If you’re like me, your weekday morning routine can be hectic and stressful. You race the clock to get the kids to school and yourself to work in a timely fashion. We all know what that stress can do to our bodies and minds; it keeps us from functioning at full capacity. Many of us have been guilty of being the crabby person in the office simply because traffic was jammed on the interstate, or we simply did not have a chance to get our morning coffee. When that happens, it’s no fun for the people around us and it certainly does not set us up for a productive start to the day. How we tackle our morning tasks sets the tone for the entire day.
Time is valuable and we would all love to have a few extra minutes to make the most out of the morning. Here are a few tips I have found to be effective for setting myself up for a successful day.
Prep the night before.
Nobody likes searching for lunch boxes, cell chargers and book reports at the last second. Gather everything needed for the next day in one location where it won’t be forgotten. Designate a basket in the entryway for all those items, or take it one step further and put everything in the car. That way it’s only bagged lunches and to-go beverages weighing you down in the morning.
Lay out tomorrow’s outfit.
From shoes to earrings, or wrist watches to neckties, get it all together before going to bed. Do the same for your children and your significant other if needed.
Set the alarm 30 minutes earlier than normal.
And actually get up when it goes off, rather than hitting the snooze. Spend a few minutes just sitting and stretching as your muscles wake up and your mind un-fogs.
Drink a glass of water to boost your metabolism and start the hydration process. Doctors recommend 8 glasses a day, so get the first one in early!1
Get your blood flowing.
Use those extra 30 minutes from setting your alarm clock earlier to do whatever your body needs to get going – walk the dog, practice yoga, or go for a run. Exercise releases endorphins, making you feel happier, and more productive.2
Boost your brain.
Read the newspaper, work on a crossword puzzle, or write in your journal while you sip your morning coffee or tea. Give yourself a mental makeover by reading spiritual passages or positive affirmations. Just looking at thought-provoking images can help set the mindset of having a satisfying and fulfilling day.
Set priorities for the day.
Make a list of the things you need to tackle and keep that list where it’s visible or accessible. The notes and tasks application on smart phones can be handy tools. Try using them to get organized!
Review calendar/schedule of day’s events.
Plot your route if there are many stops to hit and make the most of your time while in the car. Leave post-it notes for family members if they need to be reminded about a meeting or practice.
Create a routine for personal care.
If it’s easier to wash and dry long hair at night, then do so, leaving only styling and finishing touches for the morning. Whatever it is, if you can move some of your routine to the night before, you’ll have more time in the morning.
Listen to traffic reports.
If weather or car accidents are likely to impact your normal route, have a back-up plan or allow extra commuting time. It’s also helpful to know who you can rely on in case of car trouble.
Start implementing just a few of these tips if the whole list seems overwhelming, and take it one morning at a time. Here’s to wishing you a beautiful morning!