In the Fall of 2010, I was honored to work with Sam’s Club as their “Back At It” Spokesperson during the busy back to school season. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing these posts here and there because I think you’ll find them right on time as busy Moms adjust and get settled into new routines. Let me know what you think!
Do you ever have those days when your morning is a blur? It usually happens to me when I get up early to claim those early hours for a productivity boost, only to find that my youngest child wakes up early, my husband doesn’t set his alarm and is running late, or I work late the night before and need to give my early morning brain completely to my family as they get started and out the door. There is nothing more frustrating than starting the day feeling behind or interrupted from something you mentally set your mind to accomplish. It can threaten your sunny disposition from the starting blocks and that challenge to your attitude can be toxic to a person, taking everyone down.
I’m often asked how I find more time in my schedule and it always comes back to looking for windows of opportunity. Early mornings are exactly that. With a little advance planning, you can claim this block for a multitude of tasks from home organization to personal time and your family will be just fine. It’s as simple as making a list of tasks that you’d rather not see compete for your attention in other parts of your day and finding retail and service providers that offer early hours to meet your needs. If it means you’ll need coverage for your kids, then work out a system to take turns with your partner offering the same opportunity to be used on other days. Here are three places to target your efforts:
1. Workout: Schedule workouts twice a week between 7:00 am and 9:00 am, letting your partner take charge fulfilling all the same tasks you do with equal success. Exercising early in the day has a host of health benefits, including increasing your metabolism and helping you sleep better at night. Believe me, if you can get your family out the door, other people can do it equally as well. Plan to leave your home, either on a run or visit to the gym, making sure you aren’t accessible and your partner is clearly in charge.
2. Start Work Early: Notice I’m not saying that you end your day early as well, that’s totally up to you. But from where I sit, if it’s a particularly busy time, managing the busy work of business easily gets tabled while I take care of time sensitive projects. Arriving early is a gift, enabling me to work without interruption and be prepared for days full of meetings, projects, conference calls and more. When you enter each with a clean slate on your laptop and your desk, you have more creativity and brain space to share and frankly, that’s why you are there. Alternate early morning work windows with your partner giving him the exact same opportunity to get ahead…you won’t regret it.
3. Tackle Errands at the Opening Bell: Find service providers and retailers who extend off hours visits and you’ll find your home organization productivity sky rockets right before your eyes. Sam’s Club Early Hours is a wonderful option, enabling you complete your entire shopping trip starting at 7:00 am. And don’t worry if you can’t come home to unload your haul. Simply outfit your trunk with a cooler and/or hot and cold tote bags that will keep your items fresh and safe while you work or play.
There will always be just 24 hours in every day. The key is how you work with them to make sure you are investing in windows of opportunity to tackle the busy work of motherhood so you are completely free to enjoy the important things. How do you make the most of early mornings?
Disclaimer: This post was first written as part of a series as a compensated spokesperson for Sam’s Club Back At it program September 2010 and updated to share in 2011. My opinions are entirely my own.