One of the hardest tasks a mom can do is get into a morning routine. Often times we just give up on having any type of routine and give in to the chaotic mess of a morning. One thing I absolutely must do is have a list of 5 never changing habits for first thing in the morning.
Why have these habits? Because mornings with children are chaotic enough. Starting your day off rushing around like a chicken with your head cut off is not healthy.
So I insist on having time for these five things. If it means I wake up before anyone else, or if it means my husband takes care of the morning routine with our toddler (which he usually does) so be it.
In an effort to be a better mom, wife, and business owner I took a good look at what helped me start my day off on the right foot. These 5 things made it easier to face the day, easier to plan the day, and prepared me for the work day.
Check out my post How To Lower Your Expectations And Get More Done.
My Morning Routine
My first habit is I drink a cup of coffee. Honestly, this habit is not because I need the caffeine. It’s because at some point in my 20’s I started drinking coffee in the morning and it’s a habit that I’m happy to have.
For the 5 minutes that I sit and sip my coffee I am actually waking up my brain. I let thoughts roam around in my brain before I start triggering the rest of my morning habits to prepare for work. This time is for me and me only.
My family understands that in the morning until I have some coffee, I am not to be bombarded with questions, requests, or conversation. They know my automatic answer to anything will be “no.” My feeling is if I’m not awake enough to process my own thoughts than I’m not awake enough to process requests.
2. Greet My Family
Now that I have my brain functioning and the train of thought has left the station to run all it’s errands for the day I greet my family. I kiss my husband, kiss my child and discuss the day with them.
My child and or husband may have plans that I need to account for when I start planning my day. By taking time before planning the day to see what they have going on means I can make sure I am available at the times they need me.
If by chance I happen to wake up before the rest of my family I will save this step for whenever they wake up.
Also keep in mind I am not always planning my day around my husband or child. Sometimes my husband will plan his day around my plans for the day. We have an online calendar for now to help track everything. In the near future we will be using a family command center to help keep track of upcoming plans.
3. Track Previous Days Stats
Now that I have gotten my brain functioning and know the family plans for the day I can start gearing up for the day of work ahead. This involves checking the previous days stats, overnight emails, and any urgent notifications on social media.
I check what I need to respond to what I must and leave the rest for the actual work day. If there are must do tasks that need urgent attention I can address those otherwise I know to schedule it for attention at some point in the day.
4. Get Ready For The Day
Now I get ready for the day. I take my shower, do my hair and make up, run quick errands if needed, and pull out meat to defrost for dinner. I eat breakfast and handle household tasks like cleaning up.
Sometimes I stay in my pajamas all day. I’m not even going to lie. However, there are days when I get dressed, do my hair, apply makeup, and treat the day like I am going to an out of the home job.
While some people believe in the getting dressed for your work day, I don’t really notice a difference in my work habits one way or another. It’s also been a few months since I started working from home full time and it may be different for you.
Check out my post How to Create a Routine That Works For You.
5. Plan Out Your Tasks For The Day
Now I can sit down in front of my computer and plan out my daily tasks. I decide if I am going to write, market, research, study, or update old posts. By planning out my day I can work in efficient little chunks finishing off tasks one at a time.
It’s also at this time that I plan my stop time. The time in which I will stop work for the day. This is an extremely important habit to have. You need to have a stop time as a work at home mom. Otherwise before you know it, you’ve worked for 16 hours a day for 4 days straight because you forgot to stop working each day.
How A Morning Routine Shapes The Day
Without my morning habits I spend the day feeling scattered and lost. My brain stays foggy all day and I can’t seem to clear that fog throughout the entire day.
Habits are like physical cues to signal our brain for certain activities. When the light turns green we know to press our foot on the gas. When we don’t send our brain the green light our brain never hits the gas.
A morning routine is like giving my brain a green light to start the day. Especially the coffee habit.
Setting Up Your Own Morning Routine
If you have yet to set up morning habits take a good look at what you like to do in the morning. Are you like me and need that first cup of coffee before you start your day? Put that down as your first habit.
What are other tasks that you like to get done and out of the way before you start your work day. Is breakfast important? Do you like getting completely dressed for the day? Do you drop your kids off at school or walk them to the bus stop?
Pick habits that make your day better or flow easier. Don’t make something a morning habit if it is not something you enjoy doing or doesn’t necessarily make the day easier.
Having a morning routine that includes a task or two that you enjoy plus a few tasks to set up your day puts you on the right track to be as productive as possible. Of course with any routine there may be days where a routine is just not possible.
When this happens consider doing your routine when you can later in the day before working. Like mentioned before, give your brain the green light that it’s time to work by following your normal routine.
Check out my post Time Management Tips For A Work At Home Parent.
What is your ideal morning routine? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your business and productivity boards.