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15 Ways To Simplify Your Morning Routine And Have A Great Morning

15 Ways To Simplify Your Morning Routine And Have A Great Morning

Are you tired of waking up to chaotic, busy and frazzled mornings?

Here are fifteen ways to turn your mornings of chaos into oases of calm.

Prepare your breakfast the night before.

Cut up fruit, set up your favorite cereal to soak overnight, cook a batch of hot cereal or measure out all your food before going to sleep at night. Similarly, you could also set up your breakfast place setting the night before with plates, cups, mugs and spoons so you’re ready to roll.

Lay out your outfit in advance.

Pull out everything you’ll need for your outfit from tops and bottoms, to undergarments, accessories, shoes and socks. You’ll be able to simply get dressed without having to worry about what to wear. The same goes for exercise clothes if you wake up early to workout at home, the park or gym.

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Avoid hitting the snooze button.

Getting out of bed after you’ve hit the snooze button seven times in a row is a sure-fire way to have a frazzled morning. As soon as your alarm sounds, switch it off and immediately get out of bed. If willpower is a bit of an issue, place your alarm on the other side of your room so that you have to get out of bed in order to turn it off.

Let sunshine brighten up your day.

Stumbling around in the dark isn’t a good way to start the day. Awake with the sun and fully open your blinds or shades. Tie or pull back curtains to let natural light stream inside your home and brighten your spirits.

Clear off your bathroom counter.

Do you have too many things on your bathroom counter? Get rid of items you no longer need or use or that have expired. You’ll instantly give yourself a simplified, much needed space.

Turn up the music.

Not only can music wake you up and put you in a good mood, it can also be used as a time-keeping device. If you have a favorite short album or homemade playlist, you can crank up the tunes and use it as a guide, as in “I have to be dressed by the time the fourth song plays,” and so on. Be creative and turn up the tunes!

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Set up a bathroom schedule.

If you live in a busy household, you certainly know what it’s like to share a single bathroom in the morning. Consider arranging an informal bathroom schedule; keep things simple by letting people know who’s first, second and so forth according to when people have to be at work and school. Even if you don’t strictly keep to your schedule, people will be reminded they don’t have the luxury of spending long hours in the bath.

Wait until you’ve bathed, dressed and groomed before turning on your phone.

Bathe, get dressed and groom before you switch on your smart phone. You’ll be fully ready to tackle the day ahead versus sitting around in your pajamas and bathrobe fiddling with your phone.

Have a distraction-free breakfast.

Declare distraction-free time as you eat. Refrain from checking your phone, listening to the TV, radio or reading the newspaper and simply enjoy and savor your breakfast.

Dispense vitamins and medications into daily doses.

Sort out your daily doses of medicines and vitamins on a particular day each week. This will save you some time and effort from having to open multiple bottles and count out pills each and every day.

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Pack your lunch at dinnertime.

Dinner leftovers make great, easy, no-fuss lunches. Pack up your lunch as you’re cleaning up dinner the night before and you won’t have to think twice about what to have for lunch the next morning.

Bring your hallway up to season.

Struggling with lots of off-season shoes, coats and sports equipment as you try to leave your house? Clear out, wash and store off-season coats, as well as off-season shoes and sporting equipment.

Store your bag and/or purse in the same location.

Make a pick-up and drop-off point for your bags. This could be a hook in your hallway, a shelf in your living room or a basket on the side of your kitchen counter. Everything will be contained and you’ll know exactly where to find your belongings each and every time.

Create a weather-ready area in your hallway.

When it’s not a bright, gorgeous, sunny day, do you struggle to find an umbrella, hat, gloves or ice scraper? Pull together these must-have weather items for those inclement days: umbrella, waterproof boots, raincoat, gloves, hat, parka, scarf and ice scraper. Feel free to add items to the list depending on the climate in which you live.

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Make a checklist of must-have items.

Stop running around trying to remember what items you need each and every day before leaving home. Create a must-have checklist (such as keys, phone, wallet, medication) and store the list on your smartphone, or write it down and tape it to the back of your front door as a handy reference.

How are you going to use the above tips to simplify your morning routine? Leave a comment below.

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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