt, shine those shoes, make that lunch and put it in the fridge. Make your to do list for the next day and remember to aim for completing at least 3 items on it. Check and update your diary and your daily running file for any items you need to have with you the next day; whether it be items for errands, work or school and pack it in your bag so you aren’t scrambling around looking for them in the morning when the unexpected could put a spanner in the works.

Checklists don’t have an age limit and are a tool not a weakness (yes even a child can use them!). If kids can’t read, use pictures or photos of them doing the steps and stick them on a chart. Establish a ‘Family Command Centre’ near the door and you will have your ‘Starter Block’ to push off from. Make sure everything is there at your fingertips before you go. Keys, sunglasses, wallet/purse, directions, mobile and sports gear etc. Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can get off your list today, dry-cleaning won’t clean itself, so if you value that jacket clean it now or give it away.

Remember too, that you are role modeling for your kids. If you look disorganised and frantic don’t be surprised if they act in the same way. Manage your time better and they will manage theirs better. Have everyone follow the same rules and everyone will eat breakfast without stress and get out the door and through their day far better. Lastly, change the inner dialogue – and remember the Less Equals More mantra “routines are not straight jackets, they’re life jackets!”

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