It seems like you’ve just closed your eyes when suddenly your alarm goes off and it’s time for you to wake up and get ready for work or school. No wonder hitting that snooze button is so tempting – just once… and once more… and this is the last time, I swear… Before you know it you’re half an hour behind schedule and you’re already stressed.
Your mornings don’t need to be like this. You can afford to hit snooze a few times as long as you do a few things in advance to save you time in the morning. There are plenty of things you can do, none of which are difficult, that will allow you to stay in bed for that extra 10 minutes. Here’s what you can do:
1. Pack a Lunch Before Bedtime
Maybe it sounds like a hassle, but when morning comes you’ll be glad you did it. When you’re cooking your dinners, make enough so that you will have leftovers for a few days’ worth of lunches. Store the leftovers in serving-size microwaveable containers and all you have to do in the morning is grab it out of the fridge. Soups and pastas are great for this, and it’s easy to change them up so you don’t get bored. A large quiche or lasagna can easily be cut up and stored for your week’s lunches.
2. Choose Your Clothes the Night Before
First of all, check the forecast for the next few days. If it’s going to suddenly be hotter or colder for a day, choose your clothes accordingly. Even if you’re not going to pick every item of every outfit, you can organize your closet at least, so that you’ll know where everything is, and you know which items go together. You really don’t want to be thinking this through when you only have 10 minutes before leaving for a meeting. Always keep some safety pins on you for those times when something happens just as you walk out of your house. Some mornings, there’s just no time to go back and change.
3. Make Coffee Simpler
I’ve always thought it was unfair that I have to stumble around making that first coffee of the day when I haven’t even had my coffee yet. Keurig was invented for people like me. But whatever coffee brewing method you use, you can prepare it ahead of time. Put the filter in the basket (don’t forget the coffee!) and make sure there’s water in the machine. All you need to do when you get up is turn on your machine. If you usually take a coffee with you, have your first coffee in a travel mug so you can take it with you if you don’t finish it.
4. Use Music to Keep Track of the Time
It’s not hard to get distracted while you’re still waking up, and you may forget to keep an eye on the time. Listening to music is a fun and easy way to solve this problem. Most songs last about 3 or 4 minutes, so you can give yourself 2 songs’ worth of time in the shower, one for getting dressed, etc. You can even make a dedicated playlist that gets more energetic with each song. By the time you get to Shake It Off, you’ll be ready for anything!
5. Make sure that everything you’ll be using during the day is all in one place
Nothing’s worse than getting halfway to work and suddenly realizing you left a must-have document on your table at home. Before you go to bed, make a mental checklist (or even a real one if necessary) of everything you will need the following day. Even if you’re tired, it’s not so hard to gather everything and pack it in your bag the night before. You’ll be even groggier at 7 AM! You’ll also be in a hurry and more likely to forget an important item. If you’re forgetful, make it a habit to leave important items where you can’t help but see them before leaving the house. You can even try putting everything right next to your shoes. For sure you’ll remember to put on your shoes before you go…hopefully!
6. Facebook? Forget about it!
How likely is it that anything big and exciting happened to your Facebook friends while you were sleeping? Don’t give in to the desire to “quickly” check your newsfeed before you leave for work. It’s too easy to get sucked in while passively scrolling through cat pictures and status updates, and before you know it, ten or fifteen minutes have gone by. Even quickly checking your email can be enough to derail your morning schedule.
7. Invest in a good dry shampoo
Either you hate dry shampoo or you love it, but at least give it a fair chance. The first few brands you choose may make you look like you’ve just fallen head-first into a flour bin. With perseverance, you will find a dry shampoo that leaves your hair looking and even feeling clean and fabulous. I have thick hair, and experience has taught me to stay away from the cheaper brands. For good results, I have to spend my money and invest in a higher-end product. For me, it’s totally worth the money because of the time and effort I save. It’s really great to have the option of skipping your shower on some mornings, especially in the dead of winter when it’s cold and dark and all you want to do is stay in bed for five more minutes. Do a test-drive of a dry shampoo on a weekend, and see how it goes. It may not work for you, but then again it could be the start of a beautiful new friendship.
8. Bring some snacks along
It’s not a great idea to skip breakfast, but when you’re pressed for time, something’s got to give. The good news is that there are much healthier options available than a pastry on your way to work. Pack some granola bars in your purse, and keep enough on hand for the whole week. That way you won’t be tempted to stop at Starbucks. Shaving ten minutes off your morning routine is pointless if you spend it lining up for a coffee and snack.