A Simple Evening Routine For Chilled Out Mornings (yes, even with kids!)
Let's be realistic - no matter what you have to do or whatever time you have to get there by, mornings can be chaotic when you're trying to get the kids ready and out the door on time.
Yet some people make it look so easy, don't they?
They arrive at the school drop-off/day-care/workplace looking like they are totally chill. They aren’t raising their voices, or rushing their children along and they are calm and relaxed.
Oh, and they also look put together! As if they actually considered what they were going to wear today and have matching accessories and their hair and makeup is all done.
Now let’s be clear here - it’s not the ‘look’ that’s important to me (but hey that would also be nice right?). It’s the calm, relaxed nature of 'them' (and their children) that I craved.
So when my productivity was dipping and I was starting the day frazzled and unmotivated, I immediately thought that I needed to fix my mornings…to get one of those ‘morning routine thingies going.’ And I did. And it’s great.
But, the real game changer to a calmer, more organized, chilled out morning (yes, even when you have kids) is to establish a solid Evening Routine.
So, if you're looking for a sure-fire way to get rid of the morning chaos and not be a frazzled, rushing mess, then you've come to the right place.
The following 5 steps are simple to set up and implement. Better yet, the payoff is life-changing and makes for a calmer, happier and more productive mama:
1) List It All Out
Write out every single thing that you need to do/pack/organize for the mornings.
The more detail and the more you itemize each task, the better.
Think about all the meals for the next day that need preparing, all the bags, outfits, shoes etc and all the people (including yourself of course) that need organizing.
2) Highlight Absolutely Everything That Can Be Done The Night Before
Yes, the key here is to reduce your morning 'to-do' list to as little as possible.
It doesn't matter whether you work inside or outside of the home, or if you aren't even going anywhere in a hurry - establishing a solid evening routine will still have enormous benefits for you and will help your day be more productive from the get-go.
- Prepare lunches & drinks
- Layout your own outfit (including shoes & accessories)
- Layout the kid's outfits (including shoes)
- Pack bags
- Pack the car
- Check supplies for tomorrow nights dinner (& defrost meat if needed)
- Write a shopping list
- Wash and dry your hair
3) Create Your Evening Checklist
Now, on the evening checklist you will list out everything from step 2 above. You will also add your basic night tasks, for example:
- A general tidy-up of your home
- Get a load of laundry ready to go for first thing in the morning
- Load &/or empty dishwasher
- Wipe down kitchen benches and tidy kitchen
- Check milk ,bread and coffee supplies for breakfast
- Clear out the car
- Your self-care routine, etc.
You might already know about the benefits of time-blocking, but if not, check out The Miracle of Time Blocking. It's a game-changer!
When I first started committing to my evening routine, I allocated an hour per night to get my checklist done. Now, most nights this is down to 20 minutes and I generally start just after dinner, when the kids are occupied with something.
I grab my checklist and get it done without any other distractions of Netflix, the couch, my phone, social media etc.
Once you've worked your way through the list, reward yourself with relaxation time and/or time to work on your big goals!
5) Top 3 priorities for tomorrow
Lastly, review your planner for the following day and write down your top 3 things to get done tomorrow.
This will clear your mind of them for tonight and you will wake up ready to focus on them in the morning.
Some nights it's tough, and you really just want to sit down and mooch on the couch after the dinner rush - but the payoff of going to bed feeling calm, organized and on-top of everything is priceless.
Better yet, there will be no rushing around in the morning or making a mad dash for supplies.
You will wake up with a clear focus of what needs doing and the confidence that you have built in some 'room for error' should the wheels fall off during the morning - which, let's face it - they often do! I mean seriously, how hard is it to find a matching pair of little shoes in the mornings when you're about to leave the house!?