I am fairly organized by nature but I am still always looking for ways to streamline and improve how I do things, especially when it comes to maximizing my mornings. Therefore, last year I went through Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Mornings online course. And, I am so glad that I did because it was transformative.
Now, I am a morning person by nature, and like to get up early, but I don’t always use the time as well as I could. For me, this means that I sometimes have to let some things go, and it is usually my writing time and my exercise time. I just know that if I don’t get them in first thing in the morning, they won’t get done. This is especially true during the school year because I home school my son. Well, on day two of the course, I was reminded that:
The Mornings Start the Evening Before
She suggests developing an evening routine that contains 3-5 non-negotiable things that you want to do to set up your mornings for success.
I started implementing this strategy and it has made a world of difference! By creating a simple, and quick, evening routine I am now more centered, focused, and productive in the mornings, especially in the time before my son wakes up. I am getting my stretching/exercising done almost every day. I am writing almost every day. If I over-sleep or can’t accomplish my morning routine (things happen after all), I now give myself grace instead of mentally beating myself up for not accomplishing my goals. This tip has definitely become my absolute favorite tip for productive mornings!
Then a couple of months ago, Crystal came out with a Make Over Your Evenings course. Because I am an affiliate, I received a complimentary copy of the course but I didn’t think I needed it so I put it aside. I really didn’t think I would get much out of course. However, I started falling back into old habits in the evening and realized that I probably could glean a thing or two out of the course.
Well, I was right. I discovered the “stop doing list!” Crystal got this idea from the author, Alli Worthington. With the stop doing list, you write down “a list of items you intentionally decide not to do so you can focus your time and energy on your greatest priorities.”
I coupled this list with my new time management system and it was an eye opener. There were things on my schedule that just didn’t need to be there. Sure, I was making time for those things but I wasn’t doing them for the right reasons. Thus, by creating my stop doing list, I was able to further scale down my schedule and make room for things that really matter to me and my family and make my mornings even more productive.
Don’t get the wrong idea. It isn’t perfect and I am still a work in progress but that’s okay. I will keep plugging along, revamping as needed. This leads me to one more revelation that I had through this course. I need to learn to be for flexible. I am definitely a woman of habit and it is too easy for me to stay stuck because of stubbornness or unwillingness to let go. Tell me it isn’t just me! LOL! So, I guess I will be working on this too. 🙂
I highly recommend you to create your own evening routine and stop doing list in a way that will set you up for success. It may take a little time in the beginning to decide what you want your routine will look like or how you want to set your priorities but I promise you, it will be worth it. And don’t over think it. Your evening routine can be something simple such as setting your clothes out the night before or preparing your writing area.
If you want some help setting up your routine or creating your own stop doing list, I encourage you to sign up for Crystal’s Make Over Your Mornings or Make Over Your Evenings online course. I promise you, you will not regret it. If you aren’t sure if the course is right for you, Crystal has made the first day of the Mornings course available for free and you can read my review of the Make Over Your Mornings course on my personal website.
(In case you are wondering, each course is $17 but, believe me, well worth the price!)
Tweetable: Two Tips for Productive Mornings
(Post contains affiliate links, see my disclosure policy for details)