No one wakes up in the morning and thinks “I want to have a really terrible day today.” Yet many of us don’t do the little things necessary to start our days off right.
Here are six little things you can do to set your day up for success.
1. Pack your bag
Pack your work or school bag before you go to bed at night. Make sure everything you need is in there and set it in the same place, next to your keys. This keeps you from running around in the mornings trying to gather up your stuff (likely forgetting things) or trying to find your keys.
2. Choose your clothes
I’m not necessarily telling you to lay out your outfit like you did in elementary school, but go ahead and do that if it works for you. I just walk into my closet right before bed and visually choose what I’m going to wear the next day. This keeps me from having schedule-killing wardrobe crises in the mornings.
3. Plan your meals
You have to eat every day. In fact, you should eat three meals (and some snacks) every day. Planning this in advance will make your week go a lot more smoothly.
I typically do all of my grocery shopping on Sunday morning. Then, as soon as I get home from the grocery store, I prep my breakfasts and lunches for the week. This means all I need to do each day is remember to grab my food. I’ve made it a habit of putting my lunch in my bag as I’m eating my breakfast. I don’t snack during the day, but, if I did, I also would pack snacks then.
Not planning your meals adds chaos to your days. You also tend to make unhealthy food choices or not eat at all, zapping your energy, if you don’t plan your meals.
4. Make a realistic to do list
End each day by making and/or reviewing your to do list and appointments for the next day. Be realistic about what you can accomplish in a single day. Move things around, if necessary. This allows you to start your day by taking action on important things instead of letting email and other non-critical tasks rule your mornings.
5. Get up on time
Set your alarm for the time when you really need to wake up, then get out of bed when it sounds. Notice that I didn’t say get up early? I love my bed just as much as the next person. Trust me, I’m not getting up any earlier than absolutely necessary. But, when it’s time to get up, you have to do it! Getting up on time will keep you from starting your day in a rush.
6. Complete your routine
Getting up on time means giving yourself the time you need to complete your morning routine. For me, this means taking a shower, brushing my teeth, putting on my make-up, and getting dressed. And, of course, I drink coffee as I do these things.
Your routine probably is so ingrained in you that you can do it without much thought. The important thing to remember is not to do other things while you’re completing your routine. Get it done and move on!
7. Fill you car up
Everything you’ve done so far to make your day a success will be for not if you go to drive to work (or wherever) just to discover that your gas tank is empty. Never go home when your car needs gas. No matter how much you don’t want to stop and fill up, do it anyway. The morning never is a convenient time to have to make a stop.
8. Eat your frog
Once you get to work, do what Brian Tracy, author of Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, encourages and “eat that frog.” This means you should do the biggest, most important task on your list first. That way, if you get nothing else done, you still feel accomplished at the end of the day.
Not every day will be a perfect day, but doing these six things will set your day up for success.
How do you set your day up for success?