Mornings and I are not friends. Don’t get me wrong; mornings have a lot of great things to offer: sunrises, a moment of quiet before the day begins, and a fresh start. And I think we would all agree that breakfast foods out rank all other foods. No, it’s the whirlwind that is sandwiched between my feet hitting the floor at 5:30 a.m. and getting my little brood out the door by 7:15 that has me dreading my alarm.
Recently, I started reading about how to make the most of the morning and how to keep things relatively stress free in those first hours. Here are some of the things I’ve learned that are helping me manage the morning rush.
1. Plan ahead. I plan a week’s worth of outfits for my children and myself every Sunday afternoon. It keeps me from wasting time making those decisions in the morning. I also pack everyone’s lunch and program the coffee maker the night before and set our bags for the next day by the door.
2. Obey your alarm. When my alarm goes off, I don’t hit the snooze button. Snoozing just makes you feel sleepier when you finally do get out of bed. Also, the routine of waking up at the same time every day makes early rising easier.
3. Build in some time for yourself. I get up before the rest of my family so I can get myself ready without a lot of distractions. That way I can solely focus on getting the little ones ready when they wake up. Also in that time, I read my Bible or devotional thought. Whether it’s a couple of verses or Jesus Calling entry, it’s so nice to start the day with God’s word.
4. Set a routine. Start each day the same, and do things in a similar order each day. These cues become built into your brain, which makes it easier to remember things along the way.
5. Eat the frog. This step is more for when you get to work or actually begin your daily tasks. It means to do the thing you least want to do first — which also tends to be the biggest thing. Getting it done will not only give you a sense of accomplishment that will propel you into the next task, but it will also keep it from looming over you all day.
Jennifer Hannigan, copy editor/writer