Ugh…it’s 4 pm. And it should be a happy time of day because my son will be getting off the bus soon.
But at this time of day I feel dread, exhaustion and a little bit of anxiousness.
Once my son gets off the bus, we have to empty out his backpack – so. many. papers. WTH do I do with all the papers? Plus, he’s hungry, I’m starving (no matter how much I eat – I’m always starving at 4pm), and I have to get dinner started.
To paint the picture for you, my youngest son is trying desperately to get his older brothers attention, because he missed him while he was at school. Someone is asking for cookies, or some other food he knows he can’t have before dinner. I’m sorting through all the freaking papers and cleaning out the lunchbox, all while feeling very hangry. And then I have to deal with the ultimate parent dilemma, TV or no TV for the kiddos?
It feels like chaos – I just want to be teleported somewhere else! But I have to rally through.
Though I still don’t love the 4pm hour – I have found that creating an after school routine has helped me to feel a bit more calm.
Basically, implementing a routine will always create more peace and productivity in your day.
5 ways routine will eliminate chaos
1. Creates more productivity, while using less brain power.
Once you have a good routine down, you just move through it without having to think too much about it.
For example, as part of my morning routine, I unload the dishwasher, then make school lunches without having to question when I will do it. I automatically go from task to task.
2. Incorporates Good Habits So They Stick
If you have been trying to create a new habit, one way to help it stick is to make it part of a routine.
I used to be horrible at taking vitamins. I would always forget about them. Once I started taking vitamins directly after I ate my breakfast, as part of my morning routine, the habit stuck.
3. Gives You a Sense of Control
In those moments when you don’t know what to tackle next, you can feel overwhelmed and out of control. Having a routine can help you gain control over the situation.
If you have a “getting ready for school” routine, you won’t have to worry about making sure your daughter doesn’t forget her backpack because it will be part of her progression out the door.
If you want help getting your kids on a morning routine, download the checklist below.
4. Eliminates Resistance and Push – Back From Kids
If you are a parent, this is by far the best benefit of routine. Once you put a routine into practice, your kids will start to fall in line and know what is expected of them. You may still have to repeat yourself a bit, but eventually it will become easier.
Once and a while I still hear complaints about having to brush teeth before bed. But this is nothing compared to the whining and arguing that would go on if brushing their teeth was something done sporadically, not as part of their bed time routine.
5. Ensures Important Tasks Are Completed
I hate the feeling of not having a “home” for things. From paperwork to time to write. If you want things to get done, attach the tasks to a routine.
Make your bed every morning as part of your “getting ready for the day” routine.
Put gas in your car weekly, as part of your weekly “grocery shopping” routine.
Empty out the school folder and put it back in the backpack each day as part of your “after school” routine.
If I didn’t attach these boring, but effective, tasks into a routine, I would be overwhelmed and always trying to remember what needs to get done next.
Use Routine to Remove the Chaos
So if you’re looking to eliminate chaos, and have more calm and productivity in your day, start with creating good routines.
They allow for less brain usage, help you to create and keep good habits, create a sense of control, eliminate push-back from your kids, and ensure you get stuff done.
If you like this blog post, I would love if you can share with a friend. If you have a routine that eliminates chaos, let me know in the comments below.