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How To Create Morning And Evening Routines

by Lisa Woodruff

Aug 21, 2015 | Episode 62 | 22:38

Perfecting my morning and evening routines is something I've been doing all my life. I think this stems from a desire to be as productive as possible.

I have been reading a lot lately about the new research that shows anything you can make into a habit no longer causes you to use your decision making power for the day... which means you can get even more done in a day WITHOUT feeling like you made a million decisions.

There also is an element of control in there, too. Whenever I feel like our life is out of control or lacking in structure, I take a look at my morning and evening routines to see what can be tweaked.

This post was written a few years ago when I fully embraced the fact that I need to get UP and "parent" my kids in the morning before school.

The Sunday Basket System came out of the chaos of parenting 2 babies and needing a paper organization routine that would help me make decisions on paper in an organized way.

This week on the podcast, I am going into detail about my morning and evening routines.

Here are 5 steps you can take to create your own morning and evening routines.

1. Determine how much time you have.

Even with waking up at 5:30 on school days, I only have an hour before everyone is out the door for the day. I just don't want to be up earlier than that. I have a LOT to cram in that hour, and I like it that way.

Alternately, I have the WHOLE night from 5-10 to play with, but only want about an hour of scheduled evening tasks. The rest of that time is for whatever we have on the calendar {usually very little} and whatever mood strikes me.

2. Determine your energy levels.

All time is not created equal. I am a morning person, so I LOAD up the tasks in the morning. I leave mindless household chores and fun social media to my evening list.

Task List | Perfecting my morning and evening routines is something I've been doing all my life. I think this stems from a desire to be as productive as possible.

3. Make a master task list.

Sit down with your favorite beverage, favorite pen, and a nice empty piece of paper. List EVERYTHING you want to do, should do or have to do in the morning and evenings.

When I first started doing this, I listed showering, eating... everything.

Looking at your list will help you see why you feel like you can't get it all done... you CAN'T get it all done! There is ALWAYS more we want and have to do than we have time for.

4. Assign tasks.

Now go through that list and estimate how long each task takes. For me, it is 25 minutes to shower and dress, then do my hair and makeup. Five minutes is all it takes to empty the dishwasher. Five minutes to change the laundry. About 15 minutes to do the dishes, etc.

Outsource and delegate tasks. Last year, I realized there was NO WAY I could get Abby to the bus and Joey to school by myself. I have to have Greg get up and be in charge of driving one kiddo. I could do the rest.

Batch tasks. If I did all my tasks everyday, I would have very little time for my job. So, I batch any weekly home tasks I can on Sundays. Sunday is the day I clean, do laundry, get things ready for the kids' school, do my freezer cooking, change the sheets, pay the bills, and go through my Sunday Basket.

I like coming home from church and working on the home for 5 hours straight. You might hate it. But that frees up the other 6 days to just do  a few loads of laundry, dishes, and quick pick up tasks.

5. Review and adapt.

I tweak my routines  a couple of times a year, but really set them the week school is starting. Every year, I try to add a few new tasks to my list.

Here are the 2 tasks I am adding this year.

Adding Tasks | Perfecting my morning and evening routines is something I've been doing all my life. I think this stems from a desire to be as productive as possible.

Morning Addition... MAKE my bed!

This year in the morning, I am adding making my bed. I know, shocker! I don't make my bed. I rarely have, but now that I have done the 100 Day Home Organization Program for several years in a row, my house IS organized and it's usually clean, too!

Before, when there was always something else that needed to be done, I would save those 2 minutes and put them to some other task instead of "wasting them" making a bed no one ever saw.

So this year, instead of being able to get my house ready for company in 15 minutes, I want it ready everyday.

Evening Addition... PICK UP the house.

My kids are teenagers. I feel they should pick up after themselves. Good... now that we've established that, they don't.

And I am sick and tired of beating my head against the wall over the last few things they need to pick up. Added to this is the plethera of doggie toys we have all been buying Hunter and get out for him everyday. There is a good reason this dog isn't chewing up our furniture... he can't find it with all his toys! :)

So, like I said in this post about why I pick up my kids' clothes, I am going to pick up the doggie toys and other messes every night.

This will take about 20 minutes of time I want to devote to something else, but I think I will enjoy the straightened up home more than the extra 20 minutes on Facebook or reading a book. And it will allow all of us a fresh clean home to start making messes in tomorrow.

So, how about you? Do you have a morning and evening routine?