As they say, an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of performance. All those little tricks we learned in Girl Guides were right! Here, we’ve recycled the best of them, with a modern twist.

  1. Pre-make your breakfast: to-go jars are awesome, especially when made the night before. There are thousands of recipes for “overnight oats” on the internet, so we won’t bother to repeat them here, but have you tried placing it on that center back warming burner, right when you wake up? By the time you’re dressed, you have a lovely warm breakfast ready to grab as you run out the door. Don’t forget making your cold brew coffee or tea the same way, in your to-go cup. No waiting, and cheaper than takeout!
  2. Hang up your outfit the night before, in the bathroom. When you stagger into the bathroom early in the morning, no time is wasted walking back, and forth, and back, and forth… Do not exit the bathroom until you are totally ready. Turn it into your private dressing room, complete with accessories, by hanging up a dedicated hook for laying out your outfit each evening. Don’t forget shoes!
  3. Put the alarm clock in the living room. No more hitting the snooze button! When it goes off, you are forced out of bed to turn it off. Plus, it’s a handy thing to have in your kitchen area, if you listen to radio news in the morning with family. Even better, give kids the power to choose the station, and they have a reason to get out there and change the dial.
  4. Put school bags in the car the night before. How many times have you had to run back into the house to grab soccer cleats / ballet outfits / the permission slip / water bottles and who knows what else? That pile of school bags in the front hall is a pet peeve in our house anyway, and it’s totally avoided by just keeping the bags in the car. No more forgetting. No more “I can’t find it.” No more dropping things in the rain because our hands are full. No more morning meltdowns.
  5. Pre-order your coffee via the app. If you absolutely must have the “green logo” stuff, rather than homemade, use the app to order it, enabling you to simply waltz in, grab it off the counter, and then use the app to tip your barista later in the day. Saves time, earns points, no waiting in lines – lines ares soooo 2010, aren’t they?

10 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but when you add it up, it’s hours you could spend relaxing, or having quality time with family. I also play the game, “What can I get done in 10 minutes?”,  when cleaning, doing jobs I hate, teaching the kids to avoid time waste, etc. It may not be much, but it’s interesting to see what happens when we focus.