When your alarm clock sounds, do you jump up already checking things off your to-do list? Or, do you fall out of bed and into a chaotic morning? Mornings can be a struggle, especially if you are juggling getting ready for work and getting your family to school and activities. You can’t achieve top-notch results at work if you start your day in a state of confusion and disorganization. So, how do you tame the morning chaos and start your day on the right foot? These five tips will help you master your mornings.
Do a little prep work
The key to a productive morning is preparing the night before. Before snuggling into your pillows, spend a few minutes loading the dishwasher and tidying the house. You will rest better knowing the space is clean, and you won’t need to deal with dirty dishes and household messes when you are trying to start your workday. If you are a coffee drinker, load your machine with water and grounds in the evening while cleaning the kitchen. Suddenly, you are only a button press away from your morning beverage. Even better, invest in a programmable machine so your brew is ready when you toss off the blankets. Packing your lunch in advance won’t add much time to your evening routine, but it can be a massive time saver when it comes to getting out the door on time.
Get plenty of sleep
No matter how organized you are, your morning will never go well if you stumble out of bed feeling tired and sluggish. Ensure a smooth morning by getting ample sleep to help you feel rested and energetic. According to the Sleep Foundation, most adults need between seven and nine hours of quality sleep each night. To prevent tossing and turning, practice good sleep hygiene. Sticking to the same bedtime, even on weekends, sends signals to your body that it is time to rest. Put away phones and electronic devices one hour before bedtime and stay away from caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
Ace wardrobe planning
How much time do you lose every morning while standing in your closet trying to decide what to wear? Do you fall back on the same combo of black slacks, white blouse, and basic blazer multiple times each week? Rather than making uninspired, last-minute clothing choices before work, take a few minutes to plan a whole week of looks on Sunday evening. Create a capsule wardrobe of mix-and-match office-appropriate pieces. Once a week, spend a few minutes looking over your calendar and creating outfits that correspond to your agenda. Make sure everything you’ll need for the week is clean, pressed, and looking its best. Purge anything from your closet that is stained, snagged, unflattering or ill-fitting. With just a little prework, you can scale back your morning chaos, and you’ll arrive at the office looking polished and professional.
Master a few hairstyles
Busy weekday mornings are not the time to learn new hairstyles or wrestle with curling wands or straightening tools. In the search for more time in the morning, it may be tempting to stick to simple ponytails and air-dried locks, but you don’t need to sacrifice professionalism or fashion to get to the office on time. Instead, learn a few quick hairstyles, such as low knots, wrapped ponytails, and half-up buns. Not only are these looks easy to master, but they are also fast ways to add variety to your office style. It’s also worthwhile to speak to your hairstylist about easy-to-maintain cuts and colors. While long tresses offer the most versatility for styling, pixie cuts and wavy bobs look professional and require almost no effort in the morning.
Leave your phone on the charger
Plugging in your phone before bed and leaving it there once you wake up sets you up for morning success. Not only will you prevent A.M. battery woes, but you will also avoid distractions that can tank your morning routine. Text messages, emails, and social media posts can command your attention and encourage you to stray away from dressing, eating breakfast, and getting out the door on time. Rather than falling down all the rabbit holes on the Internet, limit your morning digital consumption to only urgent updates, such as those from your children’s schools, and ignore everything else until you walk through the office doors. Even professional emails can usually wait until you officially start your workday, so don’t feel pressured to unplug your phone until you are ready to hop in the car.
Even if you aren’t a morning person, these five simple tips will transform your routine so that you feel as professional and organized while you are starting your day as you do at the office.