I’m a sucker for a routine, particularly AM ones. Eat the frog, exercise before breakfast, meditate in the dark, optimal smoothie fruit to protein ratio… I’ve read and tried most.
Yet, I still don’t ACTUALLY get what I want to get done. I’m the queen of intention setting. Present Maria has the utmost confidence that Future Maria will act differently — Future Maria has the follow through that Present Maria lacks.
I have figured out how to better set up Future Maria for success, and that starts in the evening.
Timebox my calendar
Does this thought resonate?“Hmm, of course I’ll have time to do that task that takes 3 hours in the 30 minute space between meetings!”
Yes? You’re like me. Now, I do two things:
- My To Do list are Calendar Events — whenever I have a new task, I add it immediately into my calendar as a hold event.
- At the end of the day, I review all tasks and adjust the time it will take to complete and then assign it to a time slot to accomplish it.
Now, each day is chock full of tasks that I can actually accomplish.
Clean the Kitchen
I hate waking up to a messy kitchen. Is it the mess that bothers me or is it that it provides me with the excuse not to start working? Probably both. When I clean the kitchen at night, I remove the excuse to not get started on what I want to do.
Set up Coffee Supplies
I love coffee. Like, I really, REALLY love coffee. I started doing pour overs when I lived in my tiny NYC apartment where I could have a toaster or a Coffee Maker and, well, bagels, so I chose the toaster.
But, nothing is more frustrating in the morning discovering that you are out of coffee or filters, the kettle isn’t filled, etc. So, I do a spot check in the evenings, and lay out all the stuff I need to just go.
Choose your Clothes
I wore a uniform at different points of my life (which I hated then), but now we all know it’s the tech bros norm to wear black shirts and a uniform to reduce “decision fatigue”. As douchey as those guys are, they’re not wholly wrong.
So, I choose my day clothes and workout clothes the night before. I also find this helps with actually wearing what is in my wardrobe. I’m not a big clothes shopper in the first place, but I definitely have the core 3–5 shirts I wear the most. This forces me to choose different options.
Try a few out and let me know how it goes.
Do you have other evening actions that set you up for success in the morning? Let me know in the comments!