Time Tricks

 So, I have a teenager…and I’ve noticed that she struggles in the area of time management. It seems like she is always doing things at the last minute and always the last one into the car when we go places. And, though it has been very frustrating, I totally get that she comes by it honestly…and it’s not from her dad’s side! 

I want my children to be better at time management than I am…and I really want to be better, too. So I’ve developed a system that has been working well for over a month now and I thought I would share it with you in case you might find it helpful, too.

What I’ve been doing is setting an alarm for 30 minutes before we need to leave the house. Sounds simple, right? And then be done it in the past, and it hasn’t worked. But I have a twist on it. 

When the alarm goes off 30 minutes before we are supposed to leave, I hit the ten-minute-snooze button and announce to everyone that it is time to clean up/finish what they were doing. And I do the same. I know that part of the reason I am running late is because I think I have time to do more than I can actually do before it is time to go. This step means that we are coming home to less of a mess (hopefully!), too, which is really nice. Half done projects and school notebooks are not left all over the table. 

When the snooze expires (20 minutes before it’s time to leave) I hit snooze again and announce that it is time to get ready to leave. This means changing clothes (if applicable), gathering anything needed for the outing, getting shoes and jackets on, and refilling water bottles. 

When that snooze alarms goes off (10 minutes left before takeoff), I hit snooze one last time and tell everyone it’s time to head out to the car. It can totally take my crew ten minutes to get from the house to the car, but if we are miraculously out there sooner than that, I have everyone grab something from the car that needs to be put away in the house or pick up and put away something from the front yard. 

So in summery;
     -30 minutes before Go Time: “Everyone finish what you are doing!”
    -20 minutes before Go Time: “Everyone get ready to go, coats and shoes on, water bottles filled!”
     -10 minutes before Go Time: “Everyone out to the car!”

Maybe having all these alarms sounds stressful to you, but for an ADD mama like me, it really helps to keep me focused. And it’s working! I think I’ve only been late to two events in the past month, and I’m going some place every single day between soccer and church activities, so that is really saying something! 

Anyway, God bless you, mamas, and I hope this helps!


  1. That’s a good method. For years I’ve been working on the method of making it my goal to leave 20-30 minutes before I need to. If I focus on that it seems to get me there early or on time. Then if I’ve got extra time I can use it to connect with people or clean up my car or take a mental break before I begin whatever
    I’m doing. Doesn’t always work well with toddlers.

  2. That is a good idea, too!


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