If you want some tips on how to simplify your mornings, read on. Your morning can set you up for your entire day and it’s important to try to have them go as smoothly as possible. I’ve got a few tips to share with you and they have helped me.
My mornings can be somewhat, well, hectic. You see part of my weekday mornings during the school year are spent looking after my grandkids while their parents are at work. I get up, do part of my morning routine, check in at work and deal with anything urgent, and look after the kids. When 9:30 hits, it’s back to work and I am hitting the ground running.
How to Simplify Your Mornings
Unless I want to get up at 5 am, and I don’t, I have to be as organized as I can and I need to plan ahead as much as possible for my day. If you want to know how to simplify your mornings, here’s what I do to make my mornings go as smoothly as possible.
Check Your Planner
The last thing I do at the end of my work day is to check my planner and update it as needed. Then, first thing in the morning – well not first thing, but after praying, I check it again. I go over it and remind myself of any key activities and “to dos” for the day. It’s a great way to get my mind focused on the day and make sure I’m prepared for what needs to be done.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Taking a Calming Moment
In between starting on my morning routine and work and then heading upstairs to look after the kids, I build in a calming moment as a transition time. Prayer, meditation, or music all work well in this regard. It doesn’t have to last any longer than a minute, but it can help clear your mind and slow down your breathing so you’re not feeling rushed and stressed.
It’s also helpful to take a similar moment anytime things start to feel like they’re getting out of control. Repeat a mantra a few times, take 10 deep breaths, or make a conscious effort to let go of the tension in your body. This takes mere seconds but can give you the breathing space you need to go back to your morning routine calmly.
Teach your kids how to take a calming moment with you. This can help all of you get over those stressed out feelings and back on track quickly. You’ll avoid carrying those negative feelings throughout your whole day too!
Prep Meals Ahead of Time
By the time I head upstairs at 7:30, Walter has usually had his breakfast but William needs to wake up a bit before he’s really hungry. I’m the same way. So, I try to have some food that’s ready to go for when Willy is hungry.
He loves eggs so I scramble up a huge batch for the two of us to share and put some in containers in the fridge to heat and serve. I’ll spend some time cutting up fruits as well. These do double duty because I can grab them for after school snacks too. (I do after school grandparenting duty too!)
If I feel up to it and have time, sometimes I’ll make a big batch of waffles or pancakes and place those in the freezer so they’re ready to go too. And finally, I cut up some bite-sized chunks of cheese – again, these can be used for breakfast or after school snacks.
For myself, I’ll eat some of the same things William does but I also will spend time on the weekend prepping some overnight oats jars, putting together freezer packs of smoothie ingredients, and assembling some packs of trail mix. These give me some really quick grab and go options because once work begins, I don’t take a break again until 2:30 when I go back to look after the boys again.
Fill Up Milk and Water Cups in Advance
Oh my goodness. Sometimes one of the kids is having a meltdown and the other is yelling for a milk or water cup at the same time. And if you don’t get it quickly enough, they’ll be in a full-on meltdown too.
So, I fill up their water bottles first thing in the morning. And if their parents haven’t done so already, I pour two cups of milk and put them in the fridge so if needed, they are ready to go in an instant. I try to do this in the afternoon when I am with them so that they are ready for the next morning.
Picking Out Clothing Beforehand
Walter wears a uniform to school and I have his parents get it ready to go before I get upstairs. So then, when I help him get dressed for school (my help is basically keeping him on task and encouraging him), I don’t have to go searching for his clothing. I leave changing William to his dad when he gets home at 9:30 (he works a split shift).
I also have put together a drawer of backup items. There are extra socks, clothing, wipes, hairbrushes, and so on right there so that anything I need is right at hand. Hunting around for the things we need to get Walter ready for school and out the door just adds to the stress of the morning. Knowing I have a backup “kit” helps keep me (and Walter) from getting stressed.
I also pick out my own clothing ahead of time. In fact, I pick out my outfits for the entire week. I put them together all in one drawer (I keep my church clothing all on one hanger in the closet). I check the weather forecast to get an idea of what to choose but also have at least one backup outfit in case it changes.
Think Ahead and Anticipate
When it comes to how to simplify your mornings, thinking ahead and anticipating is key. What I mean by this is not just making plans for a “normal” morning, but also anticipating the out-of-the-ordinary things that could happen.
My backup drawer came about because of things like that. But also consider, what happens if one of the kids gets sick? What happens if the school bus is late? How will I take care of it if Walter’s lunch container springs a leak and there’s liquid all in the bottom of his backpack 5 minutes before the school van arrives? (Been there).
Move Whatever You Can
Sometimes, we do things in the morning because we think we “have to”. After all, it’s when everyone else does it. But does it have to be done then? I don’t shower in the morning. I just don’t have time and with my health, showering is quite tiring for me. It is just not ideal to do it in the morning when I’m pressed for time. So, I shower in the evenings.
I do the bare minimum of getting ready before I head up to watch the kids. Then I finish my routine once he’s off to school.
Instead of completing my prayer time first thing in the morning, I pray my Morning Offering and Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love. The rest of my prayers are spread out through my day.
Reflect on your morning. What could you move to another time of day?
Try these tips for how to simplify your mornings and see if they make a difference in your day! Let me know if you have any helpful advice to add in the comments below.