1. Start Getting Ready the Night Before. The night before, write your to-do list. In addition, pack your bag with your wallet, laptop, cell phone, and anything else you’ll need, and set it by the door. Make sure that your keys and anything else that you need to take with you the next day are also by the door. Lastly, pick out the outfit you’ll be wearing.
2. Go to sleep on time. Have a set time at which you go to sleep each night and stick to it. If you go to sleep late you’ll be tired when your alarm rings and you’ll be tempted to hit the snooze button, maybe more than once. Each time you hit the snooze button, you’re wasting time.
3. Transition into a wakeful state quickly. Being in a groggy state when you wake up is not conducive to getting ready quickly and efficiently. Two things you can do to wake up quickly is to open the curtains in order to get sunlight first thing in the morning, and to drink a glass of water shortly after you wake up in order to jump-start your metabolism.
4. Put together a morning playlist and use it as a timer. Timing yourself as you get ready in the morning is a great way to make sure that you’re ready on time. And what better way to time yourself than by making a playlist of songs that you like and using the songs as a timer? You can try the following:
Make breakfast and serve yourself some coffee during the first song.
Eat your breakfast during the second and third songs.
Brush your teeth and brush your hair during the fourth song.
Shower during the fifth song.
Get dressed during the sixth song.
Apply make-up during the seventh song.
5. Streamline your morning maintenance routine. You don’t need to spend lots of time getting ready in the morning in order to feel and look great. There are lots of ways to streamline your morning routine. For example, instead of applying lip liner and several layers of lipstick, just dab on some lip-gloss. In addition, use a spray lotion instead of a cream one—it goes on faster.
6. Rethink your morning routine. Identify where you’re wasting time in the morning. Do you stand in line for 15 minutes at Starbucks? Then that’s fifteen minutes that you could save by getting a coffee maker with a timer and setting it to start brewing your coffee a few minutes before your alarm goes off in the morning.
7. Have a fast nutritious breakfast available. Skipping breakfast in order to save time is a bad idea. However, you can save time by preparing a quick breakfast. As an example, a breakfast of Greek yogurt, granola, and fruit is quick and easy to prepare, it tastes great, and it’s good for you. Another strategy is to cook oatmeal in a slow cooker overnight so that it’s ready by the time you get up.
8. Make lunch the night before. When you’re cooking your dinner, double the recipe. Then, put one batch in a plastic container, put it in the fridge, and your lunch for the next day is ready.
9. Resist the temptation to go online. Resist the temptation to check your email or go on social media in the mornings. Responding to one email can easily turn into two or three, and then you’ve spent twenty minutes online instead of getting ready to head out the door.
10. Set a strict time to leave the house. Put Parkinson’s Law to good use by having a strict time to leave the house. Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. Applied to your mornings, it means that the time that it takes you to get ready each morning will expand unless you set a firm limit on it.