8 Things I do first thing in the morning

If you are familiar with The Ahimsa Life you know I am all about keeping Healthy, keeping productive and keeping things fun!

What you may not know is none of this comes natural to me. I can sit with my coffee way too long in the morning, spend much to much time playing with my dogs and reading. Over the years I have developed routines that work to keep me on track and on top of every thing, which is very important if your goal like me, is to be a work at home entrepreneur. Today I thought I would bring you in to my morning routine.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

1. Drink WATER. On my list of first things first in the morning, water is a must.  Water should be the first thing you drink in the morning, then you can drink your much-needed cup of coffee. Water first thing in the morning helps wake your digestive system up and get everything going softly, not in the kick the door open way coffee does. I usually get up and turn the kettle on while I let my little pooches outside. I make a cup of warm lemon water and join them outside. It is one of the my favorite times of the day. Sipping on my warm lemon water watching my puppies run around is the best way to get centered and start my day in a happy way.

1. Start one load of laundry. But have a plan to get it into the dryer, set a timer in your kitchen or make a routine of changing it after your shower, whatever you need to do. Just get it done.

3. Empty the dishwasher. It’s like a clean slate. I start my dishwasher and take out my garbage every night before I go to bed. Every night. When I first started working for myself I was surprised how much of my day I spent doing cleaning around the house. Now I make sure I do these things on schedule to free up more time during the day to create. By emptying the dish washer first thing in the morning you will be able to put anything you dirty all day directly in, bypassing the sink and keeping your home tidy and you on track. For me it’s easy to get distracted by a messy house. Keeping it neat helps me stay in my office working.

4. Take a peak at your planner for the week. knowing what you have going on all week makes it easier to stay on track. I use my planner religiously. Love writing things down and crossing them off my list. Some times by looking over my planner I am able to squeeze a few things that were planned later in the week and group them together, my goal is always to have a free Friday, it does not always work, but if I can I try and get everything done M-Th, leaving my Friday for spending time with my family, a much needed writing day, or getting some of the projects done that I have not been able to knock off my list.

5. Know what you are having for dinner. Meal planning is very important to me. If you follow this blog you know I have an IBD, and food really is the best medicine. Planning ahead is also important to stick to your budget and maintaining a lower stress level at home. When you know what you’re having for dinner in the morning, you can prep the ingredients early in the day and won’t be standing in front of the pantry and fridge while your family is begging for food.

6.Get dressed. This sounds silly, I know.  But remember I work from home, it would be pretty easy to write all day in my pajamas. It’s amazing the difference in what I get done when I am dressed and ready to tackle the day as opposed to the days when the opposite is true. If I am going to the gym or the yoga studio that day I get dressed for that. Just being dressed and ready for the day makes me feel so much  more motivated.

7. Brain dump. I had never heard of a brain dump before a few years ago. One of my friends gave me a planner that had these cute little areas specifically for brain dumps and they have changed my life. Here is how you do it. Take out a piece of paper (or find a space in your planner or that adorable notebook you have been dying to use) and write a list, write everything that you know you need to get done, future events, things that you want to do, every thought that comes to mind, write it down. You don’t have to write it in any kind of order, just write down everything. It’s amazing how much brain capacity we take up just trying to remember everything. Once it’s written down, you can visualize what needs to happen and make your to-do list.

8. After your brain dump, write your to-do list for the day. After you write it down, prioritize those items. What absolutely has to happen? What could be done tomorrow if things happen and toss you off course? I take those items and distribute them on different days in my planner. In my planner I also have an ongoing list of things I can tackle in any free time that I have been able to make happen that week.

And that’s it! What are the things you do first thing in the morning to start your day off right?

4 Ways to Stay on Top of Everything

4 ways to stay on top of everything

 

4 Ways to stay on top if Everything!
By far, the number one complaint I hear from my readers and clients is that they do not have enough time. They can’t even think of making a home cooked meal or of starting a yoga practice with all they things they have on their to do lists. Organizing your day is a great way of detoxing your life, Cutting out some stresses, and making time for the things you love.
Here are some of my suggestions on how you can take charge of your day! Try them! I did, and it works!

1) Use a planner! You can use paper, (there are some really cute FREE printable ones on Pinterest) . You can use an app, for your phone or ipad, or the calendar in your computer. The point is USE it! I use my planner for every thing, making grocery lists, scheduling in call, emailing, cleaning and scheduling in exercise time. Using a planner will help you see where you are using your time now, and where your biggest time wasters are.
Homework – open up Pintrest and search for free daily (or weekly or monthly) planners. You will be amazed and inspired at all the cute selections there are. You tube a video on how to make the most of your computers calendar app. There are things you never knew it could do!

2) Now that you are using your planner, and see where you are squandering your precious moments (I am talking to you Internet!) You can now re organize your day to fit in those things you have been convinced you do not have time for. Make sure you add in exercise! Other things you might want to add in, starting a mediation practice, organizing your closet, cooking healthy meals instead of the frozen microwave stuff your body hates you for.
Homework – Find your wasted time, and switch it out for something you have been neglecting, or always wanted to do.

3) Don’t be a martyr. Look at the things you do on a regular basis, and out source them! Are you still doing your teen-aged sons laundry? (Guilty!) Maybe its time he learned to do it himself. Make every one take care of their own dishes, can you get your groceries delivered? There are a lot of things you do not have to be doing all by yourself, ask for help!
Homework – spend the next few days watching how much you do for your family. Pick a few things they can easily take over.

4) Wake up 1 hour early. Even a half hour makes a big difference. Whether you are using it to start meditating, having a peaceful cup of tea, or starting on your to do list, that little extra time can make you more productive during the day. Homework- set your alarm for 1 hour earlier then you normally wake up.

Stay with it! Small changes every day will go a long way to adding more time, and keeping you organized.