Kick-start your day into action – my tips on staying ahead of the game!

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I am not a morning person, sure I wake up in time to get ready and catch my early train but anything else, NO!  I have made my morning regime as pain free as possible by implementing seven rules which I will share below.

1. Plan your journey ahead of time by checking your door to door route online. Do not take the train/bus that will allow you to arrive with five minutes to spare. Always, always allow for delays. Looking and feeling flustered for a meeting or appointment will not put you in a good light.

2. Select your outfit the night before – from underwear to shoes (yes, I am being that specific!)  Lay it out in a spare room or hang outside your wardrobe.

3. Select your handbag and ensure your purse, diary, travel ticket, mirror, umbrella and other items are packed in it.

4. Have a last minute look at your appointments. Are you required to bring any documentation?

5. If you wish to make calls or send emails on your commute, bring the necessary contact details. I use my commute and lunchtime to read the bible, other books, to send emails and make calls. I rarely make or take calls during weekday evenings as this time is dedicated to my family.

6. If you have young children, hang out their clothes, shoes, school bag (ensure homework and reading books are inside) the night before.  Lay out their breakfast utensils.

7. Take out your evening meal unless you have a cook (aren’t you fortunate!) or plan on eating out.

What takes ten minutes at night will take you far longer in the morning. Whether it is because stress levels are higher or you are more likely to feel pressured, I believe this to be true.

Do you agree?

How do you plan from the night before?

Do your family support you on this?

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40 thoughts on “Kick-start your day into action – my tips on staying ahead of the game!”

  1. I love your tips Phoenicia, Great Tips!
    ‘Always allow for delays’ – Noted!
    I do not prepared for delays. I have to now after reading your post.
    Less stress and pressure. Thank you x

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  2. I usually have a to do list for things that I want to do the next day. I also make my lunch for work the night before.

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  3. Number 1 is my downfall! I always underestimate time for the unexpected. I figure 5 minutes to spare is 5 minutes I could have been doing something else, which means I’m always running late because I don’t want to “waste” time. I know it’s ridiculous! 🙂

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    1. Meredith – I have on occasion “filled” the last ten minutes at work with a task that takes longer. Result – leaving slightly later to complete it or frustration at having to leave something undone.

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  4. These are great tips, I know I could use a plan, especially when I leave for a trip. I am constantly forgetting something, or being forced to head back (because I thought I forgot to turn something off). Thank you for sharing these with us.

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  5. It’s so true,”What takes 10 minutes at night takes so much longer in the morning”. I’ve never understood why that is. Every time I think, “oh I’ll just do that in the morning, it’ll take a minute” That, one minute turns into sixty.

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  6. First let me say your tips are great Phoenicia and I already follow many of them – especially ending my day by setting up the next day – and couldn’t agree more with the value of this habit! That said, I confess I am a morning person. In fact I don’t recall the last time I used an alarm clock because I normally wake up at 4am (or earlier) regardless of what time zone I happen to be in at the time. Always been that way so I guess it’s a good thing I do my best work in the morning. 🙂

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  7. I am a late planner actually who settles things at the eleventh hour although I tried changing this habit in vain. However I finish my assignments the previous night, I make sure that I use my time in a productive manner.
    Careful planning, managing time etc can help a lot in this regard.

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  8. I always packed my book bag for the classroom the night before. My brain just doesn’t work well enough in the mornings to make sure I take all I need with me. Now that I work from home, I make a point to clear my desk at the end of the day to avoid letting tidying-up tasks carry over into the next day.

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  9. Hi Phoenica – I am an early riser but I like to sit back and mellow out for an hour or so before getting started on the day.
    When I was working, I did things the way you listed, except when all our boys were still at home, I made up a menu for the month and then bought the ingredients in one shopping trip.
    My husband was home so he did the cooking but knowing ahead of time what to cook saved a lot of hassle – and a lot of money since I built the menu around sale items.
    Great tips.

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  10. When I used to get up early and commute to work I was an automaton in the morning. I had a fixed routine that involved making coffee, feeding the dog and letting him out, showering and getting dressed. I did everything the same way at the same time every morning and if there was any variation I was lost.

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    1. Ken – I do not like chaos of any kind. Of course, I still have to deal with situations that are beyond my control, but for the most part, I am in the driving seat.

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  11. I am NOT a morning person. So I do plan ahead. I take out what I am going to wear the next day. Always check the weather so I don’t have to worry about that either in the morning. I also have my breakfast dishes on the table ready to go, my list for the day. I also give plenty of time to get to my destination as being late makes me nuts

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  12. I don’t have any kids which I imagine makes it easiIer to get out the door in the morning. I will say that I am the type of person who is always early. It drives me crazy that people become shocked when there is a delay. I live in Los Angeles where you can get stuck in a traffic jam at 3am, so it really shouldn’t surprise anyone.

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  13. Excellent tips! I AM a morning person, but believe it or not I was accustomed to having my outfit layed out and my appointments scheduled just so I could have my alone time in the quiet of the morning:) That quiet time has always been essential to my day:)

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  14. Good tips. I don’t have the morning pressures or commutes anymore, but when I did, we planned our week’s dinner menus in advance (and considered our evening schedule to know when we needed a quick meal) and I usually liked to have my week’s wardrobe at least clear in my mind, although I didn’t get as detailed as you do with underwear, etc. On very busy days, getting a slow cooker ready the night before with all the ingredient in the crock and put in the fridge, ready to take out and plug in the slow cooker the next morning was a quite time-saver and stress-reducer.

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  15. Why is it that some things at least SEEM to take longer in the morning than at night? And we’ve been empty nesters for almost a couple of decades. My biggest thing to do the night before is to make sure I have a to-do list – and I still write it on paper.

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  16. Yes, such good tips. Of course tip #6 is the trickiest one! I was a single mom for quite a few years and when my children were a factor in my being on time I really had to be organized and firm.

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