Mornings may not be your thing. I get it. I’ve run the gamut in my relationship with the earliest part of the day: I’ve hated mornings, then it got a little better, and now I’m in complete acceptance that mornings are indeed always going to be part of the day and since I can’t skip them, I might as well do them well. The key to mastering your morning is all in the preparation. Here are some ideas to make mornings not just bearable but pleasant.
EVEN THE SUN TAKES IT’S TIME STARTING THE DAY…
Before you bound out of bed, take a little time to breathe. Be still and quiet and take a minute to set your mind on a great day. Envision a day where you’re productive and successful. Think about ways that you can bring your best to the people around you. Set your intention on being useful to the people you see today. Once you begin this practice you’ll see a difference in the quality of your days. Skipping your mindset practice will feel as unnatural as skipping your morning coffee!
THE SNUGGLE IS REAL
Either before or after my quiet time, I spend a few minutes snuggling with my husband. This has become a wonderful way to connect and share a few intimate moments with just the two of us. After 15 years of marriage, these together times are more important than ever. We talk about what our day will look like and look ahead to family time. Take some time to connect with the people who are most important to you to remember why you do what you do. This will help you stay grounded and will remind them that they are valued. The added bonus is that you’ll ease into your day better after you’ve connected with someone you love.
PEN & PAPER CREATES CLARITY
How many times have you chanted, “Do not forget to call so-and-so! Do not forget to call so-and-so!” only to find yourself knee-deep in some new project or unexpected challenge and the thought of that phone call vanishes into thin air. Each morning take the time to empty your mind onto paper with a “brain dump.” Write down who you need to reach out to, who you’re waiting to hear back from, tasks that need to get started or completed, and research you need to do. Take a quick glance at your calendar and your to do list. Add items from your brain dump into time blocks to make sure you have a plan for the day. There’s enough time to do what has to be done if you schedule it. You’ll also have more clarity and be able to focus on the task at hand if you aren’t trying to keep up with remembering things that swirling around in your head.
TIME SPENT ON SELF-CARE IS AN INVESTMENT IN A GREAT DAY
Part of getting your morning right is getting yourself put together. Taking the time to *really* get ready makes a difference in my self esteem and in my confidence. Rushing out the door with messy hair wearing “mom sweats” may seem like it’s saving time, but actually you may pay for this compromise by not feeling confident or professional enough to make an introduction, shake a hand, or connect with that next big client if you aren’t “put together.” I take the time to get ready in the morning because I feel better when I do and when I feel better, I accomplish more, plain and simple.
By taking some time for yourself and others, setting your mind and your intentions, by creating a schedule, and getting dressed and ready, you’ll set yourself up for a successful and productive day. By taking the time to prepare you’ll save time in the long run and if you find that you can’t create a morning routine that works for you, it might be time to look at your evening and nighttime routines for clues to improve. Making sure you’re getting enough sleep will make all the difference in how smoothly your mornings go and in how much time you can spend easing into your day.