If you’re anything like me, you may often feel rushed in the morning. I don’t know about you, but I hate feeling like I don’t have enough time to get my life together before I have to go tackle responsibilities. Not being prepared, whether that be not having enough time to do my hair, or having to rush out the door before I can grab a cup of coffee, has a ripple effect through my day. So, over the last week, I have adjusted my morning routine in order to have a more productive day.
I started waking up earlier and having a clear plan in the morning to follow. Not only do I feel better in the morning, but my whole day becomes more productive. But, more on that later.
I am more of a morning person, but I still have trouble getting up. Once I am out of bed, I am usually okay, but that does not stop me from hitting snooze four or five times before I actually roll myself out of the warmth.
So normally, my morning routine consists of me hitting snooze about 3-4 times, rolling out of bed, and assembling myself to look somewhat presentable. Then, I usually watch TV and chug coffee until I roll out. I am new to this full time job thing, so I haven’t had to get myself together before 8 am since high school.
Changing my Routine:
I wanted to be able to not just have a productive morning, but a more relaxing one. I get so stressed out when I am falling behind and that is not a good way for me to kick start my day.
In order to design what my new morning routine would look like, I made a list of things I wanted to be able to accomplish before I head out to work each morning:
- Eat breakfast/make and get coffee
- Have enough time to get put together for work
- Go over my schedule for the day and write down my top three to do’s.
- Watch the News
So with this list in mind, I designed my morning. I would get up two hours before I left for work. Use an hour to get ready, and the other hour to eat, arrange my day and maybe relax with a cup of caffeine.
To Snooze or Not to Snooze…
Since part of my new routine was waking up earlier, I had to find a way to force myself out of bed in the mornings. I tried placing my phone across the room in order to force myself to get out of bed when the alarm went off. This was an epic fail.
I learned something about myself, I wake up a lot throughout the night, and I always glance at the time on my phone. Well, when my phone was across the room, I lost sleep because I kept worrying about what time it was. So, I decided to try a different technique.
I started setting my alarm 15 minutes earlier than I needed to actually get up. I set it to snooze for 5 minutes at a time. This means, I can hit snooze three times before I actually have to get my dead butt out of bed. I also found that keeping a lamp next to my bed helped me not to fall back asleep. After the first alarm I turn on my lamp, that way, by the third go, I am awake enough to go grab morning coffee.
Distraction Free Morning Please
I don’t know why, but I’ve gotten into the habit of watching TV while I get ready in the morning. It distracts me, and I don’t ever want to focus on my morning, I want to focus on my Brooklyn 99. So I made a rule, no TV in the morning unless it is news.
Instead of turning on my computer, I made a morning playlist and listened to music (because I need background noise) while I got ready. I managed to stay on track with my routine and would have even more time before I had to leave to relax. Turns out, not getting distracted in the morning really helps and is a great a time saver!
I never need the full hour I set aside for myself to get ready, and I attribute this to the fact that I am fully focused on my routine. I will continue to say no to TV in the mornings.
Mentally Prepare for the Day
I wanted to set aside time in my morning routine to get mentally ready too. When I was dressed and ready for work, I sat down and started writing out my top three to do’s for the day.
This is such a small thing that ended up having such a big impact on the quality of my day. I knew what I had to accomplish and it made my day much less stressful to have three things I prioritised.
If I still had time before I left, instead of watching TV, I would read the news. Plus on some mornings, since one of my New Years Resolutions was to practice my French, I would attempt to read the French News once in a while as well.
Set up for Success by Preparing the Night Before
Half my morning struggle is picking out my outfit for the day and getting my bag together before work. Even then, I am not always 100% put together before work and sometimes forget important things like my access card to the building (LOL)
So I started packing my work bag, my lunch and picking out my outfit the night before. This is literally the best decision I made in adapting my routine. I don’t even have to think about it in the mornings, I grab the outfit I picked out, grab my bag, and have a healthy lunch to munch on with zero effort in the morning. It is totally worth taking the extra time before you go to sleep to do these things.
Changing my Routine Impacted my Day Overall:
I felt more put together for work
I need to do more in my mornings because I get home from work and I am so tired. I don’t get anything done and then I want to hide in bed while my heart palpitates. BUT when I switched things up a bit, not only did I have more time to get things done with the blog and my personal life, but I started getting to work feeling more put together.
I got more personal things done during the day
So this is the first year where I have successfully done my own taxes! yay me! AND this was all due to the extra hour I gave myself in the morning. I was able to chip away at small tasks before work in the morning such as send emails, scan documents etc.
I read about following a 2 minute rule to enhance productivity. This rule is simple, if something will take less than 2 minutes do it now. I started implementing this rule in my last 45 minutes of time before I left. This meant I had 45 minutes to get all the small annoying tasks out of the way.