morning routine en-US 15 Essential Life Hacks That Will Save You Time in the Morning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-essential-life-hacks-that-will-save-you-time-in-the-morning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="alarm clock" title="alarm clock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We can all agree that there's not enough time in a day. We're even more aware of that sad fact every morning as we rush around to get ready for work, inevitably pushing the threshold of tardiness by sitting down at our desks 30 seconds before the shift starts. Most of us, anyway. Some of you are just late on the regular, much to the chagrin of your very patient superiors. (See also: <a href="" target="_blank">How to Wake Up Fast and Attack the Day</a>)</p> <p>There is a solution, however. Change your routine so that you can save more time in the morning. By instituting simple changes, you can relax a little in the a.m., get to work without qualifying for the Indy 500, and quite possibly catch a few more Zs. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Prepare Lunch the Night Before</h2> <p>While I'm cleaning up after dinner, I take out my storage containers and separate tomorrow's leftover dinner from <a href="" target="_blank">tomorrow's leftover lunch</a>. They both go in the fridge, so I can pull one out for my midday meal at work.</p> <h2>2. Organize Your Outfits for the Entire Week on Sunday</h2> <p>Forget prepping your outfit the night before each workday. Over the course of five days, you'll spend more time coordinating and ironing than you would attacking it all in one fell swoop. Which is why you should consider planning an entire week's worth of outfits in one night.</p> <p>Once you have everything picked out, hang the outfit with all its necessary pieces &mdash; shirt, pants, undies, socks, etc. &mdash; so you can reach into your closet and grab the entire contents at once. Plus, if you usually do laundry on Sunday, you'll cut a few more minutes from your chore schedule because you won't have to fold all the fresh clothes and put them away just to take them back out to wear them. You can pull pieces from the laundry basket to put your outfits together, while the rest you'll send to their respective drawers.</p> <h2>3. Use the Steam From the Shower Instead of an Iron</h2> <p>If you hate ironing, keep the board in the closet and put your clothes in the bathroom and allow the steam from the shower to release the wrinkles. If you're like me, though (OCD about ironing, that is; I have to do it), try a standup steamer as an alternative, which heats up quicker than a standard iron and allows you to cover a lot of cloth in a short amount of time.</p> <h2>4. Sleep in Your Workout Gear</h2> <p>Many people sleep in shorts or sweats and a T-shirt. If that's what you wear to the gym, there's no need to spend time getting dressed for it. Just get up and go in whatever you woke up in. This may even help you make it to the gym more often, since you can convince yourself that if you're dressed and ready to go, there's no excuse not to.</p> <h2>5. Place Your Pocket Essentials in Your Lunch Bag</h2> <p>Every morning &mdash; without fail &mdash; I forget something. ChapStick, keys, gym bag, lunch. I get halfway down the four flights of stairs before I realize it &mdash; sometimes even further (halfway to the subway) &mdash; and I either have to come running back to get it or do without it for the day. To avoid this problem, I started putting my gym bag on top of my computer bag, and my keys and ChapStick in my lunch bag.</p> <h2>6. Brush Your Teeth in the Shower</h2> <p>I've been brushing my teeth in the shower since I was in high school. Granted it doesn't save a lot of time doing it in the shower versus at the sin,k because you still have to engage in the act of brushing, presumably for the same amount of time, but I think I shave at least a few seconds off by being able to rinse in an already running shower, as opposed to swishing and rinsing at the sink.</p> <h2>7. Make Your Soap or Shampoo Pull Double Duty</h2> <p>Are you using one soap for your body and another for your face, plus shampoo and conditioner? You can combine two of those into one by using shampoo as the soap for your hair and your body, and vice versa. Not all soaps and shampoos are created equal, of course, so if you do try this trick, it's probably best to do it with a moisturizing soap or shampoo, so you don't inadvertently dry out your skin or your hair by using a product that isn't made for one or the other.</p> <h2>8. Get a Low-Maintenance Haircut</h2> <p>I keep my hair short for a reason &mdash; I don't want to fuss with it in the morning. If you're spending half-an-hour in the bathroom drying and styling your hair, consider a shorter, low-maintenance 'do. I know it's hard to part with your hair (although some of us don't have a choice), but once it's gone, you likely won't miss it, especially when you discover how much more time you have in the morning.</p> <h2>9. Cut Back on Grooming Products</h2> <p>Putting four or five products in your hair in the morning? Spending too much time thinking about what cologne to wear? Eliminate that problem by only having one of each product you need on hand. You'll save money by reducing your stash, but you'll also save time because your brain won't be racked on what you should use that day.</p> <h2>10. Invest in a Coffee Maker With a Timer</h2> <p>Set it and forget it. Ron Popeil made that phrase famous, but it doesn't just apply to his Showtime Rotisserie. With a coffee maker that features an auto-brew setting, you can set it before bed, so your coffee is hot and ready when you wake up. No need to fiddle with filters and grounds when you're so groggy. It's a better day already.</p> <h2>11. Switch to Iced Coffee</h2> <p>Even if you switch to an auto-brew coffee maker that has your coffee ready when you wake up, you still have to add milk and sugar (if that's what you like), and wait till it cools down to drink it at home or put it in a to-go cup, so you can enjoy it on the road. By switching to iced coffee, however, you can prepare it the night before and just take it from the fridge when you grab your lunch.</p> <h2>12. Pack a Healthy Breakfast in Advance</h2> <p>Cut out the cereal and milk (or worse, a pass through the drive-thru) from your morning routine by <a href="" target="_blank">preparing a to-go breakfast</a>. You can get creative here (like <a href="" target="_blank">making breakfast burritos in advance</a>), but an easy, healthy way to start the day and save time is to put yogurt in a container with fruit and attach a small baggie of granola to it with a rubber band. When you get to work, mix it all together and eat at your desk.</p> <h2>13. Leave Breakfast Items at Work</h2> <p>Stock your drawer at work with a few breakfast items &mdash; oatmeal packets are space efficient and healthy &mdash; that you can make at the office to save more time at home.</p> <h2>14. Gather Your Things for the Next Day Before Bed</h2> <p>Easy enough in theory, but how many of us run around looking for shoes and keys and computers in the morning? Avoid that by taking a few minutes before bed to think about everything you'll need for the day &mdash; not just for work, but to accommodate your entire morning, noon, and night schedule if you don't plan to come home to pick up additional items.</p> <h2>15. Turn Your Gadgets Off</h2> <p>Do you get sucked into responding to email while you're getting ready for work? I do. Every morning. To avoid this, simply turn off your devices. Yes, completely off. When they're off, <a href="" target="_blank">you won't be distracted</a>, and you can get ready faster. Besides, you have all day to stare at your screens. Don't you deserve a little &quot;me&quot; time in the morning?</p> <p><em>How do you save time in the morning? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Essential Life Hacks That Will Save You Time in the Morning" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips breakfast morning routine time savers wake up early Mon, 22 Jul 2013 10:24:32 +0000 Mikey Rox 980652 at Have a Great Day, Every Day: 5 Things to Do in the Morning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/have-a-great-day-every-day-5-things-to-do-in-the-morning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man and strawberry" title="man and strawberry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Wake up. Shower in a rush. Brush your teeth. Rush out the door. Worry that you're going to be late. Sit down at your desk, and take a deep breath as you get ready for your work day.</p> <p>Does that sound like some type of secret recipe for a disastrous day? Or like a typical morning?</p> <p>Typically, our mood or attitude for the day is set in the first hours of the day. In fact, if you can learn to do some important activities every morning, it will make a tremendous difference not just in how your morning goes, but your entire day.</p> <p>You'll be more productive, and you'll be more pleasant to be around. (See also: <a href="">9 Benefits of Being a Morning Person</a>)</p> <h3>1. Lay in Bed for at Least Five Minutes After You Wake Up</h3> <p>If you are a person who prays, this is a great time to pray. If you <a href="">meditate</a>, then this is a great time to meditate. By having a minimum of five minutes of downtime, you remind yourself that time is not so valuable that you cannot invest in your own health. Remember, it's important to do this before checking email, Twitter, Facebook, or any other updates. By checking in, you're inviting some responsibility to negatively impact your first waking moments of the day.</p> <h3>2. Exercise</h3> <p><a href=""> Morning exercise</a> should be an activity that you enjoy and something that gets your heart pumping.&nbsp;</p> <h3>3. Leave Home Five Minutes Earlier Than Necessary</h3> <p>On the highway each morning, there are two types of commuters. The first are the racecar-style drivers who weave in and out of traffic. They brake often and accelerate quickly. They hit the steering wheel when anyone costs them an extra two seconds on their commute. Then there's the driver who's got time to spare. He might arrive at work five minutes later than his speedway co-worker, but he also arrives in a better mood. Give yourself some margin for the morning commute.</p> <h3>4. Tell Your Family You Love Them</h3> <p>Give hugs and kisses all around. In our lives, we often forget to connect with the people who are most important. We think it would be a tragedy to be five minutes late to a meeting with a complete stranger, but not having even a moment to connect with family in the morning seems like a sensible trade off.</p> <h3>5. Eat at Least a Piece of Fruit, and Sit Down at the Table for a Bit</h3> <p><a href=""> Eating something healthy</a> gives you a positive outlook on the day. And by taking some extra time to sit down, you'll relax and have time to read the paper, talk with your family, enjoy a joke, and sip a cup of tea or coffee. Just sit &mdash; the world won't end.</p> <p>As you can tell, the focus here is to slow down. Sure, that might require <a href="">getting up a few minutes earlier</a>, but if you could completely rewrite your day by just getting up earlier, wouldn't you? By creating a little bit of extra margin every morning, you can turn super stressful delays into mild inconveniences that won't put you in a sour mood for the rest of the day.</p> <p><em>What activities do you do in the morning that make a big difference on how the day turns out?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Have a Great Day, Every Day: 5 Things to Do in the Morning" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Craig Ford</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Development Productivity breakfast commuting exercise morning routine relationships Fri, 03 Aug 2012 09:48:42 +0000 Craig Ford 947011 at 9 Benefits of Being a Morning Person <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-benefits-of-being-a-morning-person" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="women walking" title="women walking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="149" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Rise and shine, sleepyhead! Today&rsquo;s the day you start taking steps to becoming a morning person.</p> <p>I know it&rsquo;s hard to drag yourself out of bed when that comfy cool pillow is hugging your face, but, as they say, the early bird gets the worm.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s not all the early bird gets, either. Here&rsquo;s are several more reason why shaking off the sleep and getting your day started early is beneficial. (See also: <a href="">5 Effective Sleep Tips You Haven't Tried Yet</a>)</p> <h3>1. Increased Productivity</h3> <p>Whenever I wake up early and start working right away, I get more done and the day seems to go by faster. Plus, I don&rsquo;t have to rush. Waking up at 6 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. means that I have three extra hours before the calls and e-mails start flooding in, leaving me with a window of opportunity to actually concentrate.</p> <h3>2. Ample Time for Exercise</h3> <p>If you follow my posts, you know that I&rsquo;m not a fan of exercise any time of day, but I must confess that it&rsquo;s easier to motivate myself to get in a workout before I start working for a couple reasons. The first benefit to exercising early is that I don&rsquo;t have to shower beforehand. I hit the gym looking and smelling like I just woke up, put in my time, and then get dressed and ready to greet the day. The second benefit is that it frees up more time in the afternoon/evening because I don&rsquo;t have to allot an hour or two to going to the gym, getting undressed, working out, showering, getting dressed again, styling my hair, etc. When I leave exercise to the afternoon, I often skip it because I&rsquo;m too tired or have an event, or I make up an excuse because I don&rsquo;t want to ruin a good hair day.</p> <h3>3. Less-Stressful Commute</h3> <p>I don&rsquo;t have to tell you that there are fewer cars on the road at 6 a.m. than there are at 8 a.m. &mdash; and fewer cars means that you&rsquo;ll get to where you&rsquo;re going more efficiently and with less hassle. Plus, if you have a job that allows you to put in your eight hours at any time, you may be able to leave earlier so you can fit more into your evening, which brings me to the next benefit&hellip;</p> <h3>4. More Time to Relax in the Evening</h3> <p>When you&rsquo;re more productive in the morning, chances are you&rsquo;ll have more time to relax and take a breather in the evening. Maybe even cook yourself a nice meal, pour a glass of wine, and catch up on your summer TiVo. Newly recorded episodes of &ldquo;True Blood&rdquo; and &ldquo;The Real Housewives&rdquo; are reason enough for me to get up with the sun.</p> <h3>5. It&rsquo;s Healthier</h3> <p>Of course there&rsquo;s the benefit of exercise, but getting up early also leaves you time to have breakfast &mdash; the most important meal of the day. <a href="">Eating a balanced breakfast</a> will give you the energy you need to stay productive and ward off those hunger pangs that send you to the vending machine before lunchtime.</p> <h3>6. Scheduling Earlier Appointments</h3> <p>I love early appointments, so I can get things out the way. There&rsquo;s nothing more annoying than having to stop what I&rsquo;m doing &mdash; especially if I&rsquo;m in a creative zone &mdash; to honor a dentist or doctor&rsquo;s appointment in the middle of the afternoon.</p> <h3>7. Planning and Preparing Gets Done</h3> <p>When I start work after 9 a.m., I feel like I have to jump headfirst into the projects that are on my schedule; I don&rsquo;t have any time to sit back and think about what I&rsquo;m going to do. When that happens, my work suffers because I&rsquo;m trying to plow through it to meet a deadline. I&rsquo;d rather get my lazy bum up a bit earlier so I can plan, prepare, and complete the work at a reasonable pace that allows me to pay closer attention to detail.</p> <h3>8. Be Alone With Your Thoughts</h3> <p>You can get more work done or exercise or visit the doctor &mdash; or you can <a href="">pour yourself a hot cup of coffee</a> and appreciate the alone time you have in the morning. I don&rsquo;t have kids, but if I did, I would definitely try to get up an hour or so before them so I could mentally prepare for the hurt they're going to put on me throughout the day.</p> <h3>9. Sneak in a Little Recreation</h3> <p>If your days, afternoons, and evenings are full of activities &mdash; as mine are &mdash; the morning may be the only time you have to do something that you want to do. Whether it's reading, playing video games, or working on a craft project, being an early riser will allow you to participate in those activities at your leisure. Which also has another benefit, by the way &mdash; I&rsquo;ve found that engaging in a stimulating, non-stressful activity early in the morning <a href="">sharpens my creativity</a> and focus. I seem to be much more on my game after an hour of playtime in the early morning hours.</p> <p><em>Are you a morning person? What benefits do you reap? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Benefits of Being a Morning Person" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Personal Development Productivity morning routine sleeping wake up early Thu, 28 Jun 2012 10:36:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 936509 at Back-to-School Time Savers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/back-to-school-time-savers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="school bus" title="school bus" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As summer comes to an end, it comes time to say goodbye to carefree mornings and prepare for the more structured days of the school routine. If your school mornings generally consist of everyone rushing around in the house, fighting over the bathroom, trying to make lunches, eat breakfast, and make it to school and work on time &mdash; and your after-school hours filled running from one kid's activity to the next &mdash; maybe the following tips will help your family get out the door on time with less stress. Ease into the school year with these back-to-school time savers. (See also: <a href="" title="10 Ways to Save Time With Batch Processing">10 Ways to Save Time With Batch Processing</a>)</p> <h3>Retrain Your Internal Clock</h3> <p>A week or two before school starts, start getting the kids to bed earlier and waking up about the time you will need to wake up on school mornings. This is particularly helpful for families who have no set schedule during the summer weeks, and can help everyone ease back into the early morning routine. </p> <h3>Create a Morning Routine With Checklists</h3> <p>Children have greater success when they know what is expected of them, especially young elementary children. Figure out what needs to be done on school mornings, and what order it should be done in and create checklists for the kids to follow. For children who can't read yet, simple picture-based charts will work (a picture of clothes to show it's time to get dressed, cereal bowl for breakfast, toothbrush, etc.). </p> <p>For older children, make a simple step-by-step list of things to do before heading out the door and slide it into a clear page protector. Then your child can use a dry erase marker to check each item off their list as they get ready for school each morning. When your children know what to do next without the need for constant reminders from you, it gives you some extra time to prepare their <a href="" title="4 Inexpensive Breakfasts in Under 5 Minutes">breakfast</a> and lunches &mdash; and to get yourself ready, too.</p> <h3>Use the Night Before</h3> <p>Many families try to do everything in the hour or so after waking up. You can reduce a lot of morning-time stress by using the night before to get organized. Get clothes for the next day ready for everyone in the family, including shoes and accessories. When clearing the table after dinner, prepare lunches for the next day and get everything ready for breakfast &mdash; even set the table. Make sure all homework or work materials are packed in bookbags and briefcases and the bags are waiting by the front door or in some other designated spot. The more you can do the night before, the less hectic your morning routine will be. Starting the day more relaxed helps everyone continue the &quot;good day&quot; vibe for the rest of the day.</p> <h3>Post a Family Planner on the Fridge</h3> <p>Get a large dry-erase calendar to use as your family planner and keep it where everyone can see, at a glance, what is happening for the week or month. Consider using dry-erase markers in different colors for each family member's schedule to make it easy to see where each family member will be at any given time (Joey's baseball practice, Sarah's piano lessons, etc.).</p> <h3>Create a Study Area</h3> <p>Homework and study time is easier to manage if there is a designated area for each family member. You may create a desk area in each of their bedrooms or set up the dining room table as the study area &mdash; the location should have minimal distractions and all the supplies they may need to complete their assignments. You could keep a drawer in the china cabinet filled with pens, pencils, crayons, paper, scissors, and glue sticks, or ensure each child's desk has all the necessary supplies for getting the job done. If homework time is an issue in your home, establish a rule from the first week of school that requires homework or quiet reading at a specific time each day in order to gain video game or television privileges.</p> <p>A little preparation and organization before the back-to-school rush begins can help keep your family on track, on time, and less stressed. Who knows? Implementing these tips in your own household might even give you a few extra minutes of sleep each morning!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Back-to-School Time Savers " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Debbie Dragon</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Family Organization back to school morning routine time management Wed, 17 Aug 2011 09:37:12 +0000 Debbie Dragon 661401 at