Want to win your day? Here’s a non-magical way that may seem boring and sensible…yet that works: Do a little preparation in advance.
I was thinking about this recently after talking with a friend. We got onto the topic of breakfast and mornings and getting the day off to a good start…rather than feeling rushed and behind the 8-ball from the get go (“Crap! What’s for breakfast? Is everyone dressed? We’ve got to leave now!!!”). The key? Taking time the night before to do a bit of advance preparation.
Over the past few months, I’ve started making smoothies and setting out breakfast dishes the night before — this has been HUGE. My friend makes breakfast sandwiches or pancakes in advance and then the next morning, she heats and serves them. Less time to get breakfast on the table + one less decision to make in the morning (which saves brain power!). FOR THE WIN.
This got me thinking about where else I could use a dose of advance preparation in my life. I don’t need to plan and prepare for every single thing…though saving some brain power by doing some prep for parts of the day that don’t tend to change much — I know taking a few minutes before can save twice as many minutes (and feeling rushed and stressed) later.
Now, if your brain is like: Yeah, no — I like being spontaneous. I don’t want to be pinned down to something rigid; things may change! I like flexibility and freedom! Plus I don’t know if I have extra time in my day to fit one more thing in. I hear you. I don’t like feeling stuck in a too tight, too rigid schedule. I like doing whatever I want to do pretty much all of the time. 😉 And there is plenty going on, adding in more can be tough.
Advance preparation isn’t about planning out every minute of every day. Instead, it’s about taking some of the mundane details, particularly at pivotal points in the day (such as getting everyone going in the morning!) and then streamlining them to save time and brainpower.
It’s not that I need to plan out EVERYTHING. It’s about planning and advance preparation for things that are generally the same day-to-day. Because when we take out the need to make game-time decisions in the moment on those routine items, we end up taking less time and saving brain power then (and feeling less rushed and stressed!)…so we have more of both to spend later on fun and/or more important things. (And then when we’re prepping again for the following day? We’re less rushed and thinking more clearly, both of which help us get the prep done in less time than it would take to try and do it in the moment.)
Got a place in your life that could use some advance preparation or have a routine that works well for you? I’d love to hear! Let me know in the comments below.