We hit the snooze for the 10th time only to look at the clock and realize that there are only thirty minutes left to get ready for work. That’s when it all goes wrong and Murphy has struck again. Now you can’t find the blouse to go with your dress slacks. You’re cranky because you can’t have your morning cup of coffee. You leave the house with the dreadful feeling that you’ve forgotten something important, like your briefcase with all of your notes for the big meeting today. Let’s give Murphy a kick in the butt and send him on his way with these 6 small steps that will help you start your day off right every day.
1. Start getting ready for the next day. Before going to bed, get your clothes ready for the next day. All of them. Underwear. Shoes. Socks. Jewelry. Watch. Tie. Everything. Don’t leave anything to chance. At most, this will cost you 15 minutes of your time, but the cost of stress in the morning is significantly more. Think of the relief you’ll feel when you don’t have to walk to your closet bleary-eyed and pick out things in the dark while your spouse peacefully sleeps when you have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn. (Who thought of that saying? I don’t even want to know why it was thought of. All I know is that it’s really darn early which is the only reason it’s appropriate here.) Hang it all in the bathroom. Tomorrow morning you’ll feel a slight smile creep across your face as you realize you don’t have to think just yet.
2. Make your To-Do List tonight. You’re a busy person. You’ve probably experienced racing brain at some point while you’re trying to sleep. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve been laying in bed for a couple hours in the hopes that you’ll eventually fall asleep, but all you can do is think about all of the stuff that needs to get done. Set your mind at ease and let it chill before bed knowing that tomorrow’s to-do list is taken care of and there will be no surprises.
3. Wake up with a little luxurious stretching. Don’t hit the snooze five times. But don’t get out of bed just yet either. Do a little stretching and wake those muscles up. Just feel the smile spread across your face as you arch your back in ecstasy and reach through those fingertips and heels. (Definitely don’t point your toes while you stretch unless you want to start your day off with the longest lasting charlie horse of the year. I guess if pain is your thing, go head….) Stretching feels amazing, and early morning is an appropriate time to do it. Think about it. You’ve been resting for hours, possibly curled up in a ball or sleeping on your neck at odd angles. The muscles are stiff and just begging for some well-deserved attention.
4. Make your bed. Before you leave for work, take the time to tidy the bed. Yes, add your pretty pillows. If your spouse is still in bed, you can still make your half of it. Hopefully your significant other will follow your lead and start making the other half. Studies show that people who climb into a beautifully made bed at the end of the day have better sleep. It takes just a couple minutes of your time each morning to make your room look a little more inviting and to help you sleep a little better each night.
5. Savor your favorite beverage. This might be coffee, hot tea, chai, or something from Starbucks. Plan enough time when you prepare the night before to get up early enough to either make your own favorite drink or stop by your favorite cafe on the way to work. Don’t rush this process. (The step does read savor, after all.) Think about the rich aroma and the sweet ambrosia in your morning cup. Make it a ritual that you can enjoy instead of rushing to drink it in order to get the caffeine into your system.
6. Listen to a podcast on the way to work. This one might seem strange, but just give it a try. Search iTunes for a podcast related to your interests or research online to find popular podcasts within your area of interest. During your morning commute, tune out the annoying lights you have to stop at or the parking you might do during rush hour. Take this time to improve yourself in some way. Learn how to grow your business. Start a new hobby. Learn about parenting. For some of you, this will become addicting. You won’t feel right when you’re not increasing your knowledge. It’s a great way to give time to our interests without the guilty feeling that we should be spending more time with kids or work.
Start implementing these tonight! You will start to feel a difference immediately. You owe it to yourself to start your day off right and give Murphy a little kick in the pants.