Mornings seem to be the most stressful part of our day, but establishing an easier morning routine can make all the difference for you. Several years ago, I had such a busy day, and my mornings were extremely limited in time. At first I panicked, until I improvised a few easier ways to get out the door faster, without skipping breakfast, a morning workout, or forgetting my lunch. Oh, and yes, I even had time to shower and do my makeup too! Here are my best tips for lightening up your morning routine, but I’m always up for hearing a few more if you feel like sharing!
1. Iron the Night before
I know when you’re tired at night, ironing is the last thing you want to do, but ironing your clothes each night will really help lighten up your morning routine. If you have a spacey closet, you can even plan your outfits for the week, and do all your ironing on Sunday while you catch up on a movie on television or something. Ironing the night before, or for the week ahead, can save you at least 10 minutes every morning. Now you don’t have to go with wrinkled clothes, or skip your breakfast just to get out the door on time.
2. Lay out Your Workout Clothes
This old trick also works wonders for lightening up your morning routine. When you first wake up, you’re probably not only a little foggy, but also tired and unmotivated. Who wants to dig for their sports bra, workout tank, and shorts or leggings in the wee morning hours? That makes it seem like so much work, and then there are the socks, water bottle, iPod, and shoes. Oh, and what about hair bands? Do yourself a favor and lay all this out in one spot the night before. You’ll be more likely to do your workout and get out the door faster.
3. Pack Your Bags
I used to leave each morning with about 3 bags in my trunk- one workout bag, one lunch bag, and one school bag. I worked out, then went to school, then to work all day, then back to school at night. It was exhausting! I would have never made it if I hadn’t spent about 30 minutes each night packing my bags. It was the last thing I wanted to do, but it made all the difference every morning.
4. Prepare Your Lunch
Along with packing your bags, make sure you have a healthy lunch made and ready to go. I used to do all this on Sundays and keep my containers in the fridge for the week. Then, all I had to do each night was get my lunch bag, pack it with my pre-made meals and snacks, and I was out the door the next morning. Do be sure to get a bag with a built-in cooler, or place it in the office fridge when you get there.
5. Get up 30 Minutes Early
Even if you think you have enough time each morning, something is bound to come up. Get up 30 minutes earlier than you think you need. This will help reduce your stress in the morning too, since if you know you have a few minutes to spare, you won’t be frazzled and constantly looking at the clock.
6. Time Your Workout
It’s best to get your workout in as soon as you get up. Have a cup of coffee if you need to, and head straight out. If you’re exercising indoors, time your workouts to the minute to make sure you don’t go over. This will hopefully help you intensify your workout as well, so you get the most out of your time. If you’re heading outdoors, be sure you do the same, since it can be easy to lose track of time when you’re enjoying your workouts in nature, or if you run into a friend that wants to chat.
7. Know What Breakfast Will Be
You also need to have some sort of idea what you’re going to eat for breakfast each morning. Pick something healthy and quick, like a smoothie, a pre-made bowl of overnight oats, or cooked oats that you have prepped and ready to go. Even a piece of fruit and some almonds with Greek yogurt will do in a flash. I like smoothies, and for hurried mornings, I suggest keeping all your ingredients together in the fridge, or making smoothie packs, with all your ingredients in a baggie and ready to be thrown in the next morning.
8. Wash at Night
My top trick for lightening up your morning routine is to wash your hair at night. I started doing this 8 years ago, and will never look back. It makes mornings so much easier! I have incredibly long, thick, and hard to manage hair, so the last thing I want to do every morning is mess with it more than I have to. Washing and drying at night can even help your hair style better the next day, since the natural oils have time to do their thing.
9. Fill the Pot
Lastly, if you’re a coffee drinker, go ahead and put your grounds in your coffee maker, along with the water in the holding tank. Then, if you have a pre-set timer, go ahead and pre-set it to brew at the time you want. Let me tell you, this has saved me from coffee spills, forgetting to brew the coffee, and even spilling the coffee grounds everywhere in the dark, more than I can tell you. Before I drank coffee, I even laid out my tea bags the night before, and filled my kettle with water and placed it in the fridge. This saves you time, stress, and lightens up your morning routine, no matter how minimal it seems.
You might be concerned that now your evenings will be full with preparing for the next day, but that’s really not the case. I suggest when you first get home at night, take care of the kitchen stuff first, like packing your lunch bag, filling your coffee pot, and making sure you have lunch and breakfast ready to go. This only takes about 10 minutes. Iron your clothes next and pack your workout bag. After that, all you have to do is shower and wash your hair! It really doesn’t take too long at all, and you’ll relax all evening knowing all this is done. Do you have one tip to lighten up your morning you’d like to share with me?