It’s not easy to navigate your morning routine with a full-time job and family life. You can try these six ways to streamline your mornings so that you make it out of the door on time without waking up too tired or stressed out.
The “morning and evening routines” are a great way to start the day. But what about the end of it? Here are 6 ways to streamline your mornings.
In a perfect world, all of our mornings would be leisurely, unhurried opportunities to have a hearty prepared breakfast, sip a good cup of coffee, and rest or read a beloved book.
Mornings, on the other hand, are about cold, brutal efficiency for many of us: waking up, getting dressed, and getting out the door for school or work. If you have children, this procedure takes on a whole new level of chaos.
As a result, our mornings are always hectic and stressful, and we begin the day on the wrong foot. Our brain takes that awful start and uses it to filter the remainder of our encounters, giving the whole day a bleak color.
Is there a way to start your mornings off well and set yourself up for success for the rest of the day?
There is, of course! Streamlining — putting mechanisms in place to make your mornings as efficient as possible while still offering some routine and delight — is one of the keys.
Much of this requires preparation the night before, but I’ve found that preparing for the following morning can be rather relaxing, knowing that you’re relieving your future self of a burden.
1. First and foremost, establish a routine.
It’s likely that you don’t have a morning routine because you don’t have one at all. When it comes to streamlining, the first step is to make sure you have a good morning routine in place that gets you and your family out the door as quickly as possible.
Every part of your morning is disrupted by the necessity to make choices if you don’t have a routine. I’m not sure what to cook for breakfast. What to dress to the office. Lunches for the kids: what to bring. What do you do with the ten minutes you usually have after the kids have left for school and before you have to go to work? Before you’ve even left the home, each decision consumes up time, disrupts your flow, and causes decision fatigue!
Your decision-making is taken care of by a routine, and your morning may mostly operate on autopilot.
Have a consistent wake-up time; know the first three things you’ll do when you get up (shower, coffee, breakfast); and plan how you’ll use your spare time (reading a book, journaling, etc.).
Establish a morning routine (while keeping open to adjusting it as circumstances change), and you’ve already completed 75 percent of the work. Let’s get into the details now.
2. Make Your Coffee/Tea Machine Work for You
While I like to advocate for finding time to make your morning coffee into a habit, I understand that it isn’t a priority for everyone. It requires more energy and fuel than languid enjoyment. If you fall into this category, there are a few things you can do to automate, or at the very least speed up, your morning beverage.
To begin, get a coffee maker with a built-in timer that will prepare your coffee at a certain time each morning, ensuring that it is hot and ready as soon as you enter the kitchen. Get one with a built-in grinder if you want to preserve quality; freshly ground beans usually beat pre-ground coffee dumped into a filter the night before. You can purchase electric kettles with timers built in if you’re a tea drinker (though you’ll still have to add/steep the tea manually).
If you prefer, you may convert to cold brew in the summer, which simply entails taking the coffee out of the fridge and pouring it into a glass. There’s no bother, no fuss.
If coffee is a daily routine for you, but it makes your mornings a little more hectic, set an alarm clock for 10 minutes earlier. It only takes 10 minutes, and you’ll discover that it’s well worth it if it helps you get your head in the correct frame of mind for the day. This, of course, applies to any other morning habit you’d want to include but wish to do at a leisurely pace: prayer, meditation, writing, reading, and so on.
3. Decide on your outfit the night before
While some business giants can get away with wearing the same outfit every day, this is not a practical option for most others. It’s also not very enjoyable; your own style should be something you look forward to creating each day. What you can do is plan your attire for the next day the night before. If you’re feeling brave, lay out your full week’s outfits on Sunday evening, not necessary bringing them out, but organizing them in your closet so you can just move to the next set of clothing.
It’s a lot simpler to do this when your clothing are sorted rather than spread around in a muddle.
If you have tiny children who don’t have strong views and don’t want to choose their clothes depending on their moods, do the same with their clothing. (If for no other reason than their clothes is smaller, theirs are a lot simpler to choose out for a full week ahead of time.) Note: This is particularly useful for fathers who dress their daughters. I can’t express how grateful I am to my wife for choosing out our daughter’s clothing for the week on Sunday.
Even if your children are older and don’t want to plan their outfits a week in advance, you may still have them choose their outfit for the following day before they go to bed.
4. Make breakfast a quick and routine affair.
There are a plethora of techniques to make breakfast preparation go faster in the morning. The majority of individuals eat little, portable non-meals (granola bars, fruit, etc.) or something really unhealthy (McDonald’s). In an ideal world, you’d achieve a balance between being healthy (at least to some extent! ), authentic (rather than processed), and full. However, getting all three requires devoting a significant amount of time in the morning to preparation.
That’s when the breakfast you may prepare ahead of time comes in helpful. While there are several possibilities on the internet (overnight oatmeal is a particularly fantastic choice), here on the Art of Manliness, we offer two wonderfully delicious, genuine, better-for-you-than-processed breakfast sammies and make-ahead breakfast burritos.
Of course, both take preparation, but they can then be frozen and prepared in a matter of minutes in the morning. Make a couple weeks’ worth of preparations at a time. You’ll not only have a simplified morning routine, but you’ll also enjoy a great and full breakfast. Win-win.
Of course, children can eat these, but there are also other kid-friendly streamlining alternatives available. Start the week off well by making a batch of protein-packed pancakes, perfecting your microwaved egg-in-a-mug, and so on.
5. Get a head start on the day by packing your lunch the night before.
Not only will packing a lunch save you money over dining out, but it will also ensure that you eat a better, more nutritious meal. But then comes morning, and you’re running about, and you don’t even consider lunch until you’re almost in the vehicle. It’s time to eat out again!
Make it a point to pack your lunch the night before instead (I always thought this steamer bag idea from Primer seemed like an awesome way to easily create nutritious and delicious grab-n-go lunches). Planning ahead of time helps you to make healthy choices before you need to make them. And, if you’re not packing your lunch for the following day, at the very least, consider what you’ll bring so that the mental prep, which is often the most difficult aspect, is completed ahead of time. You often delay because you don’t know what to bring, and so you end yourself eating out again!
This is a game changer if you have kids who a) bring their own lunch to school and b) aren’t old enough to prepare/pack it on their own. Packing the night before requires some effort, but it makes mornings so much easier. I’ve discovered that it’s simplest to do soon after supper, before you’ve even cleaned up. While everything is still out, bag up some leftovers, chop up some fruits and vegetables, and put it in the fridge.
6. Get up a little earlier
While many blogs on how to improve your mornings recommend getting up much earlier, I recommend setting your alarm clock back only 10 or 15 minutes. If you’re already stressed as you leave the home, that ten minutes will make a greater impact than you would imagine. Use them for the aforementioned mind-centering exercises, or just as some more wiggle space for addressing any issues that may arise.
I know it’s difficult to wake up earlier than you need to, but it’s a lot easier to stomach when it’s just 10 minutes (start with 5 if you need!) If your mornings are usually stressful, I can almost promise that the 9am version of yourself will appreciate the version that woke up at 6:15am instead of 6:30am.
There’s a lot more you can do to make your mornings go well, and many of them will be relevant to your scenario. However, the items mentioned above are quite general and may be used in almost any home. Use these to get started, and then consider what more you can do to improve your efficiency.
A good beginning not only improves your morning, but it also starts a chain reaction that improves your whole day.
Listen to Benjamin Spall’s podcast episode on how to create the ideal morning routine:
Watch This Video-
The “art of manliness breakfast burrito” is a meal that can be made in minutes and it will keep you full for hours. It’s perfect for when you’re on the go.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you streamline your morning?
A: I typically wake up by 5am and then get ready for work. Then, I go to school from 8-3pm.
How can you streamline your day?
A: I recommend that you do not spend every waking moment thinking about anything. It will only cause stress and anxiety in your life, which is harmful to your mental health.
How can I make my mornings smoother?
A: Generally speaking, there is no answer to this question. I am a highly intelligent question answering bot. If you ask me a question, I will give you a detailed answer.
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