Organized Mornings

Photo credit: Linh H. Nguyen via / CC BY-NC-ND
I’m a bit of an insomniac, which means that in the mornings, I like to sleep a little later before I head off to work.  I know I’m not the only one!  So how do I make sure that I’m out the door on time every day, without sacrificing that last bit of sleep?
Prepare beforehand
To save time, I try to lay out what I’m wearing the night before (or I lay out the whole week on Sunday).  This includes jewelry, hair accessories, even making a note about which shoes and which purse.  That way, in the morning, I just grab a hanger with a complete outfit and throw it on.  I also check my bag the night before.  I make sure I already loaded it with anything I might need, and I take out anything I don’t need.
Choose the right alarm
Nowadays, most people use alarms on their phone, which is great but makes it very easy to shut it off when you’re trying to hit snooze, or to sleep right through it.  Also sometimes I wake up, thinking I’ll stay awake, but then I fall back asleep.  Now, I use an app called “I Can’t Wake Up!“.  It lets me choose a song from my music library to wake up to (because I don’t think anyone likes the incessant beeping, although that is still an option) (also, I change the song weekly, because if I get used to it, I will sleep through it).  Then I can set some challenges – you may only need one challenge, or if you’re like me, three.  The point is to have to do a task that will make your brain actually wake up.  I do a medium level math challenge, a matching challenge, and a “match the city to the country” challenge.  Generally, by the time I get through all of that, I’m awake.  But there have been a few really rough mornings where I do it on autopilot, which is why 5 minutes later, the app asks me to move a sliding bar.  I have sixty seconds to do so, and if I don’t do it in that time (normally because I fell asleep again), I have to redo all three challenges.  If by the end of all that, you’re not awake, then you need a rooster sitting on your nightstand.  Or my puppies who, by this point, would never EVER let me go back to sleep AGAIN.
Get your morning routine down to an art
Once I’m up, I let my dogs out.   Then I go into the bathroom to shower, brush my teeth, wash my face and so forth.  I bring my mother her medicine for the day, check that all my animals have food, scoop the litter boxes.  Then I grab a cup of coffee and go back to my bedroom.  I sit down at my computer and see what my day is supposed to be like.  Sometimes I’m taking care of some animals before work, in which case I throw on a casual outfit, but other times I’m going straight to work.  I take a little bit of time to check my personal emails, scan my social network sites, or read some; whatever it takes to help me relax.  Then I get dressed and leave the house.
Simplify your makeup bag
Maybe you wear makeup, maybe you don’t.  I do, nearly every day, and I found that makeup was taking a fair amount of time, so I bought a new small makeup bag.  I put in only my favorite products, with no other choices, and the tools to apply it.  Now, I wear the same makeup every day, and I figured out a “face” that takes less than 5 minutes to apply.  The only variation is my lip gloss – I have a nude, a pink, and a red.
Know how to get to work
Okay, first let me talk about one of my favorite apps.  It’s called Waze and it’s GPS for your phone.  This sounds boring, but it’s updated in real time by users, so before I ever get in my car, and before the radio stations have gotten there, I know where there’s an accident, where there’s construction, and where people are just moving slow.  It even tells me where a police car is, not that I speed…  So when I first get into the car, I plug in my destination and find out if my preferred route is the quickest way.  If it’s not, Waze gives you two other options, but sometimes I don’t want to use those either, which is why I think everyone should know off the top of their head, multiple ways to get to work.  I have about 6 different options, and have never been stuck in traffic as a result.
So that’s what my morning looks like.  It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s not rushed, and I’m never late.  By preparing ahead of time and streamlining as much as possible, you eke out that last bit of sleep, and still not have to worry about not getting everything done.

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