Morning Routine Makeover

I need to make some changes to my day. When I am intentional about how I spend my time, my whole family benefits, and I feel better for being more productive. But it takes effort.

My readers know I'm working hard to get serious about writing. (Read about my new ventures here and here.) I may be a stay-at-home-mom, but I'm also a writer and sometimes a teacher. If I'm going to be successful, I must be intentional about it. To be intentional about life, I must prioritize my day.
For me, I need to start my day by completing the most important tasks first. It's eating the frog, you know. If you have to eat a frog, do it first to get the disgusting task out of the way. Then you can go on to other, more pleasurable, tasks during the rest of the day.

Night Planning

I'm still trying to figure out what my stressors are in the morning so I can better prepare the evening before. I keep sticky notes on my nightstand so I can make a list of all the things I need to do the next day. Though I still use my weekly to-do list, I've surprised myself; I never expected to be a daily to-do list girl, but maybe I am. However, it takes quiet for me to write an effective list of all that needs to be done. I can't do that in the morning. 

Two Hours

In my morning makeover, I've decided to make sure I devote two full hours to other tasks before I even open the computer (for writing, email, blogging, whatever...). If I'm at at 5 a.m. but linger groggily in bed till six, that's a wasted hour. I count my time from the time I get up and out of bed in the morning (though beginning my day with the Bible is certainly important). Before breakfast, I start the first load of laundry of the day. After breakfast, I'll unload the dishwasher. Ideally, I'll tidy up the kitchen and check the meal plan for the evening. I will also shower and possibly fold laundry and plan out the remainder of the day. Usually I have time to read or play with Little Sister before my two hours are up. Other days we're out the door and running errands early on.

Quite honestly, once the children are out of school (this week!), I will likely extend the time I don't use the computer to three or more hours. In our home, mornings are our time for fun and housework. Afternoons are often spent relaxing in bedrooms (at least for the children).

As one who likes to linger in bed, I find this really working to get me moving in the mornings. Though I sometimes sleep in a bit on weekends, during the week my husband is up at 4:30 and my alarm goes off at 6:15. I'm usually awake long before my alarm goes off...but not out of bed. The two-hour goal motivates me to get moving in the morning. I suspect once school lets out, I will still be awake by 5:30 or 6, and I want to use my mornings wisely.

Quiet Time

I know some people can get up in the morning and have hours of quiet time to themselves before interrupted by children (or pets). However, as soon as I open (or close) my door, turn on my light, or attempt to do anything, my early riser children join me.

About a month ago I tried to come downstairs early to write. By early, I mean about 5 a.m. Within a ten minutes one child had joined me. After another two or three minutes, another child came downstairs all before 5:15 a.m. I was more than a little disappointed but not surprised. Little Sister, age 3, has hawk-like hearing and the third step from the bottom squeaks! With all that said, if I'm up early, I do my best to read the Bible on my Kindle (under the covers...just in case she sees the light) or take a shower.

Even with no lights or sounds, often a child comes in my bedroom before six...


I truly believe being intentional with my mornings will affect the rest of my day for the better. I've noticed a difference already.

A friend of my sent me a message telling me about Crystal Paine's new 14-day course called (affiliate link) Make Over Your Mornings. It includes both a workbook and video. After buying her book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode (linked to mini-review) last year and really enjoying it, I knew I wanted to hear Crystal's perspective on mornings. I've already been encouraged and motivated to make changes in just a few lessons. Better than that, just three days into the course (at the time of this writing), I'm seeing differences in my attitude and habits.

I bought the course. After the first day's reading and watching of the lesson, I decided to become an affiliate of the course. (This means if you purchase the course through one of my links, I earn a percentage at no cost to you.) I relate to the reading and videos and can recommend it based on all I've seen. 
I don't expect everyone to need the course, but I do. And summer is the perfect time for me to make serious changes. 

What does your morning routine look like? What's is your biggest recommendation to stay productive during the day (and don't say coffee)?  I look forward to hearing from you all!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I earn a small percentage at no cost to you. Thank you!
~ Annette
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  1. How have you liked the course? I've seen lots of people promoting it, but wasn't quite sure.

    1. I DO like it. I'm only a week in now, but it continues to speak to my heart and my needs.

  2. I really like this, Annette:) Cool post!

  3. I'm still getting over the fact that you or anyone can wake up at 5 a.m. . . . :D

    Glad to hear that this course is working for you! Discipline is definitely key to feeling productive.


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