Working professionals, busy moms, getting to appointments, running errands… mornings can be CrAzY! And I don’t know if you’re like me, but if my morning is stressful, I spend the rest of the day trying to defuse that tension. I’d much rather have a calm, steady morning that sets me up to be ready for whatever else might come that day. Here are some tips (some I’ve tried, others I’m GOING to try) for how to simplify your morning routine and get out the door faster!
1. Ready-To-Go Outfit
When I know the next morning is going to be rush-rush, I’ll take time the night before to select and set aside an outfit. No stressing about what to wear, no worries about wrinkled clothing… it’s all been taken care of the night before!
Another trick I’ll use to get out the door quickly in the mornings is to have breakfast pre-made and ready to go (The French say it much prettier: “pret-a-manger”). And don’t even think that skipping breakfast altogether is the best time saver! You’ll feel so much more sluggish without breakfast that you might as well have just stayed in bed. Instead, take a few minutes the night before and prepare something that you can either quickly heat or simply grab and go. My favorite qrab-n-go meals are mini egg omelettes and chopped fresh fruit. While you’re at it, make your lunch the night before as well. You may not be eating it in the morning, but it still takes time to prep before you can get out the door. Do it the night before instead!
3. Avoid the Snooze!
Not only does hitting the snooze button on the alarm just waste time, but it also sets you up for a groggy, unproductive day. Research shows that when we go in and out of sleep in the morning, we confuse our bodies into thinking it’s okay to stay tired. The effects can take anywhere from 2-4 hours to wear off before we finally start waking up! I guess it’s true that “if you snooze, you lose”!
4. Clear Off Bathroom Counter
Another trick for getting out the door quicker in the mornings is to make sure your bathroom counter is cleared off the night before. I’m usually pretty good to keep my counter clean as it is, but I tried this out on my boys. On mornings when they started with a clean counter, they were much quicker to get out the door than on mornings when their bathroom counter started messy. The difference: When their toiletries and things were put away and easy-to-find, they took less time scrambling around to find what they needed to get ready. (Oh, how I love being organized!)
5. Bathroom Schedule
I don’t care who you are, sharing a single bathroom is rough! If you share a bathroom, come up with a system for sharing the space. This might be a schedule or keeping toiletries in separate bags, it really doesn’t matter so long as you pre-arrange a system that works for your family in which everyone knows the space is shared.
6. Go Technology-Free
Did your heart skip a beat as you read that title? Perhaps that’s all the more reason for you to actually do just that: Go technology-free in the morning! To be honest though, I’m quite guilty of getting morning tech withdrawals myself! I like starting the day knowing that all my business has been taken care of. Knowing that about myself, I actually schedule in time each morning to dedicate to emails and messages. BUT there are mornings when I just have to acknowledge that I’m not only a professional. I have many roles in life and most of them don’t require me to check my phone or laptop in the morning! Read this article from Business Insider to learn more.
7. Packed and Ready-To-Go
One of the most common excuses I get from my students for why they aren’t prepared is that they “did their homework but left it on the table”. I always suggest to students that they prevent this from happening by making sure their homework and projects are packed and ready-to-go the night before so they don’t forget in the rush of the morning. I do the same thing! If I know my morning is going to be rushed, I’ll make sure all my necessities are by my bag and keys, all near the door. I also recommend keeping weather-specific items all together and close to the door in case bad weather catches you off guard in the morning. I hate scrambling in the mornings just to find an umbrella or gloves!
8. Let The Light So Shine!
Okay, so my mornings don’t look like this. I’m not even sure it’s possible to be THAT happy in the morning, but I do know sunshine certainly makes it more realistic. I live in the Rockies where we experience all four seasons. I say all the time that I’m a summer girl, and birthdays, holidays, Summer Break, and vacations aside, I really do mean it… I NEED sunshine! I think this is true for all human beings though. I’ve noticed that especially in the winter when it’s cold and dark, the more natural light, or even just any light, I can let into the home, the better my mornings go. When their is sunshine, you make for better time! Follow this link to learn more.