Tuesday, September 6, 2011

10 Steps to Start the Day off Right

There are a number of things that I'm trying to do each morning to jump-start my daily productivity. I don't do everything every day, but I find that if I do as many things as possible (time and schedule permitting) it becomes much more difficult for my day to become derailed.

1. Work out. I always hate getting up early to work out, yet it has never failed to get my day off to a good start, even when the workout itself hasn't been the best. I try to keep this in mind when I drag myself out of bed: I'll feel great as soon as I finish waking up... just need to get through the next hour...

2. Shower/Dress. I am not one of those people who can work out and then carry on with the day without a shower, I wish I were. I find there is a correlation between my productivity and being fully dressed--appropriately for the day's weather and activities.

3. Floss. It's probably better to floss at the end of the day, but I do a better job--and remember to do it--if I floss first thing in the morning.

4. Apply Sunscreen. I haven't yet remembered to apply sunscreen to my face and hands before going outside, so it needs to be done first thing.

5. Make the Bed. Just as soon as everyone has finished sleeping in it (daughter, dolls, stuffed animals, etc.)

6. Start a load of Laundry. Some mornings I can get this going before my eyes have fully opened.

7. Start Making Dinner. This is more often a mental exercise than a physical one: I confirm what we are planning to eat for dinner, making sure I have all the ingredients (perhaps getting them out of the pantry, or moving frozen items to the fridge or counter), and making sure any leftovers we are planning to eat haven't been eaten already. I'd rather realize that something is needed from the store on the earlier side of the day.

8. Clean Kitchen Sink, Stove and Counters. Usually while the coffee or tea are brewing, everything gets wiped down in preparation for the day, which also usually involves putting things away, washing up items left over from the night before, etc.

9. Have a Gourmet Breakfast. Usually after the kids are fed/delivered to school I sit down to eat a proper breakfast. This can be as simple as a bowl of cold cereal and sliced fruit (today) or something hot, such as a slice of fritatta or some leftover Eggplant Stew on top of scrambled eggs. It takes about 5 minutes to make a nice breakfast out of leftovers, frozen breads or muffins, and fresh fruit. If there is enough protein in the meal, it will last me well into the afternoon. (Note: if I work out, I eat a granola bar beforehand, and this eating becomes Second Breakfast.)

10. Review Email and Today's Schedule. If I'm really organized, I already have a list of Things to Do. If not, it's time to make one.

Recently I timed myself, and doing this full routine on top of helping my kids to start their day took over two hours (1 hour workout, 30 minutes shower/dress, etc.), but it means that by 9 AM I've been incredibly productive and my day is off to a good start!


The Modern Girl's Guide said...

This is a great post! I am working on making my mornings more productive, too! At this point, working out seems like a very lofty goal...mostly because I hate it so much! Thanks for the encouragement!

Melissa said...

Hi - I came here via Money Saving Mom and I love your routine! Thanks for sharing!