Do you have trouble getting out of the door in the morning? Do you struggle to get the kids to school and you to work on time? You are not the only one!
Believe it or not we spend 30-120 minutes everyday doing our morning routine. Would it not be great to shave some of those minutes off? Maybe get some extra sleep, exercise in the morning or actually get everyone to their destination on time. Without a routine it can be stressful trying to get everyone ready and off on the right foot to start the day. It doesn’t have to be this way!
Tips For a Smoother Morning
Here are a few ways to make your morning routine more efficient.
- Make a list of everything you need to do in the morning in chronological order. This will assure you don’t forget anything and do everything in the same order until it becomes second nature. It is important to be consistent. Write down how long you think each task will take. Then time it to see the actual time how long each task takes. This will help build the timing of your morning routine and your wake up time. If you are continually late moving on to a different part then you need to add some extra time in to that part of your routine.
- Get up at the same time everyday. Your body will become to expect it after awhile and get use to waking at the same time. This also will help with time management.
- Plan a spare 5 minutes per child in the morning for emergencies – especially if you have small children. So many things can happen in the morning so you have to plan that something is going to go wrong or take longer with young children.
- Think about all you have to do in one room before moving on to the next room. For example, I am going to do everything in my bedroom and bathroom before I come downstairs. This saves “travel” time, and it’s less likely you will get distracted and out of your routine.
- Don’t try to do anything extra in the morning that is not in your regular routine. There is not time for it – each minute is accounted for.
Check out my FREE printable to help you create your personal morning routine checklist. Click here for your free printable. I have included the items above on the checklist for an easy start. If your morning routine is completely different I also included a blank check list for you to customize. Click here for your free blank printable. Use whichever one works best for you!
Prepare the Night Before For the Day Ahead
The key to a successful and efficient morning is to do as many things as possible the night before. This is a major time saver for the morning! After time, tasks will become a habit, and you won’t even have to put a lot of thought into them. Until then, here is a nightly checklist to help make a more smooth and efficient morning. There are spaces for you to personalize your checklist. Put this in a spot you will see nightly – especially before you go to bed to double check the list.
Here are some items to include on your Nightly checklist:
- Get breakfast ready the night before. Before school and work there is not time to cook a gourmet meal. However, that doesn’t mean your family has to have a boring, unhealthy breakfast. I make breakfast items on the weekend for the week like hard boiled eggs, fruit and yogurt parfaits, and egg sandwiches.
- Prepare lunches the night before. Lunches can be made and put in the fridge ready to go for the morning. Dishes and containers can be reused if putting same or similar things in them. For example, I reuse the container I bring my broccoli in each day. Then I wash it at the end of the week.
- Prepare any snacks for the car.
- Lay out or hang in front of the closet what you are wearing, shoes, and accessories. Same with kids – lay out what they wearing. Pack your workout bag if you are going to the gym.
- Check any homework, sign any permission slips, backpacks and work bags packed and ready. I put anything out of ordinary I have to bring the next day in the car the night before or if too warm or cold right by the door so I don’t forget. You are less likely to forget something if you pack it or set it out the night before.
- Check the weather the night before and plan for extra time if going to snow or rain.
- Set your alarm. When you get up the same time each day your body starts to wake near the same time. However, the worst way to start a morning is by over sleeping. Also, if you are one who pushes the snooze button 3 times take that into account.
Make a Nightly and Morning Checklist For Your Kids
Just as a checklist will help you make a sound morning and nightly routine, the same goes for your kids. A checklist can help develop good hygiene habits and help them remember their routine. Also, this can help your time schedule in the morning with the kids having their own checklist to follow. You won’t have to constantly check up on them or remind them of everything they have to do in the morning.
The kids checklist will vary by age and potentially gender. To get buy-in from the kids have them help make the checklists. In addition, to make it a fun activity for them and habit forming use stickers, a stamp, or bright markers to check off the tasks. Another option is to laminate the checklist and use a dry erase marker to check off the tasks each day. The nightly routine can include items like brushing and flossing teeth, all homework complete, washing face, and clothes/shoes ready. The morning routine may have items like making the bed, brushing teeth, bathing, and feeding a pet. BONUS! I have a kids morning/nightly routine FREE printable for you too. This printable includes the tasks above already filled in along with a daily checklist. Click here for your free kids printable. If you would prefer a blank checklist to customize with your kids click here. Do what works for you!
Changing a Routine Takes Time
A routine is not going to change over night. It actually may take some trial and error to figure out exactly what works best for you and your family. What works for one person may not work for the next. Each person and family are different, so each routine may be a little different. The first week rearranging your schedule may feel a bit awkward, but stick with it. Then by the 2nd or 3rd week you will get more accustomed to the routine. By the 4th and 5th week your efficient routine will feel more like second nature.
So are you ready for an improvement and less stress in your morning? Try adding in these steps to your nightly and morning routine to start your day off smoother. Soon you and your family will have a super efficient morning routine to get your day started!