5 Habits that Streamlined My Life
The feeling of rushing out the door at 5am and realizing halfway to work that I forgot something on the counter is one that I and I'm sure many others know all too well. Not only is this morning rush exhausting and anxiety provoking, but it can be very expensive. If you forget your lunch, that's money you'll have to spend on takeout. If you forgot your phone charger, you might have to pick one up or hope someone has a spare. Additionally, it could give people the idea that you're unreliable or irresponsible. That surge of stress first thing in the morning will inevitably affect your confidence and overall mental health. Here's the 5 habits I found really help me get through my mornings:
1. Put a checklist ON your door.
Take a sheet of paper and some sharpies, and list the items you will need no matter what every single day. You shouldn't be able to leave your house/apartment without this list staring you in the face.
2. Have a Pending Place.
This is a hack that my ADHD coach taught me last year. For me, this is the (typical) chair in the living room that was meant for reading. Instead of having clutter spread throughout your space, put anything and everything that you absolutely cannot find the energy to deal with right now and pile it up. It won't disrupt your morning because you know everything that's there is there for a reason. Additionally, while you're putting stuff there, you can pick out what you'll still need and put it into it's....
3. I have yet to purchase a label maker but if you have one, use it! Right now, go through this list and give everything a designated spot! Make sure these are all where you need them before you go to bed tonight.
- Phone and Phone Charger
- Lunch and water-bottle
- Work shoes
- Paperwork/Binders (if necessary).
4. Use ONE bag.
I think 80% of the times I have failed to bring something, the reason has been that I switched the bag I was using a day or two prior. I can't stand purses, I hate how they feel and I don't love their look either. I have one backpack that looks good enough to wear to any daytime activity and is big enough for me to fit everything I need to go to work. Make a multi functional bag or backpack your next investment.
5. Put your alarm clock on the OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM.
This is made the biggest difference of all. If I had failed to do everything else, this one change would've still helped me. I used to sleep through 3-5 alarms during my episodes of depression or overwhelming anxiety. I finally went out and got a little twin bell alarm clock and I now put it next to my coffee maker before bed (the coffee aroma softens the blow a little bit 😁). If you ignore everything else on this list, do this. As someone who gets up at 3:45am to go to work, I can say you will feel better and your mornings will go much more smoothly.