I have found that when I am prepared for my day from the beginning, I tend to have a better day ahead. I think over the years, I have learned some habits that I can incorporate into my daily routine to help myself in the morning time. They are little things here and there, that make a big difference in the morning and in turn, how my day turns out.
I strongly believe that if I wake up in a rush, I will be more likely to forget to do things that help me start off the day right. The more I rush in the mornings, the more puzzled and hectic my day tends to be. I have made a short list of things I personally like to do so that I can be the most productive for myself in the morning,
1. Start the night before
I have found that starting my prep for the morning at night time itself is a big time saver. I am night time shower-er and cannot for the life of me get myself to shower in the mornings. I would rather sleep in those extra 20 mins that shower. So I always shower the night before. And while my skin care is starting to do it's thing I keep my clothes and bag ready for the next day, I usually end up saving about 15-20 minutes in the mornings. I'd rather use that time to sleep in a little more or spend it in waking myself up. I usually keep my clothes, down to my shoes and accessories, just to not waste any time on figuring out all of that in the morning. I also suggest you to keep all of your belongings in one spot, with your handbag that's packed and ready to go. This way whatever I need for the day is in one spot, and I am not running around the house looking for my head phones or my wallet or keys. You get the point.
2. To do lists
I got into the habit of making a to do list in college, and it has stuck with me ever since. I am not one of those planner enthusiasts. The ones that buy extravagant planner and decorate them and all. If that is your cup of tea, then hats off to you! I bought my planner from Target, and it's simple to the core. Just something to give me an idea of what my week will be looking like and what are the important things I need to remember. I like making my to do lists on a post it note the night before, and stick it in the box for the next day. This way I have written down the things which are most important for me and have some direction of what all I need to get done.
3. Rise and shine
I have been trying to maintain a steady routine for waking up every morning. This is something I am still working on, and plan on making myself a morning person by the end of this year. I have always been a night owl for as long as I can remember, but recently I want to try and change a few things around in my life. This step is very important to me, because it makes me stay on a routine and eventually create healthy habits. I have found doing the simple tricks of keeping multiple alarms on your phone or keeping your alarm clock across the room, work great in waking me up. The way I see it is, the earlier I wake up, the more time I have to myself before I have to absolutely leave the house to start my day.
4. Me time
Once I am up and awake, I always start off my day with brushing and washing my face. I find that just cleansing my face forces me to wake up with splashes of cold or luke warm water. Also the minty freshness of my toothpaste always does the trick. I next get myself a cup of coffee. I have noticed that once I have coffee in my system, I can conquer the world, or at least I feel that way. I think the scent and taste are really soothing and the perfect way to start my day. During summer time, I usually stick with water and a few slices of lemon. I take my time with my cup of tea. It's something I really cherish in the mornings, because I know once I step out the door, I will have a million things going through my head. This is the time I like to go over my to do list and try to mentally plan out my day. I am also a firm believer in multitasking. If I have any important emails or phone calls to make, this is usually the time I do so.
5. Power up
Since I already showered the night before and took out my clothes, all I have left to do is eat a healthy breakfast. Doing the steps above give me the time to make myself a more nutritious breakfast that probably I wouldn't have had the time to do otherwise. I am huge fan off eggs in the morning time. Sunny side up or a good old poached egg is always my go to. I try to eat all the food groups that will sustain me till lunch time. I have tried to cut back on my cups of coffee, so I usually just drink a glass of some vanilla soy milk. I am also a little obsessed with waffles lately, so those have to be included as well! Also, I love starting my day with a bowl of fruit, it really helps to re-energize at the start of the day. You can see that since, most of my things to do in the morning were the done the night before, I am able take that time to fuel up my body and make me more powered up. I usually finish my breakfast and change into my clothes. Since all my things are in one spot, all I have to do is grab them and I'm out the door!
Obviously these steps work good for my routine and you might need to tweak them a little to adjust it to your lifestyle. But I assure you, once you start and stick to this or any routine, you will feel more relaxed and productive in the mornings.