Let me ask you guys something, do you have a morning routine?
It’s been my observation that people usually fall into two camps…you’re either super excited to wake up and start the day OR you’re hitting the snooze button for the 5th time wondering how it’s even possible the alarm is going off already. Am I right?
I don’t know about you but I feel the most industrious first thing in the morning. It’s the part of the day I’m thankful for a fresh start, I have another chance to chase my dreams and I feel like I can tackle anything that comes my way.
It probably won’t surprise you to know that I have a morning routine. Depending on what time I wake up usually before 6 am there is a small window of time that I have all to myself. The entire house is completely quiet save for the sound of the coffee maker. It’s one of my most treasured parts of the day and consequently one of my most productive too.
You may be reading this right now (LiLi) thinking well good for you, you’re a morning person with a morning routine, I’m excited for you but that’s just not me. Well, here’s the thing…it hasn’t always been me either.
I used to run around the house like a crazed squirrel every morning, no playing. I would be searching the laundry room for the camel sweater that went with the only clean pair of plaid pants I owned and once I found those, I would race to my disorganized closet to search for the animal print flats that I swore I had put in the shoe cubby the night before.
Then I would race out the door, usually muttering (read: screaming) something like, “Why are you telling me this now! You know I’m late for work!” while balancing a bagel and a cup of coffee in one hand and my purse and work bag in the other. By the time I would get to the office, I would be a total mess on the inside. On the outside, I was attending team meetings, generating reports my colleagues depended on and encouraging others like I had it “all together.” Every day I would keep the façade going (I was a professional after all) until one day, I sat in my driveway totally frustrated with myself and near tears because I felt so depleted.
There comes a point when you realize you have to make a change. I hear, “I don’t have time!” WAY TOO MUCH now days and I just want to gently tell you one friend to another, it’s not about having the time – it’s about making the time. You are going to have to give up that one thing that is not working for you in order to get that one thing that will work for you.
After a bit of soul searching, I realized if I could make my mornings more efficient I could make my entire day more efficient. It took a little bit of tweaking but I was able to create a simple morning routine that changed everything.
Here’s a look at how you can create a simple morning routine in four easy steps…
Step 1 – decide how much time you have for a morning routine. It can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as 60 minutes.
Step 2 – determine the tasks you need to accomplish each day before you leave the house. These are things that will make you look like a total rock star (brush teeth, shower, get dressed, makeup/hair, make coffee)
Step 3 – designate time to complete several EASY items on your Daily Cleaning Schedule before you leave the house that will make you feel like a super productive “mover and a shaker.” Things like: make the bed, unload the dishwasher, wipe out sinks/counters, sweep/vacuum floors if needed, take out trash if needed, check or sort mail, 10-minute clutter catcher, complete a load of laundry-wash, dry, fold, put away)
PLUS one item on your Weekly Cleaning Schedule depending on how much time you have. Keep in mind some of these items may be completed as part of your nightly routine. You can find out how to create a nightly routine here.
Step 4 – devote time to doing something that is just for you (have a cup of coffee, devotional/quiet time, read, listen to a podcast, exercise, write a letter/email/encouraging text, call your mom or your bestie, enjoy a healthy breakfast)
Here’s a look at my morning routine:
- Wake up, brush teeth, wipe out sink (because toothpaste bits in the sink are super gross but then again so is bad breath)
- Make the bed
- Open the blinds in the common areas
- Light a candle if I plan to work from home
- Have a cup of coffee (the coffee maker is completely set up and ready to go the night before. It has an automatic timer so we wake up to the scent of coffee brewing almost every morning)
- Quiet/devotional time
- Work out
- Shower/Make up/Hair
- Unload Dishwasher (we load and run a fully loaded dishwasher at night so it’s ready to be emptied the next morning. All day long we’re putting our dishes DIRECTLY into the dishwasher so there is nothing piling up in the sink)
- Daily Cleaning Schedule Task (except check/sort mail, take out trash, 10-minute clutter catcher)
- Weekly Cleaning Schedule Task
- Start the work day of the BEST JOB EVER!
Who would have thought it would have been that simple, right? I’m sure you’re already doing a lot of these same things anyway. The biggest difference is that now you’re being intentional about them. Remember to give yourself lots of grace if you miss one or two things on this list at first. Forming a new habit takes time and consistency.
I’m not saying that I don’t ever run around the house like a crazed squirrel anymore, I’m far from perfect. That being said, I can definitely tell you that since I’ve been using a morning routine those hectic fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants unproductive days are few and far between. It feels like the biggest blessing.