How often are you scrambling in the morning because you’re late or feel out of control?
Imagine this: you’re walking toward the door with your phone, keys and wallet in hand, and you’re relaxed. In fact… you’re early.
Despite demanding schedules, crying children and simply just the urge to sleep in a little longer, it is possible to have it together in the morning. It all starts with the night before…
The Night Before: Plan
The best thing you can do for your morning is plan in advance. Take a moment to think about the day ahead of you. What will the weather be like? What do I have to accomplish? Will I have meetings? Do I need to go to the grocery store?
Now that you know what’s ahead, start to plan.
Want to know the ultimate morning time-saver? Pack lunches the night before. Take it a step further — Make breakfast the night before.
Okay, maybe you can’t always make breakfast the night before, but you can make it easier.
Set your bread by the toaster, gather every ingredient for your smoothie, set the box of cereal out with a bowl and spoon. Every moment saved counts. Plus, you’re more likely to have breakfast and fuel for the day instead of skip it because you’re frantic.
You already thought about the weather. Combine that knowledge with activities for the next day and choose a full outfit, all the way down to your underwear. Now, do it for the kids (or anyone else that goes out the door with you in the morning). Sound like a challenge?
That’s because it is, but it is also an enormous time-saver. Think about how often you’ve reached for a shirt, only to realize you thought it wasn’t dirty. That forces you to start over on the whole outfit, which wastes precious time in the morning. Take it from me… this quick step is a life saver. If you’re not sure where to start, we love finding outfit inspiration on Pinterest and Polyvore !
Okay, you don’t have to actually make an agenda.
But it is important to think about everything you need to do before you leave the house. Think about it in the order it needs to happen and set your priorities. You’ll be less likely to forget anything and you’ll be able to move swiftly through your morning tasks.
The Day of: Execute
It’s here! Make it go smoothly…
I’m not just talking about the alarm.
As soon as you get up, drink a glass of cold water. Splash a little of it on your face, if it helps. Take a deep breath…
…and focus. Focus in the morning is the key to execution — it keeps you on task. Be aware of your senses and your action plan. Then go.
Everything Has Its Place
Remember what it feels like to dig and dig and dig for your keys? Or reach for your wallet on the table, only to find that it isn’t there?
Make places for things you use every day: Keep your keys on the hook by the door; your wallet stays on the entrance table; separate your mascara from your eye shadow and blush with little drawers or containers. It’s the only way to avoid the oh-so-familiar, frantic feeling of something unfound and save time.
It doesn’t seem like such a big deal to check that one, innocent email in your inbox real quick. Your cousin sent you a link to her birthday wish list — perfect, you needed that. Oh, that sweater she wants is cute – click – you land on a page with a pair of tennis shoes you like and – click – it reminds you that you wanted to go running after work – click – you need to find some new treadmill workouts…
And so it goes. To succeed at a smooth morning, you have to stay focused. Devices are distracting. Turn them off.
I know this all seems overwhelming, but it’s important to plan and execute your mornings if you want to get out the door faster. Try incorporating a few of these into your morning routine this week. Treat yourself to a stress-free morning, on time…
In fact, reward yourself when you do — you deserve it. It might make you want to do it again the next day!