Say No to Miserable Monday Mornings

And I mean really say no. Say no to the tears, the tantrums, the frustration, the sinking feeling that the rest of your week is going to pan out in the same chaotic way. Just no.  You have to say no because your mood in the morning is going to reflect on your mood for the rest of your day. Say no because your bad mood is setting yourself up for failure.

Did you just catch what I wrote back there? Your mood in the morning is going to reflect on your mood for the rest of your day. So there is a way to turn things around if you want to avoid that downward spiral, even if your morning didn’t start off as smoothly as you’d hoped. (You can read more about how to cope with a late start here.) It’s just a matter of making some small adjustments to your morning routine. (If you don’t have a morning routine that might be part of the issue, which is why you should read this post here.)

I’m not a morning person either so trying to get back into the swing of things after the relaxation and freedom of the weekend is especially a challenge for me. However, since changing my alarm in the morning from a blaring alert to an upbeat song, I’ve found my mood improve dramatically from the moment I open my eyes. Giving up on the snooze button helped as well, as did my habit of setting myself multiple alarms. Now when I hear that song go off in the morning, I know it means business and I have no choice but to wake up. (Click here if bedtime is an issue for you too.)

Making bleary-eyed decisions stresses me out so I try to do as much as I can the night before to help my grumpy morning self: pack my bag, choose an outfit- anything that can help simplify my morning routine. Keeping things streamlined in my home doesn’t hurt either- I’ve made all of my accessories and toiletries easily accessible and I’ve been in the process of creating a drop zone to help me get out the door quickly. If you wake up and find your mind racing, you may want to include meditation, yoga, stretching, or journal-writing into your morning routine to clear your mind and get you motivated.

You also may want to consider what your schedule looks like Monday morning; I once had a client who took that time off to do his weekly review to get a clear picture of what the week ahead looked like. (In some ways it makes more sense than a Friday, no?)

More than anything, though, I’ve found that a change in my attitude has been key in making my mondays a little more manageable. I’ve tried to let go of the little things that used to freak me out (like having a bad hair day) and put things into perspective. At the end of the week, a lot of what I worried about Monday morning has already been accomplished. Why would I bum myself out about the things that I needed to get done before I actually had an opportunity to do them?

So when Monday morning comes around, I try to do myself a favor and take everything in stride: all my tasks will get done in a (probably) timely fashion by the end of the week, and all my little frustrations will (most likely) be gone by then as well. I changed my perspective, which changed my mood, and it kind of changed my Monday mornings. I hope it changes yours as well.

Do you have your own strategy for waking up Monday mornings? Tell us your secret to becoming a morning person- comment below or email me at keepingbusywithb@gmail.com and I may feature your advice in an upcoming article!

How to Salvage Your Morning When You’re Running Late

KBB_coffee_beans

$@#! happens. Even the most organized and prepared people (moi included) will on occasion find themselves having a hard time getting out the door in the morning. You know the kind of morning I’m talking about- your alarm doesn’t go off, there’s something wrong with your shower head, you find a stain on your favorite shirt.

Been there. Done that.

Let’s talk defense first. If you’re not a morning person, you may want to check out this post on how I survive my mornings (because, let’s face it, I’m not one either). Ditto if you’ve got kids, or you’re just generally a very busy person. An organized morning routine is one of the best ways to prevent the nightmare I’ve outlined above.

But sometimes, life gets in the way and even good organization can’t help us. Starting the morning off badly can set the tone for the rest of the day, so it’s important to have a good strategy to divert any crises and save your morning from complete ruin. Here are some of the practices that I use during my own crazy mornings.

Call ahead and admit you’re running late. Whether you’re running behind to get to a shift at work, or an appointment, equipping other people with the knowledge you’re running late gives them a opportunity to take action- either to cover for you until you arrive, or to rearrange their own schedules accordingly.

It can be hard to admit that we’ve made a mistake, and yes, your co-workers might be irritated with you, but they’re going to be a whole lot more irritated when you waltz in the door twenty minutes after their shift was supposed to end with no noticed or explanation from you. Believe me when I say it’s worth the hassle (plus you may be surprised at how much more accommodating people can be when you’re just honest with them).

Calling ahead also gives you the opportunity to give colleagues or staff the information they need to continue their work without you. It allows them to get on with their own lives, lets you off the hook until you’re able to make it in, and lessens the impact that your late arrival will have on the rest of everyone else’s day.

Once you’ve made the necessary arrangements, take a quick look at your schedule to see what other meetings and appointments might be affected by your late start. Giving people as much notice when rescheduling or cancelling appointments is not only professional, but also kind, and makes up somewhat for the inconvenience.

Lastly (and I know this is a hard one)- try not to panic. When you’re feeling rushed and frantic you are prone to make mistakes or forget things, which slows you down. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when nothing is going your way, but personally once I let people know I’m going to be late and rearrange the day’s schedule accordingly, I try to stop looking at the clock. Once you’re late, you’re late and no amount of clock-watching or teeth-grinding is going to make a difference.

Time has this funny way of continuing to march through our days without us. It’s important to pause, and find your moment to jump back in on the upbeat. If your timing is right, then I’m confident you’ll get your groove back and restore some of natural rhythm back to your day.

KBwB-BFlower-50

I want to hear about your worst morning ever. No, seriously. Was there ever a time when you were horribly, inexcusably late for work? I once was stuck on a subway for two hours with no cell phone reception on the way to an appointment across town. I still have visions of the look on the secretary’s face. Comment below or drop me a line at keepingbusywithb@gmail.com if you’re just too embarrassed to share.

How to Get Out the Door in the Morning and Feel Good About Your Day!

KBB_coffee_beans_with_spoon

Mornings are not my friend. From the moment my eyelids flutter open, I’m calculating the number of steps it will take until the first sip of coffee passes my lips. (Yes, I realize that this qualifies as a caffeine addiction.) But the bed is so warm, and my dog is so cuddly, and yes, I realize I’m full of excuses about why mornings suck but I’m here to tell you that it really is possible to get out the door and feel good about your day. If I can do it, you can too!

First of all, the real key to making over your morning routine is to be realistic about the amount of time you need in order to get ready. I don’t care if that means timing yourself from the moment you get out of bed to the moment you walk into work. If you don’t plan ahead and allow yourself enough time you’ll never get out the door feeling relaxed and good about your day.

If you’re super organized like I pretend to be then your awesome organizational skills will also save you time during that morning rush. Making sure that the bathroom is fully stocked with toiletries and having an ample supply of fresh socks, underwear and pantyhose at hand can make getting ready more of a pleasure and less of a chore. If you depend on public transit to get to work, it’s always a good idea to stash your bus pass/tokens/tickets or an arsenal of change for fare in a place that’s convenient and ideally on your way out the door. For those who drive, a car that’s stocked and ready with emergency supplies can be a lifesaver for those days when you’re rushing, and a full tank of gas and pre-programmed GPS can contribute to a smoother commute.

For those who aren’t morning people, consider ways in which you might save time in the morning by switching tasks to your evening routine. I usually check the weather the night before to plan my outfit in advance, and prep my coffee and breakfast dishes so I don’t have to stumble around blindly to find them in the morning. People who find themselves rushing and skipping breakfast may want to keep an arsenal of nutritious snacks or meals on hand that are easy to grab to take with you. Those who find themselves really struggling in the mornings may wish to reconsider their morning routine altogether by showering at night before bed instead of first thing the next day.

Even if you are a morning person, I’ve always believed in packing your bag the night before. If you have multiple jobs or divide your time among multiple clients, you may want to keep a checklist nearby of the materials required for each job to make packing easier.

And if you’re super, super smart you’ll have somewhat of an emergency kit stashed away in your desk at work, in the trunk of your car, or on a shelf of your mudroom so you can grab it as you go out the door. Think of it as your terrible morning toolbox. I’ve got one that I keep in a toiletry bag at work that has feminine products, an extra pair of the disposable contacts that I wear, bobby pins and hair elastics, breath mints, lip balm, hand lotion and a granola bar in case I hit an energy slump.

They’re no substitute for an espresso but hopefully by implementing at least one of these ideas into your morning routine, it’ll give you the injection of energy needed to get out your door and feel good about your day, no caffeine needed.

KBwB-BFlower-50Have you adapted one of these ideas into your morning routine? Is there anything that I’ve missed that you think I should try? Tell me your secrets at keepingbusywithb@gmail.com or share with the rest of us by commenting below.

Looking for other ways to jazz up your routine? I’ve got advice on how to start here, how to break down big projects here, and how to change up how you do your errands here.