Stream Line Your Mornings Tips

1 Sep

As a busy educator with one full time job teaching in a public school and one part time teaching at Seton Hall University, my life can easily become hectic. Additionally, teaching requires to be at the school at 7:20, sometimes 7am.

I like to enjoy my mornings, I hate rushing, that means I wake up at 4. My mornings are not just to get ready and out the door. My mornings are reserved for reflection, strategizing, reading, professional development, working on goals, listening to lectures, writing in my gratitude journal, meditation, exercise, and of course, having coffee and getting ready for work.

But even if you don’t have to be this early, here are some tips that can streamline your mornings AND make them so much more enjoyable:

1. Set your coffee pot the night before to start percolating at the hour convenient for you.

Nothing beats waking up to a freshly brewed cup of joe. Secondly, since I am particularly clumsy in the wee hours, I don’t want to be struggling with the coffee pot that early in the morning.

2. Get your exercise in.

Whatever it is you do- weights, cardio, walk, jog, yoga, reiki, bobcat wrestling – do it as soon as you can. Do it while there are no distractions, get it out of the way, feel great about it. Research shows that people that exercise in the morning are more likely to stick to the routine. You will carry that feeling of accomplishment with you all day. You can do other things after work, and you’ll be in great shape, mentally and physically.

3. Don’t check email first thing in the morning.

For me, those first 2 hours are most important. Those are the hours I dedicate to myself and my well being, whether it’s physical, emotional, or financial. Those are the hours that I spend working on MY goals. I often ask myself: “What are the tasks you need to accomplish to move closer to your goals and live in accordance to your values?” “Check email” is usually NOT the answer. Don’t get me wrong, I love email. But checking it first thing in the morning can throw off your whole day.

4. Be grateful. The sun is rising, the coffee is tasty, you are breathing, moving, and alive. You have the whole day ahead of you to start/continue working on whatever you like. Take those quiet minutes in your day to be grateful for what you already have.

5. Eat. Breakfast.

I used to have such a hard time eating in the mornings! By the time 9am came around, I was starving and cranky. There has to be a food item that you enjoy. Even if its just a piece of bread or a small bowl of cereal. Or one egg. Or a half a bagel. Feed your body and it will thank you by beating strong and healthy.

5. Put together your outfits beforehand. Not the night before. Beforehand.

On a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, look at your calendar and plan what to wear for the week. I have labeled five of my hangers (Monday, Tuesday, etc.), and plan my outfits according to what I have going on the coming week. For instance, Mondays are long days for me: right after I leave school, I go straight to Seton Hall and teach there until 7. So, heels probably won’t be a good idea. For Mondays I put together outfits that are more practical and can withstand long hours.

Also, no matter how good and put together I want to look the night before, when morning comes, I tend to “slack off” and wear things that are more comfortable and not necessarily stylish. Putting together five outfits helps me stay on track with dressing stylishly and practically.

6. Create a “fool proof” make-up bag.

It is usually not recommended to experiment with makeup if you have to be at work at 7. I know what looks good and I have a small makeup bag that holds all the essentials for a flawless face. I have a pore refiner, a blush, an eye lid cream to make the shadow stay, black mascara, eye lash curler, eyebrow pencil, nude eye shadow, eye shadow brush, and a lipstick.

7. Pack lunch the night before AND bring snacks.

Again, I have a tendency to be less coordinated in the morning. To avoid spillage or breakage, I make my lunch the night before. On long days, I bring snacks as well. It could be fig bars, fruit, chips, cheese sticks, granola or yogurt. Makes a difference when you are teaching until seven. It also helps me to avoid the vending machine that is right there in the hallway. Even if I don’t have classes at the university, I like to nibble on something as I’m driving back home.

What are some of the things you do to streamline your mornings? Please share!

Drops of water in the early morning sun

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