Another take on making over your mornings

Over at Money Saving Mom, Crystal (and some guest posters) are doing a series on making over your mornings. We’re on day 11 of 15 right now, and you can read all the previous days by following this link.

Crystal is challenging readers to commit to a set bedtime and a set wake-up time for three weeks. The idea is that by starting your day intentionally — after enough sleep — you’ll be more energized to face the day.

I’m still recovering from the summer of baby roulette (in which she might wake up at 4:30 a.m., 5:00 a.m., or anytime up until 6:30 or so — you never know when!). So I haven’t had the energy to set an alarm. I know, I know. I wrote a book about getting up and seizing the day. Sometimes I take my own advice. But one bit of advice from this series that I have been thinking about is listing 5 evening must-dos. A good day begins the night before. Before I go to bed, I’ve been trying to remember to put some yogurt in the freezer (better for smoothies), shower (so I can wake up and get ready in less than 10 minutes), and plan out the next day’s work schedule. If I don’t plan my work schedule, I can quickly lose focus and spend an awful lot of time checking email. Some day I might get really ambitious and add something like “pull meat out of freezer for dinner” to the list, but I wouldn’t bet on that anytime soon.

What do you try to do before bed?

In other news: The Columbus Dispatch writes about #beforebreakfast, and profiles several successful residents of Central Ohio. What do they do before breakfast? Find out!

Over at CBS MoneyWatch, I’m writing about The time-wasting mistake you probably make daily (at least I know I do!)

Photo courtesy flickr user Tracy Hunter



17 Responses to Another take on making over your mornings


  1. Carrie says:

    Write a to do list.
    Lay out my clothes.

    • Laura says:

      @Carrie – does laying out clothes save time? It’s really never something I’ve done, even though I read that tip in just about every article on streamlining mornings. I guess I just don’t think much about what I wear – one benefit of the home office!

      • ARC says:

        It makes a tired morning seem easier. Not that I spend time agonizing, but when it’s all laid out, I can get dressed on autopilot. It also sort of “forces” me to get dressed before going downstairs and dealing with kid stuff, breakfast, etc so I think it makes mornings go a little quicker.

        • Laura says:

          @ARC – back when I was actually exercising in the AMs, I’d put out my exercise clothes, down to the ponytail holder. It was mostly to keep me from having to hunt around for stuff and potentially wake people up, though.

          • ARC says:

            When I’ve been feeling especially unmotivated, I’ve been known to sleep in my exercise clothes ;)

  2. Cloud says:

    Why don’t you put the yogurt in the freezer when you use the previous tub? That is what I used to do when I added yogurt to my smoothies. I’m more of an all fruit smoothie maker now, though.

    But to answer the question: I used to pack my lunch and any food I needed to take to day care. I fell out of that habit when Petunia graduated to the room that provides lunch. I may need to start it up again next week, when Pumpkin starts school. I think we’ll pack lunches most of the time- the menus I’ve seen don’t usually include things she’ll eat. And I think the 3 years of refusing food at day care prove that she is not susceptible to peer pressure on this point. Since day care also did an afternoon snack, I was willing to let that go. I am not willing to have her afternoons screwed up by this in school, though. So packed lunches it is.

    • Laura says:

      @Cloud- I’m dishing a serving of yogurt out of an economy-sized tub, and putting it in a bowl to freeze. So I could just refill the bowl at the same time I’m putting that day’s frozen yogurt in the blender. I’m not sure if that would be more efficient or not. Maybe I’ll try it. We went through an extremely-picky phase with J when he wouldn’t eat day care food either, and I made lunch as simple as possible: a tortilla, a box of raisins, a fruit cup and a cheese stick. Kindergarten is half-day here, so no lunch. We won’t have to deal with this until 1st grade, at which point I think he could start putting a tortilla, box of raisins, fruit cup and cheese stick in his own bag. We did have to send a lunch for camp this summer, though, and after one day of having his lunch sent in a Ziploc bag, he informed me that “other children get lunch boxes.” Whoops.

      • Cloud says:

        I don’t know if it will save you time, but it wills ave you forgetting! Back in my sleep deprivation days, I had a rule that if I emptied something, I refilled it then. This particularly applied to my pumping bag. I bought lots of spare parts so that this would work, but after having to drive home to retrieve forgotten parts I decided it was worth it!

  3. Alissa says:

    My 5 must do’s:
    1. clean cat box
    2. do dishes (wash bottles and pump parts),
    3. Make lunch
    4. Lay out clothes (yes it does actually save me time otherwise I stay in the shower too long or my 2 year old will wake up and so I’m struggling to pull something together)
    5. check calendar/pack work bag (and pump stuff – have a 6 mo old baby)
    I am getting up early in order to have time to feed baby, shower and eat before work and before getting 2 year old up. One thing I got from your e-book is to a) do something intentional during nursing time (instead of words with friends) and b) continue to get up this early even when I won’t have to. I really enjoy all your articles and perspectives.

  4. Wonderful post! I just love Crystal! The 5 Things I do Before Bed.

    -Write my 6 most important things to do the next day
    -Lay out everyone’s clothes (The less thinking I do in the morning the better)
    -Plan my family’s meal and make sure everything is laid out in the fridge.
    -Make lunches
    -Wash my face, take my vitamins, brush my teeth, etc.

    I love your books by the way! : )

    • Laura says:

      @Ashley – thanks so much! I’m glad you like my books. Why 6 things, by the way? Sounds like a good number, but is it always 6?

      • Ashley - Embracing Beauty says:

        That’s a good question! I learned to do that from my training at a Mary Kay conference. It works out pretty great too because it’s not a huge list of everything I could find to do. It’s manageable. :)

  5. Rachael says:

    My end-of-day checklist was the best thing that happened to my mornings, especially because I do most of my paid work at night. Before I go to bed, I —
    - check the weather forecast
    - take care of any client e-mails that need to be written and sent
    - file and/or archive the day’s work
    - write my to-do list for the following day
    - tidy up my desk and the living room

    When I do these things, which is more often than not these days, I wake up with a clear head. Also, I really do have a checklist, and I really do use it. Otherwise, I’d never, never, never remember to check the weather forecast.

  6. Emily says:

    Oooh, I’m excited to see the link to the Dispatch article. I’ll have to go read about who my successful neighbors are.

    • Laura says:

      @Emily- I liked the Dispatch article because I’m always happy to see papers actually making something into a local feature. I may start trying some other papers and pointing them to this feature.

  7. oilandgarlic says:

    Laying out my work clothes the night before has definitely made mornings easier! I don’t always check the weather so sometimes I’m overdressed for the heat!

  8. I get my gym bag ready and all my gym clothes in place so I can sneak out before the baby wakes up, and take a shower at the gym in peace before coming home and being the baby all day. :)

    I also make sure there are virtually no dishes left in the sink. I haven’t gotten to the point where I empty the dish rack before bed, but that’s my next goal. :)