At the beginning of 2019, I made a New Year’s resolution to be more efficient with my time. As the year quickly comes to an end, I have been reflecting on this and realizing what’s made the most difference throughout the year. 

Recently, another FFL Cabinet Member wrote 3 Ways To Take Back Your Sundays, which highlighted tips from Laura Vanderkam to help make your Sundays feel less stressful. Laura Vanderkam is an author and expert on productivity. She also has a podcast called the Before Breakfast Podcast, where she gives simple tips on how to make the most of your time, cut down on stress, and leave time for the things that are important to you. 

One of the things Vanderkam spends a lot of time talking about is using the time you have in the morning wisely, instead of groggily making your coffee, packing your purse and rushing out the door to sit in traffic. She gives tons of ideas for how this can be accomplished. Here are 3 ways you can take back your mornings. 

Wake up with your first alarm

Most people love to set several alarms, or hit snooze three or four times, before finally dragging themselves out of bed. If you’re anything like me, you set your first alarm for 6:15 a.m. and your last alarm for 7 a.m.. Tonight before you go to bed, shut off all those extra alarms. In fact, only set your latest alarm. Seem counterintuitive? Sometimes it just isn’t possible to wake up at 6 a.m. but if you know that you always wake up with your last alarm, instead of your first one, try setting only your last alarm. When you set multiple alarms, you end up getting 5 minute intervals of very light sleep, when you could be getting 30-45 minutes of uninterrupted sleep instead. You’ll still be waking up at the same time as usual, but you’ll be more well-rested. In fact, you’ll be able to accomplish more in your day without a nap! 

Prep for your morning the night before

I can’t even count the number of mornings where I rummaged through my clean laundry basket looking for something to wear, or arrived at work only to realize that I had left my wallet or work notes sitting on the kitchen counter. Slow your morning pace down by prepping before you go to bed. If you don’t already pick your outfits out the night before, now is a great time to start. Take a quick look on your phone to see what the weather will be like the next day. Put together exactly what you want to wear, all the way down to the underwear, jewelry and shade of lipstick. This can save you tons of time and stress. It also prevents those instances where you finally found an outfit you love and then walk out the front door only to realize it’s raining and you have to change your shoes. You can take this a step further by packing your backpack or purse, and prepping your breakfast the night before. Think through your daily schedule. Put any class or work notes, tampons, chapstick, your wallet, a phone charger, and anything else you might need into your purse and set your purse by the front door. Pre-make breakfast muffins, pancakes, or anything else that you can freeze or refrigerate over the weekends. Then, on weekdays, all you have to do is warm your breakfast up and head out the door. 

RELATED: 6 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Mondays

Do something for yourself in the morning

Just because it’s a weekday doesn’t mean the whole morning has to be spent rushing around getting ready for work or school. Carve out 10-20 minutes every weekday morning to do something for yourself. Whether that’s a Bible devotional, practicing an instrument or language, reading a book, or making notes for yourself for the day, give yourself some time to just focus on you, before the business of the day takes over. 

All it takes is a few subtle changes to your routine to start taking back your mornings and having an altogether more productive, peaceful and accomplished day. 

Georgia G

Georgia Gallagher graduated from the University of Alabama in the summer of 2019 where she majored in Journalism and Political Science. She is currently working as a Cast Member at  Walt Disney World in Florida. In her free time she can be found advocating for pro-life policies and working with single or low-income mothers. She often says that her planner is second only to her Bible and she’s never caught without a cup of coffee in her hand.