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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tip List - A speedy morning routine

Do you have trouble getting out the door in the morning? Each day I feel like I enter a time warp, where no matter what I do, we exit at the same time each morning...so maybe I'm not qualified to speak on the subject {blushing} but here are some tips that DO help things run more smoothly in the morning.

1. Make a list of all the things that need to be done before you walk out the door each day, down to the little details. Assign as many of the things on your to do list to a list called "Before Bed" and do them the night before. The remaining "Morning List" should only have the minimum amount of things required to get out the door successfully on it. Keep these lists handy so you can refer to them.
2. On hectic or hurried mornings, stick to the Morning List. This is my biggest problem, I get sucked into things that don't HAVE to be done that morning, and we end up being late.
3. Do what you can in parallel to save time. I have my coffee brewing while I'm taking a shower. If you have an older child who is capable of doing a lot of his morning routine without supervision, wake him up at the right time so you are ready to assist as needed when he's finished what he can do alone.
4. If you have to have that first cup of coffee before anything else, program it to be ready and waiting when your alarm goes off.
5. If you and your family shower in the morning, see if you can't make your showers 5 minutes or less. To help kids learn how to do that and make things fun, bring in a timer over the weekend and let them "race" the clock to see how fast they can get done (making sure they are getting adequately cleaned). If your family enjoys competition, keep track of everyone's time and declare a winner.
6. Know your hairstyle and what it needs each day to work for you. Can you leave it up in a towel to help it dry while you're doing other things? Do you have to blow it dry, or can it air dry? I tell my hairdresser that I won't be doing anything to it on weekdays, and ask for her to cut it accordingly. I wear it in a towel for a few minutes, comb it out and let it dry while I'm getting ready. Before I walk out the door I brush it once and I'm ready to go. Most days it looks pretty good in spite of what I'm not doing!
7. Consider your makeup essentials. While in college, I mastered the art of reducing my morning makeup routine to a minimum. Any extra time I could eek out were allotted to extra sleep, which interestingly enough has become like gold again to me, now that I'm a mom. During the week I put on foundation and bronzer and that's it. In the evenings or on a weekend when I want a little extra oomph, I pull out the extras.
8. Consider your children's schedule - do you wake them in the morning? If so, determine what time works best with your schedule and wake them accordingly. (if Sweetpea doesn't wake on her own, I wake her about 10 minutes before I'm ready to go out the door) If your child wakes predictably at a certain time, structure your morning routine accordingly. I find that as long as I have showered, it doesn't matter if Sweetpea wakes up before I've done the other things on my list. If I haven't showered yet, things go terribly wrong...so I shower first thing, and in well under 5 minutes!

What are your tricks for a smooth morning routine? Do you have a structured morning or are you more laid back? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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Zoe said...

What a great list!
So many tips and tricks, I have to say that I have NONE to share at the moment but after reading your post - watch this space! :)

johnk said...

Of course not having a family to worry about, my wife is still asleep when I'm out the door and the kids are grown and have their own families, it is eminently easier for me.

Still, I check my GTD for anything unusual that needs to be done. I've written several posts that provide details about my experiences with GTD and the applications I use on my blog at
http://johnkendrick.wordpress.com/how-to-gtd/ John

Martha said...

I am both! I hate being rushed in the morning - but have to have a structured morning routine or I'd never get moving. I get up one hour before the rest of the family to have my unrushed time to exercise, have my coffee, check my email, check the weather and take my shower. After that it's crazy morning time, LOL! Somehow we all make it out on time :-)

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

I live and die by programmable coffee makers! I have to have my coffee first thing (so does hubby, actually) and even though I rarely have to get out the door by a certain time, I usually feel frazzled in the morning!

Brooke said...

I wish I had a good routine to share, but we really don't have one! And we need one badly! I find that I am always late, somethin I never was before having a child. I try to get as much ready before she wakes, but inevitably as soon as she's up, and structure I may have been working towards is out the door.

Great tips! Thanks.

Stefanie said...

I actually have lists for everyone to complete in the morning. My son's list is in the bathroom. He knows to start at the top and work his way to the bottom without skipping a single thing. I also have a morning routine that I do everyday to keep my house clean and to keep my work down to 1 hour a day. Your blog is very interesting, keep it up! Check out my blog, Mothers Meeting Stone at http://sahmquest4happiness.blogspot.com/
I could really use some comments, I am new, lol.

dannielo said...

Great tips.

If you'd like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this application inspired by David Allen's GTD:


You can use it to manage and prioritize your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
A mobile version is available too.