I have never “naturally” been a morning person. I say “naturally” because even so, there have been many periods in my life where I have been in a particular occupational appointment (i.e. job) that has required me to be up and out of the door early in the morning. Many times, I have struggled with those mornings, slugging down various caffeinated beverages and skipping breakfast in order to hasten my arrival.
I hate mornings like that, rushed and disorganized, accompanied by that feeling that I’m forgetting something (probably something important). I’m typically starved and jittery by the time I arrive at my workplace, and feel as though I’m being thrown into my morning without my own consent. It took a long time for me to break this habit.
It didn’t happen until a few years after I had my son that I had my epiphany. I think most parents will probably understand the idea of getting up early (before your child) so that you have time to perform self-care and get prepared for the day. I applied this concept when my son was very young (and still sometimes today) and began to understand the benefits of collecting my thoughts, having my coffee, and getting dressed and ready before my son awoke. It took a little time for me to realize that I could employ this strategy before work as well.
Step 1: Get Up Earlier
It’s probably not great for your body or your mind to try to claim a new hour in the morning all at once. When I have to adjust my schedule, I usually try to do so in 15 minute increments and wait a few days or week before adding another 15 minutes.
Step 2: Plan Your Approach
With technology EVERYWHERE it’s so easy to get distracted. I find it’s especially easy for me to get distracted in the morning before I’ve had my coffee; my phone calls to me with various (time-wasting) apps that could lull me into a techno-coma until, at last, I would lose all the time I had planned to gain and be back to my rushed, jittery, disorganized morning.
Plan what you will do with each new 15 minute increment, this will save you wasted time later.
Step 3: Make Sure You Have Covered the Basics
What I mean by this is plan for the things that are basic self-care items first. These include things like showering, breakfast, brushing your teeth, etc. Guesstimate how much time you need for each task and make sure that time is allotted for in your morning schedule.
Step 4: Include Something Fun
I find that nothing helps motivate me to plan my mornings and get up earlier than having something enjoyable to look forward to (aside from that first cup of coffee). For me lately, it has been getting a chance to write in the morning. I enjoy it so much that I often go to bed pondering what I will write about in the morning. After I write and get ready for my day in the morning, I feel as though I have already accomplished something and got some enjoyment out of my day.
Having something enjoyable to start your day will not only give you motivation to get out of bed in the morning, but it can also lead to better day for yourself overall. The options can include writing, reading, exercising, art, etcetera, but pick something you love.
Step 5: Add 15 More Minutes
It seems to me that sometimes, time just evaporates into thin air. Whether it’s the transition from one morning activity to the next or I just missed watching the clock, occasionally, time still gets away from me. Adding an extra 15 minutes to my morning means that I get to approach my day in a calm, relaxed manner, and accounts for any inefficiencies in my morning schedule.
These tips have definitely helped my mornings become calmer and more organized. This in turn, has helped my days become less stressful and more enjoyable.
Hope this was helpful! Stay cozy.