There are books and articles by the hundreds of thousands giving you pieces of advice on how to be productive. From winning your day to tips for time management. When I read these books (and like anyone else who cares about self improvement I definitely have!), the biggest takeaway I always have is “there’s no way this author has any kids.” Now maybe they do but I find that the self-help section of a bookstore is offering tips and best practices that just aren’t realistic. I mean, who has time for two hours of meditation in the morning!? (If you do, congratulations, you are a rock star!)
It was overwhelming even know where to start with all of the advice out there in terms of having the productive morning I so desired. I gave up on a productive morning, and ended up giving up being productive altogether.
After some self-reflection, I knew an all or nothing approach wasn’t going to work. So how could I make it work for me, an exhausted mother with what seems to be not enough hours in the day? Here are the five things that I do to win my morning, that might work for you too:
1. Wake up earlier than your kids.
Two hours earlier, ten minutes earlier, it doesn’t particularly matter as long as you get the time you need to get accustomed to being awake, and gives you some “me time” in the morning. I personally aim for one to two hours before my kids wake up, but I know this is not possible for everyone.
2. Make your bed.
Even if none of the other things happen, at least you can feel accomplished about something ;) And, let’s be honest, if your kids have to make their bed every morning, you should too!
3. Drink 20oz of warm water.
I found that having warm water first thing in the morning flushes out the system, and sets me up for the day with a great jump on achieving my daily water intake. It also helped make me feel energized.
Starting your morning by getting the blood flowing, makes you feel accomplished and awake. It is easy to push your workouts to the bottom of your to-do list, or skip them altogether, when you wait until the end of the day. Get it out of the way early in your day even if it is just 10 minutes, and go into your day feeling POWERFUL!
5. Meditate and affirmations.
This can take just five minutes, but forcing yourself to pause and focus on just being is so important. It is also really important to set your intentions for the day, so that you get to decide how your day is going to go, and not the other way around.
That whole routine can take less than 20 minutes, and up to two hours if you want to exercise or meditate longer.
The bottom line: get up at least 20 minutes before your kids if you can, and the ULTIMATE GOLDEN rule is DO NOT open any kind of social media or email unless you want your morning to be completely derailed!