Monday, November 24, 2014

establishing a morning routine

establishing a morning routine
One of my goals for November is to complete Crystal's 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home challenge. I know this stuff is typically done in the spring, but I'm a rebel. "I spring clean in the fall" is tattooed on my back. I am in the middle of the challenge right now and I can already see huge improvements to my home, but more so to my mental health. I was challenged to do things that I wouldn't have even thought of doing given all of the other things I have to do. For example, on one of the days, the challenge was to clean under my bed. I almost skipped it thinking, "That's not a priority." I did it though and it took me about half an hour to remove all of the nonsense that had accumulated under my bed. My room feels so much cleaner to me now.

Every week day, there's a list of things to be done. The first few are the same every day: "get dressed in something that makes you feel great" (the premise is you'll be more productive if you dress the part), "sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and make a list of weekly goals" or daily goals with your weekly goals in mind, "complete your morning routine" (which is what I'll be discussing today), and then follows the 2 to 3 challenges that are specific for the day. For 2 weeks I have been following the challenge and I feel like my mornings are more structured and like I am accomplishing more than I have in the past.

Crystal discusses How to Develop a Routine That Works- And Stick With It here. Be sure to start with part one by scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page. Crystal has a routine established for the morning, afternoon, and evening, but suggests sticking with just the morning routine for a few weeks if the concept of routines is unfamiliar to you. Crystal suggests that routine "will calm your chaos and bring rhythm, order, and peace to your days." I am going to paraphrase her steps, but be sure to visit her "How to Develop a Routine" series because her steps are more elaborate and more helpful than mine. Plus, I'm only discussing establishing a morning routine. She discusses establishing morning, afternoon, and evening routines.

To develop a morning routine,
Begin by writing down your priorities
Our days can get filled up with a bunch of little, mundane, time consuming activities. So you don't allow those little things to take priority, establish your priorities. For example, reading to Addy (she's my preschooler) is very important to me. That is something that I am trying to make a daily, morning priority.

Determine a time sequence
Determine when you wake up, when you have breakfast, when you get dressed, when you make your bed, etc. My days are filled with unpredictable activities (sometimes time consuming, unpredictable activities- like milk getting spilled at breakfast). Determining a time sequence (though flexible) gives me a sense of order and peace in my day.

Create a chart/checklist for your routine and refer to it often
Your checklist can be as simple as a scratch piece of paper. It can also be more elaborate like a document you created, printed, and laminated. The point is it should work for you. I will be sharing what I do in a future post. [Edit: This is what I do.]

Stick to it
It can only become a routine if you stick to it. It doesn't have to be a rigid routine. In fact, it should be somewhat flexible. Generally following it will bring more structure and peace to your everyday life.

I plan to eventually establish routines for the other parts of my day. I really look forward to my mornings now because they are more peaceful.

Related: Establishing an Evening Routine