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In the last blog post of this series, we talked about finding the time in your busy morning to do the things that are important to you. Today I want you to think about these four questions:

What do you want to start doing?

What do you want to stop doing?

What is working well?

What is not working well?

These are important ideas to ponder. So often we get stuck in a rut or a routine and do things because that’s what we’ve always done or that’s how we’ve always done it in the past. We, as humans, fall into habits without really thinking about whether or not we are being efficient with our limited hours in each day.

It’s Not About Overstuffing

Making over your morning isn’t about figuring out how to stuff more tasks into fewer hours. It’s also not about going high speed and racing through functions that may need focus and careful attention. While it is sometimes useful to sprint through some mundane activities and just get them completed quickly, that’s not a good long-term strategy for meaningful change. You’ll reach a limit of how much faster and how much more efficient you can get. And you will likely get frustrated with the program and return to old habits.

Shift your thinking and don’t try to add to what you do in the morning. If you want 15 minutes for bible study, meditation, or exercise, don’t just think about getting up 15 minutes earlier, or shaving 15 minutes off your morning routine by showering faster, getting dressed in record time, and rushing through breakfast. In other words, don’t add to your already lengthy list of things that need to get done. You’ll only feel more rushed and stressed if you do.

Make Smart Choices About Your Time – Stop Doing

Instead, think about the best use of your time in the morning. Compare your perfect morning with your current morning routine. What are the differences in the two scenarios? If you can start by eliminating some activities, finding time to do what’s important to you becomes much more comfortable.

There are two great ways to find things you can stop doing. The first is to look for busy work. This is something you do out of habit that doesn’t necessarily need doing every day. Maybe it’s checking your email first thing in the morning or playing around on Facebook for half an hour while you drink your coffee. If that’s how you choose to spend your time, that’s perfectly fine, but if you’re doing it out of habit and it does not align with your big goals, dreams, and desires, it may be time to reconsider the activity.

The second way to quickly earn back time is to see if you’re doing things for others that they can do themselves. Are there any routine chores that can be consolidated? A few small changes may be all it takes to find time in your busy morning for what’s important to you. Spend some time thinking about things that you want to stop doing.

Make Smart Choices About Your Time – Start Doing

Go back to that vision of a perfect morning. This morning may include the normal hygiene activities, but also could consist of time for a hobby, physical workouts, mental exercises, or pure relaxation. Whatever you want to achieve, you can.

In the beginning, I set a 15-minute timer and would work on either hand-written journaling or typing at my computer. When the 15 minutes ended, it was time for breakfast and to prepare for my job. The morning routine in our household is relatively simple. We keep a variety of breakfast items on hand (purchased in the weekly grocery trip), and we have only two potential changes to gain even more morning time…

Maybe…Set our alarm clocks even earlier so that we can spend time on some of our bigger goals before breakfast for 15 to 30 minutes on weekdays.

Maybe…Buy an automated cat feeder, which is an interesting idea, but only saves us a few minutes each day when we are at home. However, if we are away overnight, this would be a good investment and eliminate the need for a cat sitter at our house. http://gwyng.housecare.hop.clickbank.net

Morning routines are valuable, but keep in mind that your method will evolve as you learn and master techniques to simplify your life. We’re all continually changing with internal thoughts and external influences. Enjoy the process and focus on just a few “stops” and a few “starts” to begin building your personal morning routine.

Read the entire series in these blog posts:

The Impact of a Daily Morning Routine

Ideas for Creating a Perfect Morning Routine

Finding Time in a Busy Morning Using Lean Principles

Best Things First: A Morning Routine Makeover

Starting Over with an Inspiring Morning Routine

The Importance of Habits and Routines

Review and Improve Your Morning Routine

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