The recipe for better Monday Mornings is Sunday. And a little use of red traffic light.

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Monday morning can be normal and calm, it is possible to get to work on time and in good shape. It is possible to spend almost a relaxing morning time with your family. BUT this will not happen by being lucky. You need to orchestrate it.

This is what you can do today (on Sunday) to have better tomorrow 

  • Understand how much sleep you will need and when you will need to get to bed. I do 7.5 hours (X times 1,5 hours slots), and I need to be up by 6am. So I should be in bed sleeping at 10:30. Feels early… but that’s the key ingredient to be on time tomorrow.
  • Put a sticker on your alarm with time you wanted to get up and why so early. I often put my alarm at 5:30, I wake up next morning and I cannot remember what exactly I wanted to do so early. The mind wants more sleep and intentionally forgets. I go back to sleep to wake up in complete chaos as things put for morning are not done. Put a sticker. It helps to get yourself together when mind is still sleeping.
  • Check the weather forecast and prepare what to wear on Sunday (for you and your children). In “Lean in” Sheryl Sandberg refers to a high level executive who was dressing up her children in the evening so the only thing she had to do in the morning was to put them in the car and give them breakfast. It may be too extreme, but I can relate to it. Dressing my 7 year old daughter was by far the biggest morning challenge. First we tried – “you can say no only 3 times”, but it was long and still took time. Then we got into habit of laying out the clothes before going to bed. We take time to discuss at length in the evening; she chooses and then it takes 5 minutes to put them on in the morning. It is also the most time consuming task for me. Often I get up when it is dark and try to leave bedroom quietly as Maks and Nikita are still sleeping. I take whatever first feels right in dark, put it on fast and few hours later discover non-matching tones of tights or something even more dramatic. Now I think of my look in the evening. I think of the day ahead – do I need to look more formal or can I do with less,  I prepare 2 versions of what to wear. Then in the morning I still have a choice but everything is checked in advance.
  • Same for breakfast and school snacks. Think of them on Sunday. I often have good ideas in the evening but when wake up I forget everything and stare at the refrigerator. So I write the idea down or even put the ingredients next to coffee machine to remind me in the morning. I pre-pack the school snacks in the evening and keep them in the refrigerator until morning.
  • Pack the bags in the evening (at least school bags). Saves time and reduces stress in the morning.

Thinking on Sunday is job half done. Reduces stress, but you also need a little pleasure to start the day with smile. Things you should try to do on Monday morning

  • Have a coffee with yourself or your husband (add 15 minutes earlier wake up and thus go to bed 10:15) its best investment of 15 minutes for me so far.. Alternatively do 15 min of yoga – feels great.
  • Put the music on, turn TV/IPAds off. Do not check emails when you are getting yourself and others ready. More focus, less distraction. Eating and dressing up is faster. Emails will wait.
  • Ask your family what they are looking forward to and what the day will look like today. Remind about something exciting that will happen in the evening. Set some positive expectations.

And now the Traffic lights

If you are driving to work you are tired of hearing about traffic. Research shows average person spend 2 weeks of their life waiting for traffic lights to change. Why not use these two weeks for something that is worthy. I use my driving time for myself. I drink coffee (from to go coffee mug), I eat fruits of the breakfast (I shouldn’t eat bread or sandwich as it will get the car dirty, but sometimes I do), I put my make up on (foundation is always at home, rest can be done in the car), I speak with my friends.  40 minutes to get to work I have a few ideas in mind. I get to work fully ready and cheerful – all thanks to red traffic light.

Think on Sunday. Write it down. Bring preparation to the evening and little pleasures into the morning. And use red traffic light to do things

Send me a note if it worked for you. Have a relaxed and enjoyable Monday!

Polina

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