Here are five easy fixes for common morning problems and how to fix them so you can build a better and less stressed morning routine.
What is about mornings that sucks so much? It doesn’t make sense, actually. Mornings should feel great, right? You had a chance to sleep and reset your brain, you get a fresh start, the sun is rising, it’s a new day, and you can create a new mood for yourself. So why do we hate mornings so much? Because they’re chaotic.
Mornings can make or break your whole day, and without the right planning and preparation, you’re pretty much setting yourself up to fail. Not to mention, I’m positive you’re sick and tired of saying “Where’s your backpack?” five times a day.
Whether you like it or not, the success (and stress level) of your day, as well as your family’s, depends on how you kick it off. By making some simple changes, you can take back your life and officially call yourself a Morning Person.
-You’re always late.
The fix: Back everything up by twenty minutes. By now you know how long it takes you to get to your morning destination, either school, work, or Starbucks. You also know that the lines are long sometimes. And the dog takes longer to poop than you expect. And somebody is going to lose their favorite keychain and refuse to go to school without it.
You can’t change any of this, nor can you control it. But by waking up twenty minutes early, getting the kids up twenty minutes earlier, taking the dog out twenty minutes earlier, and getting in the car twenty minutes earlier, you’ve got a nice little cushion for the unexpected.
I know my son will want to grab a stuffed animal at the last minute. Or have to use the bathroom. Or forget to turn his light off. But I always tell him we have to leave 20 minutes earlier than we actually should, that way I don’t have a freak-out in the driveway because he ran back inside. By giving yourself that cushion, the unexpected things that pop up will be no big deal to you.
-You always forget something.
The fix: Spend ten minutes at night preparing. Instead of screaming like a madwoman (or madman) for your kids to grab their homework folder, or stressing because you can’t find your favorite travel mug, do a little prep work at night. By laying out what you’ll need in the morning the night before, you’ll wake up to an easy morning routine.
You can save yourself the headache by packing lunches, putting backpacks and purses at the door, keeping your keys in the same place always, putting your mug by the coffee maker, keeping papers in a basket in your entryway, and pre-making quick reheat breakfasts, all before bedtime. It really doesn’t take long to do these things at night, but it pays off immensely the next day.
-You’re all over the place.
The fix: Build a morning routine. Morning routines are the superheroes of sanity. By taking time each day before anyone else wakes up to plan your day is beyond a lifesaver. A good morning routine consists of a little bit of chill time, laying out your day, and preparing for your evening. When you have a clear plan of the next 12 hours ahead, you’ll feel better about tackling your day.
-You can never find anything to wear.
The fix: Steamline your wardrobe. This is such a common problem, but such an easy fix. You don’t really have “nothing to wear” but you actually have too much. And I’ll bet out of all that you do have, it’s not the right pieces.
By spending time curating a wardrobe that works for you, you’re setting yourself up for super-fast dressing sessions. If you had more pieces that could be interchanged with each other and less “outfit specific” pieces, you could mix and match in a minute’s time.
-You try to do too much.
The fix: Evaluate your commitments. It’s great that you’re part of the carpool rotation. And it’s fantastic that you pick up doughnuts for the office on Fridays. But all the extra things you add to your morning can really add up.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the amount of tasks you have, take a good honest look at how they impact your life, and if they can be delegated or dropped entirely. If the carpool rotation is feeling like a chore, consider giving some of your days to another parent. And maybe cut down the doughnut runs to once a month, or only for special occasions.
Don’t feel like everyone’s day relies on you. You are in charge of you (and your family), but everyone else can handle their stuff on their own.
Do these problems resonate with you? Is something else holding you back in the morning or making you feel like you’re just spinning your wheels? Share your thoughts below in the comments and get the conversation going.