Use these strategies to transform a hectic a.m. into a productive and relaxing one
If you dread the sound of your alarm in the morning, it might be because you haven’t set yourself up the night before to avoid the stress and panic that can follow. You don’t have to be a morning person to put into place some strategies that can make all the difference. A little bit of planning can pay off hugely in terms of having a little extra time to prepare yourself for the day ahead—without wasting time on things that aren’t essential or could be avoided.
So take a look at this list, and see if you can identify a place or two where you can give yourself a leg up in your morning routine.
Organize yourself the night before
The best way to ensure a calm morning is to spend time the night before getting everything organized. That way you won’t be rushing around putting out fires; you’ll have a plan for the things that most need to get done. This will also help you prepare mentally for the day that lies ahead. Here are some basics to focus on:
- Look at the weather and plan out what clothes, shoes and outerwear to wear the next day.
- Review your homework assignments, make sure you have all the pieces you need, and put them in your backpack.
- Think about lunch, and whether you plan to pack it or have money to buy it the next day. If you’re bringing it, pack it the night before and leave it in the fridge.
- Have a set place where you always leave your wallet or pocketbook and your car keys, so you don’t waste time looking for them.
Get in bed earlier
An extra half an hour of sleep can make a huge difference, and when you have to be at work at a certain time, you can only get it on the front end. So DVR that late night show you love, put the phone down, and get into bed at a set time. It might take some discipline at first, but once you do this for a couple of weeks it will become a habit. You’ll feel better and more rested in the morning, and you’ll see that those 30 minutes are extremely valuable as you’re preparing for the day!
Make time for a good breakfast
One of the advantages of a more orderly morning is time for a healthy breakfast. See what it’s like to take time to sit at the table and enjoy the start to your day. You can leave the house feeling energized and ready to tackle whatever you have ahead of you.
Plan a shower schedule
If you’re not the only one who needs to get in the shower in the morning, then take into account what your room mates’ or family members’ schedules are. If you know your window for showering, you won’t be frantic about waiting for someone else to finish. There’s no reason for you to have your schedule thrown off, or get into an argument—this only makes the morning more stressful! A little planning in advance can make this part of your morning routine more relaxed and fair to everyone in the household.
Let the kids get themselves organized
Getting kids out the door can be a struggle, but you can teach them to take care of some of their own responsibilities. They can spend time the night before picking out their own clothes, getting their homework together, packing their backpacks, and even packing their lunches. It’s great to teach them these habits, and it will free up a little time for you to take care of everything you need. You might even have time to make them breakfast!
You might be amazed by how much these strategies can make a difference. Just give them a week and see if your mornings are calmer. Give yourself a chance to start off on the right foot, and your whole day can become more enjoyable. You deserve to enjoy your mornings!
This post is part of the Salter School’s weekly blog. We support all of our students in creating satisfying meaningful lives, personally and professionally. Reach out to us for more information about the career training programs we offer.