It’s 6 AM when your alarm clock goes off, and you hit the snooze button to get ten more minutes of sleep. You hit snooze again and all of a sudden, you wake up later, and you’re running late for work. Put it another way, you wake up in the morning, and the very first thing you do is grab your smartphone and scroll through it. You’re checking your email, your social media accounts, and the news feed, and then realize you spent about half-hour of your waking time playing around with your phone. A half-hour may not be a big deal, but it makes a big difference in how the rest of your day work plays out.
Imagine what else you could have done in that half-hour block? If you’re like me, you’ve been through these situations before realizing that even with small-time blocks spent on meaningless tasks, it can make or ruin your morning, not alone the rest of your day.
I’m going to discuss some of the best tips I used to save time in the morning that help me get set up for the rest of the day. Some of these points I’ll discuss further in future posts about increasing your productivity, but there are four I’ll review that will help make your morning smoother. These points include keeping your phone away from the bedroom, sorting your clothes out the night before, making sticky notes, and placing your belongings in one spot before you walk out the door.
Tip # 1 Sort Out Your Clothes The Night Before
Figuring out what to wear to school or work may be simple, but if you’re rushing in the morning, you don’t want to waste time. Sorting your clothes out the night before is more convenient because you’re alert, and you don’t have the “I’m crunched on time” moment. Even on some mornings when I hit the gym, I put my workout clothes out before I go to bed so it’ll save me a minute or two to pull it out after waking up. Also, it makes me think that I’m one step closer to waking out the door to go to the gym. Before I’ve had mornings where I planned to go to the gym first thing, then I was too tired and went back to bed shortly afterward. Many people have gone through that, and end not doing what they had planned the day before.
Tip # 2 Put Your Phone Away- Place in Another Room
While it may be convenient to keep your phone on a nightstand, some people may use their phones much longer than expected before bedtime. If you want to avoid distractions from your phone, put it in another room or in a place where you can’t easily reach it. I know this sounds crazy (for those who suffer from FOMO syndrome- Fear Of Missing Out), but this can make a huge difference in saving time. In place of a phone, use an old-school alarm clock if you are used to an alarm clock app on your phone.
If you need to have your phone on hand at all times, I suggest placing your phone on the opposite side of your room. For example, I live in a small apartment, so I put my phone on my desk before going to bed. It’s across from my bed and if my phone rings, I have to get up and grab it. So when the alarm clock app on my phone goes off, I have to jump out of bed and walk to my desk to turn it off. It also benefits me to get my body moving around to kick off my day. I’m much less likely to feel the urge going back to bed if I start moving around first thing in the morning.
Tip # 3 Use Sticky Notes For Essential Reminders
Things such as sticky notes are handy to keep on a nightstand. I use sticky notes to write reminders of what I need to get done. It’s good to get in the habit of writing reminders the night before, so that way I don’t have to forget the next day. One suggestion I would give is to think about two-three essential tasks that you need to get done on a given day and write those tasks done on a sticky note or paper. From my experience, I find that you’re more likely to take action on achieving those tasks written down than merely thinking about it in your mind. Alternatively, you can write down small jobs, including paying a bill or making a phone call. Especially for some mornings when you’re pressed on time, it can be easy to forget doing those small tasks if you didn’t write them down beforehand.
Tip # 4 Put All Your Belongings In One Spot Before Walking Out
My dad always asked me before I head out the door, “You have your phone, keys, and wallet?”. Those are the three things I always bring with me before I head out, and that’s why I have a spot to keep all of my necessities. I have a little hanger by my door where all of my stuff is so I can easily see it. If there’s a spot around your place where you want to keep all of your belongings before you leave, make a habit of doing it, so you don’t forget. I remember there were times my dad would eave something behind (such as his wallet), and he would run back in and try to find it. Let alone he had left it upstairs earlier, so he would run upstairs, go back down and then back out to his car and leave. Funny how he would remind me to do this, but then he forgets his stuff sometimes.
Well, there you have it. There are plenty more tips I could go on and write about, but I believe the four points I discussed earlier are the best time savers to make my mornings less stressful. Though this article maybe for morning people, anyone can use these tips to launch their daily routines. If you work in the evening or overnight, these tips work in the same approach during the afternoon or evening hours. I can attest to this because I have worked evening jobs. The key is to take actionable steps on them, and if you stick to these tasks, you will get the results you want. Ultimately, you’ll be more productive and have more control over your daily routine.
Feel free to leave any comments below, or if you have any tips of your own, please share.