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I recently received some life-changing advice that’s helped me get through this back-to-school season with ease.  Transitioning to fall can be tough for some parents. Summers are so much more laid back. You can arrive at camp whenever you please. You can skip it all together if you don’t feel like getting up. There’s no homework. The school year, however, needs much more structure (and much more energy for mom.)

When people ask how I get it all done, I often share my  tips for time blocking. Basically, I break my day up into breathable chucks. Instead of taking things “day by day” I usually go “quarter by quarter”. There are a MILLION things that need to get done in a day…but if you can compartmentalize and figure out what you can do in a 3 or 4 hour chuck of time it leads to a much more manageable and productive day.

Time-Block Your Day

*6:00-9:00 AM

From 6 to 9 the focus is on the marathon of getting myself and my 1st grader off to work and school.
Sounds like an easy task, but most mornings are a chaotic mess.
My tip for this time block is to try to schedule at least 10-15 minutes to yourself and create a ritual that helps you ease into the day. Mine is simple…..

Coffee time! For me, coffee is comfort.  My parents and grandparents were big coffee drinkers, so the smell of fresh coffee makes me feel comfortable and at home. I use it in the morning both to wake up and to relax.  It’s basically my version of comfort food. From the first hot sip, to the last cool one, I savor every second. While I can get coffee anywhere along my commute, I love my morning ritual of making my Dunkin’ Donuts® Original Blend Ground Coffee brew at home. When I get up, it’s still dark and quiet and the city is still. Being able to cuddle on my favorite chair in my corner while my French Press fills my home  with the fresh aroma of coffee is priceless to me. The Original Blend is everything you love about Dunkin’ Donuts coffee….all ground into one delicious roast. It’s smooth and full of flavor and gives me the boost I need to get my day started right.

From the second that my daughter wakes up until about 8pm, I’m running all day. The most important part of my morning is the 15 minutes I get to myself. Without it, I’m a mess.

*9:00-12:00 / 12:00-3:00 / 3:00-6:00 PM

Equipped with the fuel I need to handle the next 9 hours, I power through my workday.

My schedule changes constantly and as a freelance Art Director, I juggle several projects and proposals at a time. I, like most working moms I know, could use a few more hours in the day.

Time blocking works for entrepreneurs and business owners— whether you work in a formal office, a temporary co-working space, freelance full-time, or work from home with your kids. (I speak from personal experience, as I’ve had just about every single work situation imaginable.) I suggest a short break after each quarter. Reward yourself for all the work you’ve accomplished and fuel up for the next quarter. After crushing my goals from 9-12, I grab lunch and treat myself to my favorite dessert. After the 12-3 slot, I brew another cup of Dunkin’ Donuts® coffee . It gives me the energy I need to make it through school pickup, dinner and homework. I like to give my kid my full attention and match her energy in the evenings until her bedtime, and then finish up projects and freelancing at night.

If you have any advice to share on going strong from sun up to sun down, leave a comment below!

Love,
The Lawrences

(I only get 15 minutes to myself in the morning before this happens. That fresh coffee aroma often wakes my little one and *poof…quiet time is over.)

Right now Stop and Shop is offering a coupon for $1.25 off  Dunkin Donuts coffee products! (I doubled up.)
Grab the coupon here!

Author

Nia Lawrence has over 10 years of experience working as an Art Director at some of the top magazinesin New York City. She was responsible for creating visual content for companies such as Real Simple, Latina, Redbook, Women's Health, Martha Stewart Living, Suede and Victoria's Secret.. ​ Brooklyn, NY is home to the mom of one who currently runs the Nia Lawrence Design Studio, a print and digital marketing company.

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