Who doesn’t dread laundry that’s piled up after a week, or the pantry barren of after-school snacks? Even the most ambitious intentions often turn into “I’ll do it later” or “it can wait.” We are distracted by countless activities, chores and appointments that clutter up our schedules. Don’t despair. The New Year is a great time to re-evaluate your life and avow to live with less stress and more time doing what you want to do. And while living stress-free isn’t realistic, effective time management can be a lifesaver. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Start with a Routine

If your weekday morning begins with a house looking like a disaster zone, children nowhere near being ready for school, and breakfast consisting of a granola bar and spilled milk in the backseat of your car, it’s time to establish a better routine! 

Lay down the law: Prepare your kids the night before by detailing their morning responsibilities. The next morning, wake them earlier if need be to get these all done in time. It’s crucial that they are in bed at a decent hour so they can wake up ready to go the next morning. Grade school children are recommended to get  9 to 11 hours of sleep per night. Once they’re up, make sure they know what is expected of them and when. In advance consider having them write out the following list so they can learn responsibility and how to manage their time, and estimate exactly how many minutes each chore will take. 


Teaching your kids to help out in the kitchen at a young age, such as unloading the dishwasher, will go a long way to making them lifelong helpers.

  • Make bed
  • Use the bathroom
  • Change clothes
  • Eat breakfast
  • Brush teeth and brush hair
  • Pack lunch
  • Pack bag and put on socks and shoes

A similar list can be used after school as well.

  • Put away backpack
  • Put shoes away
  • Clean out lunchbox
  • Wash hands
  • Have a snack
  • Do homework
  • Complete chores

Share the load

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when kids arrive home from school and need your attention, help with homework, assistance making a snack, help entertaining a playdate or a ride to an after school activity or to a friend’s house. Consider taking turns hosting playdates with other parents so you’re not always the playdate overseer Partner with other parents through school or youth sports to arrange carpools. This is especially important if you have more than one child and are trying to split your attention between all your children. Carpooling also teaches your children to be respectful of other people’s time by being on time for scheduled pick-ups, and even to make friends. 

Toy bins are a great way to teach your kids to pick up after themselves after a playdate so you’re not the one cleaning up the playroom.

Shop Strategically

If you find yourself constantly running errands to the store–for whatever it might be–from poster board or snacks for the tee ball team, consider taking advantage of curb side pick up and online shopping.

  • Curb side pick up – Both Walmart and Target offer this service, free of charge.
  • Delivery – Instacart and Peapod are two of the most recognized and well known services that will deliver groceries to your door step.
  • Online shopping – We’re all familiar with Amazon, but keep in mind that stores like Kroger.com and Vitacost carry a variety of basics and favorites ranging from Crispy Green snacks to tissue and face wash!

Schedule Time for Yourself

One of the best ways to be more efficient and stressed out less often is to make time for yourself. Whether that means attending your monthly book club, going for a run or signing up for a yoga class. Taking time away from your hectic life will help you maintain a sense of calm and appreciation. Sometimes the best way to move forward isn’t by speeding up, but by slowing down.

— Megan Meisner

Megan Meisner Fitness emphasizes activity, nutrition and restoration. The emphasis is on progression, not perfection. An ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, with more than 10 years of experience, Megan emphasizes on fitness for moms and youths.

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