Sure, it's March, but some of us still have a fairly serious amount of winter ahead of us. I look forward to the days when I can grab my sandals and sun hat and run out the door, but winter mornings require a little more planning ahead. Here are some of our best tips for staying on schedule during the chilly winter months.
1. Before You Do Anything Else: Look Outside. No matter how diligently you check the weather forecast, you might be surprised by what you see out there. 10 inches of snow to shovel, when only 2 inches were predicted? Your car half-buried thanks to the snowplows? Streets so snowy and icy that the buses aren't running and there's not a cab in sight? Know what you're facing, and allot your precious morning time accordingly. Bonus Tip: Weather reports aren't perfect, but if snow is predicted overnight, do yourself a favor and set your alarm 30 minutes earlier. You can always go back to bed..
2. Shoveling: It Always Takes Longer Than You Think. The times I've gotten all ready for work and then shoveled have not gone well, and I find myself way behind schedule. Now I know to take care of it right away, using the 7-year old's signature move of snowpants-over-jammies if necessary. Once that essential task is taken care of, I can wolf down breakfast, run a comb through my hair, and throw on proper clothes in whatever time I have left.
3, Getting Dressed: No Small Task. I've consistently been a few minutes late these past few months, because every single day I underestimate how long it will take to strap on all my winter gear. Besides the long underwear I always wear under my clothes (and my clothes themselves, of course), I need to gather and install an extra pair of thick socks, my snow boots, an extra sweater, my coat, hat, scarf, and mittens. And don't forget to pack work shoes! Bonus Tip: A chair or bench in the entryway is a lifesaver when it comes to putting on big winter boots.
4. Warming Up The Car: Who Has The Time? If you drive to work in a wintery climate, I'm sure you know how important it is to warm up your vehicle for a few minutes (sometimes even more when it's insanely cold). I still can't seem to wrap my mind around it, and never leave myself enough time. I'm trying to mend my ways by setting a Out Of The House 10 Minutes Early rule and by putting my house key on a clip I can easily remove from my truck keys. I go out, start the truck, head back in to do a final gathering and straightening, and grab anything I forgot to grab before (library books that are due, outgoing mail, workout shoes). Then I lock up the house and head out for real!
5. Admit To Yourself That Everything Takes Longer. Moving around in bulky winter clothes is slow. Changing both pairs of socks because you got snow in your boots is so tedious. Melted snow from your boots needs to be wiped up. It seems to take an eternity for the tea kettle to boil in a freezing kitchen. Taking off your boots at the last second because you forgot to grab something — and then putting them back on — takes forever. Everything seems to take twice as long in the winter, and knowing that is half the battle. The other half? Sheer force of will.
What are your favorite winter morning survival tips?
(Image credits: Carolyn Purnell)