I wake in the morning early,
And always the very first thing,
I poke out my head,
And I sit up in bed,
And I sing, and I sing and I sing.
Rose FylemanI love this little poem. Imagine if this was true of us each morning? To wake up with a good enough attitude to be singing. Okay so if you completed your five or so items before you went to bed, you will save time by not having to choose what to wear, and your kitchen will be ready for you to prepare and serve breakfast. How you choose to spend the first hour or two of your day, can you set your whole day up for success. If you think in terms of getting certain areas of your life in order first thing, it can make your whole day run smoothly. I would encourage you to rise before your family. Your day can go so much better if you are up and getting things accomplished before everyone else is up. I find that once everyone else is awake, the day begins. The day has started even if I am not ready. So I enjoy the quiet hour or two I have before everyone else is up. I use that time to enjoy things for me – now that probably sounds selfish, but realistically, if we are not taking care of ourselves, how can we take care of others? Now I am not talking about eating a block of chocolate in front of a soap opera. What I am referring to is the educating of our mind, and the exercising of our body, and the renewing of our Spirit by connecting with our Saviour, all while there are no interruptions. Its these things that will make a difference in our days, in how we react to the people around us. It’s the things that make a difference in our life in a year, five years or ten years from now. For example, I first tend to my spirit – I have time with the Lord in Bible reading and prayer. Then I spend time writing, for my blog or just writing. Then my body – exercise, shower, dress, hair, make up. My house – tidy bathroom and put a load of washing on if needed, make my bed and tidy my bedroom, then move to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for the family. By this time everyone else is awake and beginning their day. I have two morning routines, one that begins and ends before everyone else is awake, which lasts from one to two hours depending on how early I woke up. And the other one begins when everyone else is up, usually around 6:30am and lasts until between 7:30 and 8am when we begin school. Now this can be extremely difficult when you have a baby or toddler whom you are up with several times during the night. When my girls were babies, they were my alarm clock. I definitely didn't wake before them! During those six years, my morning routine began when they woke me. And yes it often took 3-4 hours to feel like we were ready for the day. I remember 10am coming around and finally having everyone dressed and fed, the kitchen actually resembled a kitchen again, and it was time to hang out the washing. I must confess, I would hang out our washing and notice our elderly neighbour sitting on his verandah with a cuppa and something to eat, listening to the news and reading the paper and I remember thinking "If only I could have a sit down with a cuppa and something to eat, a consistent time each day that I know I am going to have a rest." Well now, I have that, 10am every morning! Not the newspaper/radio part, but I have a break for twenty minutes or so every morning. The thing is, those busy baby/toddler days are only for such a short time. Even though you feel exhausted and need a rest, your change in season will come. Hold in there! Just do what you can. Afternoon/ After Lunch/ After school/ Before Dinner What you call this one, will depend on how your afternoons look. Are you home when your children arrive home from school? Do you finish homeschooling at lunch time? Do you arrive home from work at 5pm? What we do here is, bring in the washing and put it away, tidy the house, have showers, prepare dinner. So ours is before dinner beginning at around 5:30pm. When my children were little, this routine would begin at 4pm because it would take that long to do the same tasks. Now that my girls are older, they all pitch in to help so it only takes us half an hour to complete our afternoon routine. So if you have little ones, be encouraged, they do grow up! The time in your life where this part of your day takes hours, is only such a small portion of your whole life. Hang in there! So to recap... Pick a few things to do before you go to bed. Then choose a few things to do each morning when you first get up. Aim to get up at least 15 minutes before your family. Develop an afternoon routine that will lighten your before bed routine. For more help with setting up your routines, go to Flylady and check out her suggestions. This is where I first learnt about routines, many years ago. You can download my Daily Routine Template. There is one you can print and start using right away. Or you can use the blank template to write out your own routine. Daily Routine Template Let me know how routines have helped you 🙂 If you don't want to miss another post in the Get Organised Series, subscribe to my mailing list and receive instant access to subscriber only freebies!