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I have always been a creature of habit. But since having a baby I have identified the habits that help me stay organized and accomplished. I stay very disciplined on those habits because that feeling of organization keeps me calm and focused. A huge benefit as a mom and as a professional.
These five actions are essentially a blend of my evening and morning routine. Because I have learned that in order for my morning routine to go well, I need a rock-solid evening routine supporting it.
PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE
If there is one thing you take from me today, let it be the words directly above. That’s why it is first on the list! Increase the odds that people who are skimming the article or won’t read all five actions will at least read, in my opinion, the best action.
So, what do I mean by prepare the night before?
Simple, do the things that you might skip in the morning. Or the things that you might try to squeeze in. Or the things that always seem to make you late or stressed.
For me that takes running down what the morning will look like. When I need to get up to get all the things done, I want to get done. And if that list is too long that means I need to do some of it the night before.
Often times that is packing my lunch, laying out my clothing and writing a list so I don’t forget. I know it sounds ridiculous, but somedays I need multiple meals at work or substantial snacks depending on my schedule. Planning them out by reviewing my calendar and writing my day out helps.
MAKE TIME FOR BREAKFAST
Yes, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.
I think it is important because it signifies a priority of taking care of myself as one of my first actions of the day. It puts me before my work. Fuels me to be a better mom and a better professional.
Giving yourself time to eat, without trying to answer e-mails or troubleshoot, creates a sense of calmness as I approach the day. And who knows, I may not get another meal like that all day.
And in effort of full transparency, I eat two breakfasts. I generally eat fruit shortly after waking up. Which in my world makes it easier to have a quiet breakfast all to myself.
I know I said that the first action was my most important, but this might have to be a tie. I just don’t know that everyone else struggles with this as much as I do.
Everything takes longer than you think. Let’s say that again. Everything takes longer than you think.
When you think I’ll just throw everything I need in my bag in the morning and that’ll take a minute. You are wrong. It’ll take longer or it’ll be a chaotic mess when you get to work, and you’ll have to deal with it then.
Silly example, but tasks take longer than we think. Be realistic about what you can actually get done in the morning. Preparing the night before will help. And then you won’t feel like you have to hit the ground running the moment your eyes open.
START WITH A CLEAN SLATE
I am not endorsing staying up all night to just get things done. But closing the books on things from the day before will help lower your morning stress.
Having a clean kitchen is one of my biggest clean slate items. Waking up and seeing that everything is in its place is calming and energizing for me.
I don’t have feel dragged down by the thought of “when am I going to have time to clean this”? Or the guilty/angry feeling of “I should have done this last night.”
Another big clean slate item is to close the books on work. I find packing my work bag the night before, even if I am not leaving the house, to be helpful.
It creates separation for those of us who work from home. It cleans up my workspace. And it gives me time to intentionally prepare for the next day. I will review my list of items to get done that day and evaluate the realistic (or unrealistic) goals and set the tasks for the day. Put it all away and I’m done.
This is not only calming for me for the next morning, but also for the evening. I can be a better wife, mom and just happier for myself.
GO TO BED ON TIME
I am not here to tell you to go to bed by 9 pm every night. That would be ridiculous. I have no idea what your lifestyle is like.
I am also not here to tell you that you need 8 hours of sleep every night. Most research says people function best off of 6-8 hours and that varies by person. But do know that quality of sleep is very important, maybe more than quantity.
Being able to close the books on the day as a whole can help to clear your mind. And a clear mind at bedtime is connected to better quality sleep. That’s why you’ll catch me checking my lists even on the weekends.
Going to bed on time means that you have an awareness for what will be best for you. You are being intentional about getting rest, being realistic and prioritizing yourself.
If you are looking for some more inspiration for setting your own routine give this article a read. You’ll come away with some good ideas to try implementing like stretching to calm down before getting in bed.
HABITS SHOULD BE FLEXIBLE
I don’t want to leave you with the impression that I do this all 100% of the time. I believe habits are wonderful, but they should be flexible. We should be flexible.
If what I need is more time with my family or friends to help “fill my cup” then that’s what I prioritize. Because all of this is about prioritizing myself, creating a nice little system that I feel the best within.
I hope that by sharing my actions for a less stressful morning they will in some way help you. Maybe you try one or two of them and they help. But maybe you try a few and you hate it. Either way you tried and know what may or may not work for you.
AND I put together my 5 best tips to get the most out of your next workout. I cover upper, lower and core techniques that can change the way you feel and move. Enjoy!
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