Brought To You By Emily Parks
Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
Helping You Make Every Minute Matter!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Get Clear For The New Year Week #4: Organize Your Morning Routine and "Drop Zone"

 As we talk about steps you can take now to make the new year your best thus far, empowering you with the optimal tools to drive your desired workflow results, it is important to address how your days start and end. Whether you are a morning person or night owl, your productivity depends on a proper foundation, which comes from your morning and evening routines. Take these steps to minimize the madness so you are ready on time and your exit each day is much less stressful:

- End today with tomorrow in mind… Each night, check the next day’s schedule to plan what you’ll need for all activities. Verify the weather forecast and lay out your clothes for the day as well as any accessories you’ll be wearing. Think through what you will eat for breakfast so you aren’t scrambling for something to eat. Go ahead and prepare the next day’s lunch; likewise, if you often forget to grab your pre-made lunch from the fridge, leave yourself a “remember lunch” note on the door or by your keys. Have a set place near the door for any items you’ll need to grab as you’re headed out the door, like your keys, work files and purse / wallet / backpack; plus, keep a morning checklist by the door to verify you have all that you need. Make sure you have gas in your vehicle. Finally, finish your evening with a tablespoon of unsweetened almond butter, which will ensure you don’t awake groggy from low blood sugar.

- Remove unnecessary actions from your morning routine… When the goal is getting out the door, it is important to stay focused, but it is easy to get distracted. Can unloading the dishwasher wait until after work? Can you absorb the morning’s news on your commute to the office instead of in the morning news on TV? For some, these actions are necessary to start the day off on the right foot; however, for others, they are simply distractions that lead to tardiness in getting out the door. Determine in with of those groups you fall and act accordingly.

- Streamline your processes for getting ready each day… Choose a hairstyle that is easy to maintain. Choose a breakfast that is easy to prepare and can be replicated each morning. Choose wrinkle-free clothing. Look at each element of your morning routine, and determine what can be simplified. Doing more without thinking makes the whole process better.

- Make the most of every available minute… Set your alarm clock to go off 15 minutes earlier than necessary to give yourself a buffer in your morning preparations. Get up and moving soon after you awake to open your lungs for more oxygen, which helps our brains and bodies function properly; I use the 7 Minute Workout app, and you might want to give it a try, too. Start your day by drinking a tall, cold glass of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, which boosts energy, promotes good digestion, encourages your immune system’s functioning, detoxifies the liver, helps you lose weight, encourages better skin and kicks off your day hydrated. Break each element of your morning routine into a “zone” so supplies for each action are grouped together and located in the area where they will be needed, like tools for getting dressed, tools for prepping your face or applying your make-up, tools for preparing your coffee and tools for making your breakfast. Further, use music to motivate your desired behaviors.

With a little planning, preparation and routine-building, it can be easier and less stressful to get out of your home. quickly moving on to your day’s activities. Still, one of the most powerful tools for organizing your morning routine might be the aforementioned place near the door set aside for any items you’ll need to grab as you’re headed back out the door. This is known as your “drop zone” and is where you drop off those items when you arrive home so you can quickly locate them when you are ready to leave. Normally, this includes your keys, work files and purse, wallet or backpack; however, anything you bring home that will be needed when you leave should be left in this “drop zone” so you aren’t frantically searching in the morning.

ASSIGNMENT: Visit to see a video related to this blog post; then, this week, review your evening routine to make sure you are properly preparing for the next day, establish your “drop zone”, starting to develop a habit for using it, remove unnecessary actions from your morning routine, streamline your processes for getting ready each day and see how you can make even more out of every available minute in your morning routine. Do you need to awake earlier? Are you moving around soon after awaking? Could you add the cold glass of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to your morning routine? Are you utilizing music?!?

Leave a comment below with what’s working best for you. What is your nightly routine? What is your morning routine? How have you simplified either to make it more helpful?

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