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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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Rashelle Isip

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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