Great mornings begin the night before: Three things I do to ensure a successful morning

Did I tell you about the time I lost my keys? I tore up my whole house looking for them. I search my purse, the diaper bag, the hook where they were SUPPOSED to be. I searched the bottom of the clothes hamper, the toy chest. Even the toilet because... toddlers. 

Do you know where my keys were? The ignition of my car! 

I would love to blame this on mom brain or a lack of sleep. But really, it was a lack of focus and organization. This is something that plagued me LONG before I ever had children. 

I've had to work to retrain my brain to focus and I have had to work to create a routine that works for me and my busy schedule. 

As both a self-employed entrepreneur and a mom I know the value of creating an organized routine that allows me to get as much work done in as little time as possible. 

That's why creating a good morning routine was paramount for me. As I mentioned before, developing a solid morning routine with a good outline for my day helped me grow my business and TRIPLE my income. 

But I've also learned that a good morning routine starts the night before. 

So here are a few things I do the night before to make a successful morning. In total these tasks only take about 30 minutes and then I'm done. Of course I am not including my nightly kitchen cleaning routine in this list. 

1. Create a top five list

Before I go to bed I grab my notebook and jot down the top five things I need to do the next day

It might look something like this:

1. Send invoices

2. Draft blog post

3. Call dentist

4. Register boys for swim class

5. Update email blast list

It's the five things that absolutely have to get done the next day. I only include the things that absolutely HAVE to get done that day. I don't include things I do daily like dishes, meal planning or laundry. 

2. Prep my kids and myself

On the days we have to be somewhere things can get a little crazy. So the night before I go ahead and lay out the clothes we're all going to wear. 

(I actually do this for myself every night. But on days we aren't in a rush I let my kids pick their own clothes. )

For my oldest, who is four, I will lay out all of his clothes, including socks and underwear and he knows when he wakes up to get dressed. 

I also will pack backpacks and diaper bags and make sure any lunches or snacks are already packed and stored in the fridge. 

I will also fill up sippy cups and put out a little breakfast that my kids can grab when they're ready. 

3. Clean my workspace

Something about a cluttered desk completely stresses me out. I am not an overly neat or tidy person (totally jealous of you ladies who are!). But a cluttered desk just makes me want to rip my hair out. 

So when I end the work day I try to clean up my desk. That way when I sit down in the morning there isn't a pile or receipts, bills I already paid, scraps of paper, dust, and toys littering my desk.

When a workspace is clutter free, it is easier to focus in the limited time you have.

Working from home is a blessing but it's still a job and one you have to work at even more diligently to protect your family time and maximize your work time.

So use those evening hours or minutes as effectively as possible. It's really important to develop an evening routine that will support your days. That's why I was really excited when I saw that Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom was lowering the price of her Make Over Your Evenings course. Her Make Over Your Mornings course really inspired me to reevaluate how I was working in the morning. And it really helped increase my productivity and business income. 

I tried out Make Over Your Evenings and while not all of the tips applied to me, there was a lot of really good and useful tips and information that I gleamed from this course.  

Right now you can get both Make Over Your Mornings and Make Over Your Evenings  course for just $10. Or you can get both for $17 (which is the regular nonsale price for each course). Each course is designed to take 14 days, but is self-paced, so you could go through it as quickly or slowly as you want. 

What about you? What tips to do you have for maximizing your morning? 

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