1. Pack Lunches the Night Before
I also like to make big batches of foods I can take for lunches for the week and pack them in portions as well. Dill Bean Salad, Tex Mex Quinoa Salad and Soups all make great lunches.
I just bought a new lunch bag and thermos which is really great to be able to pack things up the night before in the fridge or heat up some soup in the microwave before I pour it in the thermos. I also like to fill up my favourite environmentally friendly water bottle and have it ready to go in the fridge.
2. Fit in some Stretching or Exercise
I tend to wake up very stiff and sore, especially if I went to the gym the night before. If I just try to get up and go, I’ll be slow going, but if I take a few minutes to stretch I have much more energy. It doesn’t have to be anything long, just 5 minutes to stretch whatever feels tight and get the blood going.
If you are one of those ambitious people who exercises in the morning (good for you!), then I find the best way to guarantee you’ll get up and go is by setting out your gear the night before. It will not only be easily accessible, but its also a good reminder to get your butt going. When I have been good at working out in the morning, I find that this helps a lot to get me moving.
3. Set Out Your Clothes
I can barely get my socks on in the morning, let alone pick out something nice. Its much easier if I set everything out the night before, including shoes and jewelry. What would take me 15 minutes of pulling things out of the closet in the morning because I don’t know what wear, takes less than 5 minutes to do in the evening. If I’m really on my game, I tend to set out tomorrow’s clothes right when I’m changing out of today’s clothes into gym clothes or pyjamas. Hanging it on a hanger on a hook behind the door, or laying everything out on a chair works best for me.
4. Hop in the Shower First Thing
If I make breakfast first or check my email, then before I know it, I look up to see that I have barely any time left to shower and change. Time gets away on me and I become less efficient. It takes some effort, but if I hop in the shower right away, I save much more time in the long run. It also gives me a chance to let my hair air dry a bit before I use the dryer, which is much better for your hair.
5. Simplify Your Makeup Routine
I like to keep my make up simple and quick for work. I use black eyeliner, neutral shadow on the lids, a swipe of mascara, a little bit of bronzer/blush and some concealer if under my eyes is looking particularly dark. To make it even easier, I set out the makeup in the order I use it on the bathroom shelf while I’m brushing my teeth at night. That way I’m not digging through my makeup bag for everything in the morning.
6. Start a Landing Routine and Stick To It
Once I started putting everything in the same place every night when I got home, I stopped spending time in the morning running around for things I need to take to work. My keys go on the hook, my purse hangs behind the door and my lunch bag goes right to the kitchen to be emptied.
Garrett does the same thing with his work bag, which makes it easier if I’m helping him get ready for work in the morning. I can pack both our lunches into our lunch bags at the same time and know exactly where it goes. Then when he goes to grab it, everything is ready to go.
7. Prep Breakfast and Coffee the Night Before
I am a big fan of breakfast and always try to have some quick options on hand – cereal, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, toast, chopped fruit.
Freshly made oatmeal is so much better than precooked, and I swear it takes just as little time as it does to boil the water for the instant stuff. I keep a jar of oatmeal and a jar of brown sugar in the cupboard by the stove, so that we can make a batch quickly in the morning.
Garrett is a morning coffee drinker, so he likes to leave out the kettle and set up his french press with a mug, sugar and creamer ready to go. He even adds in the sugar and creamer to his travel mug so he can make it at the same time as his first mug.
In the Summer I like to take smoothies for the commute to work, so to make this easier I freeze chopped fruit (strawberries, peeled bananas, peaches, mangos) or even buy pre-frozen fruit when it is on sale. Add in some protein powder, maybe some spinach and a little milk or yogurt and give it a whirl in the blender or food processor. Pour it into a big cup and you’re good to head out on the road with a healthy breakfast.
8. Wash Your Hair Every Other Day
I used to be a daily hair washer until I realized how much it was drying out my hair. Now I wash it every other day, give it a good blow dry and then touch it up with a flat iron on day two, or even toss it up in a chic ponytail or add a headband. Giving up the old routine really helped to save me more time in the long run and my hair looks even better for it.
9. Make Your To Do List the Night Before
On the weekend I make a master to do list of things I would like to accomplish in the upcoming week. Every night I check what hasn’t been done and see if I can accomplish some of them the next day and add it to my agenda. In the morning I take a look at what I wrote for that day and keep it in mind.
10. Place Anything Extra You Need By the Door
I am often going to my second job after work, or maybe going to visit a friend or take a yoga class on my way home, and if there is anything extra I need to take besides by usual routine, I put it by the door the night before. I am much less likely to forget it if its right there as I go.
I hope that these little tips help you out if you are struggling for time in the morning. Maybe you’ll even get to sleep in another 15 minutes! If you have any tricks that help you in the morning, please let me know. I’m always looking for ways to get even more out of my mornings.
You are rtuly organised! I want to try the quinoa recipe. I made it last year plain and did not like it with just some EVOO and sea salt. I know it is a good grain to eat. Do you have a sweet recipe for it? Will try your savory one and let you know. Thanks, Mel
Thanks Mel! I usually prefer savory quinoa recipes, but I did make a sweet version for breakfast once and it turned out pretty good. If you give it a try, let me know how it turns out 🙂
I have the same lunch bag. It is great. It stretches to fit a lot of food and it can be laundered. I sometimes make a big batch of steel cut oats on my day off and freeze in single servings. I eat my breakfast when I get to work.
I LOVE this lunch bag. It really does stretch to fit everything in, including my water bottle some days. I didn’t even know it could be thrown in the wash, but I’ll definitely do that when it gets dirty…or I spill something inside which it more likely to happen.
That’s a great idea to prep your oatmeal for the week. I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks!
ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com says
What a great post! I have to set my clothes out before bed (for the next day) … including my workout clothes because I’m a total slacker in the morning. I do need to incorporate that more into my lunch prep because I’m a grab-n-go girl and do not necessarily grab the best options for lunch or end up buying lunch at work instead!
I’m also thinking about trying yoga…I need something different for my workout routine. Any tips? Do you pay for a membership for your classes? I’d love to hear any feedback and pros/cons of it from you!
Thanks Ashley 🙂 I’m glad you liked the post!
And congrats on thinking about giving yoga a try! It takes a little while to get used to it, but the results are really great. It especially helps if you find you often get a sore back, tight hips or want to improve your flexibility (or have no flexibility like me).
When I lived in Toronto I took yoga and pilates classes one a week at the local community center. It was about $9 a class (which is cheap for the city) and there was usually about 6 people in the class, so we got lots of one-on-one time with the instructor to improve our techniques.
Now that we’ve moved to a smaller town, I take the classes at our gym which is included in our membership. They have about 3-4 yoga classes a week, but I tend to just go one night a week for 90 minutes. I can usually drag Garrett along too and he’s actually starting to like it. Its a really nice break from traditional exercise (weights, cardio, classes, etc).
The only con I have about Yoga is that sometimes I have trouble shutting off my brain. I’m always thinking about what lists and what to do afterwards, but I’m working on it. You also have to give yourself a break if it takes you awhile to get used to it. Most yoga studios offer the first one free, so I’d suggest going to a couple of them in your area for free classes to see if you like it.