We’ve we talked about finding time in your busy morning to do the things that are important to you. We even learned how to use a printable Morning Agenda to stay on track. Today I want you to think about Finding Balance: What You Should Be Doing.
What Should You Be Doing?
During those first few hours of the day, which things should be done and which shouldn’t? It’s an important idea to ponder. So often we get stuck in a rut or a routine and do things because that’s what we’ve always done. We do it without really thinking about whether or not it’s the best use of our time.
It’s Not About Cramming More Things Into Less Time
Making over your morning isn’t about figuring out how to cram more tasks into fewer hours. When you read books and articles on productivity and time management, that’s often the main message and gist of it. While it can help in the short term or for unexpected emergency situations, it isn’t a good long-term strategy for meaningful change. Very soon you’ll hit the limit of how much faster and how much more efficient you can get.
Don’t try to add MORE to your morning
If you want 15 minutes to go over your emails, but you can’t do it without getting up 15 minutes earlier, or shaving 15 minutes off your morning routine by showering faster, getting dressed in record time, and rushing through breakfast. In other words, do it later. Don’t add to your already lengthy list of things that need to get done. You’ll only feel more rushed and stressed if you do.
It’s About Making Smart Choices About Using Your Time
Think about what would be the best use of your time in the morning. Compare your perfect morning with your current morning routine. What aren’t you doing on your ideal morning? If you can start by cutting things out, finding time to do what’s important to you becomes much easier.
Two great ways to find things you can stop doing.
First: look for busy work. This is something you do out of habit that doesn’t necessarily need doing every day. Maybe it’s checking your email first thing in the morning or playing around on Facebook for half an hour while you drink your coffee. If that’s how you choose to spend your time, that’s perfectly fine. But if you’re doing it just because “that’s what I always do” it may be time to rethink it.
Second: Are you doing things for others that they can do themselves? Kids are the perfect example. We start out fixing their breakfast, making their lunch, cleaning up after them, picking out their clothes, and making sure their backpack is packed and ready to do. If they’re moving slow we are even guilty of dressing them way after the age where they can do it themselves. When they are very small, we have to do these things, but it becomes one of those schedule habits that wastes time.
The same goes for things we do for our spouse. Maybe there was a time when you had less to do in the morning and it made sense to take on the majority of morning chores. Did things change and if so, is it time to lighten your load and get help from your partner?
A few small changes may be all it takes to make the time in your busy morning for what’s important to you.