Last week I talked a bit about how I have a mother’s helper, and she is a great help! I also talked about how if you are not able to afford a mother’s helper, or some sort of outside help, it would be a good idea to try and get up early in the morning and accomplish some of the personal development/planning tasks that you need to work on at that time.
What are some strategies for a good morning routine?
I think first and foremost you need to have a plan going into your morning.
It sounds funny, having a plan to work on planning, but it is necessary. If you try and get up early, but have nothing ready, you will end up spending all of your planning time on preparing to plan, rather than sitting down and actually doing it. That was a mouthful!
At first you may not know what you want to accomplish with that time in the morning, or it might be such a short amount of time at first (especially if you are adjusting to getting up before your kids), that you will have a longer list than time allows. That is what I struggle with, too many things to do in a short amount of time.
The best strategy is to prepare the night before. If you want to work on homeschool planning in the morning, then make sure you have your homeschool planner out and in a spot that you can easily get to. If you want to work on personal development, make sure to have those resources available. If you have to go searching out these different items, it will be more difficult for you to settle and work on what you have set out to accomplish.
If the main goal for your morning is to get out for a walk, make sure to set out your workout clothes the night before. Have your iPod sitting next to the front door charged and ready to go. If you want to spend time journaling and having a bit of a mind dump in the morning, make sure that your journal is sitting with a pretty pen next to your coffee maker.
Little things will make a big difference in making sure you accomplish what you set out to.
If you have early risers, like I do, I suggest putting together a Good Morning Basket. It has revolutionized my mornings. Instead of getting up, starting my quiet time, and then having my children descend down the stairs 15 minutes later looking for breakfast, toys, games to play, wanting a show etc.; they go right to their basket and sit down and work on whatever is in it. They have a little snack, and I am able to work *mostly* uninterrupted.
Another idea would to make a good morning basket for yourself; something that you only have in the morning to work on, something that makes getting up early a bit easier. Put some special quotes or scripture on note cards. Have your family mission statement available to look at. Maybe include a candle that you can light and enjoy in the early morning hours. These are all little things, but they definitely go a long way.
How do you utilize your morning hours? Do you feel stressed out trying to accomplish everything? What strategies might be helpful to you so you don’t feel that stress and are able to use time for personal development or other planning activities?