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Mornings can be rough. You hustle to get out the door on time and then you realize halfway to work that you left your laptop at home. You swing through Starbucks for your morning coffee and Panera for lunch because you just can’t seem to get it together enough to prepare it at home. Would you believe me if I told you mornings don’t need to be a chaotic scramble? Creating the best morning routine for you is just what you need to turn your mornings around.
Morning routines are highly personalized based on your needs and preferences. I could give you a step by step guide of what you should do every morning but it likely wouldn’t be the BEST morning routine for you. And you’d likely only follow it for a very short time (if at all).
So whether you work outside the home or are a stay at home mom (or dad), below are some time-saving habits that will help you create the best morning routine for you.
Habits to Create Your Best Morning Routine
Habits, routines, prepping can all sound like daunting tasks but they are actually pretty simple if you take one step at a time. They are the cornerstones to starting off your day feeling more productive and less stressed.
Prepare the Night Before
Your morning routine actually starts the night before. Get as much ready as you can the night before so your mornings are less stressful. Start by looking at your schedule for the next day. Then prepare whatever you need – pack your work bag, gym bag, lunch, clothes, etc.
Wake Up Easily
Set your alarm clock out of reach from your bed so you are forced to get up to turn it off. This makes it less likely that you’ll hit snooze five times.
If you struggle to really feel awake, there are ways to boost your mood and energy. Drinking a glass of water first thing is one way. There is a ton of information out there about the importance of drinking more water. I never really thought of drinking water immediately after you wake up until I read the Miracle Morning.
I started putting ice water in a Yeti water bottle and leaving it by my bed overnight. Now, I don’t even need to go downstairs to get a glass of water when I wake up. And yes, Yeti’s are expensive but they really do keep water colder than any other water bottles I tried. Cold water isn’t necessary but it’s the only way I like to drink water.
If you need more convincing, read USA Today’s article with reasons why you need a glass of water first thing in the morning.
There are several other ways to increase energy. Check out my article on ways to get energy.
Set Time Limits
Use a morning playlist to uplift you and to use as a timer as you get ready in the morning. Find 5-10 songs that pump you up and then schedule your morning activities around the songs. Two songs for the shower, 3 songs for hair and makeup, etc until you have your morning routine timed to songs. That way you’ll always know if you’re on schedule.
If you don’t want to go to the hassle of setting up a playlist, try finding an uplifting or motivational podcast series to listen to during your morning routine. By far my favorite is NPR’s TED Radio Hour Podcasts. The topics of this podcast are wide-ranging, from Hidden Potential to Why We Hate.
Here are eight other podcasts to enrich your mind and soul.
Time Saving Beauty Hacks
I don’t use a lot of makeup and didn’t really think it was possible to do 5-minute makeup until I saw a post by a non-beauty expert that shows 5-minute makeup IS possible. You don’t need to be an expert to put on makeup quickly.
Breakfast and Coffee
So many people skip breakfast due to a lack of time. If you’re always hungry in the morning or lacking energy, a healthy breakfast may be just what you need. All it takes is a little prep time at the beginning of the week or the night before. Check out Taste of Home’s collection of 55 make-ahead breakfast recipes and the Kitchn’s 35 batch breakfast to make ahead of time.
Save yourself time and money by skipping your coffee run. Making your own is so easy. Prep your coffee maker the night before. If your coffee maker has a timer then set it to start 10 minutes before you wake up or head out the door. If it doesn’t have a timer then just get everything ready the night before and hit start when you wake up.
Nothing will slow down your morning more than checking social media, email or watching videos. The exception: the morning playlist as a timer or a motivational podcast.
It’s so tempting to just check email or pop on to Facebook. But once you start, it’s so easy to fall into a rabbit hole and keep going. If you really feel the need to use your phone in the morning, set a time limit.
Create a “don’t forget” checklist and post it on the door you exit or your car steering wheel if you’re always forgetting something at home. It’s a final reminder that you didn’t forget your lunch or gym bag.
It can help to write out your routine to help establish new habits. Make a morning checklist of each step and hang it where it will be visible. Keep it up until your new routine and habits are automatic. Sign up now to receive FREE printable Morning Routine Checklists and a recap of the ideas and steps to create your own morning routine.
How to Create YOUR Best Morning Routine
As I explained at the beginning, I don’t believe in giving you a cookie-cutter step-by-step morning routine. Your needs are unique to you. But, I can guide you in creating the best morning routine for YOU.
- Time each step of your current morning routine so you have an accurate guide for how long each step takes.
- Review the list of morning routine ideas I listed within this article. Decide which ideas make sense for you to implement, based on your needs.
- Create your morning routine checklist. List each step of your morning routine including the time it will take for you to complete it.
- Week 1: Keep track each day. Make notes of where you are running into issues. At the end of the week, determine if your morning routine checklist needs to be tweaked. For example, you didn’t allow enough time to style your hair. Decide if you are going to incorporate additional time for your hair going forward or if you are going to try a hairstyle hack to shorten the time you spend on your hair.
- Week 2: Keep track of your revised morning routine checklist. If you’re still running into problems, make additional changes.
- Weeks 3-5 (or however long as needed): Make your morning routine a habit. Continue to use your morning routine checklist to make sure you are keeping on track. I’ve read from many sources that it takes 21 days to change a habit but that is not a hard and fast rule. Some people take longer, some habits are harder to change. The point is that it is OK if it takes you longer to change your morning routine.