Mornings are busy and they can be quite chaotic. If you have a young family and plenty of people to get ready and out the door, you know this first hand. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way, no matter how busy you think you are first thing in the day. Earlier, I asked you to journal about all the issues you had with your morning. If you haven’t done that yet, I encourage you to take a moment to do so before moving on to today’s focus of solving those issues.
The first few hours in the morning set the tone for the entire rest of the day. Do you want that to be rushed, frantic, and feeling like you’re constantly running and trying to catch up? Or do you want it to be calm, collected, productive, and with a feeling that you’re in control? It’s up to you and it’s all about embracing two simple concepts.
Get Up Early Enough
It’s tempting to hit the snooze button and catch a few more minutes of sleep, isn’t it? It’s even hard to set the alarm early enough that you have plenty of time for everything you want and need to get done. I get it. If you’re not a morning person, moving up the alarm by 30 minutes to carve out a little extra time can be tough. Trust me though, after the first few mornings it’s not nearly as hard as you think and something you’ll quickly get used to.
Getting up early enough and avoiding the snooze button at all costs is the key to an unrushed morning. Here’s the problem with cutting time too short, or worse hitting the snooze button a few times. It gets you behind from the very start. You have to rush to make it out the door in time and any little problem or speed bump along the way turns into a huge problem. Not being able to find the car keys is suddenly a major crisis because it could cause you to be late for work and the kids to be tardy at school. Remember, your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you start it chasing lost time and lost items, that’s likely how you’ll spend the rest of your morning.
Getting up early enough, on the other hand, puts you ahead of the game. You’re in control. You can take care of everything that needs doing and still have time for the important things you want to work on. In short, getting up early enough sets you up for an amazing, productive day.
Restructure Your Routine
Before we wrap this up, spend a little time thinking about your current morning routine and where you’re spending time. Look for things you can change and tweak to find more time for the things you really want to do. For example, if you want an extra 20 minutes in the morning to meditate, look at what you could take care of ahead of time, eliminate, or delegate to make that time. If you spend a lot of time getting breakfast for everyone, get in the habit of setting the breakfast table the night before.
Get your spouse to get the coffee ready, so all you have to do in the morning is push a button. If your children are older, start to teach your kids to make their own breakfasts and take the dirty dishes to the sink, rinse them, and put them in the dishwasher. Don’t expect perfection, they will get better as you give them more experience.
Make sure clothes are set out the night before (including yours), and that book bags, purses, briefcases, and car keys have a designated spot, and that there where they need to be before you turn in for the night. Small changes like this to your morning routine can make a big difference.
I challenge you to come up with a few small tweaks that will save you at least 30 minutes in the morning. If you already have a journal, this is a great idea to explore there. You can also use my handy journaling worksheet “Small Changes Brainstorming Page” to collect your thoughts.