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Morning Life Hack!

If the morning sets the tone for the day, why do we sleep later than we should, immediately delay the start with the snooze button, rush to get ready, then enter the road rage stage ten minutes before we get to work?  I used to have this problem which usually caused me to begin my day stressed.  By doing one simple 5 minute task (my morning life hack), I changed my outlook for the day, decreased my stress, and was able to get more done.  Now I actually look forward to the mornings and my days are much more productive!

My #1 Morning Life Hack

Get ready the night before!  This sounds simple and it is, but this one change in your routine can change your life like it has mine.  Instead of rushing around to find your clothes, coffee mug, pack your backpack/brief case, get breakfast ready, etc; just lay everything out the night before.  Most of us make our best decisions and are most focused in the mornings so don’t waste that crucial brain power on finding matching socks!  These are the 5 things I do every night that have changed my life: (not even exaggerating) 

  1. Coffee: Coffee is morning gold in my house!  I clean the coffee pot, put the water and coffee in, and even set out my coffee mug next to the pot.  I don’t have it on a timer so I can make myself walk to the coffee pot and wake up!  Prepping my coffee helps avoid the possible frustration of spilling coffee in the morning, finding out your favorite mug is dirty, or figuring out you are out of coffee when you need it most!
  2. Breakfast: I don’t eat much in the mornings, but I do realize the importance of breakfast.  I lay out a few pieces of fruit next to the coffee pot on a few paper towels.  I also sometimes prep a bagel and cream cheese by getting the knife ready and putting it on top of the cream cheese in the fridge.  This may be a bit obsessive, but I figure the easier it is for me to eat the better!
  3. Clothes: A lot of people lay out their clothes the night before, but I like to take this a step further.  When I have time, I lay them out as if they were on a store shelf and in order.  Again,… obsessive!  I do this so I have a good feeling when I walk into the bathroom and see them laying neatly next to the shower.  I even put them in order that I put them on so I don’t grab the pants on the bottom and the shirt falls onto the floor and in water.  This avoids waking up and getting agitated because the shirt you want is dirty.
  4. Socks: Yes,… this deserves a line of it’s own!  One of the most frustrating things for me is when I get ready and am about to walk out the door only to realize that I grabbed a pair of brown socks instead of black!  My wife sleeps a bit later than I do, so if I didn’t grab them out of the drawer the night before with the light on, I would have to do it using my iPhone light,…. not good!
  5. Work Station:  Since I work on MyDailyMark every morning at the house for a few hours, I have a work station set up in our studio (my wife’s upstairs art office!)  I make sure that when I sit down at the desk in the mornings, the computer is charged, headphones are neatly placed next to the computer, and my notes are within reach.  I don’t want to search for the charger or headphones in the morning when I really should be working.  This potential 5 minute delay is often all it takes for me to get out of the zone.  If you don’t work at the house in the morning, take this same approach with prepping to leave the house.  Set your briefcase out and ensure that everything is neatly placed and ready to go.

Doing these 5 tasks the night before will save you time, but more importantly you will start your day off in a better mood and be more productive throughout the day.  To me, the most important part of this is avoiding all of the potential small things that can go wrong in the morning.  I am not a morning person, so when something small goes wrong like not having coffee creamer, it can put me in a bad mood.  Instead, I have everything prepped and feel like I have a personal butler (ME at night) who takes care of all the small things and allows me to focus on the important decisions and tasks.

Take Action Today

Try my morning life hack for at least 5 nights.  Even if you wake up at the same time as what you did before, you will have a much more relaxed morning.  After those 5 nights, try waking up earlier than usual and taking some YOU TIME!  Read the paper, learn a new skill, or just relax and enjoy the stress free moment.

P.S. As I am writing this I am sipping the same coffee, at the same table, at the same time, in the same Starbucks I visit every Saturday.  Between that and my morning life hack routine, I am thinking I have a few OCD tendencies!  I never realized that!

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