My helpful productivity hacks for planning ahead



As the summer draws to an end, parents right across Roscommon are busy preparing their home for the back to school season. So, between covering books and ironing school uniforms, sorting out bedtime schedules, planning healthy lunches, and possibly organising responsible childcare facilities, we thought we’d try to provide you with what we like to call our helpful productivity hacks to assist you when planning ahead.

Here they are …

Label everything: Between the journey to school, the classroom activities and the school yard fun and games, things are bound to go missing, or at least, get misplaced, so pop a colourful label onto everything your child owns.

Do a weekly meal prep: If you’ve got the time, try to set aside a few hours to prep and freeze meals on a Sunday. This will do two things, one, give you more time during the week and two, (while we all enjoy our chips, curries and pizzas), planning in this way will prevent you relying too much on take away food.

Keep a Diary: Now, while it may sound a bit regimental, popping a weekly wall planner on the wall and colour coding everyone’s daily schedules, whether this is a game of footie, a dance class or a music lesson, will definitely generate you an A+! You see, a planner will not only remind you where you’ve got to be at any given time, it’ll also help you organise your shopping list, as in do you need to buy snacks to keep them going during soccer/basketball practice etc.,

Post it: I’m a huge fan of post-it notes and regularly write orders, sorry reminders on them before popping them on the fridge door under a magnet. Annoys the hell out of hubby, but it works for me!

Organise your bathroom: It may sound silly, but by streamlining your bathroom products such as shampoo, shower gel, clean towels, toothpaste and make-up etc., into easy to grab areas,  you can save yourself valuable minutes during the morning rush to get the kids to school and yourself to work.

Create a utility space: Clear out a corner in the hall or under the stairs and hang shelves and coat hooks where everyone can disrobe, dump their school bags/laptops and hop into their slippers the minute they enter the house. This will do two things, one, it’ll keep your floors clean and clutter free and two, it’ll provide a central ‘go-to’ area for storage meaning everyone knows where everything is kept.

The car: Provide car seat pocket storage organisers and tell passengers to use them for rubbish and empty water bottles etc., Speaking of your car, as you’re likely to be the unofficial family taxi for the next academic year, consider booking your motor in for a service this weekend.

And finally: This may sound overly organised, but, as I’m someone whom, due to the demands of my job, I absolutely had to stick to strict deadlines while taking care of a family, (and a dog), so I bought a beautiful (and very useful) kitchen cart in my local DIY shop. I parked it in my extension, loaded it with clean mugs, a coffee maker, bottles of water, healthy snacks and a bowl of fresh fruit each evening, so that, come the morning, in the event we were running a bit late, the kids had a ‘grab and go’ selection of nutritious items on hand.  Seriously, I’m wasted here folks…I could give Rachel Allen a run for her money!