We’ve finally made it out of winter and set our clocks forward- spring has finally sprung. It is the time of rebirth and renewal- and promises of spring cleaning. The concept of spring cleaning is not limited to the idea of literal cleaning but includes taking stock of your day to day life and making necessary tweaks to improve it. If you are looking for ways to improve your daily routine for spring and beyond, you came to the right place.
1. The Earlier You Start, The Sooner You Can Go Back To Bed
You probably already saw this one coming, but here it is anyway. One way to update your routine this spring is to start your day earlier. Not just setting your first alarm an hour earlier, but actually getting up and out of bed earlier. I get it as I am the complete opposite of a morning person. It’s easy to fall into the habit of staying up late at night and playing the dangerous game of trying to see how many times you can hit the “snooze” button on before you’re running late. While sleeping in for another 15 minutes that quickly turns into 45 may feel good, you lose out on precious time to be productive. The more committed you are to incorporating waking up at least an hour earlier into your routine, the easier it will become and the more time you will have for finishing homework, morning work out and a meal or to take your time getting ready. The earlier you start being productive, the more time you will likely have to rest.
2. The Notifications Can Wait
Raise your hand if this is how your morning typically begins: finally decide that you’re done playing tag with the “snooze” button, sit up- might even swing your legs over the side of the bed, grab your cell phone and start scrolling through ALL of your feeds. Same. This tip is a follow up to waking up early on the principle of productivity. Not to say don’t touch or look at your phone, but don’t get caught up on your phone first thing in the morning. Sure, put on some music while you’re getting ready or meditate if you’re into that. Maybe answer an urgent text or email but do not get sucked into your screen first thing in the morning. Allow yourself time to fully awaken, get your mind together and even start breakfast before diving into your phone.
3. Set Your Pace
Now that you are starting your day earlier, it is time to plan your day. Sometimes it feels like we are always in a rush because we are just winging it. Winging our schedules, winging to-do lists and winging everything but eyeliner. After getting freshened up and dressed, take a minute to set your plan for the day. In your calendar app, put in what you have to do, what time and set reminders according to how much time you will think you need to prepare beforehand. Practice this even with things you do daily such as class, work and studying. The more seriously you take this practice the rhythm of your day will feel less and less hectic.
4. It’s Clean Up Time
Sometimes life gets too hectic, and things begin to pile up- next thing you know you can barely see the floor of your bedroom. As you upgrade your daily routine during spring, do the literal cleaning. If you are already a neat freak, minimalist or love organization, then you are already ahead of the curve on this one. I know it is tempting to come back home or to your dorm from a busy day and just loaf. You deserve it. But you also deserve an ideal space to do it in. At some point when you arrive back to your home or dorm, during your downtime make an effort to dedicate at least 30 minutes to clean or organize one thing in your space. Wash the dishes one day, put away the laundry that’s been piled up at the end of your bed for the last few days or reorganize your desk the next. On weekends you can tackle more significant projects such as the closet or bathroom. Doing one thing every day no matter how small will feel like an accomplishment and over time will feel like less of a daunting task.
5. Make Room For Me Time
It would be pretty safe to say that we can all agree that “me time” is the best time. Sometimes our schedules and routines make it hard for us to fit it in and enjoy. As part of upgrading your spring routine, make time for “me time” and mindfulness. Some people enjoy meditation, some enjoy journaling and some- like myself enjoy a good ole’ nap. Even if it is just for five minutes in between class, take time to check in with yourself. Write down your thoughts in a journal, take a technology break for an hour, read a book, indulge in your favorite hobby or if you have the time, give yourself a mini spa treatment. Make time for even small acts of self-care. Additionally, take a few minutes to jot down any goals you have for the next day or further in the future and pat yourself on the back for the ones you can check off as completed.