When I was in high school, I had a finely-tuned morning routine. My goal was to sleep as late as possible, but still get to school on time. I’d get out of bed at 8:10am, and be in the classroom door when the siren went at 8:50am (I was lucky have a 10 minute walk to school).
Now I’ve got kids of my own, getting out the door seems so much more of a struggle, but I’ve applied the same principles I used in high school to create a morning routine that works (for me!).
My number 1 tip for creating a morning routine is prioritise. The most important thing for me in the morning is make the kids’ lunches. If I don’t do that, the whole day will be a disaster for everyone. So that’s the first thing I do when I get up. I can take the kids to school in my pyjamas without brushing my hair, but I can’t not pack their lunches.
Next up, I get the kids out of bed (if they’re not already up) and make breakfasts. This is another non-negotiable.
I then work through my other tasks (shower, hair, make-up, make the bed etc), leaving the least important items to last. My last thing is tidying up the kitchen and packing the dishwasher. If the breakfast dishes get left on the bench, it’s not the end of the world. I can fix that when I get home.
Know your timing
I know what time I need to leave the house to get the kids to school on time (8:20am). Working back from there, I know if I’m not heading to the shower at 7:40am, the last few minutes of the morning will be rushed, stressful, and may involve yelling.
There are other little timing points along the way that help me keep track and make sure everything runs smoothly. If I hit my timings, and we still end up running late, it’s time to readjust.
Set routines for the kids too!
My kids know what I expect them to do in the morning. The rule is they aren’t allowed to play until they’ve done their routine. It doesn’t always happen that way, but they’re generally pretty good. My kids are 6 and 4, so their routines aren’t complicated, but not having to chase them (most mornings) makes the mornings run smoother.
My kids routines are:
- Get dressed
- Clean teeth and brush hair
- Take lunch from kitchen bench and put it in their bags
- Put shoes on
- Check noticeboard for any special school items – this is for my son to remember things like his homework file, library books etc
Every night, I make sure the kitchen bench is tidy and the kids’ lunchboxes are clean (we use a cling-wrap and packaging-free lunchbox). I can’t get straight into lunch-making without stuffing around (just what i need when I’m still half asleep!). My kids’ lunches are pretty much the same everyday, so I can do that on auto-pilot.
I also make sure the kids’ uniforms are in their drawers, ready to go, and any consent forms are already either by the front door or in the kids’ bags.
Make it Your Own
Everyone’s morning will look different. You need to figure out what you need to do in the morning and make a routine that works for you. It won’t happen the first morning. There will still be mornings when everything goes wrong, and you’ll be late out the door, yelling at your kids. Give yourself some grace.
If you’re struggling with where to start, check out the Make Over Your Mornings course by Crystal Paine (that I recently completed). This 14-day course walks you, step-by-step, through a process that to create a routine that:
- Prioritises nourishing your soul before launching your day
- Streamlines your mornings (and your whole day)
- Creates a to-do list that serves (not strangles)
- Establishes accountability
- Sets short- and long-term goals, and SO MUCH MORE!
Head on over to MakeOverYourMornings.com and start this fabulous course today!