10 Easy Ways to Save 10 Minutes Every Morning
Getting out the door in a timely manner every morning requires a certain groove. Factor in one extra responsibility, like a pet accident or a teenager with the flu, and you can consider your morning schedule officially screwed. Or perhaps you’ve had a recent permanent addition to your morning responsibilities such as care duties for an aging parent or dropping you youngster off at school. Whatever your situation, chances are you could use an extra block of available time on a daily basis, even if it’s just to enjoy an extra cup of coffee or a short run. Here are 10 easy ways to save 10 minutes on any given morning. (See also: 9 Benefits of Being a Morning Person)
1. Cold Brew Your Coffee
If dealing with the coffee maker is too much to handle before you greet the day, consider the concept of cold brew. You can still enjoy your favorite Starbucks flavor, but by exposing the grounds to cold or room temp water the night before, you’ll only need to strain and mix. Want to take things to the next level? Do a gallon jar on the weekend, and enjoy fast iced coffee throughout the week.
2. Fall Back on Power Bars
To be honest, even working at home I use power bars to adjust my schedule on mornings where I have more deadlines than time. I purchase them in bulk at places like Costco or Sam’s Club and try to have a few different types on hand to keep things diverse. They are my go-to snack to pack when traveling as well.
3. Choose the Right Fabrics
Nothing sucks up precious morning minutes like ironing. That’s why when I’m in a hurry and still need to look great, I choose dresses and suit pants in wrinkle-free fabrics to speed up the process. While I’ve typically had great success shopping at Marshalls and other discount stores such as Ross, I’m not above finding a piece of clothing that’s made by a particular company year after year and making that company my replacement source when an anchor piece reaches the breaking point. For example, when I’m heading to an active travel destination, denim and black leggings are on my list of easily packed basics. The denim ones I purchase at Dillard’s since they always carry them, while my black Danskin pair is typically replaced through an Amazon order. Both resist wrinkles and pair well with anything from a dressy tunic or peasant blouse to a hoodie. Dresses in lightweight jersey are also a fave for looking fab on the fly.
4. Leave Early
Avoiding the morning rush can shave anywhere from 10 minutes to a full half hour off your morning routine. Whether you’re commuting by bike or carpooling with the office gang, skipping the highway and sidewalk crowds will do nothing but simplify your life. Believe me. It doesn’t need to be a full hour ahead of normal, mind you. Often, as little as a 10 minute adjustment in your departure time can make a major difference.
5. Keep Emergency Lunch Options Around
Most people love having easy lunch ideas for work, but if packing a brown bag lunch proves difficult several days per week, consider buying simple substitutes such as shelf-stable soups or noodle dishes and keeping them stored in your office desk drawer.
6. Limit Clothing Selections
One of the things that can take up an extreme amount of time on a regular basis is searching through the closet to find just the right outfit. By limiting your overall selections, you’ll reduce the amount of time it will take you to make the decision. For example, I own only four or five dresses, two pairs of black dress pants, and a limited selection of knee-length and long skirts. My selection of tops is equally limited. Truth be told, while I like to look good for less, I don’t enjoy spending a lot of time thinking about how to pull it off. Sticking to classics and limiting the number of pieces you own will help you accomplish the same thing. If your employer requires a uniform, even better.
7. Prep the Night Before
While it might seem to be the same amount of work at first glance, the truth is that I’m fresher when I’m already awake. This means setting out clothing and jewelry accessories as well as packing my pocketbook and briefcase the night before will take less time than if I try to accomplish the same agenda while staggering around with sleepy eyes waiting for the coffee to kick in.
8. Do Digital Errands
This might seem like a no-brainer, but many of us have errands we still do in person that could be streamlined to occur online. Sure, many of us shop on the internet, but what about when you need to send things in the other direction? At our house, a subscription to Stamps.com has saved us hours each week of standing in line to mail one item or another. Got some travel receipts that need filing for reimbursement? Consider a scanning app on your smart phone to speed up the process and file from the road.
9. Avoid Snooze Buttons
When you need to wake up fast, hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock is not a good idea. Sure, it’s tempting. But if you’ve already come up with a handful of ways to save yourself a bit of time in the morning, do you really want to undo your efforts by delaying the inevitable? Try moving your clock across the room so you actually have to get vertical in order to shut it off. Staying in a hotel? Avoid the alarm delay temptation altogether by scheduling a wake-up call.
10. Simplify Your Hair Routine
Using a combination shampoo and conditioner can be a time-saving part of your affordable hair care routine, because you only have to apply and rinse one product. That, and leaving your hair in a towel to soak up moisture cuts down on drying time, allowing you precious minutes to take care of things like defrosting your windshield or packing your power bars.