Mornings with kids are something that I have dreaded for a long time.
But look what happened to me when I took control of my morning.
It set the tone for my whole day!!
And I became more productive.
I need more hours in the day. How about you?
I feel dragged down by the things on my to-do list that need to get done. Ever been there?
I can easily get stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. Are you with me?
If you are ready to be more productive and less stressed, then I have the perfect morning plan for you.
I need my early morning hours to put my big rocks into my time jar.
What are the big rocks?
Personally, my big rocks are those things that linger on my mind and heart throughout the day. The things that NEED to get done, but I am just not sure when I can fit them in!
I can easily get overwhelmed. When you couple this with depression and anxiety that has been an issue for me, it is not a good combination.
In fact, having a morning routine has truly helped me on those days I battle depression. It allows me to put one foot in front of the other.
If you have ever suffered from mental health issues, the valuable morning tips I am about to share will truly encourage you to keep moving forward.
The peace I receive from putting my big rocks in first is overwhelming.
And I want you to experience this peace with me.
BUT getting up before the kids is not easy.
If you follow My Top 5 Ways for a More Productive Morning, I know you will see results immediately.
Are you ready for more peace?
Are you ready for less stress?
I promise to show you how to achieve both in 5 easy steps.
If you are short on time, you can grab the quick checklist for a productive morning here!
#1 Start the night before.
Have you ever stopped to think that a more productive morning means starting the night before?
While getting up earlier is going to be a challenge, there is one simple way to make it a whole lot easier: start the night before.
It is much easier for me to get out of bed when I have done these three simple things at night:
#1: Set the coffee out by the Keurig or get the coffee maker ready to brew while cleaning the kitchen up from dinner. We can be much more efficient in our homes when we work on tasks while doing our necessary chores. Each night when cleaning up the natural disaster that is also known as dinner, I get my coffee ready.
#2: Clean up important areas of your home that you use often or that are important to you. For me, I cannot fall asleep without a clean kitchen and a picked up family room. The reason is simple. When I get up in the morning, I will step foot into the kitchen to grab my coffee, so I want to start my day off with a clean space and not a cluttered, dirty kitchen. Mentally, this is important to me. I am ten times more productive and efficient in my work when there is less clutter.
#3: Keep post-its or a notepad by your bed on your nightstand. Before going to bed, dump out all those random, crazy thoughts, to dos, and mental lists running through your head. Now get ready for a much more peaceful sleep. Let me clarify that this notepad does not need to have rhyme, reason, or coherence. It is just a brain dump.
Now that you know what to do the night before let me show you how to keep your list for the next day.
This information on making lists will completely change your productivity in getting things done.
Are you ready to be an active list maker?
#2: Keep a list.
I know that you probably make to-do lists all the time.
I have tried lots of different techniques for lists. I have tried planners, bullet journaling, and keeping notebooks.
None of these are near as useful as my simple post-it method.
If you are looking for a new, simple way to keep your lists together and in order, then this is the method for you.
And it only requires paper, a pen, and post-its.
My favorite thing about this method is it adapts to the situation you are in now and changes as time goes on. As we go from one season of life to the next, I need a system that will change along with me.
I use two main frameworks for my list.
The first is for our daily routine. This is where my post-its go for things pertaining to our home, meals, or schoolwork.
The second is for my work on Faith Filled Parenting. Work-related tasks go on this list to be completed during set office hours that I have at home. Both are printed on computer paper from a document that is easy to change.
Here is a shot of our daily routine/schedule.
On both schedules, I use post-it notes.
When I think of something that needs to be done, I write it on a small post it note and stick it on the schedule. Home and school-related on one list and work items on the other list.
When I complete a task, I simply remove the post-it and throw it away.
For you to start using this list making system, you will need a simplified routine that you follow throughout the day.
This is simply the order throughout the day that you complete your daily tasks.
You are doing great!!!
Remember if you are short on time and NEED the blueprint NOW. It is here for you!
Before we finish, I want to take that daily routine concept and make it give you amazing results for your morning hours.
#3: Follow a routine or ritual.
While a daily routine is going to really help your day to be more productive, having a ritual or plan for each morning will help your productivity in the morning skyrocket.
My brain can be foggy in the morning. My brain also likes to run in a hundred different directions.
This system works because it is so flexible. Systems are only efficient when they are working for you.
You cannot be a slave to your system. I have made that mistake before, and it defeats the whole purpose.
What do you normally do in the morning?
You probably already have some rituals or routines in place. Take a step back and analyze if these habits are working well. Notice if there are areas that you could tweak to make your mornings even more efficient.
One essential key to add to your morning routine is drinking water. After waking up in the morning, I immediately drink two full glasses of water. It is so important to stay hydrated.
But drinking water is not going to be enough. We need to realize what is mentally energizing and draining us throughout the day.
#4: Do something that energizes you.
I often can have those dragging your feet kind of days. You too? Then, this will help you.
I have found that being conscientious of what is energizing me and what is draining me can be a huge help.
So let us recap, we have started our day the night before. We are keeping a list effectively and following a blueprint of a routine. And yet still mornings are hard. Yes, sometimes they will still be hard.
If we can focus on the things that energize us and if we can minimize the things that drain us, then hopefully these hard days will become fewer and fewer.
Some ideas of things in your life that may be mentally draining you.
These are the things to CUT OUT:
Relationships filled with complaints, gossip, and negativity.
Never allowing yourself a moment to rest.
Holding on to past events that cannot be changed.
Fear and anger are THE MOST draining emotions.
As a mom who suffers with depression, it is vital that I cut out these draining emotions and focus on what I can do to get energized.
These are things to ADD that will energize you:
Purge. Get rid of things that are holding you down.
Forgive someone that you are holding a grudge against.
Get out in the sunlight when possible. The natural Vitamin D will do wonders for you.
Delegate certain responsibilities that others can handle for you.
Energizing thoughts can turn my whole outlook around and set my day up for success.
So stop dwelling on the things that you have not gotten done and start celebrating the little things that you have. We are not going to be more productive when we are waiting for the perfect moment.
Make a list throughout the day of things that energize and drain you. What areas of your life need some new focus to move from draining to energizing.
#5: Do not be hard on yourself. Get up and try again.
Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. – Henry Ford
We all have failed.
If you are planning on getting up earlier and implementing some of these tactics, you will not do it perfectly, so my last tip is not to be so hard on yourself.
Get up, try it, tweak it, and when you fail, try again.
By using my list system and some form of a daily routine, you will be able to make simple or big tweaks to fit your current situation.
But let me clarify that it is ok to take a break.
Find your optimal amount of sleep and protect it!
By trial and error, I have decided that about seven hours works best for me.
Find it and then protect your sleep. I use a diffuser with lavender oil, a sleep mask, and a sound machine to help me get the best night’s sleep.
Be sure you have pinned this image for future reference when things start to slip!
Follow My Top 5 Ways for a More Productive Morning:
Start the night before.
Keep a list.
Have a morning ritual or routine.
Do something that energizes you.
Do not be too hard on yourself.