I shared some helpful habits for non-morning people back in 2015, and my quest to conquer the start of the day is still a work-in-progress. Truth be told: I’m a mess in the morning. I love to squeeze in as much sleep as I can manage — every minute counts! — before I absolutely have to throw myself out of bed, so I’m always looking for shortcuts to shave precious time off my morning routine.
Here are 6 of my favorites:
Make a Designated Drop Spot :: There’s nothing more maddening than a frazzled keys/phone search when you’re already running behind in the morning. I have a small console table in the foyer with a basket to drop my keys and sunglasses in as soon as I walk in the door, and before I go to bed, I stack anything that needs to leave the house with me next to it: my phone, to-do lists, scrawled reminder notes, library books to return, etc.
Plan Your Outfits For the Week :: If you struggle with figuring out what to wear in the morning, try to pull a week’s worth of outfits together on Sunday evening. Iron them, and hang them in a designated place in your closet so they’re ready to go. It’s one less thing to stress about in the morning, and helps keep your closet tidy and organized without those panicked “I have nothing to wear!” tornadoes ripping through it.
Use Bags Within Your Bag :: I love zip-top pouches. I use them to organize all my “essentials” in my bag, and can switch them from handbag to handbag in a snap if I decide to make a quick change in the morning. This BAGGU leather design is my favorite. It’s large enough to double as clutch; I keep it in my everyday tote bag and toss all my stuff in it if I have plans after work. I also use a clutch wallet that’s big enough to hold my phone, car key, and favorite lipstick so I can ditch the rest of my handbag if I want to travel light.
Pack a Lunch the Night Before :: I’m trying to get in the habit of bringing a healthy lunch and snacks to work so I don’t dip into our stash of leftover Halloween candy to make it through the day. I find I’m most successful with meal prep if I do it the night before: packing up dinner leftovers; making a big salad with mixed fruit, nuts and goat cheese; or rolling up lean lunch meat with cheese and fresh sliced fruit. These stackable glass containers with snap-on lids are my favorite for the job because they’re durable, reusable, and easy to clean. I put my lunch bag next to my purse when I’m finished so I don’t forget to grab what I packed in the fridge before I run out the door.
Be Your Own Barista :: Last year I discovered cold brew coffee concentrate, and my life will never be the same. I’m hooked on this unsweetened mocha brew: I pour it into an insulated thermal tumbler over lots of ice, then fill it up with water and/or milk and go. (A caveat: take the time to measure it out; it’s concentrated and has a lot of caffeine, so it’s easy to overdo it and end up with the jitters through lunch.) Corkcicle tumblers come in a fun range of colors, and keep ice frozen for more than 9 hours; I have a few in rotation and never leave home without one.
Have Cookies For Breakfast :: I found this recipe for healthy breakfast cookies last year, and they’re a hit with my husband and the flower shop team. I like to make a big batch on the weekend to have on hand for easy grab-and-go breakfasts throughout the week, and customize them with different nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate. They’re packed with protein and whole grain oats for sustained energy, and pair perfectly with DIY iced coffee.
What are your favorite morning shortcuts? (Seriously, please share them; I need all the help I can get.)