You have better things to do than linger in front of your closet deciding which shirt to wear, or race around your house looking for your sunglasses.
And we know it.
So we consulted productivity experts and scoured the internet for the best ways to cut out the silly stuff and save time in your morning routine.
Read on for practical and creative strategies you can use to get out the door faster — starting tonight.
The night before
Place your alarm clock across the room
This simple strategy comes from Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of books including, most recently, “Better Than Before.” That way, you’ll have to get up and turn it off, decreasing the temptation to go back to sleep.
Leave your keys, wallet, sunglasses, and cell phone in the same place
Here’s another tip from Rubin. You don’t want to waste time scrambling to find all your essentials.
Check the next day’s forecast
It’ll help when you plan your outfit (see below). Plus you’ll know about any potential delays — if there’s going to be a snowstorm the next morning, you should get out the door sooner than usual.
Decide on your outfit while you brush your teeth before bed
That way, Rubin said, “you don’t have to take the time for inner debate in the morning.”
If you’re traveling, decide exactly how you’ll spend your time in the morning
Chris Bailey, author of “The Productivity Project,” pinpoints this tip as his favorite strategy for saving time in the morning.
Because he travels a lot, he says, “I unfortunately don’t have the ability to carve out a consistent daily routine for myself — but I find that laying out a few intentions for how I’ll spend my time the next day helps me accomplish what I want to quicker.”
Coordinate schedules with your partner
When he’s home, Bailey says, “my girlfriend and I also make sure to tie our morning routines together — so we eat breakfast together, take alternating showers, and hit the gym by a certain time, to start the day off on a more productive note.”
Alternatively, you and your partner could stagger your morning routines so you don’t end up fighting to get into the closet or use the toaster.
Prepping lunch for you and/or your family saves time and money — going out for lunch every day costs you about $1,000 each year.
Chug a glass of water before bed
Multiple Quora users recommend drinking water before going to sleep so you have to relieve yourself in the morning.
“After some trial and error, I realized that drinking 300 mL of water before going to bed would wake me up exactly at 7 a.m,” one anonymous user writes.
You can do your own experimentation to figure out how much water you need to drink to wake up at the desired time. You’ll get the added bonus of hydrating your body, which is important because, according to psychologist and sleep specialist Michael Breus, your body gets dehydrated overnight.
Keep the blinds open while you sleep
It’s hard to stay asleep with sunlight streaming across your face, writes Mike Fishbein on Quora. “The sun also reminds our mind and body that it’s daytime and that we should be awake and energized.”
In the morning
Lay off the ‘snooze’ button
It’s tempting to doze for just a few more minutes, we know.
But as sleep expert Timothy Morgenthaler told Business Insider’s Jessica Orwig, “Most sleep specialists think that snooze alarms are not a good idea.”
That’s partly because, if you fall back into a deep sleep after you hit the snooze button, you’re entering a sleep cycle you definitely won’t be able to finish. So you’ll likely wake up groggy instead of refreshed.
Take a cold shower
Once you’re up and out of bed (congrats!), hop into a cool —but not freezing — shower. According to Breus, cool showers are invigorating because they lower your body temperature.
Save the hot showers for the evening, when you’ll want to relax your body into sleep.
Don’t burn your breakfast
Quora user Christoph Krenn has a creative technique for speeding up his morning routine:
“First thing in the morning, I put some rolls in the oven to heat up right before I head over to the bathroom. When I’m not ready after 10 minutes or so I will burn my breakfast.
“This really motivates me to finish my shower and get dressed quickly. Afterwards I enjoy my rolls with a quick coffee and get ready to leave the house.”
Krenn helpfully notes that you’ll only want to use foods that don’t catch fire quickly.
Have a nutritious breakfast readily available
If you’re not into the burnt-rolls thing, keep some healthful breakfast staples on hand. Registered dietitian Lisa DeFazio told Business Insider’s Rachel Gillett that solid options include instant oatmeal (fiber!) and smoothies (protein!).
You can always take them on the go if you’re running late.
Buy several pairs of the same socks
“So you never have to hunt for a mate,” Rubin said.
Wear the same (or almost the same) outfit every day
“Give yourself a work uniform,” Rubin said, “so you have very few choices to make when dressing.”
Barack Obama says he does it; so does Mark Zuckerberg. The idea is to save time as well as mental energy for the things that really matter.
“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” Obama told Vanity Fair in 2012. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”