In a perfect world, you would get up fifteen minutes before your alarm, have a remote control for your curtains, and have someone to hand you a cup of coffee as you stroll out the door. Odds are, you don’t have these things. We’re lucky if the barista at our coffee shop remembers our “usual” order.
Reality sets in. Hangovers. Couple’s quarrels. Night school. Graveyard Shifts. No more “five more minutes” or faking sick. I could tell you the usual tips and tricks to get you through your day, like “meditate for five minutes every morning” or “eat a balanced breakfast,” but what are the odds that you’ll actually do it? Doing those things may actually set you back or add anxiety to your day if you’re rushing out the door. That doesn’t mean you should not be prepared for your day.
These are my fail-proof tips for getting ready in 15 minutes or less on those mornings you sleep through your alarm or wake up under-the-weather (aka hungover).
1. Prepare your outfit the night before. In fact, do as much as you can the night before. If you are planning on a late night out, prepare your outfit before you step out and hang it somewhere visible. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll know exactly where your outfit is and all of its matching components.
When you have a spare moment, prepare a hanger with a “go-to” outfit. This way, if you go out after work and don’t remember when or how you got home, you’ll know that there is a hanger in your closet prepared for your hot mess of a self in the morning.
2. Make your pantry "on-the-go" friendly. Trader Joe’s and most grocery stores have a selection of protein bars and nutrition bars that are full of all the things you need in a traditionally balanced breakfast. Grab a few iced coffee drinks while you’re there, so if you’re really running low on time, you’ll always have the option of grabbing coffee on your way out the door too.
3. Pack your food the night before. This is crucial and less obvious than you may think. Even if your food is just your protein bar and an iced coffee, put them both in the same place so that you can grab them and go in the morning. If you pack your lunch, make sure all of your food is in one place as well.
4. Put your keys in the fridge. You heard me! Put your keys in the fridge on top of the food you packed. How many times have you realized that you forgot something right when the front door locks behind you?
Allow me to explain. You’re still half asleep and the only thing you can focus on is “must get to work.” You’re not worried about remembering things like your wallet or your food. But then, you walk out the door, get to work, and slowly realize you don’t have your wallet to grab some coffee or get lunch with your co-workers. Or you walk to your apartment, check your pockets, and no keys.
Putting your keys in your fridge makes you think for a split second, and allows you enough time to realize you need to bring other things with you as well. Luckily, you’ve packed your protein bar and coffee, maybe your lunch, and your keys or essential items are resting right on top. How simple.
5. Snoozing is A-OKAY. Allow 1 snooze (if needed). Allowing one snooze gives you the satisfaction of sleeping in a little bit, but allows you enough time to get ready without rushing out the door. By setting your alarm fifteen minutes before you need to get up, your snooze isn’t technically sleeping in--you're still good to go!Have your routine set up somewhere visible, like on your counter or in an order under your sink. If you have a morning routine beyond brushing your teeth and washing your face, have a set area on your countertop or under your sink. You won't have to spend time looking for items like face washes or medication.
7. Keep a travel-size kit in your bag--hairspray, basic make-up, medication, toothbrush, toothpaste, a brush, extra contacts and underwear. Keep this in your bag or in your bathroom, or maybe if you're feeling extra prepared, in your fridge next to your keys.
8. Be honest with yourself. Allow yourself to have fun and don't tell yourself you'll be responsible enough to execute your usual morning routine if you’re enjoying a night out or have to stay late at work or class. Isn't it better to be prepared for whatever comes your way?