It’s no secret to anyone who lives or travels with me – I am not a morning person. If I can find a way to get even just 15 minutes more sleep in the morning, I’ll take it. Whether you are a morning person or not, there is a way to get out the door faster in the morning, so you can arrive at your destination on time without feeling frazzled. All it takes is a little planning…
10 Ways to Shave Time off Your Morning Routine
1. Create a to-do list the night before.
Not only will this allow you to clear your mind so you can sleep better, it will also keep you on track the next day.
2. Plan what to wear.
- Check the next day’s weather forecast and lay out your outfit the night before (this includes every part of your outfit: shoes, accessories – even undergarments).
- Make it easy to choose your outfits by streamlining your wardrobe – keep in your closet only the clothing you currently wear. (Find another place for ‘keepsake’ clothes, out-of-season items, and clothes that used to fit before you lost/gained weight).
- When shopping for clothes, consider choosing wrinkle-free fabrics.
- If you have trouble creating outfits, consider wearing dresses more often. Or, if you find you get stuck in a rut wearing the same things all the time, consider creating your own ‘look book’ of outfits. Take pictures of your clothes and create various outfits. There’s even an app for that: Style Book.
3. Organize your bag.
- Organize the contents of your purse into one or two clear, zippered cosmetic bags (or plastic sandwich bags for now). When you want to switch purses, rather than move all the items individually, just transfer the clear bags.
- Consider limiting the number of purses you use. Buy fewer purses of better quality and in neutral colors – one or two for each season.
- Pre-pack your briefcase/kids’ backpacks the night before and keep them by the exit door.
4. Keep distractions down.
- Resist the temptation to turn the TV on in the morning.
- Fight the urge to ‘take a minute’ to check your email; it always takes longer than you think. If you just can’t avoid checking email, set a timer for 5 minutes and step away when time’s up.
5. Mind the time.
It’s easy to lose track of time. Consider placing a clock in your bathroom, kitchen or any other area where you spend most of you time in the morning. (I keep a small portable clock/timer with a digital display on my make-up table and take it to the bathroom when I do my hair).
6. Save time in the shower.
- Take a shower the night before if you can.
- Take shorter showers (use a timer).
- Wear a shower cap – you don’t have to wash your hair every day.
7. Have a speedy breakfast.
- Keep grab-and-go breakfasts on hand: hard-boiled egg, yogurt, granola, energy bar, ‘portable fruit’ (banana, apple), almonds, and nutritious muffins. If you like healthy smoothies, prepare all the ingredients in a cup the night before and blend in the morning.
- Prepare the coffee machine the night before.
8. Simplify your beauty routine.
- Sort through your cosmetics and keep out just a few basics. The rest can be stored for special occasions or when you have more time to devote to the application.
- Use fewer products with more impact, or choose items that do double-duty, like tinted moisturizer.
9. Don’t misplace your keys.
Keep your keys in a designated place – a hook, a basket or a bowl by the door (but not within view from outside). Always put them in that spot as soon as you get home. Think of how much time can be wasted, and how stressful it can be, to search for your keys just as you are ready to head out the door.
10. Get quality sleep.
- Get to bed at a decent time – preferably the same time every night. Create a relaxing bed time routine.
- If you have trouble falling (or staying) asleep, research some strategies that may help. You’ll be more productive, make fewer mistakes and be in a better frame-of-mind.
How you begin your day often impacts how you experience the rest of the day. Choose one or two tips to try this week, and add one more each week. Eventually, these actions will become habits that will lead to calmer, more organized mornings – and a less stressful life.
Now it’s your turn to share: What do you do to shave time off your morning routine?