If your mornings are a train wreck of disorganisation and lethargy, you need to realise the following:
The morning very much sets the tone for the day and if you spend it shuffling around your house like the living dead, your workweek is just going to be one long horror story. So, you’re not a morning person? Is it because you’re tired, disorganised, stressed, in a chaotic rush to get yourself (and possibly your kids) ready for the day, and don’t feel like going to work? Or are all of these challenges the reasons you’re not a morning person?
You’ll never know unless you put a permanent end to the misery, so let’s look at a few simple daily rituals that could totally change your mornings, your workdays, and your life!
1. Make a list the night before
Take a moment the night before to write a list of all the tasks you need to accomplish the following day. Consult your work diary, or schedule a social calendar to make sure you’re not forgetting anything. Writing the list puts everything you need to do into perspective, which will help you mentally and physically prepare.
2. Get morning tasks done the night before
Save yourself precious time by getting morning tasks done the night before, such as choosing and setting out your work outfit, preparing lunch, packing up your work bag and setting it by the door. This will take the pressure off of your mornings, when you’re typically in a disorganised rush to get everything done.
3. Get to bed earlier
Forget any excuse about working late – in most cases, the reason you have to work late is probably because you aren’t being optimally efficient during the day and the reason for that is because you aren’t well rested! You’re caught in a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation so get to bed earlier and read yourself to sleep rather than watching YouTube videos or scrolling through social media.
4. ...and wake up earlier!
Mornings are a chaotic rush because you don’t have enough time. If you go to bed earlier and get a good night’s rest, getting up earlier to give yourself more time to prepare won’t be such a challenge. Also, with time to put a little effort into your appearance, pack a good lunch, and get your affairs in order, you’ll probably feel a lot more confident walking into work!
5. Action one difficult task every day
What’s that one thing you have to do but are dreading doing? Your tax returns? A project for a difficult client? Speaking to your boss about a work issue? Spring cleaning the fridge?
Whatever that “thing” is that you just don’t feel like doing and keep putting off... do it. Write it down on your list for the day and resolve that, no matter what, you will get it done. This will help you gain control and become more efficient at tackling challenges as they arise, rather than allowing them to accumulate, stress you out, and, ultimately, blow up in your face. Also, the relief of having laid a stressful task to rest will inspire you to tackle the next one!
6. Work on a passion project
Life shouldn’t be an endless procession of work, weekend, work, weekend. You need a passion project to stoke your fire and give you something to look forward to because – let’s face it – not everyone has the luxury of loving his or her work. A passion project is something that you love doing, so it could be writing, reading, blogging, cooking, planting a herb garden, painting, building something, fixing up the house, or even doing a puzzle. Instead of spending hours in front of the TV every night, pursue your passion project to get those creative juices flowing and de-stress your body and mind.
7. Short burst of exercise
First thing in the morning, put on some music that’s guaranteed to get your foot tapping and dance! Or take the dog for a brisk walk around the block, hit the gym, or, if you’re into yoga, establish a morning yoga routine. A short burst of exercise in the morning is guaranteed to wake up your mind and body and, through the release of those exercise hormones – endorphins – you’ll find yourself feeling more positive and energised afterwards.
8. Breathe and take some time for yourself
Many people – especially parents – don’t ever take time to just unwind. When they’re not working, they’re rushing about the house, cleaning, cooking, and picking up after kids, never taking a moment to be a little selfish. Cutting yourself off from your needs to make space for the demands of others is incredibly damaging. Take at least an hour every day to do only what you want to do. Tell your kids and your spouse that this is “you” time and they need to respect that.
By getting more rest, giving yourself more time, preparing, and taking time out from work stress and family demands, you can gain much better control of your life and, in doing so, turn your morning low into an all-day high!