8 ways to make your mornings feel less hectic
Ever read about the morning routines of highly successful people? Pretty inspiring stuff, right? Or potentially just intimidating and out of touch with what regular folks can manage every day… While you might not be able to bounce out of bed at 5am, go for a run, read a chapter of a book, make a healthy breakfast, enjoy it with your family over the morning papers, and still get the kids to school by 8.30am and be in the office by 9 (phew!), there are simple ways you can make your mornings feel less hectic and more productive. Read on for our 8 ideas, and then give one of them a try tomorrow.
1. Prepare for your day before it begins
Before you go to bed, mentally and physically prepare for the next day. Think about where you’re going and what you need/want to achieve. Plan it out, write it down, block out chunks of time for the individual tasks on your agenda. Next, take care of the things you’re going to need in the morning. Pick out the day’s outfit and prepare the lunch you’re taking to work. It’ll save you lots of time and hassle when you wake up.
2. Get a good night’s sleep
Rest is so important in ensuring your day is as productive as it can be. Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of Huffington Post and author of The Sleep Revolution, said, “When you're sleep deprived, you're more easily distracted and irritable and struggle to process basic information." In her book on the topic, she gives some ideas for getting a good night's sleep. These include unplugging from all electronic devices an hour before you go to bed, having a warm bath, and reading a chapter of a book that's not too mentally taxing.
3. Wake up half an hour earlier
To prevent the morning rush, try to make the morning longer. It sounds simple, but if you’re often 15 minutes late, get up 15 minutes earlier. Just by adding that extra 15 minutes to your day, your day can begin more easily. You can even (dare we say it) give the morning a more leisurely feel, just by not squeezing too many tasks into too little time.
4. Work up a sweat
By scheduling a workout at the beginning of your day, before anything else, you’re more likely to get it done. And when you do, you’ll set yourself up to feel accomplished (and a little smug!) all day. Exercise is energising, so if you find you’re a bit sluggish in the morning, moving your body will wake you right up. Pick a workout you enjoy (running round the park or a 7am yoga class, for example) so that you’re more likely to get it done.
5. Don’t check email straightaway
Since so many of us now use the alarms on our smartphones to wake us up each day, the temptation to check email or have a sneaky peek at social media first thing is strong. However, doing this only serves to busy your mind and distract you from enjoying your morning. Instead of zoning out to Facebook or worrying about an email that came in during the night, put the distractions aside for an hour. Engaging fully in the task at hand, whether that’s making breakfast or brushing your teeth, rather than attempting to multi-task, will help you get things done much more quickly and efficiently. And it just feels better, too.
6. Eat breakfast
When you were a kid, did your mum ever tell you that breakfast was the most important meal of the day? Well, she had good reason to. If you want to avoid a crash mid-morning, it’s important to break the night’s fast with a simple and nutritious meal – ideally high in protein so it keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
On that topic, be sure to re-hydrate as soon as possible after waking, too. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can really affect your mood and energy levels, and we want you to start your day feeling the best you can.
7. Brighten your own mood
The way we start something is often the way we continue with it. When it comes to your morning routine, make sure to incorporate some positive activity so you’re setting your mood up for the rest of the day. That could be watching a comedy clip that always makes you laugh, sending a sweet message to a friend or putting on your favourite song.
8. Set your intention for the day
Before you head out of the door, take a minute or two to really think about your intention for the day ahead. It could be a word you want to guide you through the day. You might write in in your phone or your planner so you can refer back to it regularly. Or it could be a specific task you want to get done in a certain way, e.g. nail it in that 1 o’clock meeting. Keep the intention with you to give you some intrinsic motivation.
Try one of these ideas tomorrow. Did it make a difference to your morning? Let us know in the comments below!