I really hate mornings. I am a natural night owl and getting up before 9:00 am is a painful experience. Surely hell is a place where it is always morning.
However, we live in a culture where a lot happens in the morning, with many starting their business day at 9:00 am, if not earlier. What is a night owl to do?
Since I have to function in the morning, I want my morning routine is be as simple as possible so that I can get through it quickly:
Here are some ways that I simplify my morning routine.
Proper nighttime preparation. This one is huge. A morning that goes well is dependent on proper preparation the night before. Do as much as possible before the morning even begins. Pick out clothes the night before. Make sure you have what you need. Morning is not the time to discover that you have no clean underwear. Check these things at night and plan accordingly. Take your shower at night so that there will be one less thing to do in the morning.
This also includes packing your bag or backpack, or your kids’ backpacks. Have all the books and papers you will need packed away and have that bag waiting for you in the morning.
Get to bed on time. Most people don’t factor this into their morning. However, if you don’t get to bed on time you are more likely to oversleep which will wreak havoc on your morning routine. Everything will be rushed, and most likely, less efficient.
Leave the TV off. When I was growing up my mother would allow me to watch TV in the morning. If I was taking too long though, she would turn it off. I couldn’t focus on the task at hand with the TV on.
Though I have grown up nothing has changed. I cannot be effective with the TV on. The TV is very distracting. It compels you to watch it. Often you get so caught up in a program or the news that you sit and watch even when you need to be doing other things. Be proactive. Unless there is inclement weather and you need weather and traffic updates, don’t touch the TV.
Keep everything in one place. This one is key. You shouldn’t spend your morning searching for your face lotion. I have a train case that I keep all my toiletries in. That’s where I go for my facial cleanser, lotion, floss, etc. Keeping everything together minimizes sleepy searching.
Automate breakfast. I try to fix breakfast before bed too. The Yummy Life has some great recipes for overnight refrigerator oatmeal. If this doesn’t interest you then have something ready on hand that you can make quickly. I like grits and often have them in the morning. Fruit is also a good option.
Plan lunch. Where I work taking lunch is really the only option. Having to fix lunch adds stress to my morning. I try to think about lunch at the previous evening’s dinner and pack some away if necessary. It is great to have some cans of soup on hand to take to work. Bonus points for healthy soup choices!
Simple beauty regimen. Makeup is great for going out on Friday night, but it is out of the question most mornings. I opt for simple hairstyles that won’t take much time. Usually, I only apply lipstick in the morning. If I have extra time I will apply eyeliner and mascara only. This is the extent of my beauty regimen. On weekends I usually have time to do full makeup if I want to look extra cute. I don’t dedicate too much time to makeup.
If you choose to include makeup in your morning routine, be prepared. Have all of your makeup and brushes together. Create a simple look that can be done in only five minutes. Get some key colors that work well together and create a look that can be worn with just about anything. Also, have a default look that you can always rely on just in case you get up late and don’t have time to be creative.
With proper preparation, mornings can be smoothed out. Keeping it simple in the morning decreases my stress level and sets a good tone for the rest of my day. How do you keep it simple in the morning?