Do your mornings leave you stressed out and exhausted before the day even starts? Here are seven strategies to make your mornings work for you so you can be more productive, have more energy, and start your day cool, calm, and collected.
GET UP EARLIER
Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can do an hour’s worth of stuff in 30 minutes. Or that by sleeping a little longer you’ll be more well-rested. Rushing around to get out the door on time will only leave you feeling more worn out. By getting up earlier, you will be able to start your day calm and relaxed.
PREP THE NIGHT BEFORE
What do they say? “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”? Set yourself up for success by spending a little time at night prepping for your morning. While you’re cleaning up dinner, pack leftovers for lunch or get breakfast ready. Get your briefcase packed and set it by the front door so you don’t have to worry about forgetting everything.
DON’T CHECK YOUR EMAIL
This is a hard one, but try to resist the urge to check Facebook, Instagram and your email. It is a slippery slope that leads to lots of wasted time. Before you know it, you’ve watched one too many cat videos, and you’re frantically running around to get out the door.
Did you know? On average, office workers receive at least 200 messages a day and spend about two-and-a-half hours reading and replying to emails. That’s a lot of time spent staring at a screen, a lot of it unproductive. Check out these tips for breaking your email addiction.
HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
Love your morning coffee or yoga routine? Maybe you want to spend a few minutes reading before everyone else wakes up. Schedule something you love in the morning, and getting out of bed will feel like less of a struggle.
If you are short on time, breakfast should not be the morning habit to skip. Have healthy grab-and-go foods on hand by prepping the night before (see above). Smoothies, overnight oats, and hardboiled eggs can all be made ahead of time and grabbed out the door.
Whether it’s a full workout, or just a few minutes of stretching and jumping jacks, starting your day with some sort of activity will leave you energized and ready to tackle what the day has. Plus, it will put you in a better mood so you are better equipped to handle it when things don’t go perfectly.
ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES
Accept that no matter what, things are going to come up. Someone will forget they needed to bring cupcakes for the school bake sale, you’ll spill coffee on your clothes, or you’ll forget your cell phone charger at home. Know that you get to try again tomorrow, and not every morning is going to be perfectly calm.
Bonus Tip: Have kids? Set a timer to keep kids on track in the morning. You can purchase a big analog clock, and put a post-it at different times when they should finish certain tasks and move on the next. Sick of breakfast taking 45 minutes instead of 20? Give them ownership of when they should be done with breakfast, teeth brushing, dressing, etc. It will save you the agony of fighting with them and begging them to get dressed.