The alarm clock rings out.
You groan and hit the snooze button. You might then repeat this action 3 more times before you finally get up.
Then you trudge through your morning routine. Grab a quick breakfast, get dressed, and do your best to brush your teeth. You’ll comb the hair in your car on the way to work. A quick check to make sure you don’t smell bad.
By 10am, you might finally feel awake.
You’re managing your alarm clock if you can identify with this short scenario, but you aren’t using the alarm to conquer your morning routine. Here’s what you can do to take charge of your day every morning, starting when the alarm clock sounds.
#1. Give yourself an extra 15 minutes.
Set your alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier than normal. This will help you get a head start to your day without really robbing you of needed sleep. The small change is also easier to implement immediately.
#2. Have your schedule ready to review.
Many delays in the morning routine happen because of anxiety about what will happen during the day. People start thinking about what needs to get done and worry about missing something. Keep a daily schedule next to the bed so you can review it immediately upon waking up. This will let you know what to expect.
#3. Keep moving.
When people get tired, their first inclination is to sit back down. If you do this in the morning, it can be very difficult to get back up again. Resist the urge to check Facebook for a couple of minutes. Keep moving and you’ll feel like you have more time available to you in your morning routine.
#4. Put your alarm clock away from your bed.
If you aren’t using a sunrise alarm, then move your alarm clock away from your bed. This will force you to get up and moving to shut it off. Even if you sit in bed for a couple of minutes before getting up, that’s still better than hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep for another 9 minutes.
#5. Complete each task before going to the next one.
When your alarm clock rings out, get up and shut it off. That’s your first task. Now move to your second task. Maybe you brush your hair or break out the toothbrush. Get it done. Then move to your next task. If you begin to rush from task to task, it can feel like you’re not accomplishing anything. That is a feeling which can last with you throughout the entire day.
#6. Follow up.
Keep notes about your routine from the moment your alarm goes off. See what you did well and what could be improved. Be completely honest with yourself in this feedback. That will allow you to keep making the adjustments that are necessary to conquer your routine.
Here are 8 more ways to improve your morning routine from LifeHack to implement as well.
Any combination of these tips can help you have productive mornings on a consistent basis. Maximize your time, be there in each task, and make each moment meaningful. This will help you conquer your morning… and the rest of your day.