How to Help Your Future Self in Your Daily Routine

Beep! Beep! Beep! The 6 am alarm screeches through the air as I reach over to whack the snooze button as quickly as possible. It’s time to start the day, but everything in me is saying, “Just 5 more minutes”. This snooze button routine gets repeated up until only the exact amount of time to get ready for work is left. Early mornings are really not my thing. After stuffing my Ball jar of oatmeal and turkey sandwich into my lunch pail, I throw my coat over my shoulders. Without a minute to spare, I kiss my husband good-bye (always recommended;-D) and rush off to catch my bus. I arrive at the bus stop just in time to catch my breath before I’m on the move again.

Does this sound anything like your typical morning? Or maybe you’re the type who is ready to go an hour early and glides through the morning with ease, but by the time 7 pm comes around, you’re ready to hit the pillow. We all have times of the day that are considered our peak hours. The times that we are at our best and most alert. With the typical 9-5 job, it can be more challenging to find a schedule that works with the rhythm your body is craving. Check out the book “The Power of When” by Dr. Breus (The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype–and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More) for more information on this specific topic.

An intriguing idea that I came across while listening to a podcast (The Productivitist Podcast by Asian Efficiency) one sunny afternoon at work, is the idea of helping your future self. This may seem silly. You’re probably wondering, “Well, how can I help my future self… do you have a time machine?” This will make a ton of sense in just a moment. The idea of helping your future self is about planning ahead, it’s about being aware of what you need, what your routines are, and anticipating what things can be done now to save you time later.

I have started to apply the strategy of helping my future self in many areas of my life, but especially when it comes to my morning routine. Preparing ahead of time allows to me get that little bit of extra sleep that I need, while still being able to pack a lunch and get a good breakfast (the most important meal of the day, you need that brain food). So many of us ambitious ladies can get wrapped up in the tasks in front of us, we forget that if our tank is empty, we can no longer help those around us. I’ve been there… the place where my tank was empty. It’s a long journey back. The conscious effort to take care of yourself along the way pays off immensely. I’m learning the necessity for self-care with you and will share the lessons I’ve learned so you don’t make the same mistakes!

Planning ahead to help your future self requires physical preparation, yes, but it also takes a shift in mindset. You have to want it… really want it. In order to take action on how you’ve envisioned your life to be, you have to first allow your view of yourself to change. Experiment and try new ideas, methods, and strategies. You can start out with one of the ideas below, or implement one of your own. Try it out for a week, or event two, but don’t feel stuck if it’s not working. Soak in what you learned the experience of that method for your challenge and then try something new. The point is simply to start!

Here is a list of ideas you could try the night before to help your future self:

  • Pick out your clothing/outfit
  • Get your lunch ready to “grab-n-go”
  • Have your breakfast pre-made / ready to warm up
  • Have your purse, planner, and other items on a counter near the door
  • Charge your phone the night before
  • Write out 2-3 things that you need to accomplish the next day: How do those tasks relate to your one-word year action plan?
  • Journal about the day / Brain dump to clear everything that is on your mind
  • Put a curfew on screen time; typically powering down an hour before bed is enough time for your brain to transition to for a good night sleep.
  • Drink a cup of tea before bed
  • Read a book
  • Shower the night before (note: if this is an option for you, it allows your hair to dry naturally which saves you from having to blow dry it in the morning)
  • Get your favorite coffee cup ready to go
  • Spend 15 minutes tidying up your space
  • Write out 3 things you are grateful for about the day

Question:

What is one “help your future self” action that you could start today? What would you add to the list above?

Start a conversation in the comment form below!

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Jennie (Mom)
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Jennie (Mom)

All these are great ideas. Thank you. I think I am going to try to tidy up for 15 minutes before bed. Also, I want to read devotional, so I’m thinking of trying to go to bed 15 minutes earlier. Otherwise, I do quite a few of the other items on the list already like laying my clothes out, putting my purse on the table with keys, and shower the night before. Your blog is great, by the way!

Sarah
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Sarah

I love these ideas! I love meal prep at the beginning of the week so I can grab and go with healthy options especially for dinner when I tend to want to order food or go out. My new goal is to schedule my workouts so that I actually do them instead of getting busy with something else. <3

Joan
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Joan

One thing I want to get back into is taking time before week starts to see what needs to be done that week outside the house -appointments, events, work and what needs to be done in the house-laundry, cleaning, meals. Then take 5-10 minutes thinking through prep to make those things happen smoothly and planning time to do the prep.