6 Tips for Managing Your Morning – Time Management
You would never believe how busy I get. There are days when I go for thirteen hours straight with no time for food or even a bathroom break. I manage my business, homeschool my kids, direct various ministries, and take care of a house and husband. Each morning I hit the floor running about 5:30 am. I DO NOT have time to dawdle. Because this rushing around is a constant struggle for me, I resolved this year to conquer the whole time management thing.
My daughter-in-law seems to have a handle on time management. She also has her own business, a new baby, ministries, house, and husband. Yet, HER house is clean, and she always looks so put together. (My son did well for himself) So, when she offered to write about her tips for a quick morning routine, I thought “YES! Here is a chance to learn her secrets, without having to admit I need help.”
So, here you go…
6 Tips for Time Management – by Hannah Schmutzler
The Bible has quite a bit to say about time management, and some of it is directed solely at women. Consider Proverbs 31:15.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
Tip #1 – Get Up Early
As utterly painful as that sounds, just do it. No one ever profited from just laying there in bed. Getting up promptly actually stimulates blood flow and energy, not to mention a sense of accomplishment. You might realize you have more time on your hands than you know what to do with! Adding hours to your day helps with time management and keeps you from feeling rushed.
If you are not an early riser, try these to help you get up.
- Set SEVERAL alarms. Put the clock or phone across the room, so you have to get up to turn it off.
- Roll out of bed onto the floor (gently) and begin doing exercises. Trick your body into movement before your brain wakes up. Two birds, one stone.
- Immediately turn on the main light. Soft, sweet lamplight just lulls us back to sleep.
Remember, it’s important to spend some of your first moments of the day with the Lord. Move to a chair and read a chapter in your Bible. Say a prayer for the day. Ask Him to help manage your time wisely.
Tip #2 – Prepare the Night Before
Use the last 10-15 minutes of your day to prepare for the next. Set reminders for things you know you’ll forget in the rush of the morning. Need to bring a certain paper to work? Lay it where you won’t miss it on the way out.
- Listen to the weather report, then pick out an outfit to wear. No more running back inside for a jacket or umbrella.
- Lay out your clothes and your kids’ clothes so they can be put on quickly.
- Set your purse or bag by the door. Anytime you think of something you’ll need for the next day, lay it next to your purse as a must-go pile.
- Be a list-maker, even if it’s not your nature to do so. Sometimes just writing it down is enough to clear your mind and make you feel less overwhelmed.
Tip #3 – Opt for Convenience
Get rid of the things that keep you pressed for time. Fresh ground coffee beans in a French press sounds delicious, but it takes way too long to prepare. Instead, try an automatic coffee pot that starts itself. Don’t be a slave to items that were meant to slave away for you!
Here are some products that I’ve found speed up my morning:
- Oh, how I love my Keurig. We were given one for Christmas, and I seriously don’t know how we ever lived without it. Now, I don’t like or drink coffee, but my husband does (a lot). So when he wants a cup, I throw up my hand and volunteer to make him one. Costs me about 30 seconds of time and I score points for being a good wife.
- Dry shampoo. Um, can I get an Amen? Whoever invented this needs an award. Dry shampoo lets you take a shower the night before, go to bed with wet hair, then wake up and fix the bed head craziness. Or skip the shower altogether, which I don’t recommend.
- Jimmy Dean breakfast bowls (unfortunately, not a sponsor for this site.) They’re fairly reasonable in price, and you get a “big breakfast” feel without cracking eggs at the crack of dawn.
- Downy wrinkle releaser spray. It actually works! If you forgot to iron or decide to switch tops at the last minute, just spray and shake. Don’t ask me how it works; I just believe the magic I see.
Tip #4 – Organize Your Closet
If you struggle with time management, then this step is an absolute must. We’ve all said the famous “I have nothing to wear” line. How many mornings do we end up with half our closet strewn across the floor and bed?
With some planning and a bit of organization, your wardrobe never has to hold you up again. Here is how you can get the most from your closet:
- Don’t return it to the closet un-ironed. I’ve recently started a basket of clean laundry that gets ironed all in one sitting before being hung. Imagine, a whole week’s worth of ironed clothes hanging briskly for you to choose from. It’s a pretty glorious feeling.
- Color coordinate your closet. Yes, I mean it. You can take this to whatever extreme you like. It makes matching outfits so much easier.
- At the end of summer and winter, get rid of anything you haven’t worn in the past six months. I put it in tubs and store it for one year. If you don’t want to wear it when you pull it back out, then donate it! Make room for something you do like.
- Use tubs or baskets for small accessories. I have a chunky scarf basket and a lightweight scarf basket at the top of my closet. I also have a tote bag with winter items like gloves, fuzzy socks, balaclava, leggings, ski goggles, etc.
By limiting the choices in your closet to the items you actually wear and like, you reduce a lot of distraction. Remember, you can always revisit the things you have stored away, but don’t let them clutter up your closet.
Tip #5 – Bake Something
I know this is an article on time management. Why in the world would I consider baking something that will save me time? My husband and I have a running joke that when I’m bored, I bake something. Sometimes I can be found waiting on the last batch of cookies at 11:45 at night! So when the urge strikes you, bake something breakfast related. I tend to go for pre-made, pre-cooked, individual servings when I’m scavenging for breakfast. Do yourself a favor and have it on hand already. Try this when you need to bake:
- Muffins or breakfast bars make quick-grabs that are pre-portioned out.
- If you commute, make something that can be eaten with one hand and doesn’t crumble. Your car will thank you. That means a bowl of cereal or oatmeal and crumbly Poptarts are not your best friend for a quick morning.
- Always go healthy. Cake sounds wonderful for breakfast, but the sugar will burn off quickly. Choose a recipe that has lots of fiber and substance rather than empty filler.
Tip #6 – Don’t Neglect the Spiritual
You’d be mistaken to think you can have a smooth morning without God. Your spiritual life isn’t going to just fall into place without some effort. A cute outfit and perfect hair won’t ready your soul for what the day might hold. Ephesians tells us to prepare every day by dressing for spiritual warfare. Do you want to arrive at work naked? Put on your armor!
- Have a set place specially prepared for your quiet time with God. Whether it’s a favorite chair and blanket, or the kitchen table with a cup of hot tea, find a place.
- Work your routine around this time. Maybe that means taking a shower first and letting your hair air dry while you read your Bible. Afterward, you can finish styling your hair and get dressed.
- Your quiet time shouldn’t be a touch and go moment. Carry a verse you read with you throughout the day. Turn on some worship music while you finish getting ready to keep a song in your heart. Don’t return to a chaotic routine, instead set the mood of the morning by seeking God.
Time management in the morning is mostly about organizing and prioritizing. God should always be first and then the rest of your day will come together.
About the Author
Kim and her husband, Craig, live in Overland Park KS where she successfully manages a marketing company and homeschools her two children still at home. Twenty-two years of juggling business and homeschooling has taught her a thing or two about time management. In addition to work and family, Kim helps her husband with the College and Career class at the church and also directs the Children's Music Ministry and drama team. The Submissive Spirit was born from her desire to reach out to other Christian women across the globe and share encouragement and the love of Christ.