Ever get out the door, in the car and down the driveway when you remember you’ve left your phone on the bathroom counter? (Just me?) Preparation is key to shaving those few precious minutes off your morning routine and getting where you need to go on time, every time.
The weekend or night before
1. Lay out your outfit in advance. This includes your shoes, undergarments, accessories, etc. That way you know exactly what you’re going to wear and you won’t waste any time searching for that lost shoe or favorite pair of earrings.
2. Have your gym bag, backpack, briefcase or purse ready to go. Pack the night before so you won’t be running around finding the things you need.
3. Create a place for important items. Maybe it’s in a basket on your kitchen countertop or on the entryway table, but create a specific place to keep items you need each day, such as your keys, wallet, purse or watch.
4. Meal prep. This one is so important and will save you time and money. Spend some time on Sunday grilling chicken breasts, making a pot of rice and steaming a variety of veggies. Portion these into reusable containers that you can grab on your way out the door. For the kids, individually portion out bags of veggies, crackers or fruit to make it easier for them to pack their own lunches. Dinnertime leftovers also make for great lunches. Plan ahead and make a little more the night before to enjoy the next day.
In the morning
5. Open the blinds. Don’t stumble around in the dark. Let Mother Nature do her job to help you wake up. Studies show that waking up to natural light can boost your mood instantly. It’s often much easier to get ready for the day when your home is well-lit with natural lighting.
6. Don’t let electronics distract you. Wait until you’re completely ready before turning on your phone or the TV.
7. Turn up the tunes. Not only can music get you moving and in a good mood, it can also be used as a great timekeeper. Create a 30- or 40-minute playlist (however long it takes you to get ready) and use it as a guide. You’ll know by the fourth song, you need to get dressed, by the sixth song, you should be putting the final touches on your makeup, etc.
8. Assign jobs. Getting multiple people out the door on time every morning is definitely a challenge. Don’t try to do it all on your own. Use the kitchen counter as a staging area and line up those lunch bags and coffee cups. Create an assembly line to make each morning a success. Or assign each person a specific job that must be done before you leave, like packing lunches, filling up reusable water bottles or feeding the family pet.