Make Every Day Great with a Morning Routine

Make Every Day Great with a Morning Routine

When I was teaching, at least one kid a day was missing something – a bookbag, notebook, or even something to write with. When I asked why, the answer was usually that they woke up late and forgot their things at home. I get it. We all have those mornings.

But then there were the kids who were always running late in the morning and constantly left something at home.

Let’s talk about the second situation. Because it could be fixed with a morning routine. A routine is a series of tasks you complete in the same order. They may not always happen at the same time every day, but most days they do. A well-crafted routine will help you get everything done and you to school or work on time.

Make Every Day Great with a Morning Routine

Figure Out Your Time

I always start at the end of the morning routine. What time I do need to be at work or school? Then work backward from there. Here are questions to consider:

  • What time do I need to be in my classroom/ office, etc?
  • How long is my commute? With light traffic? With heavy traffic?
  • What time do I need to leave my house?
  • What MUST I do in the morning? These might include eating breakfast, taking a shower, and getting dressed

Here is an example of what your task might look like:

morning routine

Be honest when making this task list. Will you take 10 minutes to check your phone? Are you a chronic “snooze” presser? (Guilty as charged. 🙋‍♀️) If so, build that time into your schedule. Don’t set yourself up for failure by leaving things off the list.


Based on your best guess or observations over a few days, assign a time to each task. Will it take 1 minute or 15 minutes? Write down that estimate. You can always make adjustments later!

Plan Backward

Start with the time you MUST be at school or work and plan backward from that time. I always recommend adding a few minutes of padding to your schedule for those days where everything goes wrong. And always assume there will be traffic! Check out the example below.

morning routine

Let’s keep this real – do you actually want to wake up that early? Heck no! Is there anything you can move to the night before? Do it! Then just accept that you have to wake up that early. It will be painful at first, but you will get used to it. And you will get to school or work on time!

Alarm City

Use an alarm clock OTHER than your phone. Alarm clocks are cheap (under $10) and won’t distract you like your phone will. While a digital clock is fine, old school clocks (with hands) help you understand that time is passing and will keep you more on schedule.

Some people find it useful to set intermediate alarms during the new routine – time to eat breakfast or get out the door. If you’re having problems completing a task on time, try this out.

Place your morning routine card somewhere you will see it. Carry it with you from room to room. For younger kids, you could make a visual chart to keep them on track. But keep it around until the new routine becomes second nature.

Take a few minutes for you

Some people meditate in the morning, others exercise, and some just need to stare out the kitchen window for a few minutes. Figure out what you need to find a few minutes of zen and build it into your routine.

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

Simplify your life in the mornings by doing as much as possible the night before. Make your lunch, pick out your outfit for the next day, and pack your bag. Grab everything that you need to take the next day and place it near the door you from which you will leave.

Expect Changes in Your Morning Routine

When you create your morning routine, you are estimating how long each step will take. As you put that routine into action, you will start to see pretty quickly if you need to make changes. You need to budget more time for breakfast or less time for a shower. Then make those adjustments.


Remember that this is a routine, not necessarily a schedule. Sometimes, you are just off on timing. You woke up late, took too long in the shower, spent 10 minutes looking for your glasses. Know where the “padding” is in your routine so you can skip something and try to make up the time. And give yourself a little grace on the days when everything falls apart. It happens to all of us!

After creating your routine, it’s going to take some time to get used to it. Remember to allow for change and be flexible with yourself. While I can’t guarantee that every morning will be amazing, most mornings will go much more easily.

Let me know how your new morning routine goes in the comments below!

Related Posts: How to Get Out the Door and Arrive on Time, How to Be Productive When You Just Don’t Want To, 4 Ways Your Phone Can Improve Your Time Management, How a Nightly Routine Can Make for a Better Tomorrow

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