Routines for Starting Your Day

Content Updated October 3, 2007

Whether you wake up at 5:00 AM or 11:00 PM to start your day, you should have a “morning” routine to help you start your day off organized.

Eat a healthy breakfast. (Don’t forget to feed the kids too.)

Don’t skip this! Breakfast boosts your metabolism, gives you energy to get through the day, allows you to think better, and keeps you from nibbling on unhealthy snacks. (I like to eat breakfast in my pajamas.) Don’t forget your vitamins and medication.

Watch or listen to the news or read the newspaper (from your doorstep or online).

You don’t need to read the editorials or watch the special about how to train your dog. Just get the weather (so you’ll know how to dress), traffic (if you’re going somewhere), and headlines (so you know what’s going on in the world, especially important if you have children in school or actually see other adults at work, so you can talk about the topics with them). If you watch or listen to the news, do it during breakfast (multitasking). If you read the news, just skip to the good stuff and leave the rest for your coffee break.

Get dressed and cleaned up.

Even if you stay home all day and don’t see another human being, you must get dressed and cleaned up soon after you wake up. If you prefer to take showers in the morning, do that as well. Pajamas are for relaxing, so when you wear them, you tend to get lazy. When you switch to clothes that you would actually wear in public, you suddenly feel energized. The same goes for brushing your hair and teeth, washing your face, and so forth. When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you have more energy. Plus, if you do need to see another human being, you won’t need to worry about how you look.

Check your messages.

Whether you get your messages by email, voicemail, or both, go through them and find out what others have to say. Don’t call or email anyone back just yet. When checking your email, immediately delete anything that looks like spam or something you wouldn’t want to read. Items that you may want to read later but don’t necessarily affect your to-do list should be left for later. Don’t get sidetracked with web surfing, video games, and so forth (put those items on your to-do list for later). Just do your email, and get off the computer (or go to your daily planner program). Whether you check your email or your voicemail, don’t forget to write down important information as you get it, so you can quickly refer to it without having to check your messages again.

Get out your daily planner.

Look at what’s on your to-do list, what appointments you need to go to, birthdays you need to send cards for, and so forth. Schedule out your day to ensure that all necessary tasks get done. Glance at your appointments for the week, so you don’t forget about them. If you have difficulty tracking time (like I do) make sure you set alarm clocks and timers to let you know when it’s time to finish one project and start another. If you are frequently on your computer, try downloading an alarm clock program to keep you from losing track of time.

Do your morning chores.

  • Feed your pets, and give them fresh water. Take them out for a nature call if necessary. Clean litter boxes, beds, and so forth. You don’t want the poor things to suffer if, heaven forbid, you don’t make home at the end of the day for whatever reason.
  • Water your plants. I highly suggest installing a soaker hose irrigation and / or sprinkler system with a programmable timer. (Avoid watering in the evening because the water may sit too long causing fungal problems and disease.) As you water your plants, pinch off spent blooms, pull out weeds, and treat for pests and diseases.
  • If you have a washer and dryer, throw a load of laundry in the washer (you can throw it in the dryer when you come home from work or after you complete other tasks). If you hang your clothes to dry, throw them in the washer at night and hang them in the morning.
  • Put clean dishes away (from your dishwasher or drainer…you did wash them last night before you went to bed, right?). Put your dirty breakfast dishes in the dishwasher or wash them quickly by hand.
  • Straighten up your living room, or any other location unexpected visitors may see or locations you spend much of your time in. It’s nice to know that things aren’t a mess when guests arrive, and it’s even nicer to come home to a room you can relax in without having to think about chores that need to be done.
  • Make your bed. I admit that I don’t make my bed every day. In fact, I have gone years at a time without making my bed in the morning, but it’s a habit I try to keep now because it makes the room seem so much more relaxing and inviting, and there’s nothing quite like going to sleep in a nicely made bed.