Want to feel in control of your days? Wishing you could find a way to bring order instead of chaos into your life?
You need to have a better morning. It’s a surefire solution for more productive and peaceful days. Why? Because when you start the day on the right foot, the rest of the day falls into better place — without much effort at all.
1. Begin the Night Before
You’re tired at night. I totally get that. I am, too. In fact, most nights, I just want to get some comfy pants on, put my feet up, and enjoy a good book or movie.
But I’ve found that if I take 15 minutes to prep for the next day, I do myself a huge favor. I use these 15 minutes to do three things:
- Quickly clean up the main living areas of our home (if you’re using the Motivated Moms cleaning schedule, this would be a great time to tackle today’s projects, if you haven’t already).
- Look over our plans for the next day and make a short to-do list or loose schedule for the next day (you can use my free printable Daily Docket for this).
- Get together anything you need to get out the door the next day (purse, library books to return, etc.).
When I do this, I enjoy crawling into bed or curling up with a book a whole lot more because I know I’ve got things in great order for the next morning. Plus, those 15 minutes of effort often completely change my morning.
You see, this guarantees that not only do I wake up to a cleaned up house, but I wake up feeling in control of my day — because I already have a plan of action in place. Now all I have to do is just follow the plan!
Tip: When making your to do list, challenge yourself to immediately cross three things off, without even doing them. This will force you to carefully evaluate everything on the list and help you weed out what isn’t that important.
2. Get Up a Little Earlier
I know, I know. Getting up early is not fun, glamorous, or exciting. And if you’re currently in a stage of life where you’re getting up multiple times in the night due to illness, pregnancy, or caring for a fussy infant or child, you can skip this point entirely.
But the rest of you, hear me out. Getting up just 15 minutes earlier can make a tremendous impact on the overall success of your day — and quite possibly your entire life! I dare you to just try it for three weeks and see if you prove me wrong.
Instead of pulling yourself out of bed at the last minute and then rushing around like a mad woman so you can get out the door and get wherever you need to go, try waking up 15 minutes earlier than normal in order to spend quiet time praying, reading the Bible or an encouraging book, or writing in a journal. This will give you a calm start to your day and will allow you time to be still, count your blessings, and begin your day with a great attitude.
Tip: Find a friend to join you in your early rising challenge. It’s always so much easier — and more fun! — when you’re not going it alone. You might text each other each morning when you get up to help you stay accountable.
3. Attack the Hardest Thing First
I’m a master procrastinator. I can come up with all sorts of seemingly good things to do instead of doing what I really should be doing. But when I spend most of the day procrastinating, I feel behind and unfulfilled.
At the beginning of this year, I challenged myself to stop putting off things as long as I possibly could and committed to begin my day tackling those dreaded tasks first. I thought it was going to be hard — and it was!
But I also was delighted to discover that those tasks I was loathing really weren’t that hard when I just set my mind to do them and then did them. They took a lot less time than I thought they would and I always felt so good to check the hard things off my list early in the day.
You know what else I discovered? I have more time than I thought I did!
When I stopped burning daylight and stalling in order to avoid the unpleasant tasks, it freed up a lot of extra time in my day. This, in turn, made me feel much less busy and able to go through my days more calmly and cheerfully because I wasn’t constantly feeling behind.
Tip: Have a dreaded task to tackle? Set a timer and challenge yourself to race against the clock. This will motivate you to work harder and faster — and will make it more like a game than a difficult task! You’ll probably find you get the project done in no time at all!
What things do YOU do to set yourself up for a great morning?
Want some practical help with setting up your day for success? Be sure to grab a copy of my brand-new online course, Make Over Your Mornings.
This 14-day online course includes videos, a workbook, and step-by-step projects and is designed to help you revolutionize your productivity, streamline your routines, invest your time in things that truly matter, and find more joy and peace in the process.
If you’ve ever wished that you could figure out how to get more done, have more organization in your life, and find time to spend on things you love, the Make Over Your Mornings Course is for you. Find out more about it here.