Think about your morning routine. This no doubt falls into one of two categories:
- Up late and rushing
- Up at the same time each day yet routine could potentially be improved
Let’s attack ‘up late and rushing’ first. For many this is only too familiar. We wait until the last possible second to claw back the covers then spend the remainder of our time getting ready with speed, hoping nothing is forgotten when flying out of the front door. After realising the kids are still in the house and actually need to be at school, our day begins! Does this sound like you? So what can you do to ease the constant pain of mornings?
Define your Routine
Planning is key! If you think about everything you have to do in advance and break it down into small tasks it makes it much easier to work out a set order in which everything has to be done and ensure nothing is forgotten. Enjoy a cup of coffee first thing in the morning? No problem! You can make that the central part of your routine and base everything else around it, ensuring you have time for your coffee. Even if you don’t drink tea or coffee, you may still want to set aside some time so you can sit, relax and compose your thoughts for five or ten minutes.
The best way to plan is to make a list of all the things you need to do before you leave the house in the morning. Do you need to get your clothes ready? Do you need to prepare lunch for yourself or the kids? Do you eat breakfast before you go out? How much time needs to be allocated for spending in the shower and will there be a queue for the bathroom? Is there anything that can be done the night before to take some of the pressure off the morning rush?
Thinking about all these things in advance and writing them down will help you visualise everything that needs to be done so you can formulate a routine and at least have some idea of what needs to be done by a particular time before you leave the house. You might stick to it rigidly every day but by using it as a guide, you can avoid much of the stress and rush that regularly turns mornings into chaos.
How are you using your time?
So what if you get up at the same time every day but feel like your routine could be improved? Do you find yourself rushing and forgetting things even though it feels like you’ve given yourself enough time to get ready? In this instance, it may be best to work backwards from the process of planning a routine and actually work out what you’re doing in the morning.
Try and remember everything you did between getting up and leaving the house. This should help you work out where you might be taking more time than necessary and putting unwanted pressure on yourself. Do you sit and watch TV when you’re supposed to be getting ready? Do you spend longer in the bathroom than you need to? By working out exactly what your morning process is, you can work out where improvements can be made and where time can be saved to make your morning less stressful. And if you find there isn’t any extra time you can save between getting up and leaving the house, then maybe you should consider setting that alarm a few minutes earlier!
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