Maybe you hit snooze one too many times, or sang one more song during your morning shower.
Before you know it, you’re running late and have to scramble to complete your morning routine.
It’s tempting to beat yourself up over the morning’s missteps, but starting your day off with chaos and negativity will only set the course for a bad day to come.
That’s why two productivity experts, consultant Julie Morgenstern and author Laura Vanderkam, recommend taking some simple measures before you go to bed to make your morning routine more seamless.
In order to save time in the morning, you should save some of your toughest decisions — like what you’re going to wear and what items you need for work that day — for the night before, when you’re still sharp and not pressed for time. You’ll be able to tailor your routine around how much time you need to get ready each morning.
“Everybody’s different,” Morgenstern told Business Insider. “You have to design your morning from the inside out. Who are you? How much time does it really take to get from waking up to out the door?”
With that in mind, here are seven simple things you can do at night to make your morning routine easier.
Check your schedule
Morgenstern said that if you can only do one thing for your morning routine the night before, make it this one.
Checking your schedule the night before can help you not only mentally budget your time better in the morning, but also plan what you need to bring with you to be best prepared for your day. It’s less stressful than needing to pack your lunch, gym shoes and notes for a big meeting at the last minute.
Choose your outfit
For this task, Morgenstern suggests looking through your closet the night before and choosing an outfit so you can cut down on the decision making process the next morning.
With a slight twist, Vanderkam suggests that this whole process could be streamlined by hanging up several of your favorite outfits for a week and then simply choosing one from that selection each morning. Depending on personal preference, both of these options could help you get dressed and out the door with less hassle than before.
Prepare lunch (or breakfast)
Depending on your schedule, you might not have time to go out and grab lunch at work. Both Morgenstern and Vanderkam recommend taking time to prepare and pack lunch for the next day.
Depending on your preference, this could be something you do nightly with leftovers or something you did in bulk at the beginning of the week.
If you also want to ensure you have a healthy breakfast to jump-start your day but don’t like cold breakfasts like cereal, you might consider making breakfast quiche or burritos ahead and heating them up each morning.
Shower at night
When checking your schedule for the day ahead it can be helpful to pay attention to when you’ve scheduled any exercise classes or gym sessions.
If you plan to go for a run or hit the gym after work, then it might make more sense to shower the night before and not only go to bed clean but save some time the next morning as well. If you exercise in the morning, you might consider showering at the gym and shifting some of your morning prep to the evening to make space in your routine.
Prepare your coffee
If part of your morning routine is stopping by a local coffee shop on your way to work, this tip could help you save both time and money on your daily dose of caffeine.
If you’re a hot coffee drinker, consider getting a programmable drip coffee maker. With these, you can set up your water and ground coffee the night before and schedule the machine to start brewing just as you’re waking up.
If you’re an iced coffee addict, a simple way to get cold brew at home is to add ground coffee and cold water to a French press and let it brew overnight in the fridge.
Prepare your work bag
Instead of looking for your keys or transit pass when you’re trying to get out the door in the morning, Morgenstern recommends placing those items in your bag the night before. This can help speed up your mornings and eventually save time as it becomes an automatic part of your daily routine.
Go to sleep on time
Morgenstern says that not getting enough sleep and having a chaotic morning as a result can become a vicious cycle — when you feel unprepared for the day ahead, it can lead you to procrastinate going to sleep in order to avoid it.
Checking your schedule and packing your bag can make the morning ahead feel less stressful, says Morgenstern, and as a result make going to sleep a little bit easier too.
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