How to simplify your life – your morning and evening routine
In this day and age, life can be hectic at times. With family, work and social commitments constantly vying for your time it’s no wonder that we sometimes feel that life is spiralling out of control. And it’s sad when that happens in the longer term because you can’t enjoy life when you’re whizzing through it like a whirlwind.
I’ll be the first to admit that I get a kick out of rushing around doing things. An adrenaline rush I suppose. But often it’s counter-productive. Often I’m in a hurry because I haven’t planned the day’s events well enough, or I’ve simply taken too much on. I find that after one day of fast-paced running about, I’m exhausted – so the next day I get very little done. Not a very balanced way to operate!
So, the advantage of making life simpler for me is that I can slow down, enjoy my surroundings, have more time for friends and family and still achieve my business goals. To achieve this I’m looking critically at my daily routine, and how this can be simplified to free up more time and help on this quest. Why not join me?
Tip 1: If you want a successful daily routine, start the night before
It’s true. The last hour or so before you go to bed is critical for making life easier. If you don’t want to wake up tomorrow morning to dishes that need doing, pet areas that need cleaning out, a dining table that needs clearing, shirts that need ironing etc – then you must find time to do those things the night before. Make it your aim to leave your home in a state you will be happy to wake up to. Then you won’t start the day feeling overwhelmed. Also, it helps to put out the clothes you’ll be wearing the next morning (see Tip 4).
Tip 2: Start a bedtime notebook
We all have times we can’t sleep. Often it’s because we’re thinking about all of the things we need to achieve the next day. Get a notebook next to the bed. On one page write down anything that pops into your head. Whatever it is - thoughts, things to do, people who’ve wronged you and what you’re going to do about it – write it down. You can’t possibly sleep with this stuff making a noise between your ears. Then on the facing page write down the one thing that you’d like to achieve tomorrow above anything else. Just one thing that will make a big difference in your life. It’s a great way of getting focused (as you sleep) on achieving something positive.
Tip 3: Get to bed at a reasonable time
I don’t know your body clock but you do. You know how many hours’ sleep you need to function well during the day, so turn this into a regular routine. Whether you need to read, or listen to a CD or radio to help you fall into a deep slumber, give yourself a wind-down time about half an hour before you want to be asleep. If you have a family, explain what you’re doing and why. You’ll need their support to put it into practice - particularly if this is a completely new habit for you.
Tip 4: Set the alarm and get straight out of bed when it goes off
A battle for most of us I suspect? I’ve tried putting my alarm clock at the other side of the room but I still get up and turn it off and go back to bed. So now I don’t bother. I’ve realised that the alarm is only one part of the jigsaw. The important thing is to establish a waking up routine that is so ingrained as a habit that you do it subconsciously and quickly. And the aim of the routine is to make you forget the warm embraces of your bed as quickly as possible after you get up.
Alarm goes off. Walk to bathroom closing bedroom door behind you and taking the clothes you put out the night before with you. (Do whatever is necessary - ahem). Brush teeth. Get dressed. Make coffee. Sit down in the lounge or kitchen.
Then you can think about things like breakfast, or packing children off to school, or even starting your first priority task of the day – the one from your bedtime notebook. So, not only is your life simpler, but you’ve also started the day with purpose and focus.