Unless you’re naturally very disciplined and an early bird, mornings are never going to feel great. But here’s some good news. If you can streamline your morning routines, you’ll find that it’s possible to get up at your usual time, and still feel calm and leisurely as you get ready for work.
How to save time in the morning – list your routines
The first thing to do is list every single routine you do in the morning on a piece of paper, even and especially all the trivial ones. If you’re a working parent, then this will be quite a long list. It’s especially important to include all the things you usually forget about until the last minute. So make an accurate map of what you do and include ‘looking for keys’, ‘checking the cooker is off’, ‘choosing an outfit for work’, ‘checking the weather forecast’, ‘rushing around collecting papers for work’, ‘put some washing on to do whilst I’m at work’etc if they apply to you.
How to save time in the morning – overhaul the efficiency of your routines
Chances are that a number of these routines are not as efficient as they could be. So, if you always lose your keys, you need to find a way of changing that. Try making it a cast iron rule that you always leave them on a particular hook by the door as you come in. If you always panic about work papers, make it a habit to get them ready the night before. If you’re a parent, and your children are the unpredictable factor, then make a list of things the usually trip you up with. As far as possible, get them to work with you, by taking responsibility for their own tasks, such as getting dressed for school etc, or cleaning their teeth. Don’t forget to praise them when they do.
How to save time in the morning – create ‘workstations’
One very helpful way of streamlining all your routines is to assemble ‘workstations’ around all of them, where everything you need for the task is literally to hand, by being within arms length of the task, and not crowded out by other junk. You could do this with everything you need in order to prepare packed lunches for instance, or make sure that it’s a cast iron rule that your child hangs up their school uniform on the back of their bedroom door every evening ready for the morning, or check when they’ve done their homework, that they put what they need for the next morning in their school bag before they do anything else.
How to save time in the morning – streamline your wardrobe
If your own wardrobe deliberations are a problem in the morning, then you’ll need to do a clear out. Remove everything on the rail that is shabby, ill fitting, and doesn’t suit you. Give what you can to charity, and put anything you can’t bear to give away into a box to store somewhere. Then arrange everything that’s left on the rail. Start with the darkest items, so all the black trousers, followed by all the black shirts, followed by all the grey trousers and so on until you get to the end of the rail. Then have a look at what’s missing. So if you discover you have 5 pairs of black trousers and no black shoes or discover that you could pull together several existing items by buying a black jacket, then you know what to do! Don’t forget to replace any garment in its correct section, every time. That will keep things organised effortlessly and should make suitable combinations easy to see.
Streamlining routines will save you precious minutes, so stick with it
It will take you a while, but if you can doggedly work your way through all your routines and common stumbling points in the morning, and pre-empt them in this way, you’ll find that you gain much more time, and maybe even a sense of peace in the morning. That has to be a better way to start the day!