Efficiency 101: Streamline Your Morning

To all you morning people out there who can get everything done, not forget stuff, and face the day before it’s dawned with nary so much as a sip of caffeine…I hate you this post is probably not for you.  However, if you more closely resemble me, who faces the rising of the sun with something more like a whimper and a curse and a pulling of covers over your head, sit down and pay attention.

I hate morning.  This is a well-documented fact.  I don’t think Susan truly believed my lack of morning personness until she came to visit last summer and got to see the pitiful in action.  I prefer not to speak beyond monosyllabic grunts, not to hear any noise of any kind, and to enjoy a LONG, leisurely cup of tea, more for the ritual of slow awakening than for the caffeine.  Pulling this off requires a fair amount of planning on my part, so that I can fine tune my morning schedule to maximize the extra minutes of sleeping.  Problem being, I’m so fine-tuned that if anything interrupts my schedule, I’m then late.  And cranky.

My solution to this conundrum?  Prep as much as humanly possible the night before.  Hubby’s lunch gets packed.  The meat for tomorrow’s dinner gets pulled out of the freezer and put into the fridge (this, of course, requires knowing what I’m making for dinner tomorrow).  Clothes get laid out, both what I’m wearing to work and my workout clothes, so that I can stumble out of bed and straight to my workout (proof that I don’t actually require caffeine to get going) before I’m awake enough to talk myself out of it.  There’s a sweep of the house to pick up, load dishwasher, etc. so that in the morning I don’t have to rush around like a headless chicken to try and get the house presentable for a showing.  These same kinds of things will apply when I get around to having kids (aka, the anti-schedule).  Lunches packed.  Clothes picked out.  Mess picked up.  School bags packed.  All the things that add to morning chaos, TAKE CARE OF THEM BEFORE BED.

This might all sound like small things, but when morning means that everything takes five times LONGER for me to accomplish because I’m really stuck in some kind of time warp wherein I’m truly moving at the speed of molasses, it’s better for me to take that extra fifteen minutes before bed when I’m still moving at normal speed to get things done.  I try to remove anything that requires a decision from the equation because my brain does not truly constitute as being ON for several hours after I get out of bed.  All this means that my morning is generally streamlined and peaceful and I generally get off to a much better start to my day.


6 thoughts on “Efficiency 101: Streamline Your Morning

  1. I’m a morning person, myself, usually able to hold conversations immediately when I wake up—but my memory takes about an hour to join me. If I have to leave the house an hour or less from getting up, I’ll sometimes forget something.

    Because I live with family that doesn’t like my preference for 6:30am, I’ve tried getting ready the night before. I quickly discovered that if I get ready the night before, I will forget something. Always.

    So now, I’ll get up at 6:30am and quietly read a book or something for about an hour until my memory joins me, then start my day.

    It’s funny how different everyone is. Fodder for story characters! ^_^

    1. P.S. It’s strange, but my health is actually better when I get up early, too, which is incentive for me to do it even when my eyes are gummy.

  2. Thank you for this post. Sometimes at night I’m like “I’ll do that in the morning”, then I’m rushing around getting all stressed. But I get really sleepy at night. So maybe the best time for me to prepare for the next day is as soon as I get home from work. :0)

    I keep all your effieciency posts in my “saved mail” folder. LOL

  3. Good advice. “I’ll do it in the morning” is the kiss of death. I hate mornings just like you, but I get up early because I find that I get more done. When you’ve set your goals, you have to be ruthless–even with yourself.

  4. Fortunately for me I’ve lived with a non-morning person for many many years and know how to behave myself.

    Mornings are good for me. I mean, I’m often depressed, so it all sucks and some days suck worse than others and rarely do I feel energetic and efficient in any part of the day in particular. But still I’ve started to think of myself as a morning person, able to accomplish more and have clearer thoughts (when things are good) than most of the non-morning people around me. And let’s face it, I need to be a morning person because by the time 6:30pm rolls around I often want to go straight to bed or at least do nothing but vegetate in front of the TV.

    So morning it is! Still, the things you’ve recommended are all things FlyLady recommends and I have tried them. When I make myself do these things the night before–wow. It makes a huge difference. Because all those things me and my crappy attitude make excuses for not doing all morning are either already done or practically do themselves which gives me a feeling of accomplishment to then tackle more stuff.

    It’s just getting me to do that stuff I know would help if I would just do it. There seems to be a lot of it.

  5. This advice totally applies to those of us this post probably isn’t for. Just making my sandwich the night before makes a huge difference in my morning. It’s really like plotting a story. Once it’s all laid out, it’s much easier to write.

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