You probably rushed out the door this morning, frantically getting to work just in time for your first meeting. Maybe you were lucky enough to get your morning coffee, but maybe not.
I feel your pain – this was my every morning for a long time.
I’ve always had the ability to waste extreme amounts of time getting ready in the morning, and I’ve had to work hard to get my routine down to a respectable amount of time.
Luckily I’ve found some ways to speed up my morning routine, so I’m out the door with time to spare (most of the time, anyway).
I started with the usual hacks to speed up my morning routine, such as getting a better night’s sleep, getting clothes ready before work, and drinking water right when rolling out of bed.
But, after all that, my routine was still too long.
So, I’ve taken additional steps to make my morning routine even faster. And they work!
6 Ways to Supercharge your morning routine
1. Get permanent makeup
Permanent makeup can speed up your morning routine by 5-10 minutes! The many options for permanent makeup include eyebrow microblading (or shading), eyeliner, lip color, and lip liner.
A couple of years ago, my eyebrows were microbladed, which nicely sped up my morning routine.
My natural eyebrows are blond and too short to frame my face properly. Before microblading, I would spend much time each morning trying to shape and color in a normal-looking brow.
The microblading, which took two appointments (and admittedly was painful), resulted in normally shaped brows you can actually see.
I still have to add color to my brows with an eyebrow gel put on with a mascara wand, but it takes 5 seconds, and my brows are in the right shape every day!
Consider permanent makeup to eliminate the makeup steps that take you the longest in the morning.
2. Wash your hair less often
I used to be a seven-day-a-week hair washer. Not only is this bad for the environment (e.g., using more shampoo, more water, more time on the blowdryer), but it also takes much more time.
I now go up to four days without washing, and I know many women that go longer!
If you are currently an every day (or every other day) washer, follow these steps to start to stretch it out four or five days (or more):
- Start small. Go one additional day between washing to allow your hair time to get used to the lesser washing. Then increase one day at a time between washing.
- Avoid touching your hair during the day to keep the oil on your fingers out of your hair.
- Use a boar bristle brush to distribute the oils in your hair on days you don’t wash.
- Use dry shampoo (or make your own) when your hair looks oily.
- When you wash, use the best quality you can afford. I love Prose shampoo and conditioner. My hair looks much healthier since I started using the products Prose developed based on my unique hair type, age, and other factors.
- When you wash, shampoo only on roots and condition only on ends.
In addition to the time you save, you will also have healthier hair with this new routine. Not only is shampoo hard on your hair, but typically less washing leads to fewer heat styling tools.
3. Minimize and organize beauty products
I’ve loved beauty products in all forms from elementary school onward.
Like many of you, I have an overwhelming supply of makeup, hair, and skincare products.
I used to sift through my many products while getting ready in the morning and often changed my makeup or skin care whenever it felt right.
Once I got serious about speeding up my morning routine, I changed the following:
- I wear the same makeup every workday and have it separated into its own makeup pouch. I worked hard to get it down to 10 products and don’t allow myself to add.
- I designated a get-ready-for-work drawer in my bathroom. It has a drawer organizer with only AM necessities, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, deodorant, moisturizer, perfume, hair oil, hair brush, and Q-tips.
- I have my hair items separated for washing days, with root pump, detangler, blowdryer, hair straightener, and curling iron in one drawer.
- I put everything right in the same area so I don’t have to move to do my entire morning routine (other than clothes).
You can trim time off your routine by paring down to the essentials and keeping them well organized.
4. Refresh your work wardrobe
Dealing with clothes in the morning is a significant time suck.
I’ve been guilty of standing in my closet and staring at my clothes, waiting for the right thing to pop out for 10+ minutes in the morning.
Then, after I found something to wear, I’d spend more time steaming the clothes and finding accessories.
It took forever!
To reduce the time I spend dealing with clothes, I’ve changed my work wardrobe to primarily dresses. It’s so easy – one piece of clothing and shoes, and I’m out the door.
If you’re up for trying dresses to speed up your morning routine, here are a few of my favorites for inspiration:
This dress, by Spanx, is called The Perfect A-line 3/4 Sleeve Dress. It’s machine washable and doesn’t wrinkle. The bright red color is fun, but it also comes in black.
M.M. LaFleur has dozens of great dress options, and one of my newer favorites is The Maaza Dress. If you’re on a budget, check out their “Pre Loved” options, where they re-sell second hand pieces that are still in great shape.
Wrap dresses are so comfortable and professional looking. They are a regular go-to for work. There are a lot of great wrap dresses out there – this one is from the original wrap dress creator, Diane Von Furstenberg.
Get your dress out the night before, steam it if needed, and hang it in the bathroom where you get ready (along with accessories).
Also, consider your shoes when paring down your morning routine.
I used to have dozens of pairs of work shoes. Too many shoes are inefficient – I often couldn’t find what I wanted, or the shoe wasn’t clean or needed repairs.
Now, I have four pairs of pumps (mostly Ann Taylor)and four pairs of flats (all Rothy’s). They are ready to wear at all times (clean, waxed, and not needing repairs).
I buy the same eight pairs of shoes as they break down and must be replaced.
These small changes have sped up my morning routine considerably.
5. Change to a non-phone alarm clock (and no phones while getting ready)
Picking up your phone in the morning to scroll social media, turn on music, check email, and text can add a shocking amount of time to your morning routine.
When I used my phone for my alarm clock, it required me to touch my phone first thing in the morning, and I automatically used it to check all the things.
I now put my phone on a charger in the kitchen before bed and have a separate alarm clock for my bedroom. The alarm clock is across the room, so I must get up to turn it off.
I get up on time, have no phone in sight until after I am ready to go, and shave minutes off my get-ready routine.
6. Decrease your shower temperature
I love being in a hot shower. I could stand there and enjoy the heat and steam for an extra ten minutes (or more).
While I still enjoy my hot showers on the weekends, I use a slightly uncomfortable warm-ish temperature during the week.
It is stunning how a less-enjoyable shower speeds up my morning routine!
Better ways to speed up your morning routine
At one point in history, I took the longest time possible to get ready in the morning.
How do I know it was too long?
Well, in addition to running like a maniac out the door to work every day, everyone I knew commented on it.
Friends would comment on my get-ready speed while on vacation, my sister would ask what was taking me so long in the morning, and my husband would remind me to get up early on the weekends so I was ready for whatever was happening.
It was a common issue.
Regardless, I’ve worked hard on getting my get-ready routine down to a respectable time, and it’s given me so much freedom to get up and out the door quickly.
The tips above really helped me, and I hope they help you!
After reducing the time you need to get ready in the morning, consider adding leadership affirmations to your morning routine.