Fall Morning Routine Refresh for a Productivity Boost

October 19, 2022

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Crunchy mom of two, married to my favorite boy for life, and lover of the dark chocolate peanut butter cups!
I went from nearly losing my mind and business to an intentional, successful woman all because of systems.
I'm Chelsi Jo
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for work from home moms

As the seasons change, our schedules begin to change, too. During that change, I don’t want you to lose grasp of your morning routine. Today, we will be covering my fall morning routine refresh for a productivity boost.

When our days start to fill up with different things that we haven’t had on our plates from before, the first thing that we let go is our morning routine. I get it. You stay up late to get the new things done, then you sleep in to make up for it, which causes you to fall behind on your morning. Because you’re behind, you ditch your routine and jump into the most pressing activities of the day.

I want you to come away from reading this post feeling super competent in how to keep a morning routine, no matter how much time you do or don’t have. I’m giving you two great examples of fun, easy morning routines to try this fall to give you a productivity boost in your day as a work from home mom. What do you say? Let’s get started.

Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast

As we head towards the end of the year, I’ve got some exciting things coming up in the Systemize Your Life community. I will be opening up some opportunities dive a little deeper than we do here on the blog, on the podcast, or in the Facebook group. The topic will be getting prepared for the New Year ahead.

When is a good time to transition into all that you have learned thus far on the blog? What time of year is best to start time blocking and adding routine stacks that address your fundamental needs? You got it, the New Year! Stick around and stay tuned to get on board with the incredible upcoming opportunities.

Additionally, we will be celebrating some pretty big milestones in the rest of October, November, and December. We’re going to close the year with a big bang, so put your party pants on and be ready to party!

Morning Routines and Season Transitions

Morning routines are one of the things I get the most questions about. There is a commonly held idea that morning routines need to be robust, regimented, time consuming, and be executed exactly the same way every single morning.

You may think that since I love systems so much that I get all the cleaning and organizing things done for the day as part of my morning routine. But while I am systematic about getting good sleep and nutrition as a part of my morning routine, you should see my house right now. It is completely undone. Completely undone. We are in a transition period right now, which happens every single year.

When we transition from one season to the next I get all kinds of excited about my wardrobe, essential oils, and menu changes. The feeling of the season has shown up, has bred itself in me, and has become really, really strong.

I’m obsessed with work-from-home-mom fashion and I love going window shopping through the mall here in Scottsdale (although they charge a kajillion dollars for clothes). I change things up in the house a bit by using different central essential oils in my diffuser. Since it is cooler outside now, I can use my oven more. I get out different recipes and the new ones I try are different than what I’ve been making during the summer.

The activities our kids participate in fall are different than they were in summer, so we are changing what is packed into the back of our car. The shift between summer and fall has caused chaos in my house, with the new stuff down but the old stuff not put away yet. I am able to step back and understand why everything is undone.

Stay Consistent and Keep it Easy

During this process, I always try to be consistent with our wake and sleep times. If we stay up late, sleep in, and I don’t have much time in the morning, I have a short morning routine that I use. But if we are on top of it and stick to our early bedtime, then I have a longer morning routine that I love.

Now that the seasons have changed, I have shifted my routines a little bit. I am excited to share these with you so that you can get a gauge of what it looks like to have two different routines and take some things from my routine and add them to yours.

If you don’t have a morning routine yet, that’s okay. Start with something super simple. Take one or two things that I do and try them. There is no right or wrong way to do a routine.

Short Fall Morning Routine

For a short morning routine, keep it simple, easy, and visible. The habits (or things that you do routinely) need to be available and present. As soon as it gets complicated, your brain no longer wants to do it and thinks of something else.

My short routine is typically 20 to 30 minutes, but I can squeeze it into 15 minutes in a pinch. It is during the time before my kids get up in the morning. When creating your short morning routine, realize that it’s okay if you eliminate one or two things that you would really like to do. The point is that you are showing up for the most of things that you want to accomplish. And it is perfectly fine if you change the order you do them as well.

Make My Bed – 3 minutes

The first thing I do when I get up is make my bed. I literally step out of bed, turn around, and pull the sheet up behind me. It is so important that I not crawl back into the bed and so I make it a priority to make the bed immediately. If my husband is still sleeping, I just pull up the sheets on my side and we will finish making the bed when he gets up.

Start Breakfast – 3 minutes

Pretty much every morning now that it’s fall, I pop steel cut oats into my Instant Pot. It takes about 3 minutes and breakfast is done by the time my kids get up. We just love steel cut oats and all of the things you can put in them.

Maybe you have an overnight oats recipe or another option you like that you can prep ahead of time and have done in a jiffy. My goal is to do anything other than cold cereal and maybe that could be your challenge, too! We really love the warm option of Instant Pot oats for the cooler mornings, so I will be making these for the next several months!

Get Dressed – 3 minutes

Adding a fun layer or two has been what I’m loving right now in fall. While I can still technically hang out in my shorts and T-shirt for most of the day, I definitely need an extra layer during the mornings and evenings. I love that now I can wear pants and boots and not sweat a ton, so it’s really fun to play with layers.

I’m sure most of you actually need more layers because you’re experiencing more chilly weather than we are, so take a a minute to enjoy that part of getting dressed each day!

Hair & Makeup – 10 minutes

Next I do my hair and makeup. Usually, I just touch up my hair, adding a curl by my face since I’m likely recycling yesterday’s curls. Or maybe a quick ponytail. Then a short makeup routine. I’ve been using SeneGence makeup products from my friend Heather as well as Crunchi makeup since it is super, super clean. I keep my lashes on most of the time, so my makeup honestly only takes me about 5 to 8 minutes for a quick, fresh face and out the door I go.

Guided Journal or Study – 10 minutes

My thoughts drift so easily throughout the day, to the point that I have to reread something like fourteen times. That is why taking a few minutes to center my mind inward and focus on the kind of person I want to be for the rest of the day is so helpful. The results are incredible and I try to get this in during my short morning routine as quickly as possible.

My favorite resource for this has been my Horacio Printing Bible study. It has gotten me incredible results right out of the gate. You can actually get a good little discount off of any of their products by using the code Chelsi20, so treat yourself with this great resource.

Another study I love is from the Daily Grace Co. If you are not a faith-based reader, you can also check out guided journals at Barnes and Nobles and Target.

Check My Planner – 1 minute

The last thing I do in my morning routine is a quick check of my planner and Google calendar. What are we doing today? Where does everyone need to be? And that wraps up my short morning routine.

In all, this only take about 20 to 30 minutes. If I only have 15 minutes, the oats go out the window and I whip up something for breakfast when my kids come downstairs.

Long Fall Morning Routine

When you create time for a longer morning routine, it can be really life giving. The routine can be anywhere form one to two hours. My sweet spot is usually one and a half hours. If I have to be upstairs with my girls at 7 am, waking up at 5 am gives me 2 hours. Going to bed at 9 pm the night before gives you 8 hours of sleep, which is a lot! Even if you go to bed at 10 pm, that is still 7 hours of sleep.

While 2 hours sounds like a lot of time, it can be very easy to get swept away with all of that time and end up making it completely useless. Many women I’ve coached recently have run into this very situation. Knowing what you want to get out of your morning routine and writing it down can help you avoid squandering that precious time.

Notes on Power Hour vs. Workout

If you have 2 hours in your morning routine, an entire hour of that can usually be dedicated to either a morning power hour or a workout. Going to the gym can easily take an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes, so if you include that in your morning routine, budget your time accordingly.

I used to workout in the morning, but have since switched to working out when my kids are awake. It is great because they can workout beside you and they see you doing the work that it takes to have a healthy body. Because of this, I use that hour in the morning for my power hour.

A power hour first thing in the morning is so beneficial no matter what season of life you are in. If you are a naptime warrior mom, trying to start, run, or grow a business when your littles are sleeping, a morning power hour is vital. If you are a homeschool mom and are dedicated to educating your kids during the daytime hours, the morning power hour is so vital for your business or just prepping your kids’ curriculum.

“The simple things that don’t take much time are what make a huge difference in our lives.”

Make My Bed – 3 minutes

The same as in my short routine! I am not going to let an unmade bed destroy my plans for morning productivity.

Make Hot Lemon Water – 3 minutes

Maybe you’re a coffee drinker and you like to guzzle it year round. But when fall hits, I am obsessed with hot lemon water. I don’t know what it is, but I am so excited to get lemons from the grocery store and do this. I heat up a cup of water and juice half a lemon to the max right into it. It is tart, amazing, and unbelievably good for your system. Try it out!

If lemon water is not your thing, maybe you make a new drink for the fall to switch things up. Maybe you try something healthy, made with pumpkin puree or pumpkin spice, without a lot of sugar in it. Something like that would be really fun.

Guided Journal or Study – 15 minutes

I still use my Horacio Printing Bible study but I give myself a little more time to sit still and be quiet. I may also get some other books involved. My guided study time is just a little more in depth when I have more time.

Power Hour – 30-60 minutes

For me, I want to be able to fit my work hours into very specific times. Running a business from home can lead you to be available to the business 24/7, which will lead to burn out. I have experienced this burnout when I would fit my work into any part of the day just to get it done. I was trying to support my team, my interns, and my community at all hours of the day. I tried to do my content creation tasks whenever I had a spare minute. And I experienced burnout.

Being consistent about completely wrapping my work up by the end of the day causes me to feel like I need to show up again first thing in the morning. Which is why the morning power hour is helpful for me. It allows me to show up for my team, know exactly what needs to happen that day, and respond to you guys so that I can be fully present in my morning block with my family.

Get Dressed, Do Hair, & Apply Makeup – 30 minutes

The days I do my long morning routine, I often will do a little bit more to get ready. I’ll actually wash my hair that day because if it’s hair wash day. Spend a little longer picking out my outfit. Not hurry through my makeup routine. One thing that I do to help prepare me for the day is roll one of my favorite essential oils on. If you want to find out more about essential oils, you can check out my essential oil guide. I am partnered as an affiliate with dōTERRA and would love to share more about how I use oils, so email me or DM me on Instagram.

Go get ’em!

The simple things that don’t take much time are what make a huge difference in our lives. Go create a short and a long fall morning routine! Figure out what time you need to get in bed in order to get up in time. Don’t get back in the bed, you can make this happen! I want you to have great days more often than not!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a place where I can find other mamas who are trying to start new morning routines as well? I would love accountability and encouragement.

I am so glad you asked! A great place to start is the Systemize Your Life Facebook Group. If you like the encouragement you find there, you can find more of that community and camaraderie in my happy place, the Systemize Your Life Academy. You can’t do this alone and we are here to support you!

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