An Organized Daily Routine: Part Two

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Do you thrive in the mornings? Do you feel naturally motivated when you first wake up? Well, that’s great for you! I don’t. In fact mornings have always been very difficult for me. I’m a slow riser. Unfortunately, I am the only person in my family unit that understands the joy and wonder of sleeping in. Unless I want to wake up to chaos and disaster that inevitably results in more work for me, I have to force myself to become a morning person and I accomplish this seemingly impossible task through and organized morning routine. 

Why is a Morning Routine Important?

It gets your day started.

Without my morning routine, I would sit in my PJs all day sipping cup after cup of coffee. I might eventually get some things done but my productivity would be sorely lacking.

With my morning routine, I start my day off focused, positive, and motivated. I know what I need to do to get my day off on the right foot. My routine sets the tone for the rest of my day.

It provides focus for the rest of your day.

Part of my morning routine is finalizing my to-do list and calendar for the rest of the day. This gives my day a very clear focus. I set my “top three” tasks, prioritize my to-do list, and review our appointments. I review my weekly habits and add some inspiration, a quote or verse that I know will keep me motivated and on track.

What my morning routine looks like.

Keeping it simple.

So many people hear that I have a morning routine and think that it must be so confining to be tied down to a multitude of chores that I must accomplish first thing in the morning. The truth is though, my routine is astonishingly simple. I only include the things that I know will get my day running as smoothly as possible. I allow a one hour window to accomplish my morning activities.

What motivates you?

When creating my routine, I evaluated my daily tasks and determined which ones made me feel most accomplished and motivated.

1. Getting Dressed

I am not productive in pajamas and a ponytail. I feel lazy in jeans or shorts and a messy bun. When I have on a skirt or dress, my hair “ready to go”, and earrings I feel like I can accomplish anything. So, everyday I put on what I feel best in. If you are like my sister and can accomplish anything in jeans, rock it! Are you motivated by shorts and a tank top? Wear them with pride! Find what make you feel productive and make it your uniform.

2. Making My Bed

One of my chores growing up was making my bed. I’m not sure if it was one my mom instilled in me or one I developed over time but I ALWAYS made my bed. This has carried over into my adulthood. Making my bed first thing in the morning gives me an instant (and quite easy) feeling of accomplishment.

3. Quiet Time

I have not always had a regular quiet time. I get it. With helping my husband get out the door and getting breakfast for my kids and mother-in-law it’s tough finding a quiet moment to spend in the Word. But it is so crucial to setting my focus for the day. I’ve found my quiet time sweet spot right after my husband leaves the house and everyone is settled around breakfast, I have a good 15 minutes of quiet study. I sit at my desk with my coffee, Bible, and journal and spend just a few moments giving my day over to the Lord.

Your “must do’s”

After I found the tasks that motivated me I moved on to the tasks that have to be done to keep my home running smoothly.

1. Start the laundry

I’m going to be honest and say laundry is my least favorite chore. I despise it. So, I follow FlyLady’s mantra, “A load a day keeps the chaos away.” It truly works. Doing one load of laundry every day keeps everyone clothed for the week and keeps me from having a miserable “laundry day” where I do all the laundry but very little else.

2. Empty the dishwasher

I always start the dishwasher in the evening after dinner and then empty it in the morning. My kitchen stays cleaner which for some reason always makes me feel like a superstar homemaker.

3. Wipe down bathrooms

Between having a five-year-old boy, a potty training two-year-old, and my mother-in-law who doesn’t always wear her underwear my bathrooms get pretty dirty. Very quickly. Part of my morning routine is taking yesterday’s hand towel and wiping down the bathroom surfaces. I run a toilet brush through the toilet bowl to freshen it. I quick mop the floor if it’s needed. Then I replace the hand towel and walk away.

How everyone fits in

My Husband

My husband benefits from my routine because it gets him off to work in good time, prepared, and with his needs met. While I’m making his breakfast and coffee and bagging his lunch, he is free to get dressed and ready with minimal stress. I’m able to give him a brief rundown of the day’s activities before he leaves so he feels included and prepared.

My Charges

They have a much simpler morning routine. My kids and mother-in-law know while they’re eating breakfast, I’m having my quiet time.  After breakfast they are all responsible for getting their dishes in the sink and getting dressed (their clothes are laid out the night before). My oldest gathers the laundry and puts it in the hamper. My mother-in-law (who, because of her dementia, doesn’t always sleep through the night but tends to nap) brings her laundry and dishes from her wanderings the night before.

Having this routine lets them start off the day confident and somewhat independent. Rather than rushed and chaotic, we are confidently prepared.

My morning routine takes me less than an hour to complete and gets my day off to an awesome and productive start! With this organized morning routine, I’m able to face whatever the day throws at me. Combined with the bookend of my evening routine, my home is well managed and no longer a source of stress. I can confidently focus on the more important (and fun!) parts of my day. Stress breeds more stress. Starting your day with an organized morning routine is a key ingredient to a well-managed, minimal chaos home.

 

Valuable Resources for Your Morning Routine

This e-course by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom was revolutionary to my mornings. It guides you over a period of 14 days to a truly made-over morning that fits your lifestyle. Her course not only made my mornings productive, but also enjoyable. I no longer dread mornings.

Fly Lady

FlyLady is the queen of home routines! She is my first stop for setting up all my home/life routines and schedules. Her baby steps take the stress out of creating a homemaking routine. After following her plans for a few weeks I suddenly realized that my home was no longer in chaos and I was proud of what my home was becoming. So if you are one of the many drowning in the chaos of homemaking, I highly recommend joining her group of flybabies.

2Do

This is by far my favorite task management app. It keeps my calendar, reminders, to-do lists, and routines all in one place. My favorite feature is the ability to make a list inside of a particular to-do so I can break down the steps required to complete a task if I need to. I can set due dates/times to each task and receive reminders, use it to write notes or journal the day, plan around the weather, and sync my location for travel times. PLUS, it syncs my tablet and phone so I stay on task wherever I might be.

Free on iTunes

Go Pro for $19.99

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