Adopting these 5 mornings habits can help you and your family get out the door each morning without as much stress, and allow your day to run smoother.
Mornings can be tough to manage for everyone, especially if you've got to get both yourself and others, such as your kids, up and out the door.
Adopting good habits can make this tough time a bit easier, for both you and everyone else that has to get ready each morning, and reduce the stress, hectic pace, and frustration that are all too often common in the mornings.
I've already shared the 7 things you should do the night before for a great tomorrow, but without these additional morning habits in place the full puzzle isn't complete. So combine all of these habits, for both the night before, and each morning, and I guarantee you'll experience more consistently great days.
This habit, getting up when the alarm goes off, is the one I personally balked at for the longest time. After all I've been, for most of my life, a very good friend of the snooze button.
But any sleep you get during those snooze periods is interrupted sleep, so it isn't really very restful, making it a waste of time.
Plus, hitting snooze repeatedly sets you up to have to rush around because you don't have adequate time allotted to get everything done before you have to get out the door.
So I've found this habit is essential to making sure your morning runs smoothly.
What's the simplest way to not hit snooze? Don't put your alarm next to your bed.
If you force yourself to have to get up, to turn off the alarm, because the alarm is on your phone, held across the room, or with an alarm clock housed several steps away from your bed, you're much less likely to hit snooze without thinking, or with little conscious effort.
That means when organizing your bedroom you might want to consider alarm clock placement when designing the space.
Another thing that sucks up your time, just like the snooze button, is checking social media, or your email, or whatever, for "just a second" in the morning.
That "just for a second" often ends up lasting much longer, and then making us run behind.
In addition, checking social media and/or email early in the morning, before you do anything else, changes your agenda from being proactive, and doing the things you want and need to do each morning, into becoming reactive -- seeing what others want us to do, via email, or reacting to the lastest gossip, outrage or even funny cat video for social media.
I love social media and I get a ton of email each day, so I know how tempting it is to make sure you're not missing out on anything. But it will be there in a little while too, so wait until you and everyone else in the family is up and about, and ready and out the door, having done your vital morning tasks, before you check it.
That way you make sure you've done the morning essentials before getting distracted.
There are regular and consistent things that need to get done in the morning, almost every morning, to keep your home and life running smoothly, day in and day out.
Most of these things are simple and follow a pattern, like start a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher (that you ran the night before), feed your pets, eat your breakfast, etc.
You can see a list of morning routine ideas here, that fall into categories such as self-care tasks, or tasks to keep your home functioning effeciently, and that are best done in the morning.
Make a simple and doable list of these types of things that need to get done in the morning in and around your home and then follow your list daily. You can use the provided printable morning routine chart form here to help you.
As you do the things on the list daily they start to become a habit and routine, which makes it easier for them to get done.
In addition, this morning chore list doesn't have to be chores you personally do. You can assign others in your home tasks as well!
A central chore list using a simple calendar, chalkboard or dry erase board can make it much easier for your kids to get up and do what is needed without direct instructions.
Keep the chore list updated, but try to stick to a basic schedule so the kids get into the habit and it doesn't cause any frustrations early in the morning.
Things like making beds, feeding pets, putting breakfast dishes away, and making sure lights are turned off in the bedrooms and bathrooms are all easy things to add to this chore list.
You can find out more about creating a chore chart for kids or the whole family here.
There is little that's as frustrating as walking out the door for the morning and then realizing, a mile from home, that you forgot an important item at the house.
This is especially likely to happen when there are special events that don't happen regularly, and so you don't have remembering them as part of your normal routine. Examples of this could be the rare day it's supposed to be your turn to bring snacks for the team after the soccer game, or returning an item to a friend during a planned coffee date.
If there are items you need to take with you regularly you can create a checklist for such items, to review before you leave the house. This checklist could be as simple as reminders to bring your gym bag to work each day you head to the gym after work, or don't forget your glasses, or umbrella, or to remind your child to bring their backpack and sports bag before you start the drive to school.
If there is a special occassion type of item you need to bring, leave yourself a little note on or near the regular checklist, such as on a post-it note, that reminds you not to forget the sandwich in the fridge, or the dry cleaning, or items you need to run errands at lunch.
Make it a habit to look for these types of reminders each day as you leave the house, including the checklist of regularly needed items and extra notes for special items, and you'll save yourself a lot of time by not having to turn around, and head back into the house to get something you've forgotten.
For many people the main reason they feel like their mornings aren't running smoothly is that they feel rushed.
All the habits listed above are designed to help you stop the rushing, so you have enough time to get done what you must get done.
However, all the morning habits in the world cannot stop all slow downs, some of which are unavoidable and outside your control.
Therefore, instead of being taken by surprise with such slow downs, plan for them ahead of time by giving yourself an additional 10 or so minutes of a cushion for getting yourself and everyone else out the door in the morning. This is called giving yourself "margin" or extra space for the unexpected to occur.
If you plan to be completely ready 10 minutes before you really need to be it won't be a big deal if something slows you down for an extra five minutes. If you didn't hit any snags that day, even better! Now you have 10 minutes to sit, relax, and sip a cup of coffee or tea before the craziness of the day really begins.
To help you with this, in that free printable morning routine chart I mentioned above, I have included a reminder to add a "buffer period" of 10 minutes, right before you're ready to leave the house. You can get your printable morning routine chart here.
These 5 habits will make your morning run smoother, are simple to implement, and make a huge difference. They create a better morning routine that has fewer hiccups and thus gives you a better chance of having a more productive and easy day.
Do you have any more habits you do each morning that I've missed? I'd love to hear what you do below, in the comments.
I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!