Tonight when you’re sitting around watching tv, try to wrap it up a little early and take care of some business to set yourself up for the most productive day ever tomorrow.

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  1. Check your schedule

If you’re like me, you need to enter any and all commitments into an electronic calendar (iPhone calendar, Google calendar, etc) and set up reminders or else they’ll slip your mind at that crucial moment when you actually need to follow through. Still, a sudden and unexpected alarm telling you that you have somewhere you need to be in 20 minutes can really throw off your day if it had completely slipped your mind. Make sure you check anywhere you may have recorded an appointment or meeting every night (and confirm that reminders are in place) so that you know what to expect in the morning, have a heads up about any accidental double-bookings you’ll need to move around, and can plan your day accordingly with no nasty surprises.

  1. Lay out your clothes

I know, this one seems a bit silly…how long does it really take to find some clothes in the morning? Trust me, this is worth it. After you’ve checked your schedule, take a quick boo at the weather forecast and go find an outfit that’s appropriate to your commitments and the weather. I have to admit I don’t do this every night, especially since I work from home and some days I just grab a handful of clothes off the floor to throw on to drive my daughter to her dayhome in the morning. But that makes this step all the more crucial when I actually have meetings and need to look presentable, because my nicer clothes don’t see a lot of action and might not be ready to go when I think they are. Nylons can just evaporate into the wind somehow, blazers can fall from hangers in the closet and act as my cat’s favourite napping spot for a week or two before I notice, shoes can be stolen by a toddler and stashed in a toybox somewhere. It really helps to deal with all of this the night before, not in the morning when I’m pressed for time and have a million other things to be doing.

  1. Make a stubby list

I’ve talked about stubby lists before, but I cannot overstate how valuable they’ve been to me. Make a list of 3-5 items you plan to accomplish the next day, every night, and make it big and clear and stick it where you’ll see it first thing in the morning. Notice I said pick items you “plan to” accomplish, not “want to” accomplish. I could think of 50 things I want to accomplish on any given day, but stick to 3-5 that you really, honestly plan to complete and you’ll have way more success dealing with your top priorities on a daily basis.

  1. Relax

I was tempted to keep going with this list…pack a lunch! Prep your breakfast! Organize your briefcase! But in true stubby list fashion, let’s stick to the three items listed above that I believe will make the biggest difference to how your morning goes. With those out of the way, take some quiet time for yourself, relax and unwind, and get a great night’s sleep. You deserve it, you beautiful rock star, you.