Back when I was a nine-to-fiver, I would often find myself bolting out the door twenty minutes late and grabbing a quick breakfast on the way to work - or worse yet, skipping breakfast all together. Only when I made it to work would I realize I was wearing mismatched shoes or that I forgot to put my makeup on. If you can relate to the scenario I've just shared, you know how having a morning like this can throw your entire day off kilter. Today I'll share some tips to help you start your busy weekday mornings off right - without having to rush or forget things.
The night before.
Before we can deal with our mornings, we have to start the night before. A lot of preparation should happen in the evening and will take things off your plate and keep you stress-free in the start of the day.
Set clothes out. This goes for your children too. Make sure things are clean, stain-free, ironed and there are matching socks and shoes, and have a designated place each member of the family can find their outfit. Ladies, make sure you have all accessories and jewelry together and somewhere visible so you won't miss them!
Make sure kids are bathed. Kids take a lot longer in the bathtub or shower than adults do, so make sure your kids are clean before they go to bed and save the time in the morning.
Cut your own bathing time in half. I like taking showers at night, but I know most adults need the help waking up in the morning, so why not cut your shower time in half? Do the unnecessary grooming routine - shaving and washing hair - the night before so all you have to do is clean yourself and you're outta there!
Prepare or pack meals for the next day. Whether you're packing the kids' lunchboxes or your salad, get everything portioned up and in the bags or boxes the night before. The next morning, just toss in the ice pack and you're good to go.
Plan your breakfast. If you know what you're eating the next morning, whether it's a bowl of cereal or an egg sandwich, prepare as much as you can the night before. Set out plates, bowls and silverware and the box of cereal so your kids can help themselves. Wash some fruit and leave it in a bowl on the table to grab and go. Have all ingredients together in the fridge for a hot breakfast and make sure you have your beverage of choice ready by setting out your mug and tea bag and putting water in the kettle or loading your coffeemaker with your favorite roast.
Take care of paperwork. Sign permission slips and report cards and put them back in your kid's backpack. Make sure you have your presentation in your bag. Gather any out-going mail by the front door so you can drop it in the mail box out the next morning.
In the morning.
Good morning, sunshine! Now that you have several tasks already taken care of, you should wake refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
Wake up to your alarm. Start making a habit of NOT hitting the snooze button. No matter how good it feels, you can't actually get any beneficial rest once the alarm sounds and drags you out of a deep sleep. Take advantage of the extra time to get up and spend those first quiet moments preparing yourself for your day. Whether you want to work out, read your devotions and pray or just enjoy your coffee alone before the kids wake up, you should learn to savor this time!
Get lunches together. This shouldn't be a difficult task if you prepared everything the night before, but now's the time to pull everything out of the fridge (don't forget your ice packs) and put the lunch boxes and bags where you can easily grab them heading out the door.
Listen to your local news. Specifically, you should listen to the weather and traffic. Do you need to remember to take your umbrella to work? Do you need to detour from your regular route to avoid a fender-bender? Is public transportation running behind schedule? These are things you need to know so you can prepare to change your schedule last minute, rather than getting stuck in traffic or left un-sheltered at the humor of Mother Nature.
Avoid distractions. Until you are showered, dressed and kids are up and at 'em, do not pick up your phone to read emails or look at social media. These activities are time sucks and you can easily get distracted and lose precious time in your schedule.
Other tips to help you stay organized in the morning.
- Fill your gas tank up in the evening and save time in the morning
- Have a morning routine chart to remind kids to get dressed, brush teeth, feed dog or cat
- Keep all makeup and grooming supplies in one place so you can find everything when dressing
- Keep a list of things to remember so you don't forget anything when you're leaving your home
- Portion out medications the night before, allowing easy dispensing in the morning
- Keep seasonal accessories (hats, gloves) in a designated place so they are easily found
- Create a music playlist to put everyone in a good mood and dance your way out the door
What are your favorite ways to simplify your morning routine?
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