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By: John Adams, author of Dadbloguk.com, LinkedIn Changemaker, and dad of two young daughters
Posted on: Jun 30, 2020

Tips for Making Your Morning Routine Run Smoothly

As in many households, my wife and I have been homeschooling our children and working from home for the past few months. It’s been a demanding time, but it’s proven to me the importance of a good morning routine.

In fact, our morning routine has just become even more complicated. Our eldest daughter is in a priority school year so she has returned to school four days a week. This means we’re having to home-school one child, get one child ready for school, do the school runs AND keep up with the day job! Without a good morning routine, this would be very hard.

Here are my suggestions for making the morning go smoothly.

Prepare What You Can the Evening Before

For my children, especially Helen who is now back at school, I check that they have the clothes they need. I make sure we know where their shoes are, school bags, lunch boxes and so on. It can spell disaster if, at 8.30am, you discover a school shoe is missing or that a lunch box has been misplaced.

For myself, I always prepare a ‘to do’ list for the following day. I just like to have my priorities set out so I know what have to do.

Ensure You Have Clean Cutlery and Crockery for Breakfast (and Food!)

Following on from the above, there is little worse than sitting the children down for breakfast, only to find the dishwasher was not put on the night before and there are no clean plates, cups or bowls. Make sure you have enough clean kitchenware.

Also, make sure you have basics like bread and milk. It’s easier to pop out to the convenience store the night before to get these things that doing it first thing in the morning when you’re trying to persuade children to get washed and dressed at the same time.

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Either Ban Screen Time or Keep It to a Minimum

Before lockdown, we absolutely forbade the children from having any screen time first thing in the morning. As my wife and I have to work and the children are waking up earlier during the summer months, we’ve become a little more flexible about this. Even so, we limit screen time and keep it to a minimum.

It’s easy to let children log on to a console and play a game. Getting them off the console, however, can take along time indeed. In my experience, screens are probably the biggest source of disagreements in the family home and you just don’t need that first thing in the morning.

Do Some Exercise in the Morning

I can’t tell you we manage this every day, but I have noticed that when we do exercise as a family early in the morning, the day gets off to a much better start. You get your metabolism going, your heart rate gets up and you feel much better. It’s also a great group activity and a good way to keep family ties strong.

Get Washed and Dressed First Thing

Since lockdown started, I have noticed a lot of people joking about wearing their nightclothes well into the afternoon. People seem to think that because they aren’t travelling into an office or workplace, they don’t need to make the effort. I don’t think it sets you up for the day ahead so I would always recommend getting washed and dressed as soon as you wake up.

Drink Water

I find it is always best to get hydrated at the start of the day. When you are caught up in the madness of organising the kids’ breakfast or dealing with messages from schoolteachers, it can be easy to forget. Start the day with a large glass of water and things go much better.

Other Sources of Information and Concluding Thoughts

If you want other ideas for getting the day off to a good start, take a look on the Inc website. The Zapier blog also provides some great suggestions.

I think I can summarise all of these points by saying that they key to a good morning routine is to think about your health and well-being. A little preparation, avoiding distractions like screens, and some exercise will take you a long way.