Your Mornings are probably crazy busy right now. But they don’t have to be. Here are my tips for better and less stressful mornings, despite all you have to do!
Do you feel rushed and stressed in the morning? Trying to get ready for work, getting the kids to school or daycare, preparing your lunch, your kids lunches and more?
Then you have to commute to your place of work, get stuck in traffic, stressed that you are going to be late for an important appointment or meeting?
All that is before your day has even properly begun. So how can you make your mornings better and not so stressful?
Make a master morning To Do list
Make a list of everything that you need to do during your morning. Write down everything – however small or big it may be. You need to come up with a full overview of your morning as it is right now. By your morning we are talking about the immediate time just after you wake up and are preparing to go somewhere or get a start on the day.
Your list may be something like this:
Get kids lunches ready
Make my lunch
Walk the dog
Feed the dog
Make coffee to go
In addition there are going to be other things you need to do also:
Get dressed for work
Put on make up
Commute to work
When you take a look at your full list of everything that needs to be done during your morning, you are probably going to be quite shocked! We tend to just go through our mornings, and even though we feel overwhelmed and stressed at times, we just do it and know that we will get through it eventually.
But when you take a look at the whole picture, as created by your list, you will start to see exactly why your mornings are so crazy!
Assign times to each morning task
Assign an approximate time that each task on your list takes. For instance, you may have something like the following list once you do that:
Prepare breakfasts – 10 minutes
Put on make-up – 5 minutes
Do hair – 5 minutes
Make coffee to go – 2 minutes
Shower – 10 minutes
Get kids & your lunches ready – 15 minutes
Get dressed – 5 minutes
Walk the dog – 15 minutes
Feed the dog – 2 minutes
Commute – 30 minutes
Add up the total of everything that has to be done during your morning. The list above comes to 99 minutes! That is over 1.5 hours!
By this point you have a really good idea of what your mornings really look like and involve, so now you can start to take action!
What can you cross off your list?
Looking at your list – what don’t you need to do in your mornings? What can you cross off your list? There may not be many things, or anything at all that you could cross off your list.
Or you may be able to cross off just one little thing. But if you can take something off that list that doesn’t need to be done during your morning, cross it off now.
What tasks can be done the night before?
Are there things on your list that can be done the night before to make your mornings easier? You may be able to prepare lunches the night before, and keep them refrigerated.
Or you may be able to get a start on breakfasts by making them the night before, or at least preparing them the night before.
Some people shower and wash their hair the night before even, to save vital time in the morning. Or perhaps you just don’t wash your hair every day, and have an in-between day for dry shampoo instead.
Of course there are going to be things you can’t do the night before, such as doing your make-up, commuting, eating breakfast etc. But taking those things that you can’t move to the night before, can you at least prep for them the night before?
Can you lay out your clothes the night before to make getting dressed easier in the morning? Can you get your coffee cup all set up the night before, so you just need to pour in hot water?
Make a ‘Night Before To Do list’ based on what you can move to the night before. You are now starting a new to do list, and taking things off your morning list. Cross out those things on your morning list that you can do the night before.
Involve your family
Are you doing a lot in the mornings that could be given to others in your family? If you are getting your kids dressed every morning, could they now start getting themselves dressed instead? Could you lay out their clothes the night before and have them dress themselves in the morning?
Could one of your kids walk the dog? Could they get their own breakfast together? Make their own lunches for that day?
Consider what you could involve your family in, especially your kids, during your mornings.
Make a new morning To Do list!
After crossing off things you really don’t need to do in the morning, and making a To Do list for the evening to take some of the burden off your mornings, make out your new morning to do list. Does it look a lot better? Were you able to save some time off your mornings?
Looking at the possible to do list above with approximate task times, if we were to take off making lunches, preparing breakfasts alone we would be saving 25 minutes each morning!
What if I can’t remove any tasks, or remove enough to make a difference?
If you still have a lot to do in the morning, even though you have crossed off tasks, or used the night before to prep ahead of time, you may need to look deeper into your mornings. You may need to consider:
Getting up earlier
Even 10-15 minutes earlier each day may give you some more time to fit in a task that needs to be done. Or you may need a breather in the morning to just sit and drink your coffee before the entire house gets up and everyone is crazy mad and running around.
Perhaps you could hire somebody to walk your dog for instance every morning, saving you that time each morning.
Don’t make lunches
If you just don’t have the time to prepare lunches every day, perhaps you need to buy your lunch out, and have your kids buy lunch at school. You may want to prepare healthy lunches for your entire family every day, but if you just don’t have the time, and your sanity is seriously at risk with how busy you are, then buying lunch every day might just be what saves you.
Do things differently
Perhaps you could re-look at your commute. If you take the train to work each day, could you drive to work instead to save time? You may have to factor in parking of course and other charges, but if your family budget can swing them perhaps that could really help out in the morning?
Can you do things differently for lunches? Could you pre-buy already made lunches that just need to be placed in lunch-boxes?
Take a look at all the things you need to do each morning, and see what might be able to be done differently.
Hopefully now you have an idea of how you could make your mornings better. I would love to hear from you if any of these suggestions worked for you, or if you have other suggestions to share with others!
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How to make your Mornings better and less Stressful, despite all you have to do!