I am often a harried mom.
My internal clock runs about four minutes slow. I always think I have time for one more thing before I need to leave. Four minutes isn’t the worst in punctuality, but I realize it still means I’m late. So, trying to get more “things” done more efficiently ultimately helps my punctuality and makes me less frazzled.
To get more productive and punctual, I recently looked at my morning routine. I’m not only trying to get myself ready, I’m also trying to get my son ready.
I felt like I was starting my day slowly and with little intention which followed me for the rest of the day, causing my motivation to stall when it came to things I had to get done.
When I took a step back and detailed all the little things my morning consisted of, I was impressed by how much I do each morning as “the norm.”
There’s the coffee and the dog walk and making my son’s lunch, just to name a few. When I zoomed out a bit more to see the big picture, I noticed it was my morning habits that I’d gotten into a bad routine with, not just my “to dos.”
When I first woke up, I would grab my phone and start reading the news to get my brain functioning by having to pay attention to what I’m reading.
Here’s the bad routine part: before reading the news, I would spend 5-10 minutes reading my emails, personal and business. You may be thinking, “that sounds pretty trivial.”
But because I wasn’t responding to those emails until much later in the day, when I sat down to do my work, I would end up reading them a second time before responding. So, I wasn’t saving any time reading them in the morning.
Also, I used to kick myself for not getting up earlier, even by 10 minutes. I relish my quite time before the house awakens. I often think that if I had more time to “be” in the morning, I’d be on time a lot more. (I haven’t tested this theory completely yet, but I’ll let you know).
Had I not read those emails, I could have gotten up earlier!
I’ve decided to start new habits this school year. I’m skipping the emails from bed in the morning and I’m also limiting the amount of news I read when I wake up. With more time, I’m ready before my son and I can drink some tea in silence. I have a few extra minutes before I start talking about Minecraft or start making pancakes for breakfast.
Finally, I started making my son’s school lunch before I go to bed. It takes half the time to do it at night than it does when I’m trying to get 15 other things done in the morning.
Ultimately, quiet time before the day starts really frames my day so that I want to get my work done and get my workouts in. It helps me to be a more loving mother and wife. And I like to think it helps me be more on time as well.
Looking at my morning routine was enlightening. What can you notice or change about your morning routine to make you more productive? Maybe it’s showering at night so there’s one less thing to do in the AM. Maybe it’s setting out your workout clothes, so you get it done first thing. Or perhaps it’s getting up 10 minutes earlier so you can spend that time in quiet reflection. Tell me, what can you change to help your morning productivity?
Leah Harding is a nutrition coach and mobile personal trainer. She specializes in helping people see food as an ally to reach their goals, both in and out of the gym. She previously worked out of Rincon Fitness and owned CrossFit Carpinteria/Foxwing Fitness. Contact her at email@example.com with questions or with ideas for future wellness articles.