Your alarm rings for the 5th time and you roll over and shut it off. Just five more minutes, right? Wrong!! We have all been there but if you often find yourself sprinting out of bed in a rush and starting you morning behind, follow these 10 easy tips for slaying your morning, like a boss! Whether you’re a CEO or a SAHM you can benefit from starting your day in a powerful way.
- GO TO SLEEP— You think this one is self-explanatory, but we are all guilty of laying wide awake, clicking next episode at 3 AM on Netflix. You cannot slay your day if your day is half over before you start. I truly used to be the worst about heading to bed at a decent hour, but I’ve found that sticking to an actual bedtime and scheduling myself the 8 hours my body truly needs has increased my productivity 10X!!
- PUT THE PHONE AWAY— The blue light emitted from your phone has been scientifically proven to stimulate the brain, keeping you up later. Instead, eliminate your phone from bed and substitute it with a book (the old-fashioned paper kind, I know lame right?) and not only will you fall asleep quicker, you’ll finally make a dent in your to-read list.
- PICK CLOTHES THE NIGHT BEFORE— Glance at your calendar, the weather, and spend 5 minutes to find your clothes the night before. You will thank me in the morning. Somehow not having to figure out what to wear as you rush through getting ready is a HUGE time saver. (Bonus: your closet and floor look amazing when you’re not throwing clothes on wildly at the last-minute.
- SET ONE ALARM ONLY— You may be tempted to set more alarms, but snoozing your alarm will just leave you tired (and will mess with your sleep/wake cycle!) Instead, try placing your alarm on the other side of the room and getting up to turn it off.
- HAVE AN AM/PM ROUTINE— Don’t over-complicate this! Grab a sticky note and write AM at the top. List only the most important things that must be done for you to be ready to leave to work or start your day. This is especially important if you are a SAHM or work from home. #1 on the list is Getting up and getting dressed even if you are not leaving the house, getting yourself presentable will put you in the right frame of mind to tackle anything. (Bonus: you’ll be ready for whatever your day throws at you and you’ll feel better about yourself.) #2 & #3 need to be short chores or tasks that take 10 minutes or less. Mine is usually starting the dishes and laundry because
that’s all I ever dowith three kids. Same with the PM List, jot #1 Lay out clothes, then only the bedtime essentials for 2-3. Keep your sticky note somewhere you will see it every morning and night.
- PLAN YOUR DAY— I’m a total freak for lists, I fkn love a good list. Jot down on a sticky note the top 3-5 things you have to do today. By this time, if you’ve followed the steps you’re up and running for the day (you’ve already checked off 3 items!!) and now you know what has to get done. Prioritize your list and avoid starting with email and phone calls for the first task, as it’s easy to get bogged down and sidetracked.
- START— THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP!! Just start. The longer you put off what has to be done the longer it will end up taking you to finish. Dive in and check the hardest thing off your list. I am a queen of procrastination and this is the key to me getting anything done at all.
- TAKE BREAKS LIKE A PRO— Find the right work pattern for you. This can be a little bit different for everyone depending on your job or task but try to focus at least 15-30 minutes intently on one task only and following it up with a 5-10 minute break. Some people work well for up to 90 minutes, depending on your attention span. Try to do your work in as few chunks of time as possible, taking a short break, then refocusing and go again until you’re done.
- KEEP TRACK OF YOUR PROGRESS— Before we got all the fancy planners, apps, bullet journals and such, we had Post-It. Nothing beats a check mark on a to-do list. (Did I mention I freaking love lists?) I also use the to-do post it to track habits, so say my goal is to follow 5 new twitter accounts a day, I have 5 tick marks. It may seem small but seeing proof of your progress really is going to keep you motivated to keep moving.
- TRY AGAIN— If you over-sleep, if you end up running out the door chasing a toddler with only one shoe and a diaper on, if you’re 10 minutes late to the office, keep trying. Life happens and you are going to have the days where the universe lines up against you and everything goes wrong (Monday, amirite?) but the ability to pick yourself up and get yourself back on track is what is going to set you apart from everyone else.
Remember to keep it simple and be consistent. All it takes is 21 days of consistency for something to become a habit. Once you’ve established a good morning routine, you’ll fly through your mornings on auto-pilot, and start your morning ready to take on the world.