This will probably come as a surprise to no one, but I follow a pretty exact morning routine. I find that having a routine takes the guesswork out of whether or not I’m on time and whether or not I’ve done everything I need to do. I distinctly remember one time when, for whatever reason, I did things out of my usual order and I found myself halfway to work realizing that I hadn’t put my contacts in! By sticking to a routine, I ensure that I’m on time to work and that I’m ready for the day ahead.
I try to wake up at 6:00 every weekday, and the hour from 6:00-7:00 is the time in my routine that varies. Three days a week I reserve it for going to the gym. We have a fitness center in our apartment building, which is GREAT! Otherwise I would be much less likely to go to the gym (and also an hour might not be enough time if I had to drive somewhere). I am pretty good about getting up and getting going, though lately it has been PITCH DARK at that hour, since we’re getting close to the day we’ll “fall back.”
On the days I don’t go to the gym, I reserve that time for working on my blog, learning to code, or doing other things I’ve needed to get done. It’s a great time to tackle a messy kitchen, for example.
And, admittedly, some days I simply sleep until 7:00. If I’ve been up too late the night before, or struggled with insomnia, I figure that the extra sleep will serve me better than anything I could get done in that hour.
Once 7:00 hits, it’s Go Time. At that point I need to be in the shower in order for the timing of the rest of my morning to work out. By 7:30 at the latest I am clean and dressed, and I begin putting together our lunches. Some days this is more involved than others. It’s best when I’ve mostly done it the night before and I just have to corral the right collection of containers! But if I need to make a sandwich or cut up some fruits and veggies this is the time.
Once lunches are packed, I assemble my breakfast. Lately I’ve been having cereal, a piece of fruit, and a hard-boiled egg (that I make in a big batch at the beginning of the week). The hardest part is usually peeling the hard-boiled egg! As long as I’m sitting down to eat by 7:45-7:50, I know that I’m on target!
I like to read a real book or magazine while I eat. It’s tempting to browse Twitter or Facebook on my phone and catch up on what I’ve missed overnight, but I find I enjoy my breakfast more if I refrain and use that time for something I can’t read during the day, because while I do check those on my phone periodically throughout the day, I don’t pick up my novel to read at any other time.
At 8:00 I start the finishing touches of my getting ready. I always plug in my straightener while I’m drying my hair so that it’s hot as soon as I’m ready for it. My makeup routine, as I’ve mentioned before, takes me about 4 minutes, so this part is pretty quick. By about 8:15 it’s time to make my coffee to go and fill up my water bottle. I like to walk out the door between 8:25 and 8:30, and I’m usually right on time!
I know routines don’t work for everyone–my husband, for example. If you’re not a routine person, this much structure probably sounds like torture! Obviously there are days when I deviate, and that’s okay. But having a routine that I stick to more often than not works for me!