For some, the morning is a time to do yoga, meditate, and eat a home cooked breakfast. For the rest of us, we're lucky to get up in time to put together a matching outfit. And when waking up late and rushing around becomes your norm, the idea of a streamlined morning routine can seem like total fantasy.
It's really not surprising so many of us are rushed and frantic in the a.m., either. When you think of all the things that have to get done in the morning, it's amazing anyone makes it out the door at all. Between showering, eating breakfast, finding clothes, and getting that pesky winged eyeliner just right (which never happens), it's no wonder the early hours are crazy time indeed.
But despite this hours long to-do list, it is possible to be more organized, and even move much faster in the morning. When you get into the habit of a speedy routine, you'll find you can sleep in later, look put together, and even make it on time to work. Not to mention you'll feel much calmer, which is a way better way to start your day.
If all of this still sounds too good to be true, I promise it's not. Here are some easy tips for making your morning routine as fast and streamlined as possible.
1. Do Your Grooming Rituals The Night Before
The morning is not the time to suddenly decide to shave your legs, or intricately pluck your eyebrows. Anything that requires this type of precision should be saved for the evening, when there's time to casually soap up your legs and shave to your heart's content.
But really, anything you can do the night before to save yourself time the following morning is something you should look into. Yes, think about shaving and plucking, but also consider a nighttime shower. As Patrick Allan notes on Lifehacker.com, "There are a lot of perks to doing this: you can take as much time as you want (unless you’re in California), and you’ll have all the hot water to yourself, it can help you destress and fall asleep, and you’ve cut out the bathroom task that eats up the most time."
2. Maximize Your Morning Bathroom Efficiency
Nothing can bring your morning routine to a screeching halt faster than an inopportune call of nature. Unless you're the fastest bathroom goer ever, having to go sometimes means committing quite some time to hanging out in the bathroom. But it doesn't have to be this way. As Allan noted, "There’s no need for ceremony when you have places to be. If ... you’re not quite feeling up to the task, you can drink hot liquids to help things along ... It also helps to sit like a samurai, with one leg crossed and your back as straight as you can." Hopefully that'll do the trick, and you'll soon be on your way.
3. Use A Shower Timer To Prevent Whiling Away The Morning
Like I said, showering at night is the way to go to save time. If you're the type who wakes up fresh as a daisy, then use this to your advantage. For the rest of us — the ones who wake up looking as if we've just braved the steamiest of jungles — a morning shower is a total necessity. But whether or not you're showering because you want to, or because you have to, once you step into that steamy water it's often hard to get out. So prevent yourself from losing track of time by setting a shower timer, and promise to finish up as soon as the buzzer goes off.
You can also make your shower a little less enjoyable, and therefore easier to get out of, by setting the water just a bit too cold for comfort. "If there is one thing that is guaranteed to get you in and out of a shower fast, it’s temperature ... There can be a lot of benefits to cold showers, but it doesn’t have to be freezing for this to work. Just enough to make you feel like getting out of there as soon as you can," said Allan.
4. Skip Out On Washing Your Hair
OK, if you're going to give in and shower, the least you can do is not wash your hair (and take forever drying and styling it...). All you have to do is throw it up in a ponytail or top knot, and no one will know the difference. Or you can quickly spray on some dry shampoo, which may help you look a little more put together. According to an article on Elle.com, "Dry shampoo might be a staple in just about every busy woman's medicine cabinet ... Skip washing your hair with these innovative sprays that mask oil, dirt, and odor on dirty hair. Look for powdery sprays that also add volume to make it look like you just had a blowout." For all of us greasy ladies who are constantly running late, these sprays are truly magical.
5. Be All About Multi-Purpose Products
Oh lordy, the time-consuming effort that is showering and then moisturizing. I'm sure if we added up all the hours we spent bathing, then drying off, then slathering on lotion, we'd be appalled. That's why two-in-one products, like a bath gel/moisturizer combo, are truly necessary for a fast morning routine. Simply shower as you do, and skip the lotion process afterward.
This multi-purpose strategy works for beauty products, too. As Augusta Falletta noted on Stylecaster.com, "Whether it’s a tinted moisturizer or a stain you can use on your lips and cheeks, multi-purpose products will cut down your time getting ready." Sounds good to me.
6. Use Your Fingers To Apply Makeup, Because No One Has Time For Tools
On the weekend, you can unfurl your makeup brushes and cover your counters with every beauty product under the sun. During the week, however, you'll be much better off just smearing on some foundation with your fingers. According to Carly Cardellino on Cosmopolitan.com, using your fingers to apply makeup gets rid of the time-consuming effort of finding the right brush, struggling with tools, and then washing them all when you're done (which you should do). So pat on some foundation and blush with your fingers, and move on with your day.
7. Have Breakfast Items Ready And Waiting
I know, sitting down to eat like a real human being might be too much to ask. But that doesn't mean you should run out the door without having your most important meal of the day. Keep some granola bars, or yogurt, or shakeable protein mixes on hand so that you don't waste time starting blankly into the fridge.
8. Stay As Organized As Possible
Our parents were right when they told us to lay out our clothes the night before, because a swift morning routine just won't be possible if you're disorganized. So lay out those clothes, keep your makeup neat and tidy in the bathroom, and make sure your phone/wallet/keys are waiting for you in one spot. That way you can breeze around from one task to the next without panicking and/or wasting your time.
9. Take Your Time, Because Freaking Out Never Helped Anybody
We've all dashed about in the a.m. and gotten in such frenzy that we forgot our wallet, or our keys, or our books. (I was even so rushed one time I wore two different shoes to class — no joke.) So please, take your time in the morning to prevent such calamities. According to Falletta, "This may sound counterintuitive, but rushing through getting ready will almost insure making a mistake or forgetting to do something. Move with urgency, but take your time so that you don’t waste more time going back over mistakes that could’ve been avoided."
Mornings are hard, but it is possible to have a fast and streamlined routine. All it takes is a little preparation, some planning, and a willingness to get out of the shower.
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