It’s been 6 months since my kids were in school and nursery full time, thank you very much COVID-19. We’ve had lots of quality time and playing since lockdown began. Now, there’s a week left before the boys go back to school! Like me, you might have 20,000 things to organise to feel ready to tackle those hectic mornings again! You might feel like a rabbit caught in headlights at the thought of getting ‘back to normal’.
Months of freedom and out of whack routines will do that to you.
But it doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming. You can become an organisation Queen.
You can crack productive habits and routines that get you out the door on time with happy smiling faces.
Getting To Grips with Back To School
I’m going to arm you with 3 of the best tips and trips to rock your back to school routines. 3 obvious habits that will leave you feeling powered up for the rest of your day.
Starting our days in the right way sets up our mindset for productivity, confidence and positivity.
Is it one of your bad habits to ignore the alarm, get up late and end up rushing out the door? I bet it feels like there’s a black cloud following you around throughout your day.
We can’t control situations around us (especially in 2020 where even more is out of our control that normal!) but we can control how we prepare ourselves and our outlook to deal with it.
And it’s all in the preparation. It actually has very little to do with the tasks we complete each morning. Instead it’s all about how we set ourselves up for success. And going back to school is the perfect time to start building some new positive habits.
I’m a big self saboteur. I often ignore the ‘sensible’ habits that will benefit me in favour of another Netflix episode. I also get sucked into another hour of ‘busy’ work on the laptop.
It’s made me re-evaluate my productivity and the habits I’d created over the past 12 months. I wasn’t doing myself any favours.
It made me ask, how do you go from overwhelmed, unprepared and sabotaging and become empowered, cool and collected?
Turns out, it’s a recipe of a pinch of new habits, a dash of routine and a sprinkle of willpower. The amazing thing is, starting new habits sets yourself up for supercharged mornings. Added bonus? You’re also catering to your self care AND build your confidence.
Those limiting beliefs from your inner critic will start to shrink away. How? By accepting that new habits are in your best interest and SHOCK HORROR stepping into ‘adulting’.
You begin to learn that the negative voice doesn’t have to control you or your actions. ‘I can’t do it’, ‘I won’t stick to it’, ‘I’ll fail and always be late and stressed!’ thoughts become a thing of the past. You can choose to be empowered and full of confidence. You can choose to take make your life easier, more productive and happier!
Getting to grips with these habits to tackle your back to school routine is the first step towards that. The first step to the productivity you need in your life that allows you to start prioritising your self care too!
Write It Down, Your Memories Worse Than A Goldfish!
One of the biggest stresses I used to have when going back to school was making sure I’d a) done everything that needed doing before leaving the house and b) didn’t forget anything (there were a few occasions where a PE bag, coat or drink bottle got left behind and had to be retrieved!).
When it’s early and you’re trying to juggle 3 children, it’s easy for things to slip your mind. Create habits of jotting down thoughts and not only will your productivity suffer but you’ll struggle to practice self care too.
There will be be days after going back to school you forget things. You get to school or work only to realise today was the day to bring cupcakes/muffty day money/old t-shrits for painting.
Our attention span has declined over the past 10 years. We now have a lower attention span than a goldfish (thanks Facebook and you’re damn addicted Fee… Squirrel… )
It might seem obvious but it really does work! Sometimes, the most obvious solutions are the easiest to dismiss.
By writing down key events of your week ahead of time, you won’t have to try and remember every detail in the moment.
The 2 oldest’s HIMA’s head back to school next week on a staggered start thanks to COVID. Our school have been fantastic in their preparations. They’ve keeped us informed and up to date with key information throughout the summer.
When they sent out the ‘back to school’ plan in late July, I immediately grabbed my planner! I jotted down the new staggered start times so I didn’t forget them.
Boy am I thankful I did as I would never find that email now. It has meant I’m prepared for who will be where and when in what’s sure to be an anxious and chaotic week.
Moreover, every evening I sit down with my planner and list my 3 top priorities for the next day. I list any appointments I need to make, items I need to remember or questions I want to ask.
And I implore you to do this too, for your sanity, productivity and wellbeing!
Be as detailed as you think you need to be. If you can work off of a trigger word write that. If you need the complete ins and outs to jog your memory, do it. Get things clear on paper to be clear in your mind the following day when it’s time to get back to school. This tiny act of organisation helps to cut the stress and will boost your productivity.
It’s also an act of self care, so triple win! Yippee!
Read Next: 7 No Brainer Benefits of Digital Planners
Skip the Netflix Binge; Have a Sleep binge instead
I’m not gonna lie, our routines went out the window shortly after home schooling stopped. Before July we had a pretty solid daily routine from breakfast and school work right up to dinner, bath and bed.
After 4 months of home schooling the 6 year old, while also trying to entertain 2 under 4s, I’m done in. Yes I struggle too, like you do. Life happens but it is how we react to that defines our successes.
I needed a break from trying to appease 3 children while also working from home – self care for the win! How have you coped the past 6 months? It’s been tough right,
With back to school less than a week a way, I stepped up to use this final week of (strikeout)torture) freedom. I’ve been putting morning and evening routines back together for the kids – and me!
We focus so much on ensuring our kids go to bed and wake up on time, but neglect to do the same for ourselves. This is where the willpower comes in.
Our body’s are rhythmic and respond best when we are going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day.
You may feel like all you want is to sit and binge Netflix til midnight. That might be the only time you get to enjoy by yourself or with your partner throughout the whole day.
But ask yourself, is this benefiting me? What am I gaining by staying up late watching Netflix or scrolling Facebook? You will get much more out of your day if you set yourself a time to be asleep and STICK TO IT. Netflix will always be there tomorrow.
And your body will thank you for it, as will your mind.
When we get a quality nights sleep our productivity benefits. We’re also calmer and better able to deal with stresses, leading to a smooth and happy morning. It’s the perfect self care act that you don’t really have to think about!
It takes time to shift our rhythms and routines. Make sure you start setting yourself a sleep and wake time now. It will mean avoiding the shock of it when you actually have to get the kids back to school in the coming weeks.
Doing this in advance gives you a chance for ‘practice’ runs and to make changes bit by bit. You’ll be more likely to stick your new habits setting them up in this way.
The more you go to bed and wake at the same time, the more rested you will feel as well. If you’ve been struggling with concentration, productivity and managing your temper while the kids have been home, I feel you!
I am WITH You. And this will help.
Once you’ve got your sleep corrected, you can start tothink about rising earlier. It comes with huge benefits like enjoying silence and giving you more time in your day. I for one LOVE getting up between 4 and 5 AM when I’m in a routine so I can have a focused personal growth & self care hour.
Prep to Par down Your To Do List
I cannot express how beneficial it can be to prep the night before. Not only for you and your mindset but your children as well!
Making back to school preparations the night before will declutter your morning to list. same way that writing down to do’s and key events before hand will declutter your mind
You can refresh your morning routine for yourself. Why not print out a morning routine checklist for your kids. Put it up somewhere obvious for the mornings and get them to tick off each task when they’ve done it.
Chose your clothes the night before and lay out your children’s uniform too. Pack school lunches, PE kits, swim bags and any notes or extras they need.
Leave everything by the door ready to go as soon as they’re fed and dressed!
The point of this is to take as many decisions out of your morning as possible. To build easy productivity habits that benefit not just your morning routine but your self care too.
You’ll forget less by preparing everything in the evening, when you’re most focused.
Heading to the gym on your lunch break? Pack your gym back and put it in the car.
Kids got ballet after school? Set an alarm reminder on your phone.
Do whatever you need to do to make your mornings as efficient as possible.
That means only including essential tasks in our morning routine! Things that we cannot leave the house without doing; washing, dressing and breakfast!
I also do a 15 minutes household blitz after the kids have gone to bed.
This small habit makes sure my precious morning isn’t taken up by tidying and cleaning. I count it as part of my self care too as it calms my mind to sit down to a tidy home in the evening.
This simple routine helps boost my productivity too – you know what they say, tidy house, tidy mind!
Get You Backside Ready for Back To School
They may seem straightforward and obvious steps to take but thats the thing. Many of us often dismiss the simple things. We underestimate how powerful they can be for our mindset, productivity and wellbeing. That’s what it’s all about – having systems, habits and routines in place to streamline your day and ditch the stress. You’ll never go back to your old ways of doing things once you startthese 3 obvious back to school habits. You’ll become the organised Mum you’ve always dreamed of being!