Do you long for ways to get yourself and your children out the door on time each day? Are you overwhelmed with busy schedules and after school activities? This new year, you can hit the reset button and start fresh by establishing new daily routines.
A routine is defined as a sequence of actions that is regularly followed. Though the word may have a rigid connotation, the autopilot nature and efficiency of routines can ultimately offer freedom, flexibility, and greater focus-time with things and people you love.
healthy routines should be uniquely tailored to you and your family’s lifestyle and personalities.
Rather than conforming to a “one-size-fits-all” mold, healthy routines should be uniquely tailored to you and your family’s lifestyle and personalities. The good news is that routines can be changed, if necessary, because our life circumstances and responsibilities are always subject to change based on whatever God has in store for us.
Establishing both a morning and an evening routine can be especially helpful when it comes to maximizing your time and productivity. Here’s an example of what that can look like:
- Brush teeth
- Shower/get dressed
- Clean dishes/empty sink
- Grab bags and head out the door
- Clean dishes out of sink
- Tidy up
- Devices on chargers
- Go to bed
Before I share my five time-saving tips with you, the most important routine we should always resolve to incorporate in our day to day is spending time in God’s Word.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you O Lord, teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.” –Psalm 119:11-13
Let His Word guide your thoughts and actions throughout the day. Even when our schedules are busy, chaotic, or even mundane, starting the day in His Word gives us the power to make wise decisions and react in a godly manner toward our family, friends, and co-workers.
the most important routine we should always resolve to incorporate in our day to day is spending time in God’s Word.
OK, are you ready for my five time-saving tips? Here we go!
DROP ZONEEstablish an area where you drop everything when you walk in the door. It could be an entryway table, your kitchen counter, a desk — wherever you can “unload” before you start walking around your house to do other things. This is where you will corral things at the end of the night to prepare for a smooth departure in the morning instead of frantically searching for missing items.
BAG CHECKMake a habit of cleaning out backpacks, work bags, purses, and/or lunch boxes every evening so they are ready to go for the next day. You’d be surprised how easily trash piles up in these accessories! This time can include making lunches in the evening as well, which can be a good activity to involve your child in.
EMAIL CHECKSet aside time for yourself to sort, reply to, or delete emails — maybe even giving yourself a goal of doing five at a time to chip away at your inbox. This will help the number of unread emails at a reasonable place next time you check it, thus freeing up more time for you to address other tasks and helping you feel less overwhelmed.
CHARGING DEVICESArrange all of your devices to be charged in the same place and even at the same time if you desire. This unplugged time can lead to greater family bonding, which is time well spent! In order to make this possible, you may need to invest in extra chargers or a power strip. Creating this group charging area can also save you time searching for chargers around the house that your family or friends may have borrowed and even prevent you from misplacing your phone within your home . . . we’ve all been there!
TIDY 10I saved my favorite tip for last! This is my favorite one because you can make it a game for your family. The Tidy 10 entails going around the house and finding one area to spend 10 minutes tidying up each day. Here are some examples: dusting off appliances, organizing a junk drawer in your kitchen, clearing off your desk of numerous piles, folding towels, etc.
If multiple people are involved, you can cover a lot of ground when you divide and conquer! Devoting these 10 minutes to mitigating messes can also spare you an entire day devoted to house chores that pile up throughout the week, which we all know can happen way too fast.
These tips have served me well over the years. Every once in a while I might wander from them, but I always come back to these tips to “reset” my routine, especially during the start of a new year.
Remember, make routines that work well for your family and have fun together in the process. And lastly, I encourage you to be mindful about using the extra time you gain wisely and for God’s glory. After all, time is a precious commodity that no person can buy!
be mindful about using the extra time you gain wisely and for God’s glory.
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” –Psalm 90:12
“. . . making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” –Ephesians 5:16
Thea Kohlhepp currently serves as the Elementary Library Media Specialist at Calvary Christian Academy. She has been a Christian educator for 27 years, and this will be her 16th year at CCA. She loves being able to teach children about Jesus through any subject. She has been married for 28 years and has two children, David — a CCA alumnus and currently a High School history teacher at CCA — and Emma who is a junior at CCA.