3 Simple Steps to Optimize Your Morning Routine
Mornings. Some people love them. Irrational, ridiculous people- and while we may not understand them, we must admit that they exist… and try not to punch them in the face.
I admit, I am most productive in the mornings. I just don’t “enjoy” them. Coffee helps quite a bit.
That said, morning people or not, we can all use a little help with our morning routines.
Thinking about habits and the order in which we do normal tasks can open up possibilities for less stress, more time, and maybe even more sleep!
Here are 3 simple steps to optimize your morning routine:
1. Start the night before
Whether your goal is to be able to sleep later, get to work earlier, have more time to cook a healthy breakfast, to be less rushed in the mornings, or if you are just reading this for the sake of efficiency in life, take a moment to consider the task that takes the most time to accomplish.
Hair? Outfit? Meal prep?
Maybe you have to bottle-feed a litter of kittens before work, I have no idea- regardless, there is absolutely something you can do the NIGHT BEFORE to make your morning simpler.
For me, it’s coffee.
The evenings I forget to set the coffee pot on auto-brew (I have Cuisinart 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Hot Water System!) make my mornings a little less pleasant. Like, I am truly disappointed when I walk into the kitchen and that little green light isn’t on.
When I am really on top of things, I lay out the clothes I plan to wear the night before as well as making coffee. I am very indecisive about outfits, and my husband sleeps later than I do, so instead of tiptoeing around the bedroom with my cell-phone flashlight trying to find some article of clothing, planning an outfit and setting it aside the night before makes my morning that much faster! (and much less irritating.)
2. Optimizing the order
Even when I forget to make coffee, or I haven’t even thought about clothing for the next day, the order in which I do things MATTERS! For example, when I do forget the coffee, making it will be the very first thing I do after waking up. This is the beginning of optimizing tasks. Every task you must do in the morning takes some amount of time. Coffee brewing- 10 minutes, showering- 10 minutes, hair styling- 20 minutes, makeup- 10 minutes, etc.
So, combine tasks. For example, I start the coffee and shower while it brews. I wrap my wet hair up in a microfiber towel like one of these (from this beautiful amazon link that also makes me money to keep writing to you!), 2 Pack Hair Towel Wrap Turban Microfiber Drying Bath Shower Head Towel with Buttons, Quick Magic Dryer, Dry Hair Hat, Wrapped Bath Cap By Duomishu
so it will start drying while I eat breakfast. While I eat, I go over the day’s lessons or read work emails.
These are such simple things, but the time-saving possibilities are huge.
What is there in your morning routine that can be combined? Could you plan for dinner as you pack a lunch? Could you start a load of laundry while breakfast is cooking?
Considering your habits is the first step to making better decisions with your time.
Everyone’s routine is different, but with some thought, you can identify areas in your routine that are taking too much time and pick out opportunities to create more time.
3. Make a Checklist
My husband is a piddler. That’s what I tell him, at least. What piddler means to me, is that before we leave to go anywhere he thinks of SOME 10-minute task he simply must do right then. Does he always really need to? No. Not at all. My favorite example is a time we were checking out of an Airbnb in Hawaii (Um, do you like to save time? How about MONEY? Read this post about Hawaii!), and the lock on the door was set to reset at 12:30… i.e. we had to be out by then. Well, it’s 12:29 and A decides that he simply MUST examine this desk in the living area to see how it works and where all of the drawers are and.. oh what’s this compartment for?
We had been there for a week.
To combat piddlings, or just to give yourself a more confident exit in the morning- make a “leave” list. My list is:
These are the last things I need to think about, gather or do before I can leave the house. Simply running down my list will 1. Remind me if there is something I have forgotten or 2. Give me a confident jolt that I have done everything I need to do. I leave home without wondering if there is something I have forgotten. I just get in the car, turn on the radio and sip coffee.
Optimizing your morning routine is a simple way to get a better start in the day, and better starts make for better endings.