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Monday, February 15, 2010

Don't Sabotage Yourself with the "Evening Drift"

After a long day, it's easy to drift through your evening. Doing so, however, may end up sabotaging yourself later.

It's important to rest, refuel, and spend time with those you love. It's also important to be pro-active in using your evening well. By doing so, you'll be able to anticipate what needs to happen tomorrow, and you'll feel less overwhelmed at the end of the week.

Each week when you plan the next week's schedule, plan your evenings as well:

- Establish an evening routine consisting of several tasks that keep life on track. Some examples might include family time, bath times for kids, homework time, 15-minute clean up for the entire family, loading/running the dishwasher, thinking through tomorrow's dinner, some personal time, a set bedtime, etc.

- Schedule household chores (load of laundry, cleaning task, paying bills, etc.) that can be done throughout the week. Doing a load of laundry or two during evening activities eliminates dedicating large chunks of time to it over the weekend.

- You'll also want to think through what is necessary for everyone to get out the door in the morning: lunches, backpack/briefcase/diaper bag/purse loaded, athletic uniforms/gear, band instruments, school forms, choose clothes for tomorrow,

- Multi-task in low-risk areas: Fold laundry while overseeing homework. Dust while watching a TV show. Vacuum during commercials. Clean counters while on the phone.

If by using your evening time well, you can squeeze in some tasks you normally do on the weekends, you'll avoid having a huge weekend to-do list! Encourage the rest of the family, if applicable, to do the same.

More help:
Getting Organized for School - Charts
10 Ways to Double Your Time
The Real Problems Behind Kids' Excuses To Get Out of Chores
The "Do It Now" Mindset
Decluttering in 5 - 20 Decluttering Tasks You Can Do In Five Minutes or Less
How to Buy Some Extra Time
Getting Organized for School - Creating a Backpack List
Getting Organized for School - Family Calendar