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‘The best morning routines always begin the night before’

Updated: May 20, 2023

I read something the other month, which said that ‘the best morning routines always begin the night before.’

It struck me as a life hack that I probably already knew…but had almost certainly forgotten. That is, if my less-than-productive evenings at the time were anything to go by!

During this particular ‘I’ll wash up in the morning!’ era, the mornings were, quite understandably… chaos.

The quicksand of the previous evening’s slothful choices would, invariably, always put paid to ANY hope of rising and shining, by more or less guaranteeing each new day began on the back foot.

Never was this more clearly evidenced, than by the bitter pill of stress, lateness and forgotten stuff that I found myself swallowing on the regular, and at the expense of the breakfast that time never seemed to quite allow for.

After reading this quote, I diligently committed to cleaning up my evening act.

It involved, but was not limited to…

Never leaving the washing up

Always loading the dishwasher, or unloading as the case may be.

Completing an obligatory toy sweep!

The unsurprisingly benefit, was that the mornings became…well, morning-like again.

Maybe it was because those fresh coffee aromas had a fighting chance at percolating into my sleepy subconscious, now that the leftover spagbol was out of the equation?

It might have also had something to with the clean surfaces.

The absence of clutter, and NOT needing to rummage through everything to find something.

The sheer ‘to hand-ness’ of everything, which I have since re-learnt, is both necessary and important to the morning readiness process. Not just for getting all those lunch-box shaped ducks in a row, but for allowing me to leave the house relatively calm and unruffled, with time to spare.

Thanks to this new washing-up-before-bed routine, through which overwhelm has found something of an exit valve, the morning mayhem now looms considerably less.

Don’t get me wrong, it still takes a good, solid hour of silence to recover from the cat herding cacaphony that is the hours between 6.30 and 8.30am, but the experience at the time, feels significantly less like it might sink me.

As much as the overhaul has proved worth it - for this reason alone - making the evenings an extension of the mornings has not been without its challenges.

When every fibre of your being is ready for bed, finding the motivation to don the old Marigolds, hang out the clothes and polish the shoes demands serious amounts of ‘digging deep.’

The gain of this pain, however, has proved to be much more than the sum of stress saved and minutes gained.

It's the breakfast that time now allows for.

The confidence from the clothes that were pre-decided upon, and laid out thoughtfully the night before.

The absence of guilt, from the prevalence of calm.

It's this nuanced bigger picture, that shows the healing salve of NOT being a sofa sloth, is one more complex than the fact my mornings now (thankfully) look significantly less like the ‘we slept in!’ scene from Home Alone!

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