11 Ways You’re Accidentally Slowing Down Your Morning Routine

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I never used to be a morning person, but now I'm amazed daily with my new ability to get up, get ready, and arrive at work on time. It all started when I realized I was accidentally slowing down my morning routine, and making things more difficult than they needed to be. Since then, I've made a few changes, and now I'm (gasp) a morning person.

My ability to bound out of bed may have something to do with no longer being a teenager, or an exhausted college student. But I'd like to think it has more to do with expertly tweaking my routine. Instead of hitting snooze 5,000 times, for example, I now get up when my alarm goes off. It sucks because I'm so comfy, but I do it anyway. I also have go-to breakfast items, so there's no more time spent struggling to decide what to eat. I also started showering at night, and simply rinsing off in the morning to help me wake up. So simple, and yet so efficient.

As someone who has seen both sides of the morning spectrum, I really know firsthand what works in the morning, and what doesn't. And what doesn't work, are the bad habits that slow you down and confuse your tired brain. So trust me when I say the following habits can really ruin your morning routine.

1. Not Getting Ready The Night Before

If you forget to organize yourself before bed, expect to wake up into a world of chaos, missing keys, and mismatched outfits. Not only is this not an ideal way to start the day, but it can even make you late to work. So start your morning routine the night before by laying out everything you need. Choose your outfit, charge your phone, and put your keys by the front door. That way, you won't waste time searching for everything, and your routine will go much more smoothly.

2. Hitting Snooze Five Too Many Times

If you don't get a good night's sleep, you'll probably waste half the morning hitting snooze, and then dealing with the drudgery of pulling your lifeless body out of bed. Or, you can practice good "sleep hygiene" to make waking up on time way easier. One good way to start is by sticking to a sleep schedule, where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This helps to regulate your body's clock and can help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

3. Sleeping On Wet Hair

Showering at night is a good way to speed up your morning process. Sleeping on wet hair, however, is not. Going to sleep with wet hair usually means waking up with some serious bedhead, which then requires a ton of styling (and maybe even hopping in the shower again). Prevent all the chaos by drying your hair before bed, or at least sleeping with it up in a bun, suggested Faith Xue on Byrdie.com. You'll wake up with smoother hair that's ready to go.

4. Spending Too Much Time On The Interwebs

Whatever you do, don't go anywhere near technology if you're trying to get ready for work. Your computer and phone are both huge time sucks, since once you get involved it's really hard to break away, noted the editors of Best Health magazine. Save checking your emails and texts for your commute on the train, or for a quieter time later in the day. Your morning routine will be much faster as a result.

5. Not Having A Routine

If you don't have a morning routine, now's a good a time as any to adopt one. Once you get into a habit, you'll find yourself breezing through the morning like it's no big deal. There will be no more dawdling, or wondering what to do next. You'll just wake up, shower, eat breakfast, and head off to work like some sort of well-oiled machine.

6. Shunning The Light

If you're not much of a morning person, then I bet you get ready with the lights off and the curtains closed. It may feel comfy, but this habit keeps your brain in sleep mode. That's why you need to throw open the curtains and expose yourself to light as soon as you wake up. According to Anna Medaris Miller on HuffingtonPost.com, turning on a very strong light, such as those used to treat seasonal affective disorder, can also help.

7. Spending Too Much Time In Front Of The Mirror

You may feel like you have time to perfect your makeup in the morning, and maybe you do. But extensive beauty routines can quickly get out of hand. I mean, I can easily waste an hour fixing my eyeliner, since it's never even the first time. Save such highly skilled routines for the evening hours, and stick to simpler routine for morning.

8. Waiting For Coffee

If you're like me, then you need coffee in order to get moving in the morning. Waiting for it brew, or worse — waiting in line at the coffee shop — can be agonizing, as well as a time suck you don't need to deal with. Skip the lines, and speed up the caffeine process, by brewing coffee at home. set your pot to start brewing when you first wake up. It'll serve as great motivation to get out of bed, while also providing some much-needed energy to get you off to work on time.

9. Wiling Away Time In The Shower

Unfortunately, time doesn't stand still when you're in the shower — even though it feels like it does. With all that hot water, it's hard not to soak in the steam, and have yourself a deep think. But again, this is best saved for a part of the day when time isn't of the essence. So do yourself a favor, and time your showers. As Patrick Allan said on Lifehacker.com, "An alarm is the simplest way. Just set it for five minutes or so and get out when it goes off." Easy as that.

10. Figuring Out What To Eat

I don't know about you, but I can stare blankly into a fridge for awkwardly long amounts of time. It's relaxing, and helps me figure out what I want to eat. It's also a good way to fritter away the morning hours. Meal preps can spare you this precious time, and make deciding much easier. As Zahra Barnes noted on SELF, "Meal prep is wonderful on so many levels ... when your day’s meals are ready to go each morning, that gives you more of a chance to actually sit down and savor your breakfast — a key part of starting each day on a healthy track."

11. Waiting Around To Poop

Unless you've been blessed with amazing bowels, then you probably spend half the morning willing your digestive tract along. It can really waste your morning, and it can also be super uncomfortable. To speed up the process, simply drink hot liquids to help things along, Allan suggested. Hopefully you'll be able to do your thing, and be out the door on time.

With a little preparation, and a few tweaks here and there, you can save yourself the tons of time in the morning. And actually — amazingly — get to work on time.

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