Four tips for organizing your a.m., from time management expert Laura Stack. 1. Work Before Play "It can be easy to sit down with a cup of coffee and get sucked into surfing the Web," says Stack, who suggests that working women shower and get dressed before they start any morning tasks. For moms, she adds: "If you miss that chance to take care of yourself first, then later, when your kids start tearing each other's hair out, your makeup just isn't going to happen."
2. Get Future-Focused Simply laying out clothes the night before won't cut it. "Think like you're in a time machine and prepare as much as you can for the next day," says Stack. Her own family of five goes over the details every evening. "It runs from, 'Where are your soccer cleats?' to 'What's the weather going to be?'"
3. Prep Your Meals Don't leave eating to the last minute, or you might end up resorting to unhealthy, on-the-go options or skipping breakfast entirely. Instead, have a strategy. "If you're making a smoothie in the morning, put everything in the blender with the lid on the night before and store it in the fridge," says Stack. You can also set out nonperishables and any pots or pans you might need in advance.
4. Take a Teamwork Approach Stack has seen many women refuse to delegate duties to the rest of the family because of their "picky, picky standards." But she advises relinquishing control over certain tasks and using that time for yourself. "It's okay to let other people pack the lunches or make the beds—even if they don't do it the same way you do," she says. That new mind-set will make your whole day easier.