We all struggle to get out the door on time some days. Maybe you hit snooze too many times, or your shower ran long. No matter what the case was, it’s important to make sure your day starts smoothly so everything else falls into place as well.
Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, waking up and starting your day with confidence doesn’t always come easy. Some of us need a cup of coffee before we even feel awake while others are struggling to get more done in the early hours. No matter your situation, here are the best early morning hacks to start your day earlier and on the right foot without the hassle.
1. Decompress at Night
The first key step to a smooth morning is simply to decompress the night before. It’s tempting to spend your nights worrying about the day to come, especially if you’re waking up early, but all of that stress gets in the way of a good night’s sleep. Laying out clothes and packing lunches might be okay depending on your schedule, but it’s more likely to lead to other activities like “fun time” spent watching TV or scrolling on your phone.
Instead of spending time doing things you feel like you “have to do” to make the next day better, decompress. Allow yourself that time before bed to do what you want to do. After all, this might be some of the only time during the day that you have to yourself. Watch TV, read a good book, and make sure you feel ready to end your day on a high note.
2. Stretch First
When you first wake up, it’s tempting to grab your phone and start scrolling. After that, you’re likely to jump right into your morning routine. This doesn’t leave any time for connecting with yourself. We all struggle with some level of grogginess, so let yourself ease out of that naturally with some light stretching.
Stretching improves blood flow, wakes up muscles, and helps us feel more awake. Your body has been stiff all night. Now’s the time to bring it back to life with some easy morning stretches. After 5-10 minutes of stretching, it’s time to welcome the day.
3. Do the Essentials
Think about your usual morning routine. Do you usually do the regular stuff like brush your teeth and eat breakfast, or do you get distracted along the way? If you’re like most people, you probably find yourself getting sidetracked into other tasks. Maybe you fold the laundry because it’s been bothering you and it’ll “only take a minute.” Maybe you scroll on Instagram because you want to see what you missed while sleeping.
Even these small things take away from our morning routine. We want to focus on the important tasks, and everything else can wait. Don’t waste your morning on things that don’t contribute to real productivity. You want to leave the house on time, and you don’t have extra minutes to waste.
4. Pre-Cook Breakfast
One of the best morning hacks is to stop cooking breakfast. That’s right, your mornings shouldn’t be for cooking if you want to be the most productive. Instead, batch your cooking earlier. You can take a few hours on the weekend to batch up some yummy breakfast for the week or even just buy things that are easy to eat on the go.
What can you make? Some healthy breakfast batching ideas include muffins, breakfast bars, oatmeal, and casseroles. They’re as simple as grab and go, and they’re also full of energy to get you through the day. You’ll be thankful that you took the time to think ahead.
5. Create a Drop Zone
Are you constantly forgetting stuff at home? If so, you’re in desperate need of a drop zone. This is an area where you leave your essentials at the end of the day when you come home so that everything’s ready to go in the morning. Think of it as a mini-storage area.
Stop making that mad dash to the other side of the house for your second shoe or car keys. Leave everything where it belongs on a side table, basket, or desk by the door. Never forget another essential again thanks to your drop zone.
6. Schedule Early
Finally, make sure you have a reason to get out of the house early and on time. It is a good idea to have a wristwatch to keep track of your morning time (if you don’t own one, you can buy women’s watches easily online). If your first thing of the day is simply to run some errands, you don’t have much reason to actually stick to a schedule. However, if you’ve got an important meeting at 9 a.m. there’s no excuse for running late.
Keep yourself accountable in your mornings. If you need the outside accountability of having an early-morning task or meeting, so be it. Don’t underestimate the power of having someone else hold you accountable. It might be as simple as asking a friend to call you every morning at 8:30 to chat during your commute. Knowing you have this meeting with another human being will keep you moving.
Your mornings don’t have to be hectic. You can master the early morning with ease thanks to the tips above. It’s not complicated, and soon you’ll have all these habits down to second nature. Your mornings have never been better.