A goal of mine this year is to live with more intention – I’m tying to be more thoughtful with my decisions, more deliberate with my actions, and figure out ways to increase my productivity.
With oodles of articles titled “The 5 Things Successful People Do Before 9am” amongst others, morning efficiency has become a hot topic lately. And spoiler alert: how smoothly your AM goes is often directly related to your PM. So today, I’m sharing some easy tips and considerations that you can try out tonight to ensure a better tomorrow.
Quick Fix: Before you hit the hay, plan out the few things you have to do tomorrow that are musts. Knowing your priorities for the next day before your head hits the pillow will ensure you wake up with a clear vision for your to-do’s.
A Step Further: If you still find your mind racing come morning, write your mental jargon down on paper (or log it all in your Notes app). Not only does creating lists and mind-maps help you process and visualize things better, but it’ll help give your scattered brain a break and allow you to concentrate on the really important matters in a priority sequence with the peace of mind that you can refer back to your notes later.
Sights, Sounds, Smells
Quick Fix: Clean your spaces before you go to bed. It sounds silly, but waking up to a spotless countertop or makeup counter, for example, and space sets the tone for a zen, calm morning.
A Step Further: In addition, set out anything you tend to use in the morning, such as a coffee press, curling iron, mascara, etc. And if you really want to kick your zen up a notch, automate an essential oil diffuser to dispense energizing scents – think citrus and peppermint – upon waking.
Streamline Your Wardrobe
Quick Fix: At night, check the weather forecast for the next day and set out a few outfit options accordingly. Then depending on how you feel when you wake, you can quickly make a choice and get on with it!
A Step Further: Take a few hours this weekend to organize your wardrobe. Maybe that means installing a new closet system, maybe it’s going through your goods and saying bye-bye to any items you haven’t worn in the past year. And when all is said and done, create a system for organizing your threads. For drawers, consider the rolling method so you can see everything without rifling, and for hanging clothes, sort and group by colour, or by type (my preference). They’ll be easier to grab at the ready, and look less cluttered visually.
Give Everything a Home
Quick Fix: Create a dedicated home for all the things and get in the habit of checking that they’re where they should before your head hits the pillow. Hit up a thrift store or your favorite shop to find a bowl or tray you can put in your entryway to be a catchall for things like keys, wallet, fobs, and mints.
A Step Further: Do a lifestyle inventory. Mentally go through your daily grind and map out your steps, both literally and figuratively. Is there anything you can tweak/move/replace/add to make your morning easier? I used to keep my toaster on my counter and my granola downstairs in my pantry. I eat granola every morning and use my toaster once a week, so I decided to swap them. Saves me two trips a day!
Pause, Stretch, Breathe, Enjoy
Quick Fix: Even if it adds five minutes to your routine, take a minute upon waking to stretch, meditate and breathe. I know it can sound fluffy, but there’s a reason our babies and fur babies alike do this innately.
A Step Further: Do something you enjoy: prepare a slow-drip coffee; listen to a podcast over a slow breakfast; take a quick walk around the block while enjoying a curated playlist; cook a delicious and hearty omelet. Whatever it may be for you, carve out some time in the AM to take care of number one. These things may not affect you directly today, but developing the habit of performing an act of self-care will serve you in the long run.