A productive day begins with the right routine in the morning. For some of us, this is obvious and straightforward. But when you’re not naturally a morning person, it’s a little trickier to form the right habits. And if you’ve got a houseful of children to organise, the task is made doubly difficult.
But what does the right morning routine look like, and why does it matter? Let’s run through a few tips.
Make a Plan
The night before, compose a realistic list of all of the tasks you’d like to get done the following morning. Your next step is to go to bed at a reasonable hour; you need eight hours of sleep to be at your best the following morning.
Setting the Alarm
Getting ahead of the day usually means getting up at what most of us might consider stupid o’clock. 6am starts should probably be considered a target, but if you can go earlier, then so much the better.
Those extra hours at the start of the day will allow you to get ahead. If you’ve got work you need to catch up on, then devoting an hour or two to it before the rest of the house has gotten up can work wonders. The same applies to creative projects, like piano practice, and that novel you’ve been working on. Create a workspace with the right furniture and lighting and get those projects tackled.
We all know that we should be doing more exercise. And early in the morning is probably the best time to get it done. You’ll be able to get it out of the way, and be less likely to make an excuse to avoid it altogether. Moreover, a brisk jog before everyone else is up will get you properly awake in time to tackle the rest of your day.
Showers are almost always preferable to baths in the morning. You want to be in and out in a few minutes, maximum! What might make a few readers wince is the idea that cold showers are inherently better than warm ones. But it’s worth persevering with cold – you’ll get used to the shock eventually.
Breakfast, we’ve long been told, is among the most important meals of the day. Now, there’s a nutritional school of thought that favours skipping breakfast entirely and compensating for it by taking a massive lunch. But for families, this sort of thing isn’t going to be conducive to sit-down time. Get everyone a healthy breakfast, sit them down at a fixed time. Ban smartphones from the breakfast table; if you need to check the news, you can do it later.