I am not a morning person.
I desperately want to be, but I almost always seem to find myself scrambling out the door with my shirt on backwards and my shoelaces untied as I race to catch the #2 bus.
Mornings shouldn’t be as hard as they are for me, but alas, they are.
To increase my chances of getting to work on time without ruining the rest of the day, I’ve employed the following early morning hacks. I don’t successfully do them all the time, because, well, life! But on the days I do, everything always seems to go a lot more smoothly.
1. Make extra when cooking dinner and pack it in to-go containers for easy lunches
I love to cook, but there’s no denying how time consuming it can be.
My solution? Make extra!
If you’re already chopping a couple peppers for your chicken stir fry, why not chop two more? Making a cup of rice? Make three!
When you’re done cooking, portion out your leftovers into to-go containers for quick lunches. Plus, you’re probably making healthier meals than you’d otherwise buy at the office and you can control food portions better than most restaurants and delivery services.
Taken to the extreme, you could also try #MealPrepSunday. There’s a whole online community in various corners of the Internet of extreme food preppers who make an entire week’s worth of food every Sunday and portion it out for the remainder of the week. And we aren’t just talking work lunches here either.
These people make breakfasts, dinners, snack foods — the works! It can take hours and a lot of preparation and practice until you get it down to a science, but there’s no denying the time dedicated food preppers save Monday through Saturday.
2. Prep your smoothie the evening before
Whether it’s a fruit smoothie, green smoothie, or protein shake, there are few better breakfast choices than a freshly blended, cold morning smoothie.
Instead, do all the prep the night before, toss it in your blender, and store it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, just grab, blend, and go.
I have the Ninja blender, which comes with the single serving attachment and screw-on blender cap. It works perfectly for this every morning.
3. Figure out what you’re wearing and iron it beforehand
The fix is easy, but you aren’t going to want to hear it: Do your laundry regularly and lay out tomorrow’s outfit tonight. You can earn bonus points for ironing it, too.
Ready for an ironing hack? Try leaving your clothes hanging in the bathroom while you shower! For some items the steam from the shower is enough to get the wrinkles out. Or at least enough wrinkles so it looks like you sort of care.
4. Sleep in your workout clothes
Piggybacking on the tip above, try sleeping in your workout clothes. It saves you time having to locate them in the morning, and if you’re like me and look for every reason to back out of getting in some physical activity before a day at the office, it can help you overcome any laziness you may be feeling so early in the day.
If you’re not too keen on sleeping with so much spandex on, packing your gym bag ahead of time will suffice!
5. Don’t snooze
Did you know that 35% of women and 47% of hit the snooze button in the morning according to a survey by Sleep Junkie, which was nicely summarized here.
Hey I’m guilty of it, too (no one is perfect), but snoozing can actually make you feel groggier in the morning by tricking your body into thinking you’re entering another sleep cycle.
Not only does this rob you of 5-10 minutes per snooze, but it makes you sluggish once you finally do make it out of bed.
It can be difficult seeing your phone’s notification light flashing, but do your best to resist the urge to investigate. It’s incredibly easy to go down the rabbit hole of emails, Snapchat videos, Facebook updates, and Tweets. They’ll all still be there once you get to the office.
7. Refine your coffee routine
Some people (myself included) can’t function without a little lot of caffeine, but between boiling the water, grinding my coffee beans, and waiting for the coffee to actually brew, it can take a long time from bean to cup.
Is there anything you can do to speed up the process?
Single serve machines like Keurig and Nespresso provide one alternative. I’m not a huge fan of Keurig’s coffee quality, but I really like Nespresso and think they make fantastic machines. Best of all, they only take about 25 seconds to heat up and another 30 seconds to brew. One minute from capsule to cup.
The downside to these coffee machines is threefold:
- Their negative impact to the environment,
- The cost per serving is higher, and
- They come pre-ground, though they are sealed.
Alternately, you could look at a BUNN coffee maker like the BUNN Velocity Brew models. They brew a full 10-cup pot in just four minutes and smaller portions even more quickly. No more waiting eight to 10 minutes for your coffee to brew.
There, I just saved you at least five minutes. Just don’t use it to hit the snooze button.
8. Have a set place for your keys, wallet, purse, sunglasses, and any other essentials
You should see me as I walk out the door every morning.
OK, keys? Check.
Phone? Shoot. [Scrambles to find phone.]
And about once per week I leave and have to come back because I forgot something. It’s actually quite comical, at least for my girlfriend.
Of course, I could solve this problem if I had a centralized place to put everything.
OK, so that makes this the one piece of advice on this list that I don’t personally follow, but usually I forget to follow it. I’m working on that!
Do you have any tips or early morning hacks that save you time? I bet you do. Comment below to share them!
About The Author
Bryan is a freelance writer who has two passions in life: coffee and the beach. That means for him, life doesn’t get any better than drinking coffee on the beach while putting the finishing touches on his next (hopeful) masterpiece.