lifestyle

Not a 'morning person'? Become one in 4 easy steps.

Are you a Morning Person? You can be.

I don’t know about you, but the state in which I leave my house each morning has a big impact on the way the rest of my day pans out.

If I leave in a frenzy of “no we CAN’T wait till Bananas in Pyjamas is finished” and “oh my god, why aren’t your shoes on yet?” I can pretty much guarantee I’ll get to work and find I’ve left my laptop at home. And there’s not much that can save the day from there.

If we manage to exit the house on time however, and in a dignified fashion, the trip to day care/school/work is much more pleasant and when I sit down at my desk to start work, I feel on top of life and raring to take on the day.

So what can we do to get our mornings resembling the latter situation more often than not?

Try these four things:

1. Avoid the 8am special surprise

Sort that wardrobe!

There’s nothing worse than going to get dressed for the day only to find every pair of stockings you own has a hole in it.

Then add to this a husband who has no work shirts and a child who can’t find his Thomas the Tank Engine Crocs (these being the only  shoes he will wear). Or that half the outfit you were planning to wear is in the wash.

Not cool.

This is why each night, I lay out every piece of clothing my family will need for the next day. If I’m going to be Thomas the Tank Engine Croc hunting, I want to be doing it in the evening, not two minutes before it’s time to leave in the morning.

2. No chores in the morning

Nothing kills your morning faster than waking  to a full sink of dishes or a family room that looks like a bombsite. (And don’t even think of trying to ignore it and leave it for the afternoon. If you think waking up to that sight is soul-destroying, imagine what coming home in the afternoon to it will feel like!)

Each night just before I turn in for the evening, I do what I call the ‘10-minute tidy’ and reset the kitchen/dining/living room back to ‘normal’.

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Usually it’s the last thing I feel like doing but sacrificing those 10 minutes in the evening means when I get up in the morning I can spend 20 minutes having breakfast and reading the paper before the kids get up. Such a treat.

Don’t leave yourself a pile of chores to get done in the morning.

If I don’t do my evening tidy I spend those precious 20 minutes first cleaning up, then trying to gulp down a coffee before my 4-year-old comes padding down the stairs ready to ask the first of his 400 questions for the day.

The only household chore you should have to do in the morning is clean up breakfast dishes. That’s it.

And while I’m on the topic of breakfast dishes … you need to make sure you:

3. Eat breakfast

Breakfast of champions!

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Studies have shown that breakfast  wakes you up, improves your mood, makes you more alert and helps you make better food choices throughout the day (making it a handy weight control tool).

So if your usual morning modus operandi is to slide out of bed, into the shower and then straight out the door, it’s time to change things up. Make time for a good breakfast, even if it means getting up earlier.

It’s honestly one of the easiest things you can do to set your day up nicely.

4. Resist the urge to add

We can’t help ourselves, can we? Once we get a certain area of life under control the first thing we do is try to squeeze something new in.

So I understand that once you have your mornings down pat, it’ll be natural to think “ooh, I have some extra time here, I’ll just quickly throw a load of washing on” or “I’ll quickly defrost the meat for tonight’s dinner”.

Don’t do it. The only thing you’ll be doing quickly is ensuring you start the day in Frazzletown.

You too can be a morning person.

Are you a morning person or an evening person?

Mother, runner, writer, blogger. Serial over-committer. Kelly believes a busy life need not be a stressful life. She blogs about embracing the busy by living intentionally at A Life Less Frantic. Her new book ‘Your Best Year Yet – 7 simple ways to shift your thinking and take charge of your life’ is now available in Kindle format here.

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