Rise and Shine, and Be on Time!

Susan Yee, Office Manager Extraordinaire

“How do you do it?” Susan Yee, Alameda Pediatric Dentistry’s Office Manager, hears this question often. In addition to having worked at APD for more than 30 years, Susan “manages” three kids at home, getting them each to school before the early bell rings and arriving at her desk well before the first patients begin trickling in for their six-month check-ups. Even veteran parents, the teachers at her kids’ schools, marvel at Susan’s punctuality. “How do you do it?” they ask her throughout the school year.

Getting kids out the door on time isn’t easy, what with lunchboxes to fill, blouses to button, sneakers to tie, homework to pack, and of course, rows of little white teeth to brush. Today, Susan shares her secrets, and her time-saving tricks are sure to put an extra snap in your morning routine:

1. Fast forward time, and don’t tell the kids. Susan sets her clock 15 minutes early. “I tell the kids it’s 6:15 but it’s actually 6,” she says.
2. Make their lunches and their breakfast the night before. Pre-packing lunch is a no-brainer, but Susan’s a step ahead of that, making breakfast a breeze as well. “If it’s a hot breakfast, we have it ready in a bowl covered with Saran Wrap and they just pop it in the microwave.” With her husband’s help, lunches are labeled with their names, with the fruit washed and sandwiches made the night before, leaving nothing but water bottles to pack during the morning rush.
3. Backpacks … check! A last-minute search for homework may very well lead to a finger pointing toward the office for a tardy slip. That’s why Susan makes sure the kids have everything they need for school stowed in their backpacks, which are placed by the front door along with their jackets, ready to go. “Everyone has a section by the front door,” she says.
4. Relax and follow through. If you don’t care or give up, Susan says, the kids are going to follow suit. In the same token, a responsible attitude carries through as well. But even when you’re all grown up, it sometimes takes an extra push to follow through. “When you’re exhausted from a full day at work, you still have to take care of the children’s needs. Don’t get upset because you have to do it. Stay calm, take a deep breath, and say, ‘Let’s go.’ Get it done.”
5. Brush those teeth! The morning rush should never eradicate this important habit! There are ways to help prevent the kids from skipping out on the toothbrush. Susan keeps toothbrushes on both floors of her home, so the kids don’t have to run up and down the stairs to brush when they’re behind on time. She even keeps toothbrushes for them in the kitchen, so brushing comes easy after putting away those breakfast plates.

-How do you roll in the a.m. hours? Share your time-saving tips with us below!

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