Did you know that the best part of your morning doesn’t actually take place in the morning? It takes place the night before.
Do you find yourself running around in the morning like a crazy person trying to find everything and get everything done before you head out for the day? Check out the strategies below to make your morning run more smoothly. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to get up earlier.
Most of us (including me) don’t like getting up in the morning. One of the things that I’ve found that helps eliminate the dread of getting up is preparing the night before. There really are a lot of things that you can do the night before to make your morning run smoother.
Plan Breakfast for the Morning
If you take just a few moments before you shut down for the night to plan your breakfast, you can eliminate a decision in the morning. Even better, can you prepare your breakfast the night before? You can at least lay out the things you’ll need to prepare it before going to bed. That way in the morning, you can prepare it on auto-pilot.
What to Wear?
Planning both your outfits and those of your children (if you have any) the night before reduces a lot of stress the next morning. Do a quick check to make sure that everything is clean and in good repair. And don’t forget to choose the appropriate accessories, including shoes.
Let your children plan their own outfits as young as possible. This teaches them important skills and helps them feel like they’re in control. This also gives you a chance to adjust, if needed, without leading to an early morning meltdown that ruins everyone’s day. You still may have the meltdown, it will just happen before bed and will end with bedtime so it doesn’t affect as much.
Prepare Your Calendar & To-Do List
Reviewing your calendar and task list the night before gives you a chance to see problems before they become emergencies. Even if you can’t solve the issue that night, you’ll have a head start the next morning.
Preparing a prioritized to-do list the night before also allows you to hit the ground running the next morning. And, it makes sure you are spending your time on the important things, not just the urgent items.
I use a Franklin Covey 2-page-per-day Planner and have for several years. Do you need help choosing a planner that fits your lifestyle? Check out How to Choose the Best Planner for You for more information.
Pack Your Bags For Morning
Packing the kids book-bags the night before will eliminate the hunt for assignments, permission slips and anything else that’s due the next day. If you make this a part of finishing homework time, you’ll have the chance to review their homework while there’s still time to fix or re-do it.
You should pack your purse and/or briefcase the night before too. This lets you free up the brain energy you were using to remember everything.
Last, but definitely not least, pack lunches for anyone who needs to take one with them the next day.
Straighten the House
Spend a few minutes each evening doing a quick pick up throughout the main of areas of the house and returning things to their proper locations. Have the kids help with this. This can be the great start to an evening routine for them and will teach them to put things away when they are finished with them.
Load the dishwasher or wash the dishes and wipe down the kitchen counters (check out FlyLady.net to find out how motivating a shiny sink can be!). You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel in a clean organized space.
Moving some of the things you’re currently doing in the morning to the night before can go a long way to creating a less stressful day. In addition, if you have less stress in your morning, the rest of your day will also run smoother.
For other ideas on improving your morning routine, check out the other posts in this series:
- Breakfast – The Most Important Meal of the Day
- Jump Start Your Morning
- Makeover Your Morning Routine
How do you keep your mornings from getting out of control? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.