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Shorten Your Morning Routine

Updated on November 11, 2016

As the Winter mornings get colder, bed seems so much warmer and inviting than getting up and going to work.

Unfortunately, most of us still need to go to work and so staying in bed is not an option.

There are a few methods you could adopt though that should keep you in bed that little bit longer.

The Night Before

There are several quick things you can prepare the night before which will save you loads of time in the morning. They also stop you from having to wake up your brain before work and having to think and make decisions (this is way too much for me to do at an early hour!).

Make Lunch

If you take lunch to work, make lunch the night before and keep it in the fridge, ready to grab before you leave the house.

If you buy lunch, make sure you have enough cash to take with you. You don't want to go hungry because of this small oversight!

Choose Your Clothes

How many times have you stared at your wardrobe in the morning wondering whether you can get away with wearing a particular combination? Or grabbed something from that pile of ironing wondering whether anyone will notice the creases?

Avoid these dilemmas by choosing your outfit before going to bed. If you need to wash or iron something, you may have enough time to be able to do this. If not, with your brain already in gear, you should be able to put an acceptable clothing combination together and prevent that time-consuming decision from eating up your morning.

The same goes for if you work out first thing in the morning: lay out your workout clothes so you can change straight into them without having to rummage around for them in the dark.

Set Your Alarm

If you don't do this, you're really in trouble. Put it a fair distance away from your bed so you have to get up to turn it off. Once you're up, it's a lot easier to decide to get up for good and get ready for the day.

Make a Plan

There are a number of things you know you need to do in the morning. My list includes, showering, drying my hair, doing my make-up, getting dressed, eating breakfast and doing a household chore.

Without having a list of things to do in a particular order will make you lose precious time. You'll hesitate at the end of each task, wondering what to do next.

I know that if I don't shower first, I'll end up eating breakfast in front of the TV and get caught up in a programme, leaving me very little time to shower and get dressed. However, if I shower first, I have to also dry my hair, make-up and get dressed before I get to have breakfast, therefore making sure I do everything before my time runs out.

Having a routine again also makes it easier to just blindlessly follow a process without thinking about what you're going to do next.

Start off by writing your routine down. After following it for a week or two it will become second nature.

Work Backwards

Following on from making your plan, you may want to work backwards through your morning routine. If you need to leave the house by 8am, and you know how long every item on your list is going to take, right your list backwards with the timings to work out what time you need to get up.

For example:

8am: Leave for work

7:50am: Brush teeth, grab lunch and work bag

7:40: Household chore

7:30am: Breakfast

7:15am: Dry hair, put on make-up, dress.

7:05am: Shower

7am: Get out of bed

I may have left a few extra minutes here and there as a safety buffer in case something overruns.

Set a Timer

Now you could do this to match your routine as described above. But this is also useful if you're running so late you don't know how you're going to make it to work on time.

Set the timer on your phone to go off every two minutes. Having that constant, annoying reminder somehow makes you do everything faster. Don't ask me how, but it works.

For the Girls

Okay girls, if make-up is taking up a lot of your morning time, you need to rethink.

Do you need to put as much on? It's only work, after all - who cares if you look flawless or not?! Try just putting a bit of mascara on and keeping it fairly natural.

Otherwise, you need to start using multitasking products, such as a moisturising foundation, BB or CC cream.

I've cut my make-up down to just eyeliner and mascara - it takes me less than two minutes in the morning and nobody knows the difference!

If you have any more ideas to add and help everyone get that little bit longer in bed in the mornings, yet still make it to work on time, please share in the comments below. We all need as much help as we can get!


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    • modernelf profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Elford 

      3 years ago from Manchester, UK

      I love the shoe cleaning tip! I need to remember that one.

      I also make sure my work clothes are hung up at the end of the day, but I think that's more because I'm a bit of a neat freak!

    • DreamerMeg profile image


      3 years ago from Northern Ireland

      I am retired now but can't get out of the habit of waking early. One of the best tips I used every day was to change and hang up work clothes immediately I got in. These were hung in the wardrobe and it was so easy to set the next day's outfit at the end ready for the next day. Another tip is, I kept a shoe cleaning pad in my dresser drawer. Immediately I took my work shoes off, I buffed them with the pad and they were ready for next use. If they were wet, I left them to dry, of course.


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