I will preface this post by saying that I am fully aware that everyone is NOT a morning person.
I get it. The truth is that some of us would rather walk on broken glass than wake up before dawn.
This used to be me. When I was a teenager, I remember my mother reminding me to set my alarm so that I wouldn’t oversleep on school days. Turns out, setting the alarm was an exercise in futility.
I hit snooze a dozen times before my mother finally yelled, “get up, Malika!!!”
I carried this snooze-hitting behavior well into my 20s. Only difference is that I had moved out of my mother’s house, adjusting to the challenges of adulting. And, you know what I did?
I got up. Nothing like the threat of getting fired to force you out of bed.
Waking Up Early Vs A Morning Routine
As I got older, waking up early became easier for me because I got used to it. But, I soon realized that this was only half the battle.
Before realizing the difference between simply waking up early, and having a morning routine, I used to spend those early morning hours rushing around the house, frantically getting ready for my day.
I would fail miserably at trying to squeeze several tasks into my morning, and often left home frazzled and exhausted before my day even began.
After years of unproductive mornings, I decided that I had enough.
I began reading articles and watching YouTube videos on others’ morning routines. I used the information I found from my
Google searches extensive research to create my own simple, straightforward morning routine.
Here are 5 simple, practical tips to help complete your necessary tasks efficiently so that you can get out and start your day.
Tip 1: Plan Ahead
It goes without saying that having a solid plan for the week or day ahead is a must.
Planning ahead is one of the most effective ways to save time and sanity on weekday mornings.
To keep things simple and budget-friendly, I use Google Calender along with Dollar Tree planners to write down appointments and my most important tasks of the day.
Here are several things you can do to ahead of time:
- Set aside time on Sundays to plan your meals for the week
- Have your lunch packed and ready to go the night before
- If planning an entire weeks’ worth of meals seems too overwhelming, consider a second meal prep session midweek to prepare your lunches for the remainder of the week.
More Ways To Plan Ahead
- Take some time to try on and iron all of your outfits for the week. I emphasize trying on your clothes for a reason. There have been many mornings I went to put on a pair of pants that did not fit. I ended up running late because I had to pick something else out. Don’t be like me.
- Fill up your gas tank for the week
- Place your purse, tote, coat, shoes near the door so you can easily grab them and go
Sacrificing a few hours on a Sunday afternoon to prepare for the week ahead will not only save you time, it will also make for a much smoother, peaceful start to your day.
Tip 2: Get Enough Rest
Now, I believe that there is a direct correlation between going to bed late and having difficulty waking up early.
We talked earlier about how much I used to love that snooze button. Well, the culprit was my bad habit of staying up way too late…usually talking on the phone or watching TV. Instagram and Facebook weren’t really a thing back then.
Now, I know that you know people who can thrive off of 4 or 5 hours of sleep. But, are you really thriving if you can barely drag yourself out of bed?
Try this instead: start going to bed 30 minutes earlier every night for a week, then assess how you feel in the mornings.
Each week, you can make your bedtime even earlier until you have decided on a time that makes sense for you.
Sure, your late nights may be full of meaningful tasks, like working on your blog (!), reviewing your work presentation, or spending quality time with your spouse.
However, we don’t want to just get by on inadequate sleep just because we choose to cram too many activities in our evenings.
Tip 3: Minimize Distractions
In the age of hashtags and timelines, there are so many things vying for our attention every minute of the day.
And I’m definitely not immune to it. I traded in my cable TV watching and chatting on the phone, for Netflix and scrolling Facebook!
It is so important to be aware of the oftentimes mindless behaviors that can interfere with your productivity.
Are you staying up late to binge watch an entire season of that Netflix series? Or, maybe you’re
stalking scrolling your co-worker’s Instagram feed?
Don’t get me wrong; it is totally fine to wind down after a long day’s work. But, these things should not be robbing you of your sleep.
This also applies in the morning. If you tend to reach for your phone as soon as you open your eyes, it is likely a distraction.
Chances are, no one you know has done anything so earth-shattering between 10 pm and 6 am that you just have to find out about as soon as you wake up.
Instead of lingering in bed checking your social media feed, make the most of your morning by saving the status checks for later.
Tip 4: Make Time For Breakfast
Skipping breakfast in favor of a cup (or three!) of coffee is not uncommon these days.
In our current single-serve coffee age, it is easy to pop a coffee pod in your Keurig coffee maker, enjoying several cups before you’ve left the house.
Have you ever left home for work, got in your car, then felt the hunger pangs hit? What do you do? You search for the nearest drive-thru to grab something quick.
Only, it’s not quick because there are 15 cars lined up ahead of you. Or, maybe you decide on Starbucks. After all, you could use a fourth cup of coffee.
But, wouldn’t you know it, there’s a long line in there, too. Sigh. But, you’re hungry, so you wait. And, before you know it, you are running late.
Making time for breakfast not only satisfies your hunger, it saves you time.
One of my favorite make-ahead breakfast recipes is for egg muffins from the site Cafe Delites. They are delicious, low-carb (if that matters to you) and easy to take on-the-go.
Try it out. After all, it’s breakfast. You have to eat at some point, might as well get it out of the way!
Tip 5: Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Day
Which activities calm your mind, centering you for the day ahead?
For me, it is Bible study and prayer. I believe that it only makes sense that we begin our day thanking God for the blessing of another day of life.
For you, maybe it’s meditation, yoga, or simple silence.
For many of us, it is common to wake up in the morning, so consumed by worry about the day’s challenges that we sabotage our day before we even get started.
Instead of allowing that feeling of dread to ruin your day before it even starts, be intentional about getting your mind, emotions, and spirit in the right place.
The Bible App by YouVersion – this is by far my favorite app to use for structured Bible study. There are tons of devotionals and Bible reading plans that will help guide you through God’s word.
Insight Timer – good for meditation and will also help you get to sleep faster. The free version has lots of guided meditations, trackers, and a meditation course. There is also a premium that costs $5 a month.
Headspace – a well known meditation app that provides lessons and courses on various topics including health and wellness
Recap: Your Simple Morning Routine
Your time is the most precious asset that you have. Implementing these tips will help ensure a successful morning routine and, in turn, create a more productive, peace-filled life.
Reviewing the list below, which tip are you going to implement in your morning routine?
- Plan Ahead
- Get Enough Rest
- Minimize Distractions
- Make Time For Breakfast
- Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Day