“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely…”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Another morning. Another day begins.
You get up too early, stumble into the shower and in somewhat of a haze try to get things together and get work or school on time.
But by applying a few simple tips you can make not only the morning but the whole day more relaxed and smooth.
- Plan the night before. Choose the 2-3 most important tasks and put them on a to-do list. By choosing just the most important stuff instead of a dozen things you are less likely to start procrastinating or realize at the end of the day that you filled it with less important tasks.
- Pack your bag the night before. This very simple habit can alleviate quite a bit of stress in the morning. If you pack your bag before you go to bed then you don’t have to run around in your house half panicked tomorrow while looking for your books or some important papers.
- Make your lunch the night before. Pack the leftovers of your dinner in a container and put it in the fridge. Just don’t forget to put it in your bag in the morning. You may even want make an extra serving so you can quickly heat up dinner when you get home from work/school. Doing this the night before will save you a bit of time and possibly a bit of money.
- Don’t forget to just relax. You can’t get much done if you never get any rest and revitalization. Well, you can for a while but soon you’ll start to feel run down, stressed out and fill up with all kinds of negative emotions pretty much all the time. So take some time to just relax. Meditate in one way or another. Take a warm bath. Take a walk in the woods. Listen to relaxing music. Have some fun with friends and/or family. Release pressure, stress and tension that can come from a hard day’s work so you don’t carry all of that into the following morning.
- Get enough sleep. It’s tempting to stay up a bit longer and let the “morning-you” take care of the problems – I do for example become more likely to revert to old behaviour patterns such as negativity and being easily stressed – that come from lack of sleep. But be good to yourself at least some days during the week. Go to bed a bit earlier and catch up on your sleep.
- Use a morning ritual. What you do early in the day often sets the context for your day. We have a tendency to want to be consistent with what we have done before. So a morning ritual that sets the right tone for the day can be a great start. I do for example get up and drink two glasses of water, eat breakfast and drink a cup of yerba maté, brush my teeth, make the bed and declutter for a few minutes. Then I prioritize the items on my to-do list and get started with the most important task.
- Keep everything in its place. If everything has its own place then it is whole lot easier to keep your home reasonably ordered and decluttered from day to day. And to find the keys as you are heading out the door.
What is your best tip for creating a better start to the day?