There are 3 kinds of morning people in this world:
#1 The Not-Morning Person who wakes up at the last minute possible (after hitting snooze three times) and then races around the house trying to get out the door on time.
#2 The Easily Distracted Earlybird who naturally wakes up around dawn, but dawdles and finds herself fighting the clock to make it to work on time regardless of how many hours she’s been up.
#3 The Morning Master who has a carefully crafted routine that is religiously adhered to – paving the path for a peaceful A.M. and timely arrival at work.
It should come as no surprise that the way you spend your morning can set the tone for the entire day. And just a few easy tweaks can boost your mood and your productivity. There’s a reason the world’s most successful people typically have rituals they stick to! Not only that, with the right routine, you can rest assured you’ll make it to work on time.
Here are 5 Morning Routine Hacks to Get You Out the Door Faster (and Happier!)
#1 Start your morning the evening before.
Shave time off of your morning routine by doing some things the night before – like choosing an outfit, prepping your breakfast, and packing a lunch – just don’t go so overboard that you start getting anxious about the next day or take too big of a bite out of precious, pre-bed, “me” time.
Another helpful tip is making a morning to-do list so you can spend your morning executing it instead of making it. To be most effective, turn off your phone (it’s a HUGE no-no to go to bed scrolling through news and social media that just fill your mind with distractions), make your list, and then go to bed. If making your list is the last thing you do before falling asleep, your subconscious mind will be thinking through solutions for attacking your list as you peacefully slumber – giving you a head start on things the next morning.
#2 Never, ever, ever hit the snooze button.
Obviously, if you don’t hit your snooze button, you’re going to get out the door faster. But some people schedule in a few snooze button bumps because they know they’re going to do it. DON’T. Here are a few reasons why:
- If you’re scheduling in time to allow yourself to hit snooze, you’re much better off allowing yourself to actually reap the rewards of the “real” sleep you’d be having. Sleep is vital for every biological and mental and emotional function. Ripping yourself from its rejuvenating arms before you truly have to (and compromising for the half-sleep that follows) is an absolute injustice to its powers.
- Snoozing can make it harder for you to wake up. If you’re already overtired, hitting snooze can make you fall back into the beginning of a sleep cycle which releases hormones that promote deep sleep – and that’s BAD news. “As psychologist Maria Konnikova writes in the New Yorker, the beginning of a sleep cycle "is the worst point to be woken up —and the harder we feel it is for us to wake up, the worse we think we’ve slept.” That’s a terrible double-whammy.
At least one study found that hitting the snooze button in can affect cognitive functions throughout the entire day. Rather than feeling more well-rested from a few extra minutes of low-quality shut-eye, you could have trouble concentrating and making decisions.
Just. Don’t. Do. It.
#3 Wait to turn on your phone.
Bathe and get dressed and ready before you switch on your smartphone. Don’t let FOMO get the best of you! It might feel like a nice way to ease yourself into the day since you can still be lying in bed while feeling like you’re getting something accomplished, but you’re not truly accomplishing anything significant -- you’re only slowing yourself down and starting your day reactively instead of proactively.
“When we wake up in the morning and turn our phone over to see a list of notifications—it frames the experience of ‘waking up in the morning’ around a menu of all the things I’ve missed since yesterday,” writes Tristan Harris, Google Design Ethicist.
Focus on your morning routine. Give yourself time to acclimate to the day, think un-distracted thoughts, and just BE -- before switching on your phone or other devices. The world will come pouring down upon you soon enough.
#4 Ditch the daily news.
Similar to the above, your morning will go most smoothly and efficiently if you’re only processing information related to your morning tasks when you wake up. "Something as 'simple' as listening to the news as you get ready creates a surprising amount of frazzle," says Peter Bregman, author of "18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done. "If you allow yourself to wake up and have silence or even music as opposed to content, you'll move faster."
#5 Make a morning playlist.
There’s nothing like music to help drive our mood, and the perfect playlist can be your BFF for getting you from cozy in bed to ready to crush it at the front door – on time, every day. Consider your entire morning routine (including how much time you have) and craft accordingly. Wake up to something soft and sweet. Shower to something you love singing to. And finish everything up with songs that pump you up and prepare you to conquer the day.
If you want to go all out, make different morning playlists for different types of days. Mondays may need music with a little more kick. Fridays could be more celebratory. Days that make you anxious (meetings, deadlines, etc.) could benefit from tunes that inspire and empower you. Just remember to follow the arc of your morning routine and how much time it takes. The biggest benefits of a morning playlist are easing you into the day (and revving your engine) and keeping you on task and on time.
What are your morning routine hacks to get you out the door faster? Share them with us on social media using #HappyHealthyHacks!