I'm here today to share tips on how to kick those hectic mornings to the curb! You can do it!
Even if you don't have children, these are solid tips for a smooth and relatively stress free morning. Especially if you are not a morning person...
1. Set the coffee pot. (or buy a Keurig)
No matter how much sleep I get, I always wake up tired. Coffee is my best friend. Stumbling into my kitchen to a pot of hot coffee is lifesaving in those early hours. Thank goodness for programmable coffee pots!
For me this includes either loading or unloading the dishwasher, putting away pantry items, and wiping the counters. The morning starts in the kitchen, might as well be a clean one.
I try to at the very least think about what I'm going to wear the next day, especially if the next day involves school drop offs, errands, church, etc. Sometimes I will set aside an outfit, accessories and all. Not having to contemplate my attire eliminates so much stress for me and saves a TON of time.
4. Pick out your breakfast.
We have a go to drawer in the fridge (yogurt, fruit, cream cheese for bagels) and a basket in the pantry (breakfast bars, Cliff Bars -- really anything we can take with us on the road if need be). I keep breakfast simple during the week and then sometimes have a big breakfast on Saturday.
Even if you are staying at home the following day, a little prep time never hurts! For instance, if you are cooking something in the slow cooker you will want to make sure it's thawed for the morning. And if you are leaving for the day, then it's so much easier to grab a lunch bag out of the fridge on your way out.
6. Put a load of laundry in the washer (using delay start).
I read this tip recently on one of my favorite blogs, and let me tell you it has changed my world! I don't really even know how to explain it to you. Essentially it's the same idea as the programmable coffee pot, but applied to laundry. Let's just say it's helped me a ton with keeping up-- one load a day keeps the piles away!
7. Write a to-do list for the next day.
Less to remember and keep in my head? Yep, I need that! This also gives the next day a purpose. Often I include a small goal or personal topic to work on. Writing everything on a to-do list gives me clarity and focus.
A guest speaker at our church said something along the lines of "When I counsel, I tell women to stop listening to themselves [their thoughts] and start speaking to themselves." Essentially this practice is intentionally focusing your mind on positives truths in your life.
9. Prepare something nice for your spouse.
Or for anyone really. It's refreshing to please others and bring joy to someones day. For example, I have left my husband a few breakfast options on the counter and a sweet note. For my kids I will set up a little morning activity at the kitchen table for them to do before or after breakfast (coloring, playdoh, etc).
10. Have quiet time for yourself.
Spend sometime being quiet. It's refreshing and rejuvenating to just be still and be you. For me quiet time is prayer and reflection -- both at night AND in the morning--which is possible because you will have extra time following these steps!
I know this sounds like a lot to do just to have a better morning, but you are going to do them regardless. Think of it as shifting what time of day you do the tasks. So instead of morning, you do the task in the evenings. You are reorganizing your time. Weigh the difference. A little leg work on the front end for a nice, smooth morning and good start to your day? OR Laziness and no prepping leading to morning crazies, forgetfulness, stress, and a rough start to your day that you may not recover from? You tell me.
Keep in mind that I'm speaking to my fellow morning crazy people. Some of you are champs at the morning business -- cooking scrumptious breakfasts, working out for an HOUR, making a trip to the store -- you name it! I don't know how you do it, but I want to know!!! Please share your tips.
Until then, I'm sticking with this prepping plan. Here's to blissful mornings!