Are you scrambling every morning as you head out the door? Are you often late to your destination? Do you sometimes forget things at home? Those three questions are so stressful, we know. Mornings are tough for some of us, and feeling like you are running around, frazzled, and forgetting something is not the way anyone wishes to begin their day. Imagine waking up on time, having a calm breakfast, getting dressed without multiple outfit changes, and heading out the door with minutes to spare, with everything you need to take with you. It really can happen! But it does take some work and planning, and even more importantly, commitment. One of the things that causes delays is making decisions—which is why our hacks cut down the number of choices you’ll have to make. Tweak your morning routine with these tips, and get out the door like a BOSS!
No more snoozing.
If the snooze button on your alarm clock or phone is the cause of frequent oversleeping, then it’s time to disable it. Getting out of a warm, cozy bed is one of everyone’s least favorite things (especially now that I have a weighted blanket!), but being up on time is the first thing that needs to happen. If you are a heavy sleeper and don’t realize you are hitting Snooze or sleeping through the alarm, move it farther than the nightstand so you have to actually get up to turn it off.
Get your outfit ready the night before.
This will make it so much easier to get ready in the morning, we promise! A few minutes the night before gives you time to thoughtfully choose what you will wear (for a big meeting, school party, workout session, etc.). Lay it all out, every single item in a little stack—so you’re not dressed but then searching for matching socks or a belt or your AirPods. If you are working out and then heading out, then make two stacks.
Ready everything else you need the night before.
As with your outfit, prepping the night before will save you time. Make a handwritten list if this helps you (it sure helps me!). Fill up your water bottle and have it ready in the fridge. If you are packing a lunch, have that done the night before, too. (Pro tip: Put that night’s leftovers right into a portable food storage bin and pop into the fridge for the next day’s lunch.) Charge your devices overnight so they’re juiced up by morning. Right before you go, just put all these items in your bag, and you’re off.
Don’t check your devices.
Trying to do work, check your social media and emails, or read the news before you leave the house will totally make you late. When it comes to electronics—whether it’s your phone, tablet, or computer—that “just for five minutes” will never really be just five minutes. The only exception would be to check specifics and confirmations, such as your carpool pick-up time, meeting location, or bus schedule.
Use a timer.
If time slips through your hands like sand, use a timer to keep yourself in check. I often use my Google Home or iPhone to set timers verbally—so easy! Know how much time you have for each thing, and set timers for that (e.g., 5 to shower, 15 for makeup and hair, 5 to get dressed, 15 for breakfast). It may seem a bit like bootcamp, but it will help keep you moving along and not getting distracted.
Plan ahead for quick, nutritional breakfast solutions.
It’s no fun when you’re running out the door with a piece of toast in your teeth, a travel mug of coffee in one hand, and your bag in another. On the weekends, stock up on quick and healthy breakfast options that don’t take more than a few minutes to prepare. Frozen waffles, precooked bacon, yogurt cups, breakfast bars, muffins and bagels, pre-cut fruit. I like to hard-boil eggs on Sunday night and keep them in the fridge—super quick protein addition for breakfast, for my salad, for my instant Pho. If coffee gets you rolling, consider a coffee machine with a timer. Add water and coffee grounds the night before, and when you come down for breakfast it’s already brewed!
Don’t do any chores.
A busy morning is not the time to start a load of laundry, clear the dishwasher, or do any other chore. Save those for later in the day so they don’t derail your morning routine and use up valuable time. Set aside time and create a schedule to take care of some of these regular chores. For instance, go through your mail on Wednesdays and Saturdays after dinner; wash linens on Saturday mornings; pay bills on Sunday mornings.
With these tweaks, your morning routine should begin to take shape and become more of a real routine that is timely, productive, and not stressful. If you have kiddos, use the same tweaks for them—they really can be applied to kids of any age. Also check out Streaming the Morning Lunch Crunch!