Ahhh. The school pick-up line. Not gonna lie, I have a love/hate relationship with it. I hate the chaos of it all but I kinda love that I’m forced to just sit in my car for nearly 15 minutes. I can turn my tunes on and just sit. However, I usually find myself scrolling on my phone. Anyone else? And while this isn’t necceassirly a bad thing – I feel like just a few minutes on Instagram or Facebook can set my “Mom Envy” into full throttle. It’s hard not to compare ourselves to others.
I also find that 15 minutes on my phone equivalates to 75 minutes a week of just wasting time scrolling through the highlight roll of everyone else’s life. The pick-up line is just one of many places I find myself waiting in my car for! That is a lot of down time spent sitting in the car not being productive!
Here are some things I have started to do in the pick-up line to not only keep the social media giant at bay, but also to check off a few more to-do’s on my list:
1 |. Clean your car. Am I the only mom who tells my kids to get in/out of the car as quickly as possible to I can shut the car door to keep any bystanders from catching a glimpse of the mountain of junk piled on my floorboards and empty seats? It’s beyond embarrassing. After I grocery shop, throw 3-4 plastic bags in the trunk of your car for these impromptu car-cleanings. It’s great to have to collect all the trash and organize stuff that needs to be taken inside when you get home. If you have some baby wipes you could even be a superstar and wipe down your dash board.
2 |. Unsubscribe to Junk Mail. I feel like I spend more time deleting emails then reading them! I have so much junk mail, I can’t even keep up with how quickly it accumulates. Recently, I made a concerted effort to scroll to the bottom of each of these emails as soon as they arrive in my inbox and follow the “unsubscribe” link/prompts to stop the madness from happening any longer! If I don’t have time to get to each email immediately, I wait until I am sitting in the pick-up line. After consistently doing this for a couple weeks, I have been pleasantly surprised how much less distracted I am from my phone/Apple watch pinging me for incoming pointless emails all day long.
3 |. Write Thank-You Notes. Keep some notes in your glovebox to easily whip out and write those thank-you notes or any other notes you have been waiting to get around to. If you don’t have anyone to write to, take the time to write a “just because” note to a send to a friend, put on your spouse’s pillow or slip in your kid’s lunch tomorrow.
4 |. Make Appointments. Okay before you think I just telling you to fill your calendar with more stuff, I am talking about making those appointments that you have been holding off forever. Like getting your kids in for routine eye exams? Or calling the dentist to actually write down the dates of all your upcoming cleanings so you aren’t scrambling when they call the day before your appointment. Look up in the corner at the Jiffy Lube sticker. When was the last time you scheduled an oil change or got your tired rotated? Has it been months since you’ve had a haircut?
If it’s in the budget, make an appointment to just spoil yourself. Get a massage or a pedicure. It’s important to make time for you too! Keep your planner with you OR download a planning app like Cozi to put appointments and such in immediately. Some appointments that we often overlook as adults but are important are our annual physicals, body checks with the dermatologist, eye appointments, OB-GYN appts and dental health. Schedule these for your spouse too if you have the time!
5. | Meal Plan. Scroll Pinterest if you must, but get a pen and paper and write down meals for the next week and using a list app or the Cozi app, begin putting your grocery list together. This is also a good time to brainstorm healthy options for you or your family, time-saving recipes, or a cookie recipe to make with your kids.
6 |. Gift Shop. What would our lives be like today without Amazon Prime?! I’m petty sure our UPS guy thinks I have a massive shopping addiction since I order almost everything on Amazon these days and he pretty much drops stuff on my doorstep daily. But aside from your general purchases, use this time in the pick-up like to buy a baby gift for your friend or birthday present for that party your kiddo has to attend next weekend. I mean – two day shipping guys! And no scrambling to Target the morning of and wrapping the gift in your CAR. I know you’ve done that too.
7 |. Sell some stuff. I have so SO much “stuff” in my basement I need to sell or donate I have been loathing it for about 8 years and I continually push it to the side or shut the basement door to avoid the situation all together. Just so you know, this does not work in making the issue any less overwhelming. Before you jump in your car to get your kiddos from school, run into that junk pile or bring up one box of stuff that week and take pictures of it. Use the time you’re sitting in the pick-up line to post to Craigslist, letgo, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, Poshmark or eBay. Imagine using 75 minutes a week just to post stuff to sell! You’d be raking in the dough in no time and decluttering too.
8 |. Clean up your Phone. Here is a good time to update, organize and delete old apps. Change your smartphone lock and home screen, delete old text messages and voicemails. Or um, actually reply to old text messages or voicemails?! Improve your phone’s functionality by making sure its up to date, and that useless apps or pictures are deleted and not consuming space. Update contact photos with newer ones in your camera roll. Take the cover off and clean the grime around your phone (wet wipes again). Change the settings, maybe even adopt a new ringtone if you’re feeling super adventurous. Sometimes these small things go neglected, especially when you’re a busy mom. These little changes add up and taking the time to actually do it can really add to your emotional health.
9 |. Do a Quiet Time. If you have 15 minutes to spare for God, it’s still better than no time at all. Download the YouVersion App to read the Bible, or bring a devotional to read in the car. Spend time in prayer by keeping a little prayer journal in the console of your car to whip out. Read about the 15 minute quiet time here where you can print out and reference the free printable for on-the-go quiet times.
I have been trying to really hard to focus on being more productive with these 15-20 minutes rather than just sitting on my phone scrolling through social media.
What do you do in the school pick up line or while your waiting in your car?