Do you have trouble getting out the door in the morning? Do you struggle to get the kids to school and you to work on time? Those first few minutes in the morning can set up your whole day for success. Try these tips to improve your morning routine.
Believe it or not we spend 30-120 minutes everyday doing our morning routine. Wouldn’t it be great to shave some of those minutes off? Think what you go do with a few extra minutes each day! Sleep longer, exercise in the morning or actually get everyone to their destination on time.
Without a daily routine, it can be stressful to get everyone ready and off on the right foot each day. With school starting, now is the perfect time to revamp and improve your morning routine!
Best Morning Habits
Here are morning routine ideas to make your morning 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 into that part of your routine.
- Get up at the same time everyday. When you get up at the same time each day your body will come to expect it and start to naturally wake up near the same time on your own. Getting up at the same time also helps with time management and knowing when you should be doing which task.
- 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 no time for it – each minute is accounted for. Save anything extra for the end, when you may have a spare couple of minutes.
To help get your morning routine on track try using a checklist. Grab your free daily morning/nightly routine checklist at the top of this post. I have included the items above on the checklist for an easy start. If you want to completely customize the checklist there is a blank printable too. Use whichever one works best for you! You can also find this checklist and loads of other free checklists and printables in my resource library. Simply scroll to the bottom of this post.
Improve Your Morning By Preparing the Night Before
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! In the morning you do not have to worry or rush around to get everything done. In addition, you are less likely to forget something.
After time, nightly tasks to prepare for the next day will become a habit and part of your nightly routine. Use a nightly checklist as part of your daily routine to help prepare for a smooth morning. Get your free checklist at the top of this post.There are spaces for you to add and personalize your checklist. Lastly, put this checklist in a spot you will see each night – especially before you go to bed to double check the list.
Include These Items 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, breakfast burritos, and egg sandwiches.
- Prepare lunches the night before. Lunches can be made and put in the fridge ready to go for the morning. If you do not want to refrigerate everything in your lunch bag then leave those items laying out on the counter so you see them and can add to the lunch bag quickly.
- Prepare any snacks for the car. At one point my kids had a 30-40 minute car ride to and from school/daycare so having snacks in the car was a must. I actually kept a couple spare snacks in my glove compartment in case they were extra hungry to avoid any tantrums.
- Lay out or hang in front of the closet what you are wearing the next day. In addition, set out your shoes and accessories. Do the same for your kids and layout their clothes, shoes, and accessories.
- Improve your morning routine by packing your work bag and any other special things you need to bring along the next day the night before. Pack your workout bag if you are going to the gym before or after work. Do the same for your kids. Pack their backpack and anything else they need to bring along the next day the night before.
- Check your child’s backpack, do and check any homework that needs to be completed. Read any communications from the teacher or school and sign any permission slips that need to be returned.
- If you or your family has an event right after school or work the following day get everything ready for that event. Actually getting ready for the week’s events on the weekend is even better. For example, if your child has a birthday party get the gift, wrap it, and write out the card the night or weekend before. In another instance, if you child has a sports practice, piano lessons, or girl scouts after school prepare everything they need the night or weekend before so everything is ready come time for the event.
- Check the weather the night before and plan for extra time if it is going to snow or rain.
- Set your alarm for the morning. 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 when planning what time to set your alarm.
Improve the Kids Morning Routine With a Daily Morning/Nightly Checklist
Just as a checklist helps you improve your morning routine, the same goes for your kids. A checklist can help develop good hygiene habits and help them remember their daily morning and nightly 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.
A kids daily 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 kids nightly routine can include items like brush and floss teeth, all homework complete, clean room, wash face, and get clothes and shoes ready for the morning. The morning routine may have items like make the bed, brush teeth, comb hair, eat breakfast, and feed a pet.
Get your free kids daily morning and nightly routine checklist printable by scrolling to the top of this post. The printable includes the tasks named above along with space to fill in extra tasks. In addition, there is a blank daily routine checklist available to personally customize with your kids. Furthermore, this checklist and other free checklists and printables can be found in my resource library. Simply scroll to the bottom of this post to get access.
Changing a Daily 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.
Final Thoughts on Improving Your Morning Routine
So are you ready for less stress in your morning? Try adding these steps into your daily morning and nightly routine for a smooth start. Get your free daily morning and nightly routine checklist printables for you and your kids at the top of this post. Soon you and your family will have a super efficient morning routine to get your day started!
I totally agree about planning the night before! Just recently, I have been ironing (5) pairs of Lola’s jeans on Sunday because I’m always getting home after 5:00 pm and totally exhausted. I don’t worry about the shirts, the wrinkles normally fall out! Lol