If your family is anything like mine, mornings are usually busy. I used to feel very rushed and disorganized each day as we tried to get ready for school and work. But once I took five easy steps and established a morning routine for our family, things got simpler and calmer.
Everyone has some sort of a morning routing. Simply because we tend to do similar things each morning. You many not call it a morning routine but that’s basically what it is. We get kids ready for school, we get ready for work, we eat breakfast, etc. But if you want to start your morning in a productive way you should consider establishing an effective morning routine.
Because everyone’s lifestyle is different, your morning routine will be unique to your households. Here are 5 steps to help guide you through creating one that will work best for you.
1. List your Must’s
The first thing you should do is create a list of things that you need done each morning before heading out. Start with writing down all the things that you absolutely must complete in the morning. Things like feeding your kids breakfast or packing lunch. The activities on this list will be your priorities.
Then you can write down any additional things that you would like to accomplish but they are not show-stoppers. For me, this list includes things like emptying the dishwasher and doing my hair. Since I work from home, I can do those things at lunch time.
2. Identify Pain Points in Your Current Mornings
Is there anything in your current routine that you struggle with each morning? Are there specific parts of your mornings that are the most chaotic? Maybe it’s the never-ending search of socks and shoes? Or maybe the constant rushing of your kids because they seem to be moving at a slower pace in the mornings? Or maybe it’s the arguments with your kids about what to pack for their lunches?
Once you have identified them, think of possible solutions. For example, my pain point was my daughter arguing with me each morning that she does not want to wear the clothes I have picked out for her. So instead of fighting about it each morning, we have started picking out her outfits together the night before. That simple change has greatly improved my mornings.
3. Never Skip an Evening Routine
Effective morning routines start the night before. The evenings are usually more relaxed compared to the morning hours . It is not a big deal to go to bed 5 or 10 minutes later because you were looking for a matching shoe. But finding those extra minutes in the mornings usually means that you will be late somewhere,
This is where you can probably resolve a lot of the pain points from the previous step. I try to prepare everything that I can the night before. It makes my mornings so much less chaotic and rushed as my to-do list is much shorter.
I wrote a blog post about an effective evening routing recently. It describes six steps I take at the end of each day to prepare for the next morning.
4. Get Up Before Your Kids for Some Me Time
Starting your day with some time for yourself can make a huge difference for your mornings. Ever since I became a mom, I have learned that the only way to make sure that I get some time to myself is to get up before the kids do. It could be a couple of hours or only a few minutes. But having some time to yourself first thing in the morning allows you to fully wake up and enjoy some piece and quiet.
As a reference, I start morning at 4:30am. The first thing I do is let the dogs out, put my workout clothes on, and workout.
Next comes one of my favorite parts of the day…coffee.
This is also when I do some self-development, which was inspired by Hal Elrod’s book The Miracle Morning.
During that time I also write in my gratitude journal. I write down five things I’m grateful for and my 10 goals that I want to accomplish in the near future. This is something that I have learned from Rachel Hollis. Here is her website and a life changing book if you are interested.
5. Give Yourself Grace
While having a morning routine will help you get organized and make it run smoothly things will happen. You will get up late, your kids will wake up grumpy, the car won’t start. Life happens. You cannot control everything. Just take a deep breath and keep going. Remember, that perfection does not exist. All we can do it do our best! Tomorrow is another day.