I used to have really hectic mornings. I would hit snooze for at least 30 minutes, then I’d rush around like crazy, scrambling to get out the door on time. I’d often be too rushed to pack a lunch or make coffee, and I’d end up speeding to work.
In the last year, I’ve had a major turn around, making mornings less hectic. It’s been so nice to regain control over my mornings, giving me a gentler and better start to the day.
And while it’s certainly taken some effort and intentionality on my part, it hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I thought. Here are five, simple ways to make your mornings less hectic.
1. Have go-to options. Every choice we make requires energy. Deciding what to eat for breakfast, what to wear, what to pack for lunch…each of these decisions take time and energy. And I’m guessing you don’t have extra of either in the morning. Simplify mornings by having a trusted, go-to options. Try having just two or three go to breakfasts on regular rotation. Do things in the same order. Get into a routine. This reduces decisions and mental effort, making mornings less hectic.
2. Leave enough time. This probably goes without saying, but it’s important to mention. You know the bartering you do with yourself when your alarm first goes off? You start trading minutes of sleep for other stuff you had planned to do? Yeah, that mental bartering always seems effective, until we’re stressed and screaming at our family to hurry out the door. You may not want to get out of bed, but you also don’t want to be a frenzied mess. Get off to a good start, and be honest with yourself about how much time you really need.
3. Utilize short cuts. Have places in your morning routine that you know you can shave off time by skipping something or making an easier choice. Think of this as the Gumdrop Pass of Candyland. A few places I can shortcut if needed? My hair and my outfit. If I’m pressed for time, I throw my hair in a ponytail and reach for jeans, a blazer, and big earrings. I know it works, and it barely requires more than a quick glance in the mirror. These short cuts aren’t meant to be used everyday, just in a pinch when you start to realize you’re probably not going to make it through your whole morning routine.
4. Stop multitasking. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Multitasking is not effective. Science is so clear about this, yet most of us insist on doing it anyway. Don’t try to pack lunches, sign forms, respond to emails, all while putting away dishes. It doesn’t work. Do one thing at a time. Finish a task before you move on to another.
5. Do the most important thing first. This is one of my most trusted tips, and I previously talked about it here. If you’re making an effort to eat healthier, do that thing first, before almost anything else. If you’re focusing on meditating in the morning, do that before you pack your lunch or get ready. Doing the most important thing first in your morning routine ensures that you give time and attention to your goals. Whatever time and energy are leftover can go toward other stuff.
Mornings don’t have to be so crazy. They don’t have to be stressful. With these five tips and a little bit of diligence, you can totally make mornings less hectic.
Which tip are you going to focus most on this week? Do you have a tip of your own for making mornings less hectic?