In my search for a small change to incorporate this week, I started thinking about some of my runner habits. One of my favorites is that whenever I am running a race, I am meticulous about laying out all of my clothing and gear the night before. I try to prepare everything as much as possible. I pin my bib on my shirt. I set a cereal box, banana, a bowl and a spoon on the kitchen table. I drape my jacket over a chair near the front door, and leave my gear bag and a bottle of water sitting at the doorway. I might even loosen my running shoelaces.
My philosophy is, the more you can do the night before, the less stressful things will be the morning of, and the less likely there will be for any disaster to occur. (Notice I said "less likely" for disaster - not impossible. Even with all this preparation, I've still had some issues. But that's a topic for another day.)
Unfortunately, I only do this kind of preparation for race days. I generally do NOT do it as part of my everyday morning routine for getting ready to go to work.
With this in mind, I thought I would try applying pre-race-type preparation to everyday mornings as my small change for the week. That includes doing all of the following things the night before:
- Picking out what I am going to wear, including shoes, socks, underwear, and any jewelry or accessories, and laying everything out
- Packing my lunch and storing it in an easy-to-reach spot in the fridge to grab and go
- Packing my computer bag with all necessary paperwork, etc. and having it ready to grab and go
- Putting my housekeys, office key card, glasses, and other necessities in my purse
I did NOT go so far as to setting out my breakfast food/dishes or setting out my jacket/gloves, etc. Those are certainly good considerations for the future, though.
On a side note...
When I was trying to think of a title for this post, I thought - what is the opposite of procrastination? Precrastination? That sounds like "the act of preparing to procrastinate." How about concrastination? Or anticrastinate? Hmmm...
I'll get back to you on that later. ;-)
Now, back to the topic at hand.
How did it go? On the days that I followed through, it certainly made things easier in the mornings. Admittedly, though, there was room for improvement:
- I had some nights where I was up late working, and wanted to get to bed as quickly as possible. No go on any type of night-before preparations when I'm in that situation.
- There were a couple of times when I did pick out an outfit the night before, but then the next morning I decided I didn't feel like wearing it. It resulted in me going back to the drawing board and tearing through the contents of my closet in the morning while the clock ticks away. (First world problems, I know.)
- Ideally my phone would be one of the things already packed in my purse and ready to go in the mornings. However, I charge my phone overnight, use it to catch up on social media and emails while I am eating breakfast, and sometimes use it as a backup alarm clock. As a result, I frequently end up putting the phone down somewhere in the morning, then losing track of it. A mad search then ensues for my misplaced phone.
- My best intentions were to use any time savings to get to the office earlier. Instead, I found other ways to use that newfound time at home. Sometimes these "other ways" were productive, e.g. doing dishes, going through some of the mail sitting on the countertop, making the bed. There were also times when "other ways" meant more social networking or internet surfing. (Although, I guess some might consider that productive, just in a different way.)
I think I still have some refinements to make when it comes to the practice of applying pre-race-type preparation to my daily morning routine. But hey - nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
Maybe next week I can focus on making one small change to this week's attempt at a small change? =D