You're back to work and the kids are back to school, so there's no more excuses. It's time to get organised. The experts say the solution is all in the planning.
Professional organiser Carolyn Verhoef suggested kickstarting your routine by making a plan as a family.
"Have a weekly family meeting about what the week is going to look like," she said. "I suggest a 10-minute get-together around the table on a Sunday night."
Write up any commitments on a whiteboard and put it on the wall so everyone can refer to it, Ms Verhoef said.
Start your workday by feeling calm and in control.
"Take a walk in the morning before work," Ms Verhoef suggested. "It helps clear the mind. Once you arrive at the office, check your diary for the next three days. This way you'll have no surprises and appointments are planted in your memory better as you see them three times."
End each workday by planning your next one, Ms Verhoef suggested.
"Spend 10-15 minutes at the end of the day making the to-do list," she said. "Then when you come back in the morning, you have a plan to get started and you don't spend the first half an hour scrambling around."
The same goes for your home.
"Pack schoolbags and prepare lunches the night before," she said.
Kristina Karlsson, kikki.K founder and creative director, said a good routine was all about systems.
"Sticking to a routine can be challenging but if you have the right systems in place - whether it be how you file or simply how you prioritise and go about your daily tasks - getting into a routine is so much easier," she said.
At work, keep your most frequently accessed items and files within arm's reach, Ms Karlsson suggested.
"Having a to-do list or notebook handy to jot things down and making sure you have a paper flow system in place are also crucial for helping you stay organised."
Your diary should be your best friend, Ms Karlsson said.
"Use your diary to manage personal and professional appointments, birthdays and any other reminders," she said. "There's nothing quite like putting pen to paper - it will free your mind." She said the biggest secret to sticking to a routine was not to let things get out of hand.
"With the right tools, you can create wonderful systems - and once you've turned chaos into order and feel the freedom it brings, you'll be motivated to keep it that way the entire year," she said
- _ INSIDE: Stay on track. _ *