I love mornings. I love getting up early (once I’m out of bed) and enjoying quiet time with God. Mornings are my best creative time, so I love to write with coffee. I also find that morning is the best time of day for exercise, which is likely to move down the priority list and not happen later in the day.
I don’t like spending my morning getting out the door. I’d much rather spend more time sleeping or doing the activities above. I still want to look my best, though. Here are a few steps I take toward a more efficient getting-ready routine:
1. I don’t wash my hair everyday. It’s amazing how just washing my bangs in the sink and blow drying them completely revitalizes my hairstyle in way less time. Even if you exercise in the morning and need to shower, you can save a lot of time by not washing (and blow drying) your hair.
2. I do my makeup first when I do need to blow dry. That way, my hair begins to dry on its own.
3. I listen to something while I do hair and makeup. Being entertained or educated makes me feel like I’m making good use of the time. I can’t recommend watching the news since I hate watching the news, but if you’re someone who likes to know what’s up in the world, that could be an option.
4. I pick my outfit the day before, including jewelry and accessories. Okay, so I don’t really do this that often. But when I do it makes life so much easier.
5. I use makeup primer. It takes an extra minute to apply, but I use less makeup for the same effect and my makeup stays on longer. Less time applying makeup, and no need for touch ups later in the day.
6. I have a quickie makeup routine. Maybe when you’re in a hurry you only wear mascara. For me, it’s my Bare Escentuals foundation, bareMinerals All-Over Face Color on the cheeks, and eyeliner. I can apply them in less than 5 minutes, but I look 100% more polished. If I was really in a hurry and forgot to moisturize, my foundation has SPF 20.
7. I have to-go options for breakfast so that if I’m running short on time I still eat. My favorite choice is vanilla bean nonfat Greek yogurt from Trader Joes with slivered almonds stirred in. Don’t forget a plastic spoon!
8. My husband wakes up before me and makes coffee. This might not be available to everyone. Since Mike has been working to finish his dissertation, he wakes up at 4AM and makes coffee. We may not always have this arrangement, but it sure improves my morning routine! Maybe there’s something you could delegate to someone else in your household.
9. I expect to need 15 minutes longer than I think I will. I’m trying to get better at this one. Mike is routinely early. I prefer to arrive on the dot, but I always think things will take less time than they do, so I’m often late. I’m trying to get better at building a buffer so I can honor my commitments by being on time.
I’m experimenting with finding more time for what’s most important to me, so you can expect to see more posts along these lines. When I zip through my morning routine, I have more time for the truly important: spiritual growth, exercise and writing.
Question: What makes your getting ready routine go more smoothly?
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