Get Organized in the Car Pool Lane

Do you fall victim to the car pool "hurry up and wait" syndrome? Checking your watch every five minutes to see if you need to leave to pick up the kids, only to wait in line for 15 minutes? If you are the one on carpool duty, why not take advantage of that "free" time spent waiting in line when you can't do anything else anyway? Next time you grab your keys to pick up the kids, take along a notebook, pen, and maybe even your checkbook and get a few things crossed off your list before you even utter the words, "How was your day?"

Ten Things You Can Do In the Car Pool Line:

1. Shopping List and Menu Planning. Plot out your week's menus and then make a list of the ingredients you'll need to pick up at the store. Heck, you could even swing by the store on the way home.

See also The Dangers of Texting and Driving

2. Make Doctors Appointments. We're all for avoiding talking while driving, but putting the car in park and getting on the phone to make those pesky appointments is a great way to cross this task off your list.

3. Plan Date Night. It's ok to daydream a bit- in fact, we suggest it. Next time you let your mind wander, think of some ways that you and yours can spend some quality time. You can also make dinner reservations, call the sitter, and book tickets all while waiting for junior to come bounding out the door.

4. Pay some Bills. Just bring along your checkbook and a book of stamps and you have one more annoying task off your list. Bonus- you can drop them in the mail before you even enter your house.

5. Read. Are you the type that saves articles from the paper and rips pages from magazines? Instead of letting them pile up on the kitchen counter, throw them in a tote bag and keep them in your car for times just like this.

See also Is My Teen Texting Too Much?

6. Calendar Planning. Bring your planner or your smart phone and transfer all of the extracurricular programs, birthday parties, appointments, and other events into your calendar. You'll feel accomplished knowing that it's all in one spot.

7. Thank You Notes. It's not where you write them but how. Take the time to get the thank you notes written, addressed, and stamped and you'll be on your way to perfect manners in fifteen minutes flat.

8. Catch Up With a Friend. Whether it's by phone or a quick email or text, it's a great chance to catch up with a friend without the distractions of home and the family.

See also Blackberry Etiquette

9. Financial Planning Appointment. Make an appointment with a financial planner to get your finances in check.

10. Birthday Cards. Bring along a stash of cards and fill them out while you have a little extra time.

Get Organized in the Car Pool Lane published by Modernmom.com