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Want to get the most out of every day? A little forward planning goes a long way…
Days never go well when you wake up to chaos! In contrast, waking up in plenty of time, with a clear plan and no obstacles – be they dirty dishes or a toy-strewn floor – will help you get the most out of every day. These ten tips will help you on your way to morning, afternoon and evening bliss…
Need more advice? READ: 11 incredibly easy ways to organise your entire life
1. Do the dishes
It’s such a basic thing, but how many of us can’t be bothered to do the washing-up at the end of the day? But coming downstairs to a mountain of grimy bowls and grubby cutlery doesn’t make for the best start. Do yourself – and the whole family – a favour and tackle the day’s dishes the night before. When you finally pull off your Marigolds and those sparkling plates wink back at you, you’ll be brimming with positivity.
2. Box your lunch
By making it a regular habit to sort your lunch out before bed, you’re creating a win-win-win! situation. Not only will you be able to make use of leftovers from all your yummy suppers and encourage yourself to eat healthily rather than just reaching for that tempting but really-not-very-nice supermarket sarnie, you’ll also save yourself a fortune. Inspire yourself to do a really great job by putting your concoctions into one of those eco-friendly, deli-style cardboard boxes. Your colleagues will soon be asking you where you got your lunch. And while we’re on the subject of healthy food…
3. Set the table for breakfast
It should take just a few minutes to put out the breakfast bowls, spoons and mugs, but by doing so before bed, you will encourage yourself to not just neck down a much-needed coffee, but to actually eat something. You wouldn’t dream of sending the little ones out on an empty stomach, so treat yourself with the same care. And just watch how productive you become – breakfast has its reputation as the most important meal of the day for a damn good reason
4. Make every room look fit for purpose
A bit like coming down to piles of washing-up, going into a living room that’s chaotic with clutter is a real downer. Spending ten minutes straightening, plumping, putting away and picking up will help keep your home looking as good as you know it should. Encourage the kids to tidy up after themselves too to make the job as easy as possible.
5. Pack up your five things
You might not have seen it this way, but you probably have about five absolute must-haves that you need to take with you on a daily basis. Keys, phone, travel card, work pass and wallet, right? Rather than leaving them dotted around the house, put them in your jacket or handbag before you hit the sack to ensure you’re not running around like a headless chicken checking for No 3 when you’ve got five minutes left to catch the 8.30am train.
6. Check tomorrow’s weather and pull out appropriate clothes
Ever gone to bed planning to wear strappy sandals and a summery dress – congratulating yourself for actually laying them out for once – and when you open the blinds you see it’s torrential outside? If you check in with your weather app before lights out, this will never be a problem. Treat yourself to one of those sleek towel ladders and hang up your outfit and you’ll be good to go. And if you can colour coordinate your wardrobe that will save even more time.
7. Have a quick night-time bath
Save the morning showers for the weekend when you have the luxury of time. If you bathe on a school night, it means you’re good to go from the moment you wake up, ready to jump out of bed straight into your carefully chosen outfit.
8. Write a list of what you want to achieve tomorrow
If you jot down, say, five things you want sorted by close of play in the comfort of your own bed, rather than doing it when you’re standing up on a distracting, crowded train, you’ll wake up knowing exactly what you have to get on with.
9. Write in your journal
Putting aside ten minutes to scribble in a lovely-looking journal is a great way of preserving memories, checking on how your hopes and dreams are going and helping you celebrate the good times and figure out how to fix the bad ones.
10. Put out the lights, close your eyes and replay the day
Continue the calming wind down with quite reflection. What could you have done differently, what went well? Reflecting on the day will help send you off to the Land of Nod, where your subconscious will hopefully inspire you to come up with the answers to any dilemmas you may have. And always remember to count your blessings too…
Want to know which mattress to buy? READ: Best mattress: our guide to getting a perfect night’s sleep
What is your nighttime routine?