On Tuesday, I posted about my personal goals for 2017. Goal #4 was to complete a monthly focus. For January, I have chosen my mornings.
I think I’ve mentioned before that my old morning routine is no longer working out as well… The new puppy has added in a whole new set of tasks and requirements. And I wanted to re-think it, and re-work it to fit my life now… Of course, as she always seems to do, just when I needed some inspiration on the topic, Cait Flanders posted about her slow morning routine that she is working on for January.
Unlike Cait, however, I am not trying to slow down my mornings… As much as I would love to… I’m more interested in making sure that I get the important tasks completed. I already naturally have very slow mornings… If I make a cup of tea, I sometimes just sit and drink it staring out the window… And that is fine, if it fits in to the timeline of getting to work on time.
So, what do my mornings need?
Bare-bones, I need to get ready for work: shower, get dressed, eat breakfast & pack up my lunch. I also need to walk the dog and get him packed up for his day, if he is going to doggy daycare, or eventually get the house prepped for him to stay home (if we ever end up doing this). If he’s going to doggy daycare, a morning walk isn’t totally necessary because he will get lots of exercise playing with the dogs, but I’d like to get in the habit of doing it so that I am prepared for leaving him at home alone once we can trust him there…
Ideally, I would like to include fitness for myself. Maybe a run a couple times a week. But does this fit with walking the dog? He isn’t really a “running” dog… but we could see if he is interested in learning to run? Although, I’ve been told that running isn’t good for Bernese Mountain Dogs because of their genetic inclination for joint problems… So, for now I will keep that separate.
I would love if I could get some blogging time in the mornings too, but maybe not every morning? Or maybe some reading?
Now that I’ve gone over what needs to get done in the morning, I need to figure out how I can make this all fit in to the time before work… If I get up at 5:30 am and have the goal of being at work before 9 am, that “should” give me about 3 hours at home in the morning to do my morning routine (leave the house by 8:30 am at the latest). But what if I have a late night because of a special occasion (or a late soccer practice/game). I think getting enough sleep is probably more important than completing all my morning tasks. I need to have a pared down routine for those days so that I know exactly what I must do. If I remove the decision making, I should prevent the stalls in the morning that waste time.
Okay, so I need a realistic idea of how long things take me.
Waking Up: 10-15 minutes.
I need to give myself a few minutes in the morning to just wake up… I’m not exactly a morning person… I don’t jump out of bed at the sound of my alarm raring to go. Maybe this means hitting the snooze button once, or petting the dog, or just sitting…
Fitness: 30 minutes to 1 hour.
If I go for a run, it’ll be an hour. Even if it is a short run, getting ready, stretching afterwards… It just takes an hour… If I do yoga, or another fitness challenge, it can be as short as 30 minutes. I have to make sure that if I want to do this uninterrupted, I need to get the dog out to do his business in the backyard first.
Shower & Dress: 15 to 30 minutes.
Realistically, I should just assume 30 minutes all the time. I have a really hard time getting out of the nice warm and steamy shower once I’m in there… Maybe when our renovations are complete, and the bathroom has a nice heated tile floor, it won’t be as much of an unpleasant shock to get out of the shower… But this has always been a problem for me. As a teenager, my mum used to have an egg-timer in the bathroom that she would turn on to make sure I didn’t take too long of a shower… As much as I hate to admit that something my mum did was right… Maybe I need to get a timer for myself in the shower.
Breakfast & Tea: 15 to 30 minutes.
If I prep breakfast the night before, then it should be really quick to warm up / toast. Boiling the kettle for tea is quick and easy. And I can multitask at this point in the kitchen by getting my lunch kit put together. (If you’ve seen my habit tracker, my lunch is supposed to be made the night before, but assembling the kit with things from inside & outside the fridge is done in the morning.) I also need to feed the animals their breakfasts at this point.
Walk the Dog: 15 to 30 minutes.
If I just go around the block or through the park out back, it can be quick, but I should work on getting it to be as long as I can if I’m going to have him stay home all day. Don’t want a hyper dog alone in the house…
Pack Up Stuff: 10 to 15 minutes.
Even if everything is ready to go, assembling things and making sure I haven’t forgotten anything for the day always takes a bit of time.
So far, this is totaling up to:
- 10-15 (waking up)
- 30-60 (fitness workout)
- 15-30 (shower & dress)
- 15-30 (breakfast & tea)
- 15-30 (dog walk)
- 10-15 (pack up stuff for the day)
- TOTAL: 95-180
At the maximum, this is 3 hours… so theoretically I should be able to do this using the maximum amount of time for each task from 5:30 to 8:30 in the morning.
I was thinking that, in order to make it easy for myself, I should lay out all the options of what my mornings would look like, but that gets really complicated, really fast… Am I going for a run? Or doing yoga? Or having a rest from fitness? Am I taking the dog for a walk? Or not? Was it a late night last night? Do I need to sleep in a bit so that I can function? You can see that it would get out of hand very quickly… I decided to take a few of the options that are on the extremes, so I would have an idea of what the limits are for me getting ready in the morning.
So, working backwards, the deadline to leave the house is 8:30 am. Let’s continue working backwards… That means that I need to be packing up to go at 8:15 am. So, at the very latest, I should be taking the dog for a walk at 8:00 am, but preferably by 7:45 am. (unless I’m not taking him for a walk…) Then, ideally, I’d be making and eating breakfast at 7:15 am so that I have time to sit down and enjoy it. 7:30 am for a quick breakfast (or just packing a breakfast to go). Or as late as 8:00 am if I’m not taking the dog for a walk. Which means that I need to be in the shower by 6:45 am, or 7:00 am at the latest. (but if I’m not taking the dog for a walk, it could be as late as 7:45 am) So, if I’m doing a full run, I need to be ready to go by 5:45 am or 6:00 am. If I’m doing only a small workout, then it could be started as late as 6:30 am. Or I guess as late as 7:15 am if I’m not walking the dog. Which then provides me with a wake-up time anywhere from 5:30 am to 7:00 am if I am doing some kind of workout, or as late as 7:30 am if no workout is done.
Was that method too crazy? I’m bonkers, I know…
But, the end result from all that craziness is that I have this wonderful spread in my bullet journal that I can refer to for deadlines any morning, while providing myself with a bit of flexibility and also the knowledge that this was planned and not just thrown together off the top of my head.
Do you have a morning routine that you follow each morning? Am I crazy for putting this together for myself?