Have you had those days where you find yourself saying “There just aren’t enough hours in the day!” or “So much to do, so little time!” Well, up until a few months ago that was my own personal slogan almost everyday. Work will always be keeping me busy no matter what, and while I absolutely love what I do I also don’t want to forget to make time to do the other things that fuel me – like exploring the great outdoors, exercising, reading, and just taking my time overall rather than rushing on to the next task. I realized that while I can’t control the sun, what I can do is make a few small changes to give myself the extra time I feel I need for having a fuller day. I took what I’m in control of and made these 5 tips and small efforts with great impact for a healthier start to the mornings, on the weekdays and weekends!
- Set the alarm 1 hour earlier than the actual time you need to wake-up – If I keep my bedtime fairly consistent, this wake-up call is pretty easy to stick to. Now by waking up one hour earlier, it doesn’t mean I try to fit one hour’s worth of work into that time, it means giving myself the time to have a leisure morning. This also goes the same for weekends! Keeping my wake-up time consistent into the weekend mornings means no interruption to the sleep schedule and Monday morning won’t hit as hard as it used to. Plus since the weekends aren’t as hectic as weekdays, I find that my Saturdays and Sundays are so much longer!
- Do not check the phone until you are done getting ready and finished with breakfast – Sometimes I even try to wait until I arrive at the office, but I found that there could be a reminder message for me to grab something at home before I go in. Until a few months ago I would turn off my alarm and immediately check emails and social media, then the next thing I know I’m still in bed, 30+ minutes have passed and I now have to rush to get out the door. However, waking up earlier doesn’t mean giving myself time to do this bad habit. I still make the conscious effort to not let that phone leave the nightstand until all is done for the morning.
- Morning walk – One of my absolute favorite morning activities to do with Thomas is a walk around the neighborhood with a coffee in hand, to stretch out the limbs, get the blood flowing, and gather some creative inspiration for the day ahead. I almost always find something new to admire in the neighborhood, and I get especially excited when that little something is blooming!
- Take 15 minutes or less to tidy up – An organized space is an organized mind and since your home should be your sanctuary, I take a few minutes to tackle a small task that has a definitive end to it; like emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash, or clearing off the bathroom counter. Do what you can to make your home more inviting for when you return at the end of the work day and then you’ve already crossed one or a few items off your day’s to-do list! I typically try to stick to a 15-minute rule which means keeping my house 15-minutes from guest ready at any time.
- Reading at breakfast – Instead of scrolling through social media, I allow myself 15 minutes to eat and read my book (currently reading and loving The Keeper of Lost Things) while enjoying my breakfast in the morning. Reading is a really fun way to let my mind wander into someone else’s imagination and I feel a little more revived before I have to check-in to reality. Plus I love how books can spark great conversations between people and you learn more about another person’s perspective and taste in literature. If it matches with yours then you’ve found a new source for book recommendations!
I’ve found that with these small tweaks to my routine I’m not only more productive throughout the day but I’m also more present and focused, which is so important for me since I typically can have one million things that need my attention from many different directions.
I’d love to know of any tips or changes you’ve made to having a productive morning or setting yourself up on the right foot for the day!