If you're actually able to wake up when your alarm goes off, the only thing stopping you from getting out the door on time is your morning routine. Here are some tips to speed things up so you can stay up a little later, sleep in a little more, and still have time to prepare for the day.
Do What You Can the Night Before
You can shorten your bathroom time the most by removing the things you need to do in the morning to begin with. Not everything can be done before bed, but there are probably a few things in your routine that can be. In fact, you can knock out two of the most time consuming tasks by making them a part of your bedtime routine.
Shaving takes up a considerable amount of time for both men and women. If you know you'll need to be clean shaven tomorrow, just do it tonight. Nobody will notice you shaved last night, ladies, so take care of it when you're not in a rush. For some guys, their five o'clock shadow may already be visible by morning, but if you have lighter hair, the stubble will be less visible. It will look a lot better than not having time to shave at all.
You can also shower at night. There are a lot of perks to doing this: you can take as much time as you want (unless you're in California), and you'll have all the hot water to yourself, it can help you de-stress and fall asleep, and you've cut out the bathroom task that eats up the most time. Unless you're sleeping in a sauna or tend to sweat a lot at night, you're probably not going to stink by the morning. You probably only shower once every 24 hours anyway, so all you're doing is shifting the time frame. A little deodorant refresh in the morning and you're all set.
Create a Morning Routine Playlist
Music is a great way to pump you up for the day and keep you on time. You can use a song to time yourself in the shower, but you can also use an entire playlist to time out your entire morning. If you track your usual timing, you can tighten it up and build the perfect playlist. For example, you'll know you're running behind if that third track ends and you still haven't hopped out of the shower. Maybe you have a song that you wake up to every morning, then a song that you shower during, then a song for when you do your hair and other grooming steps.
Use songs that get your heart pumping and make you excited for the day. You can change up the songs on the playlist too, as long as the length of the playlist doesn't change too much. Just make sure you can hear the music while you're in the shower by using bathroom speakers that are right for your situation.
Time Your Showers with an Alarm or Dedicated Shower Timer
If showering at night isn't an option — or if your bedhead can only be defeated by showers — you can still make quick work of them. It's easy to lose track of time in a shower because the hot water feels good and you get lost in thought because it's one of the best places to think.
You can time your shower a couple ways to keep it quick. An alarm is the simplest way. Just set it for five minutes or so and get out when it goes off. It's to your benefit to actually see how much time you have left, however, so consider buying a waterproof shower timer that can be visible at all times. That way you're not scrambling when you hear the alarm and realise you haven't finished your shower duties. You can find them in both digital and non-digital varieties, and if you feel up to the challenge, you can even make your own.
Use Shower Temperature to Your Advantage
If there is one thing that is guaranteed to get you in and out of a shower fast, it's temperature. Ken Streiff at Quora even recommends turning down the water temperature right to the point where you don't feel comfortable for the entire shower. There can be a lot of benefits to cold showers, but it doesn't have to be freezing for this to work. Just enough to make you feel like getting out of there as soon as you can. You'll feel refreshed and much more awake than when you got in.
If you still feel like your showers aren't fast enough, you can save time by only shampooing every other day or using products that combine shampoo and conditioner. You can also make a shower checklist to help keep you on task. Check it before you hop in the shower so your mind gets set on what you need to do, so you can get out faster.
Go For Easy-to-Manage Hairstyles
Hair can be a major time eater, so the less you have to do with it the better. It may not be as fashionable as you'd like, but Kori Ellis at SheKnows suggests you consider getting a haircut that's easy to manage. Shorter hair usually means less work for both men and women. If you ask your barber or hair stylist for something that's easy to manage, they can usually recommend something that looks good.
No matter how you cut your hair, be sure to pick a simple hairstyle to do every day. Remember, you're going to work, not the club. A ponytail, bun or simple hair part can be enough to look professional and keep you from fooling around in front of the mirror for too long. If you're a woman with long hair, Maria Del Russo at PopSugar suggests you can do most of the work the night before. Blow dry your hair before bed and twist it into a loose topknot that will maintain some volume. Let it out in the morning and your hair will fall naturally and be easy to manage. Whatever you go with, it should be simple, fast and easy to repeat on the daily.
Set a Grooming Product Limit
Between all the moisturisers, hair products, deodorants, perfumes, colognes and dental hygiene products, there's a lot of stuff you can easily get carried away with. Corey Chalumeau at Bevel Code explains that you can save a lot of time if you set yourself a limit for the number of products you can use on a work morning. For example, say to yourself that you won't use any more than five products outside of the shower in the morning.
That gives you enough room to clean your teeth, take care of your skin, and smell nice without going overboard. Set the products and tools you plan to use out the night before so you know exactly what you're doing when you wake up groggy. Things like clipping nails, grooming eyebrows and other non-essential tasks can be done other times during the day.
Use Multi-Purpose Makeup Products and Streamline Your Process
If makeup is a part of your routine, there are a couple things you can do to be quick and still look good (not that you need it). Stick to products that do multiple things, like a foundation, moisturiser and SPF combination. For eye shadow, shading and highlights, use an all-in-one pallet so you only have component to mess with.
For a quick and easy eye makeup, TheMakeupChair YouTube channel suggests using stencils to speed things up. You can buy stencils, but you can also make your own out of old business cards, playing cards, or anything else that's fairly sturdy. If you're in a rush in the morning, stick to the basic things: eyeliner, mascara, skin powder and tinted lip gloss, for example. In fact, take note of what you used in a rushed morning and consider making that your standard routine if it looked good enough. You can always fix things later on during a break.
Take Care of "Business" Before You Shower
If you're one of the many that like to take a morning poop, it's probably not the best time to read the newspaper (who are we kidding — we mean your tablet or phone). For a maximum "clean" feeling, it's best to do it before you hop in the shower. As comedian Daniel Tosh once remarked, "You ever have a post-shower shit? Oh, you might as well go back to bed and start your whole day over."
There's no need for ceremony when you have places to be. If you'd like to poop before you shower, but you're not quite feeling up to the task, you can drink hot liquids to help things along. Now you've two great reasons for that morning cup of coffee. It also helps to sit like a samurai, with one leg crossed and your back as straight as you can.
Organise Your Bathroom for Maximum Efficiency
No matter what you're doing, organisation is a key component to using time efficiently. You don't want to waste time looking for things. Keep the tools you use in easy to reach places. Group up similar products so you always know where something is, and put away the things you don't need daily. Make tools and products you forget to use visible so they're easier to remember.
There are also a lot of products that can help you keep things organised. Liquid dispensers that can hold multiple products, a mirror that has a hook for your razor, or a style station for hair styling tools. The less time you spend looking for things, the more time you have to do those things.