As business owners and moms, we have so many things to do. We have all of our mom things. We have all of our business things. It’s easy to cross over and throw it all on the same to-do list:
- I need to email clients, and I need to do laundry.
- I need to edit, and I need to do dishes.
Personally working from home, no matter what I do, it just feels like all the household things get thrown in there together with my business tasks.
And it is easy to get overwhelmed.
I’m scrolling through Facebook and I see these “Pinterest-perfect” moms who’ve started book-reading plans with their kids for summer, and they’re eating their organic blueberries with their little lit candle and their perfectly lit everything, and I’m just looking around the house thinking, “I don’t think my kids have eaten a veggie or a fruit in like a week.”
I’m comparing my life to what I see on social media and I’m like, “What’s wrong with me that I can’t feed my kid organic blueberries and sit around completing reading plans with them? I can’t even keep up with what I’m doing. My house is wreck.”
Guys, true story right now, my laundry room—this is just to tell you that I don’t have it all together and I’m not perfect at all—literally has so many clean clothes that need to be folded that I literally cannot see any surfaces. The flat table, the surfaces of the laundry machines, are covered in clothes. I feel like I might not be alone there.
Before we go into this and you’re like, “Oh, Tavia has a perfect life, she has it all together.” I want you to know that’s totally not true.
BUT I do feel much less stressed and I’m able to get a lot more things done because of one thing: A MORNING RITUAL!
What is your morning like?
Most of us hit snooze like five times on our alarm,
and then you grab your phone and you scroll through social media
and check some email, and then you realize, oh crap, it’s 7:30 and you have to be out the door by 8.
You hop up and everybody’s frantic and everybody’s mad at each other because you’re running late.
Get some shoes on, get breakfast, grab a banana, and we’re out the door.
So you’re starting your day off frazzled.
I know sometimes our mornings start like that, and they definitely used to always start like that.
You’re starting your day frazzled and stressed out and yelling at your kids because you’re running late.
I’ve totally been there, totally done that.
The one thing that’s helped me avoid all this is having a morning ritual.
I’m going to explain to you exactly what my morning ritual is and why you might want one.
Why Have a Morning Ritual?
When my day starts off well with this morning ritual, my entire day is productive and joyful, which leads to a productive and joyful life.
So having a morning ritual that I stick to—not every single day guys, let me be clear, it’s probably 4 or 5 mornings a week that I do this—has been wonderful.
Let me just tell you about mine and tell you how I do things, and you can pick and choose what you like and what you want to implement.
Just imagine starting your day joyfully. Like, you actually greet your children with smiles because you’ve been up for a second before they get up.
It really, really has changed me, not only as a mom, but also as a business owner. I’m able to get so much more stuff done. This really applies to all mom business owners. You have so much going on that starting your day off well just sets the whole day up for success and allows you to get so much more stuff done. Big names like Oprah and Tony Robbins have tons of blog posts written about morning rituals, so you might have heard this before, but it’s true that really successful people are fans of morning rituals.
There are six parts to my personal morning ritual that I want to share with you guys.
#1: It Starts the Night Before
The first point is that my morning ritual starts the night before. I have learned these things over time, and slowly started to implement them.
- Prepare with food! The night before, I don’t eat sugar. I also set up my coffee maker, because then when my alarm goes off I can smell my coffee. Just thinking about that wonderful morning coffee even makes me excited to go to bed, and I get enough sleep.
- Plan to start tomorrow with a clean slate…or at least a clean kitchen. I don’t know if any of you guys used to follow this girl called FlyLady in like the early 2000s, maybe 2007 or 2008. She would send out emails about how to control cleaning and organizing, back before minimalism was a thing. She always talked about cleaning the kitchen sink and how she would feel better starting her day if her kitchen sink was clean. So every night before bed, she had this ritual of cleaning out her kitchen sink. That’s how this started for me. I realized that if my kitchen is clean, and I wake up and walk in, I just feel like my day can start so much better.
- Prioritize sleep. I have to make sure I’m getting enough sleep. No matter what time you’re setting your alarm, you’re going to have to get to bed at a reasonable time to prioritize sleep. So if I set my alarm for 4:30am (I know, don’t freak out!) then that means I have to be in bed by like 9pm, which I don’t mind because I’m a morning person. You may not be a morning person, but you can set a time that works for your life and still get a solid night’s sleep.
#2: Set Expectations
Another part of setting that routine is I set an expectation for the kids. They can get up at 8:00am.
Now, we homeschool, so we don’t have to be up to actually go to school, so I have the ability to set a later wake-up time for my kids. My daughter who’s young and 4 years old, has one of those toddler lights that lights up green when she’s allowed to get out of bed. My boys have a clock in their room and they’re old enough to tell time. They know they can come out of their rooms at 8:00am. That’s just the phase of life that I’m in. I have kids who are old enough to understand these things and do them. (Back when I had little kids, like babies, this looked a lot different.)
So for me, this is what we do. My kids don’t come out of their rooms until 8am, so that means that I have my morning time to get quite a bit done before they’re up asking for stuff. One of my biggest pet peeves ever, and what will always inevitably start my day terribly, is waking up to, “Mom, mom, can I have a snack?” That’s how I always used to wake up and then I’d start off my day stressed out. Setting expectations for my kids gives me that time I need in the morning to get ready for the day.
#3: Wake Up Early and Create a Small Ritual
Set a time that is realistic for you to get up, but still gives you a little bit of quiet time. My morning ritual is this: I have my coffee, I light a little candle, and I journal for ten minutes. So I just have a small amount of time to myself.
Journaling does not have to mean you spend an hour journaling. For me it’s only ten minutes. I journal about things I’m grateful for, my goals, and ways that I’m hitting those goals. So I just have a quick little journal quiet time and sip on my coffee. Doesn’t that sound glorious? Just saying, it makes me wish it was morning.
I look forward to the mornings because I look forward to these quiet times. So when my alarm goes off at 4:30am, I don’t dread it. I’m like, “Yay!” because I’m really looking forward to that coffee and journaling quiet time, and it truly starts my day off well because I’ve had that “me” time before my kids are up asking for stuff.
It doesn’t have to be coffee and journaling for you. It could be stretching and tea. Or whatever makes you excited to get up. It could be standing outside for a few minutes. It doesn’t have to be what I do, but you want to look forward to that time.
#4: List the Big Three
After I journal, I list out my “big three” for the day. I sit down and look at my schedule and think, “Okay, what do I have coming up today? What are the big three things that I have to get done today? If nothing else gets done, what three things do I have to get done today?”
This helps me prioritize the day, so I don’t get to the end of the day and think, “Oh, I forgot to do X-Y-Z.” They don’t necessarily have to be work-related, just the big things you have to get done that day. Write those things down.
#5: Schedule Those Tasks
Once I have those three things written down, I schedule time in my day to do them. I take those big three things and I block off time in my day for them. So, I’ll say from 7am–8am I’m doing ‘X’ task, and then from 10am–11am I’m doing ‘Y’ task.
Scheduling out when I’m going to actually DO my big three helps me stay focused and get done what I really, really need to get done. Everything else can fill in around your big three.
#6: Do High-Focus Tasks
I do my best thinking in the morning, so anything that has to do with concentration, I do in the morning before my kids get up. Imagine by now it’s about 6am or 6:30am. I now have about an hour and half before my kids are going to be up asking for snacks. 🙂 That’s the time I spend writing or doing things that require a lot of my focus.
When the Morning Ritual is Complete
The last thing is that at 8:00am, when my kids are getting up, I stop working and I go make breakfast with them. It helps me to know there is a designated time I have to do this, so at 8:00am I don’t feel bad stopping work to eat breakfast with my kids. It helps us make a connection at the start of their day, and I’ve already gotten some things done in the morning and a plan down for the rest of the day.
You have to own your morning ritual. It has to be a time that inspires you, that breeds productivity. We aren’t all the same, and some rituals may speak more to you than others.
Other things you might want to incorporate in your personal morning ritual could be:
- Having coffee or tea
I know it feels overwhelming, but I promise if you take one or two things and slowly start to implement them, even if it’s just on two or three days a week, I think you’ll really start to see some advantages in your life. Feel free to comment and share what your favorite morning rituals are!