Everyone of us who work outside the home has probably encountered this dilemma. We go to bed too late and hit the snooze button as many times as we can. We encounter too many unforeseen tasks that need to get done before we leave. I’m a victim of that as I cannot leave the house in the morning if the dishwasher needs to be emptied.
I’ve never been uber-late for work and, unlike a lot in the outside workforce, we do not have children to ready for school, daycare, etc. My mornings should be cake, right? But I was always feeling rushed waking up at 6:30 to be out the door no later than 7:40? So I decided to make some changes to allow me enough time to get ready and have some time for any household or personal tasks to accomplish. It would allow me peace of mind throughout the day (thus, allowing me to focus on work) knowing I don’t have clothes to fold or scramble to figure out dinner, etc.)
I’ve come across those who actually write their morning routine down in their planner/schedule with time allotments for each task. Why, I had thought to myself? Why do I have to write down to shower, do hair/makeup, get dressed, etc? That’s pretty much a given (especially the getting dressed part!) But if I wanted to get other things accomplished before I left for the office, then I needed to see how much time was going to what so that I could allow myself some quiet time to mentally prepare for my day before leaving.
So I decided to chart my morning progress, starting right off the bat with getting up at least an hour earlier. Yes, that’s right. I’m in bed around 9-ish (yes, I’m an early to bed/early to rise person) and don’t need more than 7-8 hours sleep. So, the alarm was set for 5:30. Here goes:
- Exercise. If I’m up prior to 6, I do a little more, but I try to do (25) each of push-ups, crunches, squats and rear leg lifts. I did say ‘try’ – lol! Actually, it’s not that bad nor time consuming and gets my blood pumping. Now I’m REALLY awake. Time: 15 min
- Waking by 5:30. This was a must in order to get enough done before leaving for the office at my scheduled time. One of my biggest time wasters before leaving was surfing the web, checking email, weather, social media, etc. – and doing it all in 10 minutes. Now I do that as soon as the alarm goes off (or if I wake up on my own prior to that). That gives me a half hour to check email, news feeds, social media, etc while slowly waking me up some more. No later than 6am, I put the phone down and I’m up.
- Shower. My husband can stay in for a half hour just with the hot water beating on his back. Me? In and out. I also use time to figure out what I’m going to wear based upon the weather app I already checked. Time: 10 min. (15 if a razor is involved!)
- Make Bed/Layout Stuff: Hub is usually up by now so the bed gets made. I then grab my tote bag, phone, planner, keys and lay it all out at the foot of the bed. I then pull out my clothes (because, you know, I pretty much figured it out in the shower – hopefully!) and lay them out too. Look how freakin’ efficient I am! Time: 10 min.
- Protein/Caffeine Infusion. The night before I brew a full pot of coffee and cool. Before going to bed, I pour half in a blender and the rest I store in a plastic jug in the fridge. Now is where I add two scoops of vanilla protein powder to the blender, a bit of fat free half and half and ice. While it’s blending, I pull out something to take for lunch. I usually put it together the night before, but when I don’t there’s always a bunch of leftovers because I cook a bunch of stuff on Sundays. Breakfast items I keep in the cupboards and fridge at the office. What, you ask? See my post on stocking your office pantry. Pour shake into one of a medium iced coffee cup I’ve rinsed out and saved from prior visits to Dunkin Donuts (including the straw). Coffee with a good, healthy kick. And…I saved $2.50 not having to buy it. Time: 5 min. (10 if I notice the dishwasher has to be emptied from the night before)
- Hair/Makeup. I’m going to give you the condensed version because if I had to style/blow-dry then use a curling iron, we’d be looking at a lot more time here. Fortunately, I have naturally wavy hair and, especially in warm weather, I only have to apply smoothing serum and just blow-dry my bangs then lightly run scrunch the rest of my hair. I let it then dry naturally while I apply mineral powder, gel blush, a bit of shadow and liner. Mascara depends upon my mood. Time: 15 min
- Scripture Study: Calculating all of the above takes about 55 minutes so it’s a little before 7am. That’s the time I slot every week day (and it’s even logged in Google Calendar as a recurring weekly task with a notification). I get daily scripture prompts from two sources. I read both then decide which one speaks to me the most. I write it in my scripture journal, reflect on it then journal about it’s meaning and how I can apply it to my life. Time: 15 min
- Plan My Day. I then open my Bullet Journal and review any tasks I hadn’t completed the previous days and migrate them forward. I then decide what needs to get done today and post them. I check the weather/temperature again on my phone and enter it in my journal as well. Time: 5-10 min
- Finish Hair: By now my hair is fully dry and needs to be made presentable. I rub some hair paste between my hands then scrunch it evenly through which makes my hair which tames any frizz and exaggerates my waves. I then pull the sides up, clip them at the top of my head and spray. Done! Time: 2 min
- Finalize. Get dressed, apply lip color, earrings and toss phone and bullet journal in my tote. Head to kitchen, throw lunch in tote and head out the door. 5-7 min.
This takes me to around 7:40 – 7:45am. My office is only a 15 minute ride so I’m right on time. I can usually save time if I don’t exercise when I get up (especially if I know I’m going to work out that night). That helps if I haven’t decided what to wear or if I have to make something for lunch. And since I cook for the week on Sundays, I don’t have to worry about what to do for supper that night.
Till next time!