Adulting isn’t always a ton of fun, and mornings are definitely less exciting than when you were a child! Now for the good news: there is a lot that even the busiest person can do to make their mornings more fun. Here are the best habits to do for getting the day off to a good start before work or school:
1. Figure out how much time you need to be ready fast, but without rushing
This is almost certainly about 5 to 10 minutes extra than what you’re doing now. Don’t do anything about this just at the moment though. Just calculate the number of minutes you need so you're not rushed when going through your morning routine. We'll deal with this number a little later on.
2. Get up and start getting ready the minute your alarm goes off
Rest assured you do not have to rush around the whole time before you leave. Just begin the process of moving to the shower right away. It’s OK if your brain hasn’t moved out of neutral yet, just so long as your body is getting ready. Don't overthink this. If you need to, put your phone or other alarm out of arm's reach so you have to get up just to turn it off.
3. Restrict (but don't necessarily eliminate) phone browsing
Restrict phone browsing until after your shower or whatever is the first step that you do after getting up. You may glance at your phone in case any truly urgent messages came through during the night, but no other browsing until after your first step of getting ready is completed. Once you've gotten at least your first step completed, reward yourself with some limited phone browsing time.
If you struggle to stop browsing in your allocated time during the morning, put limits on it in one of these ways:
- Set a 10 minute timer for phone browsing and stick to it.
- If you tend to keep scrolling on stuff such as social media or online news and it's hard to stop, then allow yourself to do other things on your phone instead during your browsing phase, for example play a level of a tower defense game. However, do not open whatever social media or news site that you get stuck on until you've finished getting ready and are about to head out the door. At that point if you have extra time you may open your social media or news site, but if you do not have extra time you'll just have to get going to work or school.
- As a last resort, if you struggle with exceeding a limited amount of phone browsing time, don't browse your phone at all in the morning before work. Just do it at a break time, lunch time or after work. It sounds drastic but remember - no disaster will befall you! It's just a phone. Place it near the door with your keys so it's ready to grab when you leave for work. Then get on with the remainder of your morning routine.
- If you tend to doomscroll on the news, consider whether you should instead try one of the olden ways of getting your news, for example listen to radio news as you get ready or even consider whether a print newspaper might be appropriate for you.
Properly handling phone time can make a much bigger difference than you think. It is one of the most important morning habits to get a handle on.
4. After you get out of the shower, switch on portable music while getting ready
Open up the YouTube Music app or your own MP3 tunes while you continue to get ready. The music keeps you moving. Do not turn on the TV, Netflix, or anything else because you’ll wind up stuck in front of it. If you need news updates, wait until your allocated phone browsing time. But try to avoid reading the news in the morning anyway! It can be depressing. Music is just more fun and mornings should be fun.
5. Eat a fast, easy breakfast meal
Don’t set yourself up for a ton of work or dishes – that’s no fun to come home to after work or school, so go with some of these fast easy breakfast ideas and make it fun and easy on yourself.
6. Before leaving for work, remember your answer to question 1
This evening, set your alarm that many minutes earlier to allow yourself time to get ready without stress. Go to bed correspondingly earlier. Until you get used to it, evenings may not seem as much fun… but mornings will be, and your morning self will thank you!
If it helps, think of an earlier bedtime as a reverse sleep-in - you get to sleep for longer, it's just that it starts earlier instead of finishing earlier. You get to indulge in more sleep.
Try out these morning routine habits for a week or so and watch your life improve!