With no office to drive to and no kids to see off to school, it was easy to hang out in my PJs with a cup of coffee, distracted by everything, but accomplishing nothing.
Before I knew it, it was noon and the dirty dishes were still in the sink and the laundry was still undone. I needed to leave the house to run errands, but wasn’t even dressed yet.
It’s a self-defeating cycle. The more chores pile up, the harder it is to tackle them. The longer you sit around in your PJs the less you feel like changing. The more you sit in front of that computer, TV or e-reader, the harder it is to tear yourself away. Starting the morning wrong leads to an unproductive day.
The key to a productive day is a productive morning. When I started doing these five tasks before noon as part of my morning routine, I was motivated to do even more. If you struggle with mornings and productivity, you don’t have to anymore.
Five Simple Things to do Before Noon for More Motivation
1. Eat Breakfast – You can’t get anything done if you don’t fuel your body. You feed your kids. Make sure you feed yourself too. A breakfast high in protein or rich with fiber will give you a better start than a sugary one.
2. Meet with God – Take time for morning devotions. Read the Bible and pray. Encouragement and spiritual refreshment gives you peace of mind to get through the day.
Don’t let little ones stop you. You don’t have to go into a prayer closet. Put on a cartoon, and sit next to them. It’s good for them to see you taking time with God.
You can have daily devotions emailed to you along with a link to the scripture online. You can download a Bible app on your phone or your e-reader and take it with you to the park. It doesn’t matter how you do it. Just do it.
3. Exercise – Besides taking car of you body, exercise energizes you and gets you moving. The easiest, cheapest form of exercise with little ones is walking. Throw them in the stroller and hit the sidewalk. After a brisk walk you’ll feel good, and won’t want to sit on the couch anymore. Exercise is also great for mental health, and can even counter-act a poor night’s sleep.
4. Get Dressed – It doesn’t have to be fancy. I don’t even think you need make-up or perfectly coiffed hair, but take the time to put on something besides your PJs. Wearing your PJs doesn’t do anything but make you want to go back to bed. I would add shower to this list, but I know from personal experience if you have little ones you many not be able to shower until afternoon nap time. You can at least put on a pair of yoga pants in the meantime.
5. Clean Something – Nothing is more unmotivating than a backlog of housework. Wash the dishes, start the washing machine, scrub the toilet. Checking one or two quick chores off your to-do list will make you feel like you accomplished something. You might even find motivation to do more. If nothing else, you got it out of the way, so you don’t have to worry about it the rest of the day. Also, spreading chores out by doing a few everyday keeps your house looking good, and makes housework a lot more tolerable.
Extra Credit – For a smooth evening, plan dinner in the morning as well. You’ll know if you need to run to the store for a missing ingredient, start something in the crock pot or have time to thaw out the meat.
Most of these activities shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. The important part is just that you did them. If want to take more time and can, then do. Also, I know kids in the house mean constant interruption. That’s why I give myself until noon to finish all the tasks. I play Legos and wipe butts in between. Maybe noon doesn’t work for you. If 10 am or 1 pm is better, fine. What really matters is that you have a deadline to work toward.
Sometimes you need a down day. Once in awhile it’s OK to break from this routine, and spend the day in your PJs watching movies. Sometimes the kids are sick, and there’s no way you can stick to regular schedule. Sometimes you have somewhere to go in the morning. Believe me, this doesn’t happen for me 365 days a year either, but the days it does happen are productive days. They can be for you too!
What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to getting motivated in the morning?