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Dec 10 2016
by Nancy Canevari

10 Hacks to a Shorter Morning Routine

By Nancy Canevari - Dec 10 2016
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As the semester draws to a close, you’ve probably been doing some reflecting on the last few months, and how you’re going to adapt your routine to fit next semester’s schedule. If the spring semester is going to land you with more early morning classes than you had this semester, or if you’ve realized that your morning routine takes too long and you often run late for class, revamping your routine may be necessary. Luckily, the next ten tips should help you do that.

1. Set multiple alarms.

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If you have to be up and out of bed at 7:00  but take a long time to wake up, setting an alarm for 6:50, another for 6:55 and another for 7:00 will help you wake up before you get out of bed. With multiple alarms, you’ll have given yourself enough time to energize while you’re still in bed, so by the time you have to be up, you’re capable of doing more than stumbling around your room like a zombie, which will get you out of the door faster.

2. Give yourself more time than you think you need, especially at the beginning of the semester.

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You might think that you only need half an hour to get ready, but if you actually time yourself, that may prove completely false. Give yourself some extra time for the first few days of the semester so that you see how long you actually take, and then work from there. You’ll have a much more accurate picture of how long you take to get ready, and what activities you can cut out or shorten.

3. Pick out your clothes ahead of time.

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One of the worst killers of time is standing in front of your closet, desperately trying to figure out what to wear. Choose your clothes the night before: you don’t have to physically lay them out, but make sure you go to bed what you’re going to wear the next day. Additional tips: make sure to check the weather before you make wardrobe-related decisions (wearing a dress on a day with a predicted temperature high of 15 degrees, for example, might not be the best idea), and make sure that the clothes you’re planning on wearing are clean. The last thing you want is to waste ten minutes rummaging through your closet and dresser before realizing that the leggings you wanted are buried at the bottom of your hamper.

4. Pack your backpack the night before.

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Figure out what you need to bring with you the next day, and pack your back before you go to bed. There may be a few things you can’t pack until the morning of (i.e. your phone charger), but try to pack everything else. If you don’t, you run the risk of wasting time frantically searching through your desk for the textbook you swear was right there the last time you checked.

5. Make a checklist of needed items for each day of the week.

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If you’re unable to pack your bag the night before, having a list of items that you need to pack in the morning will help you get ready sooner — you’ll know exactly what you need to grab, and won’t waste time trying to remember. Take into account books and notebooks, obviously, but also remember additional materials you might need on certain days: equipment for sports practice, paperwork for meetings, a chance of clothes for work, etc. If there’s ever a day when you have an additional obligation you don’t normally have (i.e. an appointment, an interview), make sure to note that on your checklist, and add additional things you might need. When you’re packing, go down the list and check off items as you pack them.

6. Print your papers the night before.

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If you’re working late in the library, it’s tempting just to go home and say that you’ll print your paper in the morning. This is a huge mistake. Not only does printing take additional time that you might not have (especially more if you need to walk to the library to print), you might run into technical difficulties that delay you even more. Even if all you want to do is go to bed, stay up for another five minutes to print anything you need to: your future self will thank you.

7. Shower the night before OR streamline the showering process.

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If you can, shower at night, because that can shave tons of time from your morning routine, but if you prefer showering in the morning, there are still ways that you can shorten the process. Set a timer while you’re showering — no more than fifteen minutes, for example — so that you don’t lose track of time and waste precious minutes. Another great tactic is to turn down the temperature of your shower: you don’t need to make it freezing, but make it cool enough that you aren’t so comfortable you’d be happy to spend hours under the water. If you can shave the night before as well, that can also be helpful.

8. Plan breakfast ahead of time.

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If you usually eat breakfast in the dining hall, this one isn’t as applicable, but if you make your breakfast in the morning, plan ahead of schedule. Overnight oats are a great way to assemble food ahead of time, but you can also prep smoothie ingredients in Ziploc bags so that they just need to be thrown into a blender. Keep whole fruit and granola bars around for days when you don’t feel like cooking.

9. Minimize your makeup routine.

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This one is really only applicable for people who wear makeup on a regular basis, but if that’s you, then minimizing your daily routine is a guaranteed way to save time. Stick to your favorite products (for example, concealer, mascara and eyebrow pencil), and try combining products when you can (tinted moisturizer is a great way to hydrate your skin and can act as a substitute for foundation).

10. Prep your hair at night.

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If you like styling your hair for the day, a great way to save time in the morning is to prep it at night. Here is a guide to several overnight, no-heat curling techniques, and if you choose to wash your hair at night, braiding it can keep it contained while you sleep so you don’t wake up with an uncontainable rat’s nest.

Keep these in mind as we head into the spring semester and you adjust to a normal class schedule again. Best of luck with all of your finals!

Lead Image Credit: Kristin Vogt via Pexels

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Nancy Canevari - Smith College

Nancy is a junior editor for Fresh U. She is a sophomore at Smith College and plans on double majoring in secondary education and English, with a concentration in creative writing. She's originally from New Jersey, a place she views with one part love and one part exasperated disgust. She loves dogs and young adult high fantasy novels a bit too much and spends most of her time drinking tea and yelling about politics. Follow her on Instagram @fearlesslynancelot for some solidly mediocre content.

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