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How to hack your morning

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How to hack your morning

I don’t know about you, but if I’ve got somewhere to be early in the morning (though my definition of early is probably different than yours), there’s usually a manic rush as I try and get everything done on time before I head out.

That rush is easy to avoid, even if you get up not long before you need to leave. It just takes a bit of planning. Here’s how to fly through your morning routine like it didn’t even happen. This is designed to capitalize on your time in the evening or night when you aren’t rushed to optimize your morning routine. The order of items is important, by the way.

Also, this is just a rough guideline with ideas on how one could set up a morning routine that’s fast and effective; there are undoubtedly thousands of hacks you could apply to make things faster, or just get more done within the same time frame.

And finally, I will say that I’m not making this up as I go along; I’ve done this before within the time allotments set out below.

Getting Out of Bed

Stick an alarm clock by your bed and another across the room (or even in another room) that goes off a minute later. The second one forces you up even if you miss the first one, and it makes the first alarm even more effective if you don’t live alone – you’ll have to turn the second alarm off before it wakes anyone else up!

Walk directly to the bathroom.

My time: ten seconds.

Showering

Grab a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner, chuck it in your hair, and use a scrubber with body wash to clean yourself up while you brush your teeth with the other hand (you can store a toothbrush and paste on the ledge of the shower wall if it’s wide enough – and if you can reach up there!). From the time you’ve got the temperature right, you can be out in 90 seconds without sacrificing any cleanliness.

My time: ninety seconds.

Getting Dressed

Jump out of the shower and dry off with the towel you put on the towel rack the night before. Your deodorant, cologne or perfume, and anything else you put on after your shower (moisturizer for the ladies, for instance) is lined up on the sink ready to be applied in rapid succession.

Your clothes for the day are lined up on a rack (or whatever you have available in the bathroom) in the order that you put them on; items that require ironing were done the night before.

You don’t need to shave, because you did that before bed—there’s nothing wrong with a bit of overnight stubble. Fortunately we live in a time when stubble is even considered trendy; I imagine this routine would be much harder in a more “clean cut” era. I don’t pretend to know about shaving one’s legs, but I imagine (and this is a wild guess) that it’s fine to shave the night before. Feel free to correct me!

Walk to the kitchen.

My time: two minutes.

Breakfast

Leave breakfast until last, because if you eat breakfast first and then start losing time, there’s not many other corners left to cut. You shouldn’t skip this important meal but it’s more expendable than a shower if you’re going to be around other people.

Some people will refuse to change their breakfast habits to make things happen faster, but in any case, it’s possible. If you eat cereal, put some in a bowl the night before and stick it in the fridge, requiring you to just add some milk and eat in the morning.

If you have a shake for breakfast, there’s no noticeable difference in taste if you prepare it before bed and stick it in the fridge until morning—in fact, the time it has to cool down will probably improve the taste.

If you eat a fairly complex breakfast, say bacon and eggs on toast with hash browns, that takes time to cook, you can get all the refrigerated ingredients on a plate. In the morning, get the plate out of the fridge and you have everything you need to start cooking; no messing around with packaging or finding an ingredient you forgot about.

I like miso soup for breakfast. Since it’s already prepared, there’s nothing easier to heat up in the microwave, and it can be eaten quickly.

My time: two minutes.

Getting Out the Door

My laptop is ready in its bag, sitting by the door; in that bag is my wallet, and on a hook by the door are my keys. My shoes are also by the door, and I can slip them on as I grab my bag. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet learned to grab the bag, slip the shoes on and get the keys all at once!

The only thing I have to grab before I leave that’s not by the door is my phone, as I charge it over night via USB in my desktop. No wasted time there, though, since I scan feeds and email for a minute or two as I eat breakfast and can take the phone with me as I go to put the bowl in the kitchen sink.

Notice I said scan and not read; it’s really just to pass the time between mouthfuls!

My time: ten seconds.

How long does it take me to get out the door on an early morning? Just under six minutes.

In short: spending fifteen to twenty minutes preparing for the morning before bed can mean you spend only five minutes getting ready in the morning. No more morning rush! Of course, I like to take my time where possible and if I’m not going to be rushed, I take the longer, more relaxed route to morning preparation.

But if I’m working late and I want to maximize my sleep without pushing back my day, this is the model I use to get my night’s work done and still get up early without feeling exhausted.

Mornings. Many of us hate them; some of us love them; all of us want to make the best of them. But how exactly do we do that? First we ask Benjamin Spall , co-author of My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired , about creating the ultimate morning routine. We also talk to Vanessa Marin, a licensed sex therapist (and regular “After Hours” Lifehacker contributor ) about why we should occasionally ditch the routine and just do it. And Melissa quizzes Alice about the quirky habits (morning and otherwise) of famous artists. It’s fun! We have fun.

Listen to The Upgrade above or find us in all the usual places where podcasts are served, including Apple Podcasts , Google Play , Spotify , iHeartRadio , Stitcher , and NPR One.

In This Episode

Introduction (0:00 – 4:57)

Alice and Melissa discuss their morning routines, and what habits they’ve abandoned over the years. (Pre-sunrise jog, anyone?)

Tell Us Something We Don’t Know, With Vanessa Marin (5:08 – 11:35)

Lifehacker columnist Vanessa Marin tells us why morning sex can actually boost your productivity. (Although, look, even if it can’t, is that really a reason not to do it?)

The Interview, With Benjamin Spall (13:27 – 21:14)

Benjamin Spall talks with us about how the most successful people start their days and how you can hack your mornings.

The Playlist: Songs to Start Your Day (22:13 – 26:28)

Benjamin Spall returns to give us his favorite songs to listen to each morning. How about some Flaming Lips?

Quiz Show: Don’t Call it Crazy, Call it “Process” (26:30 – 40:56)

Melissa quizzes Alice on the routines of famous creatives: when Stephen King starts his writing day, for instance, or what Francis Bacon would read to help him get to sleep. See Mason Currey’s book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work for even more routines.

Upgrade of the Week and Credits (43:33 – 49:28)

Alice, Melissa and Vanessa regroup to talk upgrades: an IFTTT recipe that links Evernote to your iPhone , brainstorming while walking, and a cheap (but effective) sleep mask .

04-11-2019

We’re pretty early risers here at Rocycle. Like, really early. But it’s no surprise we are, as we have classes starting as early as 6:00 AM. We basically have no choice. But just because we’re early birds now doesn’t mean we always have been or expect you to be.

Luckily, though, our chirpiest, earliest birds – our lovely managers – know how to make every morning brighter and every morning easier. Keep reading to find out how Morgan, Kendra and Niké take the morning by storm.

So, first things first. Are you a morning person?

Morgan: I am a cheerful morning person as soon as the clock hits 8:00 AM. Any time before that, I won’t be ecstatic to be out of my bed.

Kendra: I never used to be a morning person, until I started working for Rocycle. With all those early hours and the happy riders, I became a morning person.

Niké: Yesss, I would say I am. Well, actually, maybe I’m more of an all-day person because I like evenings too.

Sounds like we’ve got a bit of a mix here. Can you walk us through what the first few hours of your morning look like?

Kendra: I try to use as little time as possible before I have to go. I take a quick shower, get dressed and put on some makeup in about 20 minutes.

Niké: On work days, I wake up, get ready, get some coffee and breakfast and then go to work. Work always starts around 6:30 or 7:30, so they are always early wakeups.

Morgan: My first move after I get up is to throw on my slippers and take my puppy out for his first bathroom break of the day. When I get back inside, I start boiling water for the French press, and then I’ll make breakfast for Milo (my pup). I also almost always turn on The Big Bang Theory – not sure why, but the voices on that show kind of act as a de-stressor. I rarely watch because I’ve seen all of the episodes multiple times, but I still like to have it on in the background. Milo eats his breakfast in about 2.5 seconds, so by this time, anything I do I’ll be followed around the house by a puppy – coffee made, breakfast on the table – I try and take at least 30 more minutes before I look at my phone or engage with the world or work or answer messages from the previous day. After I respond to that first message or email, my day has officially started.

It’s all about having a routine, we guess. Alright, now it’s time we get to the good stuff. What are your best tips for making mornings easier?

Niké: I like to prepare my breakfast the day before (or at least think about what I want to eat) so I can look forward to that. I really like breakfast (and lunch, dinner and snacks), so I have no problem waking up when I know I am about to eat something tasty. Oh, or adopt a cat. My cats are really strict on timing when it comes to food, so they will wake me up at 6:00 AM every day so I can feed them.

Morgan: Mornings for me are always easier and more enjoyable the longer I go without looking at my phone. My job and lifestyle require me to always be engaged and social, so when I have time to disengage, I take it. Cuddles with Milo also help the morning start off in a positive way! ☺

Kendra: On my way to work, I always listen to music to lighten my mood. When I arrive at work, I start with a big cup of coffee.

How to hack your morning

How to hack your morning

1. Follow your biological clock. No, not the one that your grandchild-hungry mother-in-law insists is ticking furiously. Get in the groove of your circadian rhythm by following this rule of thumb: Count 7-8 hours back from your ideal wake-up time, and go. To. Bed. Keep it consistent, and you’ll find in no time that you’ll naturally wake up at the same time every morning, feeling totally refreshed. It’s pretty amazing—you’ll see that sometimes you even beat your alarm. (Yes, even on weekends. You’ve been given the gift of time. Go run some errands!)

2. Don’t hit that snooze button. DON’T DO IT. It’s in the name of the science detailed above, as well as this other thing called sleep inertia. Basically, when your alarm first goes off, your body reacts with a hit of adrenaline. If you decide to ignore that, so will your body the next time you hear the alarm—and you’ll feel good and groggy rather than bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

3. Establish a routine. Have a schedule that you stick to. It’s probably not a stellar idea to jumpstart a long day at the office with complete chaos—especially when you can combat it with something like, say, um, breakfast.

4. Go for a walk. It won’t just get your heart pumping, fill your lungs with fresh air, and stimulate your digestive system (all before breakfast!)—studies show that it actually stimulates creativity. Take in the nature (or whatever your local scenery entails) and let your mind wander, and get inspired. And those Jawbone steps certainly count—it seems like scientists can’t stop naming benefits of exercising in the AM, anyway.

5. Figure out what makes you tick. If I wake up in a fog, nothing—not even my beloved coffee—gets me going like a shower. Everyone is different, so figure out what’ll get you stimulated and ready for the day. A quick trip to the dog park? Meditation? A morning romp with your beloved? Sure.

6. Lay out your clothes the night before. Even if you haven’t done it since Mom made you in elementary school, planning your outfits can eliminate some serious stress. Your neighbor is probably sick of hearing you shriek “BUT I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAAARRRR,” so do him and yourself a favor by picking out something cute before bed. If you’re inspired to wear something different the next day, by all means, go for it, but now you’ll have a backup plan that isn’t the slightly dank dress you pulled out from your hamper.

7. Make a beauty grab-and-go bag. If you have a million products, it’ll make your life so much easier if you keep a little satchel with your daily staples: Your favorite mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, whatever. You’d be amazed how many minutes (and aggravation!) you’ll save when you don’t have to dig through the nether regions of your vanity for that eyebrow pencil, which you SWEAR you JUST SAW.

8. For the love of god, EAT. Do not tell me that you’re “not a breakfast person.” Do not pass go, do not collect $200. There are about a million studies that show the benefits of eating a solid meal in the morning and a million more that show why it’s bad not to. Pick something healthy and delicious that you know will fill you up, since you have a full day ahead of you, and this is the energy that will get you through it. Plus, making yourself a nice meal and sitting down to enjoy it is a great thing to add to that routine we talked about in number three. (Ryan Gosling, you’re cute, but eat your damn cereal.)

9. Keys, wallet, phone. REPEAT. Put a hook on the wall by the door for your keys and a little bowl or shelf for everything else. Get this doormat. Put up a neon sign. Getting locked out of your apartment, not being able to pay for lunch, or call in the case of an emergency because you weren’t thinking for .5 seconds just really isn’t cute.

Forget celebrity routines. If you want to have a truly productive day, follow these tips

How to hack your morning

Whether it’s Mark Wahlberg waking up at 2am and icing himself in a cryogenic chamber or Jennifer Aniston doing yoga, strength training and then going to the gym all before breakfast, we love to hear about the zany ways in which public figures claim to hack their morning routines to guarantee that they will have a productive day.

But there’s a sad, inevitable truth: a lot of the hype is nonsense. We’ve all heard getting eight hours sleep is a must, but evidence in recent years demonstrates that there’s actually a huge amount of variation between people. Now, researchers say that anywhere between four to 11 is normal if you feel well rested. But even if you obsessively track your sleep, there is no guarantee that your day will be productive. The question is this: how can you, a normal person, ‘hack’ your morning routine?

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The key to being productive during the day lies in planning. Productivity coach Jeff Sanders advises clients devise a written plan for their day the night before. He recommends prioritising early in the morning, “something you really want to tackle first thing, which sets you up to be more productive the rest of the day”. One or two main goals a day is sufficient, otherwise we can get easily overwhelmed.

Data on circadian rhythm (a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours) shows that people take a few hours from when they wake up to reach peak mental acuity, according to Christopher Barnes, associate professor of management at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. So for example, if you wake up at 7am, this means you’re probably entering the sweet spot at around 10am. But this window doesn’t last long: it dips as soon as you’ve had lunch, and extends up until just before 6pm.

Read next

How to hack your morning

How to find a new job in the middle of a pandemic

By Margaret Taylor

So how can you make sure that you are productive despite this? It’s probably best not to begin tackling your most important task as soon you sit down at your desk. Instead, warm yourself up with some admin at the beginning of the day.

“I would suggest that you prioritise your in-tray,” says Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology at Lancaster University Management School. “Deciding what needs to be done today in order of importance in terms of achieving your objectives, what can wait until tomorrow or the next day—remember your in-tray will always be full.”

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It’s important to go about this strategically though, or risk being sucked into an email vortex for longer than you planned. Email is commonly listed as a source of employee stress and feeling a lack of control.

To avoid this, set yourself strong time limits and go in with a strategy. At the beginning of the day, tackle the emails that are the most important and urgent. If you tackle these early in the day, not only will it achieve a feeling of achievement, it means you can tackle the less urgent and more straightforward correspondence later in the day – perhaps during that 3pm slump. Have a hard cut-off by which point you need to click off your email.

After this, take advantage of your peak mental acuity by scheduling your most important task of the day. Cal Newport, author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World advocates the importance tasks that prioritise quality over quantity. This means working at extended periods of time with peak concentration. If you can factor in an hour of deep work during your period of peak mental energy (say, 11am to 12pm) this means massive productivity gains for the day.

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The Covid-19 vaccines will usher the dawn of the true hybrid office

By Laura Miller

And, whatever else you do to get in the zone, make sure you minimise distractions – turn off notifications, close tabs, and place your phone out of reach. If a whole hour is too intimidating at first, try two half hour blocks broken up with a five minute break. Psychologist Nick Wignall suggests deciding what you’re going to work on during this hour the day before to make you even more streamlined.

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You can extend this throughout the day with the 50:10 rule: uninterrupted work for 50 or 80 minutes (whichever seems more manageable) and then a ten minute break. In the book 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management author Kevin Kruse recommends getting a kitchen timer or hourglass to measure this time so you don’t have to set it on your phone.

Something you need to be wary of is not letting your increased energy during this period tempt you into jumping between tasks. According to a study by the University of California Irvine, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to a task once they’ve taken your concentration away from it.

But what about before you even reach the office? Are there things you can do at home to set you up for a productive day?

While tackling emails when you arrive at work can be a good idea, binging on social media or emails as soon as we open our eyelids is probably not. They can flood us with external concerns, and in the case of emails, other people’s demands and agendas, immediately subsuming our own intentions and desires for the day ahead. According to psychologist Ron Friedman, if you spend the first ten minutes of your day checking and replying to email, you’re priming your mind for a reactive (rather than proactive) state.

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How to hack your morning

How to ignore your boss without totally sabotaging your work life

By Jack Needham

Your morning is about setting the tone for the rest of the day. “The best way to start is that intentional practice of saying, I’m not going to let the day distract me. I’m going to have my goals, my priorities, and then try to do your very best to ensure those things take place rather than being reactive and distracted,” says Sanders. So if you mute your alarm, wake up an hour later in a panicked tangle of sweaty sheets – is your day doomed? The short answer is no.

If your day feels like it’s got off to a bad start, Sanders recommends finding a natural break to regroup and reassess. This could just be taking some time to drink a coffee and reflect on your goals for the day ahead. “That way, you’re not going to lose that sense of momentum,” says Sanders.

He recommends identifying in your schedule where those breaks might ideally take place. You can reflect on your goals for that day, and how best to tackle them.

For example, deciding to incorporate a run into your morning routine is a great idea, but is it realistic to go from zero to 30 minutes every morning? Instead, why not aim for a ten minute run, or running every other day, and build this up gradually over time. The same applies for meditation. Instead of trying 20 minutes, why not start off with five? Little successes are more sustainable than big failures.

This story originally appeared on BusinessInsider.com.

Even the most die-hard morning people among us may sometimes find that the struggle is real.

Need a wake-up call? We asked some of the nation’s leading time-management experts to share their most eye-opening ways to make mornings a little less brutal and a lot more doable.

1. Don’t lay out your clothes the night before

This might seem counterintuitive, but some experts suggest trying to keep things simple the night before. The idea is to decompress as much as possible before bed — not wind yourself up.

“It seems smart to lay out clothes, pack lunches, pack bags, and so on the night before,” says Laura Vanderkam, author of “Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done.” But the real problem arises when when you also want to squeeze in some “fun” time before bed.

“If you spend a lot of time on chores, the fun time only comes at the expense of sleep,” notes Vanderkam. “And one of the easiest ways to tank your morning is to wake up exhausted.”

2. Do a brain dump before bed

Even if you have perfect sleep hygiene — no smartphones at night, a comfy mattress, an early bedtime — you still might be plagued with thoughts that keep you up at night and leave you drained in the morning.

So try this simple hack: “Keep a pad of paper and a pencil next to your bed. Right before you go to sleep, write down anything you’re worrying about that might keep you awake,” suggests Stever Robbins, productivity expert and host of the podcast The Get It Done Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Work Less and Do More. “Your brain will be able to let it go because it knows [those thoughts are] safely written down.”

Robbins also suggests scribbling the top two things you want to get done the next day, so your brain will noodle on that instead.

3. Be selfish first thing in the morning

As tempting as it might be to jump out of bed and dive into your day, many experts agree that taking time to connect with yourself as soon as you wake up is as nourishing as eating a good breakfast.

“Wake up 15 minutes earlier, and for the first 5 minutes, just meditate or pray. Breathe and find yourself awake in the world,” says Peter Bregman, author of “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done.” “It reduces the freneticism and allows you to start your morning without already being behind.”

Even just sitting up and stretching “will literally change the mood of your whole morning,” Bregman says.

4. Follow a morning to-do list

You may be encouraging your kids to stop dawdling all morning, but are you guilty of it yourself? “A lot of time can be wasted in the morning performing nonessential tasks, or those tasks that have absolutely nothing to do with getting ready for the day,” says productivity consultant Rashelle Isip of The Order Expert.

Stick to the essentials. Factor in only the things you must do in the morning — check the weather, brush your teeth, take a shower, get dressed, pack your lunch, and eat breakfast, for example. “Any task not found on this list will be a drain on your ability to leave your home on time, and should be avoided at all costs,” says Isip.

5. Batch your breakfast

If you have a full house and a full-time job, you probably also have experience with batch cooking.

Breakfast bars, frittatas, casseroles, oatmeal in jars, and muffins are just a few morning-friendly make-ahead meal ideas that will save you precious get-up-and-go time throughout the week — and give you the energy to get through the day.

6. Designate a ‘drop zone’ for the essentials

No mudroom? No problem. All you need is a mini-staging area for all of the stuff you need to grab before dashing out the door, says Isip. “This zone allows you to easily gather and store items in a single location, thereby reducing the chance of leaving or misplacing individual items in one room or area of the home.”

Isip suggests repurposing a side table or armoire in your hallway, a wooden chair in your living room, or even your sofa as a catchall spot for things like your purse, briefcase, lunch, gym bag, keys, wallet, cell phone, and so on.

Instead of scrambling, “one quick look will let you know whether you have the items in your drop zone, or if you need to locate and retrieve items elsewhere,” she says.

7. Ditch the news

Some experts say that you should only be processing information related to your morning tasks when you wake up. “Something as ‘simple’ as listening to the news as you get ready creates a surprising amount of frazzle,” says Bregman. “If you allow yourself to wake up and have silence or even music as opposed to content, you’ll move faster.”

8. Hold yourself accountable to others

“Schedule a 9 a.m. meeting — one that you will feel obliged to attend,” suggests Robbins, who is a big believer in outside accountability as a morning motivator — similar to having a gym buddy who’s relying on you for a sweat session.

Robbins says this method is particularly helpful for anyone who works from home and doesn’t actually have to leave the house to start their day. “It all hinges on you having someone else to partner with — someone else who wants to get up and go!”

How to hack your morning

Whether you’re a morning person or not, the first hour or two each morning can set the entire tone of your day! These 10 simple tips will take the craziness out of your morning routine for school and will help start your day off on the right foot!

How to hack your morning

Morning Routines

One of the craziest times in my home happens to be the first hour of the day when the house is a buzz with sleepy eyes, hungry kids, scavengers on the hunt for their missing left shoe, and parents who tell their kids over and over (and OVER!) to get dressed and brush their teeth!

To help “calm the crazies” and to make sure we sending the kids off to school fed, dressed, and happy, my husband and I made some changes to our morning routine that have made all the difference!

These simple tricks have resulted in less frustration, less contention, and just an overall better morning vibe!

If you’re looking for ways to reclaim your sanity, you’ve come to the right place!

The Best Morning Routine – 10 Helpful Tips

How to hack your morning

Prep the Night Before.

This is huge, you guys. Taking 15 minutes of your evening can save you an hour the next morning. Here are some things you could do –
– Lay out everyone’s clothes
– Get all backpacks together. Keep them in the same designated spot every night so you know right where they are in the morning.
– Check the calendar for any deadlines or special events. (Show and Tell, big homework assignments, etc.)
– Make lunches. If you dread the daily chore of making school lunches, you need to check out these delicious make-ahead school lunch recipes! Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches freeze really well, so I’ll often make an entire loaf of bread worth of sandwiches in one night and stick them all in the freezer!
– Get everyone involved in doing a quick sweep of the house to make everything tidy. Mornings are bound to be crazy if you wake up to a disorderly house. Get the toys off the floor, put dirty laundry in the laundry room, wipe down your counters and make the house look nice. I also like to empty the dishwasher so our breakfast dishes can go directly into the dishwasher when we are done eating.
How to hack your morning

Bedtimes for Kids –

Have a bedtime and stick to it! Kids need sleep. Tired kids = Cranky Kids, and Cranky Kids = Crazy Mornings. We have a couple printables to help parents who are struggling with this:
– Nighttime Routine Checklist
– Bedtime Goals Reward Chart

Wake Up Before Your Kids –

Give yourself 10 minutes of quiet time to fully wake up before the house is a buzz. If you have more time than that, consider doing a quick stretch or work out, or read a chapter of your favorite book. Your attitude is contagious. When mom is feeling happy and productive, it is more likely that your kids will be too!

Play Some Music.

Music is a great way to set the entire mood of a home! Play something fun and upbeat to keep the energy high and smiles on everyones face. Music will make you feel good, or it will help drown out the fighting and teasing at the breakfast table. Either way, you win!
How to hack your morning

Keep Breakfast Simple.

I know it is so important to feed your kids a good breakfast each morning, but save the pancake buffet and waffle bar for the weekend! You can still eat filling, healthy meal full of protein to fill their little bellies! Here are a few of our go-to breakfasts for school days –

. Easy Breakfast Smoothies – All the prep is done in advance so you literally dump the contents of sandwich baggies into the blender!
. Overnight Oatmeal – Take a few minutes in the evening to prepare a pot of overnight oatmeal, and you’ll wake up to a healthy breakfast that keeps your kids satisfied until lunch!
. Apple Cinnamon French Toast Bake – Prep it the night before, and just pop it in the oven in the morning for a lazy (but delicious!) breakfast.
. Grab and Go Breakfast Bags – For the mornings you need to eat on your way out the door!

Plan 15 Minutes Ahead.

I am a very punctual person – I seriously HATE being rushed or late for anything! The secret to my punctuality is that I give myself an extra 15 minutes for everything. If it usually takes us an hour to get ready for school, I make sure we have 75 minutes. If we need to leave the house by 8, I plan to have everyone in the car at 7:45. We are NEVER in the car at 7:45 – someone is always missing their homework or they didn’t brush their hair. But even with those setbacks, that extra 15 minutes we give ourselves ensure we are always on time for everything.
How to hack your morning

Speaking of Brushing their Hair…

I like my kids to look put together in the morning, but school days are not the times to get fancy with various hairstyles. I made a list of my favorite 10-Minute Hairstyles for Girls that I use as a go-to guide for busy mornings. My girls still look clean and polished, but no time is wasted on twists and braids that take all morning to create.

Keep the Electronics Off.

Nothing is more distracting than TV and video games. There have been plenty of times I’ve thought my kids were busy getting dressed, only to find them staring at the TV like zombies with one sock on. We made a rule that the TV is not allowed on UNLESS everyone is ready from head to toe.
How to hack your morning

Set a Timer.

I find it helpful to set a couple alarms on my phone each morning that keep up on track. One alarm goes off when we have 10 minutes before we have to leave. One alarm goes off when we need to be out the door. The 10-minute warning is enough to kick us back into gear if anyone starts slacking off. The last timer has saved us plenty of times when I get busy or distracted and lose track of time.

Have Fun.

If your kids are feeling a bit more sluggish than normal, implement a game or a challenge that will keep them moving. I’ll set a timer for 3 minutes and say, “Whoever can get dressed before the timer goes off gets a special after school snack!” It is amazing what a little competition and encouragement can do! Joke and riddles also work well in keeping the mood upbeat and happy. Write a daily joke or riddle on a white board for some extra smiles or laughs. Let older kids write an encouraging message to younger siblings each day for some additional positivity.

Take the STRESS our of your Morning Routine for School!

A good day starts at home. When kids can’t find their clothes, when breakfast is rushed and “mom time” is non-existent, the rest of our day is negatively impacted. We hope these morning routine tips will help make mornings easier and more positive! Good luck!

How to hack your morning

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You’re sound asleep, possibly telling your boss how you really feel about her new haircut, or trying to dodge glances as you stroll into the office without your pants when, without warning, you’re jarred from your sleep state by your unapologetic alarm clock. And then, as you groggily sit up in bed, you remember that you need to somehow cram 60 minutes of preparations into 30 minutes or risk being late.

Mornings are the worst, no doubt about it. In fact, according to some estimates, only 10% of the world’s population are so-called “morning people,” leaving the vast majority of sleepy-heads in need of practical ways to get out the door when day breaks.

Here are some of the best solutions — both tech-based and IRL — that can help you hack your morning routine.

Waking up in the 21st century

How to hack your morning

We live in a world of connected refrigerators and self-driving cars. So why rely on the old “cold water splash to the face” technique when can use the latest in technology to help wake you up?

1. Use a smart alarm A big reason why mornings are so tough is that we aren’t ready to wake up when our alarms go off. While that may sound obvious, the surprising fact is, there is an optimal time to wake up — and it’s not necessarily after you’ve slept longer. A smart alarm monitors your breathing and movements, allowing it to determine where you are in your sleep cycle, and when — within a given range — you should be woken up. Smart alarms come in a variety of forms, from fitness bands to mobile applications like Smart Alarm Clock.

2. Spotify your morning Listening to music can help you feel energised. That’s why Spotify members have created and shared playlists that can add life to your morning routine. Even better than the jolt of energy you’ll feel when you pull a Risky Business slide into the bathroom, listening to music while you get ready can also keep you on schedule. If you listen to the same playlist every morning, you’ll be able to gauge how far along your routine should be based on the song that’s playing.

3. Make sure you’re prepared There’s nothing worse than being unprepared for a meeting or event on your schedule. Whether it’s a matter of wearing a suit instead of jeans, picking up snacks for your big meeting or simply remembering your gym clothes, make sure you’re using an app like To-Do Prime that can organise your calendar and ensure that you have what you need for the day’s events.

4. Use your shower time productively Some of our best ideas come when we’re in the shower, so use that time to knock out some of your heavy thinking for the day. You can do something as simple as plan out the outfit you’ll wear that day, or get fancy and compose an email you’ve been putting off writing. For the latter, install an app like SpeechTrans Dictation so you can go hands-free and avoid water damage.

Hacking your morning in real life

How to hack your morning

Using a handy app can go a long way for your morning routine, but there are some hacks that need to be done the old-fashioned way.

5. Brush your teeth in the shower Hacking your morning is about erasing or optimising wasted time — and your time in the shower is a perfect example. In between dictating those emails, take two minutes to brush your teeth. You’ll shave a little time off your overall preparation time, and you’ll never be in that awkward situation where you’re halfway out the front door and have to turn around and march back into the bathroom to brush.

6. Set an alarm on your coffee pot There are some apps and coffee machines that will let you brew your coffee remotely, but until they’re more widespread — and less expensive — program your coffee maker to start brewing while you get ready. That way, you can grab your caffeine on your way out.

7. Don’t skip breakfast — shorten it Your morning can truly suffer if you don’t eat the most important meal of the day. But just because you’re pressed for time, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon breakfast altogether. Instead, try out some healthy on-the-go options like breakfast biscuits.

8. WWZD: “What would Zuckerberg do?” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and Silicon Valley bad boy, is famous for dressing simply and consistently. In his words, dressing the same way each day gives him one less decision to make in the morning. While you don’t have to go to work in a hoodie like Zuck does, try to minimise your outfit thinking by laying out the week’s wardrobe on Sunday night.

9. Keep all of your essentials together Think of how much time you waste looking around for your keys, wallet, sunglasses and other essential items. To ensure your exit in the morning is as smooth as possible, get into the habit of putting all of these items in the same place — like a small dish — so you can grab and go with no fuss.

How to hack your morningFace it, whether you are a morning person are not, getting out of bed in the mornings can sometimes be a challenge that it is hard to overcome. As a matter of fact, sometimes getting to sleep in can make your morning makeup routine seem not quite as important as catching a few more minutes of sleep. Luckily, between TrueScience from LifeVantage and a few handy hacks you can follow for putting on your makeup, those extra 20 minutes won’t make much of a difference in how stunning you look when you rush out the door to work.

Start the Night Before

The best way to be prepared for the next morning, especially if you are getting to bed late and know that you are going to hit that snooze more than a few times, is to start preparing the night before. If you use rejuventating products like LifeVantage before you go to bed then you will wake up with clearer, fresher skin, which will make it easier to get out of the house with a modified makeup routine.

Skip the Eyeliner

While you probably think that you look dead without your eyeliner, the truth is you just look natural. Remember, eyeliner takes a while to get just right and if you are in a hurry in the morning, you are apt to mess it up and waste even more time starting over. Instead, try just swiping some mascara over your lashes, if you look tired, and keep the eyeliner for the partying on the weekend.

Lose Some of the Brushes

There is nothing worse on a hectic morning than having to fumble and search for the correct brushes to get your makeup done. As a matter of fact, if you buy makeup products that you can use your hands to apply you will get a lot more done in a much shorter time and be out the door before you know it.

Use Products that do Double Duty

When it comes to being in a hurry in the mornings, buying skin care products and makeup that can do double duty is a must. If you have a moisturizer that will work as a foundation as well, then you are one step closer to being out of the door on time in the mornings. Products that can be used for more than one thing are a great hack to remember when you push that snooze button one too many times and are in a rush to get it done and be gone.

Just Keep It Simple

Unless you are headed out for an elegant night on the town, there is no reason that you should be dolled up in the mornings. If you are suddenly taking an hour to put on your makeup in the mornings or even getting up earlier, you need to simplify. You need to reevaluate your makeup, your makeup routine, and yourself as well. Remember makeup is supposed to look natural, not like you put it on with a paint brush.

These are just a few simple hacks to help you get out the door, makeup ready, on the mornings you just can’t drag yourself out of the bed until the last possible second. Remember, natural is best and following these tips will ensure you look your best without it being way too much.

Ryan Kh is author at LeraBlog. The author’s views are entirely their own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.

  • Cultivating good habits and improving your life.
  • Bringing self discipline to your lifestyle which elevates your self worth.
  • Having a greater control over your life as you put in some life altering rituals such as exercise or meditation.

There are many other such uses but i hope you get the gist. I want to focus on hacking your morning routine so let us dive deeper into that.

  • Get up and freshen up
  • Drink a mason jar full of water with some squeezed lemon while I write down my life visions.
  • Write something – A blog post, an email or simply a journal page.
  • Go for a run and do some yoga.
  • Meditate.
  • Make and have breakfast as I read a book.

How to hack your morning

Let’s get to the real stuff now! If you want to know how to stick to a morning routine and improve your life, implement each of these hacks in your morning routines and see the magic. Let’s get started.

I am not asking you to kiss someone in the morning (which you totally can). In this context, K.I.S.S means “Keep It Simple Silly”. Keep your morning routine simple and let me elaborate on how simple am I talking.

An year ago, I created this perfect morning routine where I got some exercise done, wrote in my gratitude journal, cooked food and all other godly things. I could never keep it up because it was so overwhelming. Every single time I heard a new habit, I decided to pick it up in my morning routine and real soon, it all fell apart.

So I am talking very simple here. If you are struggling to understand which habits should make it to your morning routine, I would suggest you looking into your intentions. If you are not into intentional living, here are a few pointers to help you come up with a few things.

Do a life audit and identify your life pain points i.e. points of concern. Once you know where to focus in life, it becomes easier to redirect your energy towards the right things. So do this life audit, and pick up 3 habits that could make a difference to those pain points.

If there were 3 things that made your life better, what would they be? (3 is the key. No more. No Less.) For me, my 3 things are writing to help me express myself better, reading to gain knowledge and thereby confidence and some mindful yoga and meditation to keep my mind and body in perfect balance.

Keep it simple, doable and realistic. That is the foundation for the success of your morning routine.

How to hack your morning

Make it flexible

You might have had days when you woke up late, had to rush or had an emergency. Just a friendly reminder, you are going to keep having such days in the future. I have had them too and I have not given up on my morning routine no matter what. How was this possible? It was possible because it was flexible.

I can complete my morning routine in 3 hours but I can also do all of that in 45 minutes. Yes, you heard me right! I pull off the 45 minutes routine on the days I wake up late or every Thursday morning when I have to go to work early. Let me tell you how you can make it flexible.

I have a 40 minute yoga routine as well as a 12 minute routine. And, I know quick breakfast recipes and I maintain a manifestation handbook for the days I feel like just reading my gratitude lists and visions lists. I am rigid about following my morning routine but not about how long or how much I do it. Make your routine flexible, have short versions of each ritual in case of emergencies and this way you will be less likely to miss a day.

These first two hacks make up for 80% of my success with morning routines. So if you wanted just 2 takeaways from this article, pick these two! Others add immense value to the success, but these two hacks are the core of it.

Start with the WHY

If you want to incorporate a morning routine in your life, you have to get up early and if you struggle with that, your mornings can be pretty hard. I get it because I have had similar struggles. The best way to start your day is by writing down your visions or goals or intentions or anything that justifies you waking up so early.

I picked up this habit from Amy Landino, one of my all time favorite YouTuber. She writes down her goals every single morning to start her day off with a purpose. I love this concept because it brings meaning into the day and we all want to live meaningful lives at the end of the day.

Design a flow

I cannot talk enough about the importance of the flow in transforming your morning schedule a morning routine. When you design a morning routine, see how one thing flows into the other and if that helps. For example, I drink lemon water and write my goals down and follow it with some writing. The lemon water wakes my mind up, goals give me purpose and I channel it through my words.

If you maintain a harmonious flow in your routine, the schedule will start to feel effortless and thereby become a routine. It feels so natural to do some meditation after yoga, where I stretch my body, open my mind and then read to take in new information. I feed my body and mind together with reading and breakfast and that is one of the other important mind-body balancing technique that I follow.

Seasonal Refresh

There is no one thing suites all type of morning routine in this world. You need to refresh your routines based on seasons. For example, we have summer going on here in India and I try to incorporate running in my mornings. This will get impossible when rain hits in July and I will have to hit refresh to my morning routine.

There are two types of seasonal changes that you will deal with –

  1. Surrounding season change – Based on the atmosphere, temperature or overall outside situation in your surrounding, you will have to make some changes. On winter mornings I enjoy a cup of green tea to start my mornings but in the hot summer lemon water does the job. These are tiny changes which make a difference to my overall mood but don’t make a drastic change in my overall mornings.
  2. Life season change – When you move from one phase to the next in our life, change is inevitable. If you are leaving school and starting with a job, getting married or simply moving to a new neighborhood, changes will come along. When I started with my job, having a heavy breakfast became my routine because I would have lunch later than usual.

Adjusting and adapting to your surrounding is the key for your morning routines. But here is the thing, you should try and modify your routine and not change it every single time. Make small changes as per the season in your life or surroundings. Change is good but if you can incorporate change with consistency, nothing like it!

Morning routines can be a blessing if done with consistency. I hope you start crushing your routines with these tips that have worked for me in staying consistent with my own routine. Let me know your thought or tips below!