A Productive Day starts the Night before



As funny as it sounds, a productive day starts the night before. Why? Because mornings are crazy and people are cranky!  There’s no time when you accidentally get up late because you or your family hit snooze.  The key to productivity is setting yourself up for success the night before.


Make a list

What are essential tasks that need to be done for the next day?

  • Set out clothes
  • Pack drinks, snacks or lunch
  • Charge electronics

Make a check list for you and your family to be sure these are done at night.  Post the list where each person can see it, such as a bathroom mirror.  Your list can include a spot for check marks too so you are sure you completed each step.


Get ready early

Getting a great night’s rest starts by getting ready early.

  • Start your kids’ off at an earlier bath, story and bedtime and you will enjoy a few minutes of extra solitude.
  • Get in your jammies way ahead of time or no later than an hour before bed.
  • Plan on 7 – 8 hours of rest for everyone.

Set your alarm and you will be surprised at how great you feel the next day. Now is the time for you bedtime procrastinators to get great shut- eye.


Work as a team

Get buy-in from your family with a family meeting. Talk about the value of a great night’s rest and working together to have a great day.

  • Kids can help pack lunches.
  • Have a laundry party to get everyone to take their clean clothes back to their rooms.
  • Make dinner super simple so there are no dishes.
  • No team? Use technology, automation and other delegation to help.  This could be buying precut fruits and veggies, using reminders on your smart phone, or dropping your dry cleaning off each week on the same day.


Getting started the night before allows for the “oops” factor.  Some thing may go wrong in the morning. But you have it covered if you start the night before.


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11 replies
  1. Stephanie LH Calahan
    Stephanie LH Calahan says:

    My son is now 13 and we have a checklist that he created and put on his bathroom mirror. It contains both morning and night activities. Love that he created his own plan! No nagging necessary for this mom.

    We do a lot of planning the night before and executing in the morning.

  2. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    Thanks Stephanie! I love checklists too. It’s best when your kids create them. It also makes is so much easier for us as parents. Wishing you a great school year!

  3. Linda Samuels
    Linda Samuels says:

    Am a big lover of lists…check them in evening, first thing in morning and throughout the day. To help kids get out the door easily, have all items ready to go as close to the exit door as possible the night before. This might include packed backpack with completed homework, notes to teachers, and permission slips, any special clothing items, and reminders for what to bring or something special about the schedule.

  4. Yota Schneider
    Yota Schneider says:

    Great tips, Ellen! Thank you.

    Doing as much as possible the night before is a no brainer for mother of twins:-) The girls are now eighteen but I don’t think I’d have survived the school years without anticipating the “oops” factor.
    Choosing clothes the night before, and starting bedtime ritual early so everyone could get a long night’s sleep are life saving tips.

    For me, solitude time after everyone was asleep has always been a must and a sanity saver. It allows me to unwind and relax so I can get a good night’s sleep too.

    Keep the great tips coming.

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