It’s hard to have a good day without a good morning, and it’s hard to have a good morning without setting the stage the night before. Part of what makes mornings so hard is having a wave of responsibilities hit as soon as your eyelids open. The goal for the night before is to make your mornings require little if no mental exertion.
Research shows that humans have a finite capacity to pay attention, meaning that if spending your morning thinking about outfits and food wastes precious resources you’ll need later in the day. So this evening, make sure you take care of the following, to make tomorrow morning go better.
Hate Mondays? This is for you.
Check tomorrow’s forecast, and pick an outfit. Picking an outfit the night before allows time to check the day’s schedule, and dress to exactly fit the day’s demands. This way, you avoid wearing heels on days when you have to walk a lot, and so on. A side benefit of outfit planning is that looking great makes you feel better. No more slovenly days, with missing belts, askew accessories, etc. to make you feel self-conscious. If you have children, push them to have their clothes ready the night before as well.
Set a goal to get out of bed within 2 minutes of the alarm going off. Believe us, it’s better this way. Make sure your sweatin’ clothes are set out, and pick your workout the night before.
Prepare as much of breakfast as you can. Defrost sausage, prepare pancake batter, make sure you have eggs, etc. Preparing breakfast the night before really allows for healthier eating, as well. Cereal and milk is pretty brainless, just like your brain wants things at 7 am.
Whether it’s for you or the kids, get lunch ready the night before. Some stuff will get soggy, and has to wait for sunrise, but chips, fruits, and snacks should be just fine.
Is your car gassed up, and will you need to worry about frosted windows? Here’s a pro tip: set a towel over your windshield the night before to prevent icing.
Tidy the House
A messy house can lead to a stressful morning, even if all the essentials are taken care of. Take ten minutes to clean the kitchen, wash dishes and pick up any messes in living areas.
Mornings can be dark and brooding because we know there are a heap of responsibilities waiting for us outside the door. But we tend to overestimate the weight of our day when we don’t write down the specifics of what we have to do. Get that gloom out of your mind by writing down what you have to do that day the night before. Here’s a hint: only make the list 3-5 items long, identifying the most important things. You’re gaining the perspective you need to face the morning.