Mornings at my house go like this:
- Think about how the radio is super annoying. Hit snooze.
- Repeat Step #1 until I can smell the danger of being late to work.
- Get up and throw on a sweatshirt (0r whatever I need to become “decent”) and wait for Dexter to get dressed and comb his hair. Sometimes I remember to put some water on to boil for tea. Sometimes I stand there stupidly.
- Take the dogs out.
- Feed the dogs.
- Stand around and wait for my water to finish boiling, if I remembered to start it. Pour it on the tea leaves in a mason jar. Set the timer for 4 minutes.
- Freak out about how I don’t have any clean clothes, and if I did, I still wouldn’t have anything cute or appropriate to wear to work.
- Get half-dressed.
- Run downstairs to shut off the tea timer.
- Realize that my tea strainer is dirty, so make a MacGyver tea strainer with cheesecloth. Strain the tea into the teapot.
- Finish getting dressed.
- Brush my hair. Maybe use some dry shampoo if it’s been awhile. (That stuff is amazing.)
- Put on make-up. (Or grab it so I can put it on at work in the bathroom next to the high school girls. My favorite thing to do. Or realize I left it in the car yesterday and that Dexter has already left for work. Then scrounge around for some old B-Team makeup.)
- Grab the lunch the I hopefully prepared last night out of the fridge. Grab fruit for snacks. Pour tea in a travel mug. Pour the rest of the tea in a thermos. Throw my crap in a bag or two.
- Walk or get a ride to work.
Sound relaxing? No, I don’t think so either. I HATE how leaving the house like this in the morning makes me feel. I get to work just barely on time, I’m frazzled through first period (which, luckily, I co-teach), and I’m hungry until 3rd period when I have a chance to eat.
The writer of Zen Habits values his morning routine. It starts at 4:30 and is two hours long. This seems a little ambitious to me since I didn’t pull myself out of bed until 6:35 this morning even though my husband needed to leave for work at 6:45. This type of extensive morning routine might work out eventually, but I’m all about baby steps, whether we’re talking about debt or having productive mornings.
Oh Amanda seems to have a morning routine that involves walking, listening to an audiobook or podcast, Bible reading and journaling, blogging, and maybe some housework before her kids wake up. This seems a little more down-to-earth to me, but it’s still a lot to accomplish in the morning.
No matter what plan I come up with, there’s still going to be the issue that I have to drag my butt out of bed wake up early. I’ve tried lots of things throughout my life to help me wake up early.
- A super loud alarm. (Yeah, I can still turn that off and go back to sleep.)
- A super loud alarm across the room. (I may or may not be willing to lie down on the floor next to it so that I can keep turning it off.)
- A motivating Bible verse on my nightstand. (Doesn’t help if you don’t open your eyes to read it.)
- Dogs who jump on the bed and hog all the covers and space so it’s really uncomfortable to stay in bed. (I have no problem yelling “OFF!” and falling back asleep every 90 seconds.)
- A dog who poops on the bedroom floor in the morning. (Okay, so this one does it. However, I dislike the ambient poop smell that my bedroom now has and the fact that I’m going to have to deep clean my carpet to get rid of it.)
See my dilemma? I know that what has the highest chance of working is going to bed earlier. (Do you hear that round of applause? That’s my husband.) I have a problem getting to bed early. I often realize, right before bed, that we are going to have a washer full of mildew-stanky clothes if I don’t put them in the dryer right now and that there are clothes that need to be folded in the dryer. It makes me really mad when people throw unfolded clothes in a laundry basket and stick said laundry basket on top of my chest freezer because a) my clothes are wrinkly, b) I can’t find my clothes, and c) I say lots of bad words when I need to get a loaf of bread out of the freezer. So I decide to heat up the dryer, fold the laundry, put the wet laundry in the dryer, and heck, it’ll only take a minute, put another load of laundry in the washer (which I will forget about until tomorrow night at 9:45), and put away the clothes.
There’s just something about putting a load of laundry in or running the dishwasher right before bed. It’s like magic! I’m sleeping, but my stuff is getting cleaned! Maybe my fascination with that magical feeling is the nicotine causing my addiction to late-night cleaning sprees. (And by late night, I mean 10:00. Not late night like Letterman is over.)
Since my poor bedtime routine hinges upon my poor organization which hinges on my lack of daily preparation in the morning…I feel like I’m trapped in a vicious cycle of disorganized laziness and perfectionist workaholism. And that’s not good for anybody.
I think that daily routines will help solve this problem. Not just a morning routine or a bedtime routine , but a daily routine (which can even help you sleep better). This isn’t to say that I must do the same thing every day. However, if I develop the habit of doing my laundry right when I get home from work or during commercials on Thursday nights, I won’t be scrambling around my house before bed and making myself sleep in every morning.
Do you have a routine that helps your day go smoothly? I’d love to hear your tips!