I have recently become slightly obsessed with time management and how to maximise the morning hours, so I decided to extend my research beyond Pinterest and ask a few friends how they manage to make the most of their mornings. Last week I spoke to Francesca about her morning routine and learned a thing or two about training your children to get you breakfast in bed from a young age!
Today’s chat is with Giselle, who is far more disciplined than I am! I hope you enjoy reading her answers as much as I did.
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Mum to Tom, 2.5 years old.
1. Do you consider yourself a morning person?
Yes I do consider myself to be a morning person, much to the annoyance of those who are not! I don’t know how to just laze in bed, once I’m awake I need to get up and start my day. I’m typically quite cheery in the morning and I don’t need coffee to start my day.
2. At what time does your alarm go off in the morning?
I don’t use an alarm. I tend to wake up naturally at around 6:30/7:00, on weekdays. Weekends might be slightly later but I can’t recall sleeping in any later than 8:00 am. When I was younger it was different and I often used to sleep till mid- to later morning, but that would typically be after a late night out. Since those nights out don’t really happen anymore, there’s no reason for me to sleep in! My body just doesn’t allow it!
3. What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Rush to the loo! Crude but true. It’s a physical need that just cannot be ignored.
4. What do you have for breakfast?
At the moment I’m addicted to the Muller rice yoghurts, so I take one of those. If I’ve run out, I might eat a croissant in the car on the way to work, which is shared with my toddler son! I’m not really a breakfast person, unless I’m staying in a hotel – in those cases I relish a leisurely breakfast. As I mentioned before, I don’t require coffee to start functioning in the morning, and I’ll only have my coffee or tea once I get to the office.
5. Is there anything you do in the evening to save time the following morning?
I try and prepare my outfit for the following day, and ensure that both my and my son’s clothes are ironed (I can’t stand creased clothing!) I’m typically better at preparing his, than mine! I pack my bag too, and prepare his lunch for school. Even when I really don’t feel like I try my utmost to make the effort to prepare it in the evening because it’s one thing less to do in the morning. I also take my shower in the evening because there’s no way that I can manage in the morning when my son is awake.
6. Can you describe your morning routine?
Wake up or be woken up – whichever happens first. Once the physical needs are taken care of, it’s milk and some breakfast for my son, and maybe something for me. Whilst he’s enjoying his milk and some morning cartoons, I get myself dressed – this took some trial and error, but eventually I realised that getting myself dressed first was more convenient than getting him dressed first. The only downside is ensuring that I don’t get dirty by the time I leave the house – wet wipes can come in handy then.
Once I’m ready, which cannot take longer than 5-10 minutes, I get him dressed. This can be a two-minute process or a 15-minute process, depending on whether he wants to wear a T-shirt that day or not – we’re currently in a ‘no more T-shirt’ phase. This was preceded by a ‘no sandals’ phase, so I’m bracing myself for a no short/trousers phase next.
Once we’re both dressed, it’s a matter of ensuring that we both have what we need for the day – handbag and laptop for me, case with lunch for him. Then it’s out of the door and to the car, a process which can also vary in time depending on how long it takes him to press the lift button, and the door button, and counting down the 18 steps to street level… All in all the entire process from waking to starting the car takes about an hour.
7. Do you have any tips you feel are worth passing on?
What can be prepared the evening before, is worth preparing; sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error and maybe goes against the ‘norm’ or what you’re used to, but ultimately it’s about what suits your circumstances best, like showering in the evening as opposed to the morning. Snoozing is not a good idea, tempting as it may be. Whenever I’ve done that, on the rare occasion, I’ve always felt lethargic throughout the day. If you need extra sleep, get it from the evening before rather than the morning if possible. I still have interrupted nights of sleep so my body has just acclimatised itself to short bursts of sleep rather than a full 7-8 hours, so while it may be difficult at first, the body is amazing at adapting.
Setting a routine, and sticking to it, can really help, especially if you find it difficult to function in the morning and are often late for work. By knowing how long it actually takes you to get ready and get to work, you’ll know at what time you realistically need to wake up and can plan your morning far better without the stress of racing against the clock. It’s a good idea to add a 10-minute buffer zone for emergencies.