Mornings set the tone for the day. Unfortunately, for many people, this means the tone is chaotic and stressful. This is caused by the fact that it’s easy to just let mornings ‘happen’. If you want to bring order and serenity to your mornings you need to stop to being the actor and start being the director. What you need is a routine.
Why a routine? Because routines make life run more smoothly. A routine clarifies what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. Routines remove the stress of decision making on everyone’s part. Routines rapidly become habits, which mean you can accomplish day to day tasks quickly and easily because you don’t have to think about each action. Even when things get unexpectedly crazy, a routine will add a sense of stability.
Here are some ideas for creating routines that will make your morning, and your day, run smoothly.
Stage Your Tomorrow
Get your family in the habit of laying out their clothes for next day the night before. This means having shoes and outerwear are all set, as well as the actual outfit. This will save frantic searches for a missing articles like baseball caps and belts. Also, have everyone gather the stuff that needs to leave the house with them. This means backpacks get packed and sports paraphernalia gets gathered. Cell phones, briefcases, purses, and keys are ready to launch too – you have a launching pad, right? This practice of thinking about what the next holds means you can prepare in a deliberate way and you’ll go off to bed with peace of mind. This tip is so important (and effective!) that I’ve got a video and customizable checklists for you to download right here.
Make a schedule.
Working backwards from the time you have to be out of the door, calculate when tasks need be completed in order to stay on track for departure. For an average family this means everyone is up by a set time, breakfast is eaten by a set time, the pets are walked by a set time and so on. I suppose you could argue that it seems regimented, but that’s the point. Our lives have lots of room for flexibility, but when you have limited time to get quite a number of tasks done, a fairly strict regime is in order. The calmness will more than make up for the military like game plan.
Eliminate the evidence.
This is less about getting out the door quickly and more about coming back home to a serene setting. This requires that everyone pitches in and does their part to tidy as they go. No one wants to come home to unmade beds and dirty breakfast dishes. Lighten the evening load by making sure that morning’s evidence gets eliminated.
Adopt or adapt these ideas and you will be enjoying peaceful morning before you know it!