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What does your morning routine look like? Do you wake up, hit snooze a few times, nibble a piece of toast as you rummage for your keys, then run out the door hoping you don’t miss the bus? Again? If so, you’re putting your entire day in jeopardy. Your morning routine sets the pace for your day and is crucial to every task you want to accomplish. If you feel rushed before you even leave the house, chances are you’ll spend the rest of the day trying to catch up. But there is a simple solution for easing a stressful morning routine: start it the night before.
6 Benefits of Starting Your Morning Routine the Night Before
- Eliminates rushing in the morning. Rushing comes with its own setbacks, like forgetting something important or spilling coffee on your pants.
- Gives you more quality time in the morning to spend with your family, read the newspaper, or sleep longer.
- Better preparation for the day. Starting your day in a calm manner, prepares you to face the challenges that lay ahead.
- You will make fewer mistakes. “Morning brain” may be a tad foggier than “evening brain,” so getting things done when you’re wide-awake ensures fewer errors, like putting on a striped shirt with plaid pants.
- Start on the Right Foot. Every day is an opportunity for a new chance to begin a project or work towards your goal. Completing little tasks the night before enables you to wake up and forge ahead on the big ones.
- Kicks the Unexpected’s Ass. One thing you can always count on is the unexpected. A run in your nylons. The car won’t start. With only so much you can control, getting done what you can at night frees up time in the morning for the unexpected.
Okay, now that you know why it’s beneficial to shift a few morning tasks to the evening, here are 10 actual things you can start doing at night to ensure a positive start to each day.
10 Little Tasks To Do at Night to Help Guarantee a Great Morning (and Day!)
- Check the weather. This lets you know if you need to bring an umbrella, scarf, boots, etc. And if you do, put the item by the front door.
- Choose your outfit. This will keep you from scrambling in the morning when you discover the suit you wanted to wear is at the dry cleaners.
- Pack your bag/backpack/briefcase with what you’ll need for work or school, the gym, or other errands like library books to return, etc.
- Make your lunch (and/or pack snacks). This saves time and money, and makes sure you’re eating healthy.
- Set the table for breakfast. Put out bowls, spoons, and a few boxes of cereal. It is a welcoming visual in the morning and helps ensure that you sit down and eat, which is a huge component to a productive day.
- Write out the next day’s To Do list. This gives you a starting point and creates structure for your day. It also frees your mind from having to remember responsibilities. When my To Do list gets long, I write my three most important assignments on three separate Post It notes. With the completion of each task, I toss the corresponding Post It note, which itself motivates me to keep going.
- Set an Intention for Your Day. Then Prepare for It. What would you like to accomplish tomorrow? Run three miles? Then lay out your running gear so you put it on first thing when you wake up. Want to get the kids to school on time? Have their backpacks ready by the door, their lunches made and their outfits laid out.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Remove distractions and messes from your bedroom. Put clothes or laundry away. Log off from electronics at least an hour before you go to sleep. Charge your phone in another room and turn off notification sounds. A restful sleep gives you energy for the day.
- Keep a journal or notebook next to the bed. If a task you need to get done or a recurring thought prevents you from falling asleep or wakes you in the middle of the night, write it down. This removes the worry of forgetting something you need to do, and also, seeing an issue in writing can make it less daunting.
- Read (gasp!) a book or magazine.Or do a crossword puzzle. Reading is the closest you can get to mediation and it can lull you into sleep.
Okay, now that you’ve freed up time in the morning, here’s what your new morning routine can look like.
10 Little Morning Things To Do to Help Make The Day Great
- Make the morning about YOU. Do you reach for your phone and begin responding to messages before you’ve even wiped the sleep from your eyes? That’s like saying, “Here, take my morning time. I don’t need it.” But you do need it. Your morning is the building block for your day and can help you achieve your goals, whatever they are.Most people are more productive in the morning because commuting, work, social media, etc. have not yet depleted our energies. The beginning of your day is when you should tackle the harder or more challenging tasks. Don’t waste this crucial time on the mundane.
- Make your bed. It sets a good intention for the day. It’s also nice to climb into a bed at night that’s made instead of a rumpled pile of sheets.
- Open the blinds. Welcome in the day. The sun can motivate you. The same is true for a rainy day. People are always saying, “I’ll tackle that on a rainy day.” Well, guess what, now you’ve got one. Go for it!
- Splash cold water on your face. Good for the skin and wakes you up!
- Rinse your mouth with water. Removes staleness.
- Stretch. A few yoga poses or reaching for the sky wakes up the body.
- Try a 2-minute breathing exercise. As you inhale and exhale, focus on your breath. If you get distracted, don’t worry, just refocus.
- Give thanks for being able to get up out of bed on your own. To get dressed on your own. To eat on your own. Life is full of surprises. Enjoy each day. It’s a gift.
- Eat a nutritious breakfast. It will keep you energized and help you get the most out of your day.
- Set the table for dinner. Like seeing the table set when you wake up, coming home to a set table is like an invitation.
Congratulations, you’re now ready to achieve anything you set out to do. Before you begin following these suggestions, know that there’s no need to try everything at once (unless you want to, then go for it), it’s okay to start with one. Try it for a week. Then add another. And another. Remember, baby steps are how you learned to walk; the same is true here. Before you know it, these little changes will become, well, routine.