Your morning sets the tone for everything you’ll accomplish all day, so stop screwing it up. If you’re rolling out of bed after hitting snooze a dozen times, you’re doing it wrong.
Turn your pre-work ritual into a finely tuned machine of productivity with these 17 tips that’ll put you in boss-mode before you’ve even left your house.
1. If you’re awake before your alarm, get the hell out of bed
Giving up those extra few minutes of rest when you realize you’ve awoken before your alarm may be the hardest thing you do all morning. But if you’re tempted to go back to sleep, don’t. You’ll fall into a deeper sleep cycle, and it’ll be all the more painful to get up nine minutes later.
2. Try an “inverted snooze”
The trouble with snoozing is that one is never enough. It may sound like a new age yoga proposition, but the theory suggests that pressing snooze can be good for you—if you get out of bed. After you hit the button, you have to stay out of bed for the next nine minutes, rather than in it. Use that window like a gift of free time to do something you'd skip otherwise. Make your bed, listen to music, meditate, whatever. After the time’s up, you’ll be moving and ready, rather than inclined to press that button a few more times.
3. Put your alarm on the other side of room Sometimes you need a little tough love. Set that blaring alarm to eardrum-piercing volumes and keep it at least 10 feet away from your bed, so you’ll need to get up to turn it off. Look at that, you’re up!
4. Drink lemon water instead of coffee
Hear me out. We’re not saying give up coffee completely, just make warm lemon water the first beverage of the day. According to Life Hack, it’ll help you burn fat and boost your metabolism, and its incredibly sour taste may shock you awake. Save your first cup of coffee for when you get to work.
5. Time the length of your morning routine Do you know exactly how many minutes it takes you to get ready each morning? Probably not. You have a rough idea, and that’s why you’re always late. One day, get out a timer and find out your average time, from the alarm-sounding to the door-slamming. From here on out, you’ll be able to budget your time more accurately.
6. Get out of bed and exercise
Exercising in the morning will give you a solid sense of accomplishment, sure, but it’ll also jump-start your metabolism and make you feel more energetic all day.
7. Ditch the iron Who has time to iron their dress shirts in the morning? Literally no one. Get a travel steamer for your apartment, which smoothes out wrinkles just as well without all the hassle of an ironing board.
8. Leave your keys on top of the things you most often forget
If you packed a lunch the night before but can’t ever seem to remember it, stash your keys on top of it, even if it’s in the fridge. That way, you can’t walk out the door without grabbing it. Ditto for a gym bag, backpack, dry cleaning, or whatever else usually slips your mind and thwarts your daily productivity.
9. Check the next day’s weather before you go to bed That way, if you know you’ll need an umbrella or a raincoat, you can set it out in advance. Boom. One less thing to worry about in the morning.
10. Store your toothbrush on the outside of your shower
Brushing your teeth in the shower saves time, but you don’t want to keep something that goes in your mouth in an area prone to mold and mildew. Attach a cup to your shower handle or wall so you can grab it while you’re already in there and multitask, but stow it somewhere dry when you’re done.
11. Invest in a microfiber towel For about 12 bucks, score yourself a time-saving shower buddy. These towels are typically used for camping, since the fibers are hyper-absorbent and will dry you off in half the time.
12. Set your coffee maker the night before
Take back those precious minutes you waste waiting for coffee to brew. Many coffee makers have preset functions so you can have your joe warming up the minute your alarm goes off. If you’re craving tea instead, don’t add grounds, and have instant hot water at the ready.
13. Chug a liter of water Your body needs hydration to maximize productivity throughout the day, so start early and reap the benefits. You’ll especially want that H20 10-15 minutes before a workout to get the most out of it.
14. Catch up on emails while doing push-ups
Short on time but don’t want to sacrifice that morning burn? Good, you’re a champion among men. Put your tablet on the floor below your face and read any pressing emails while you’re mid-push-up.
15. Keep emergency breakfasts at work if you’re late You need whole wheat carbs and protein in your mornings to function without crashing, but don’t kid yourself, you’re probably not whipping up egg benedicts while leisurely watching the Today Show. Stash some instant oatmeal or protein bars at your desk, and it’ll make going over those morning emails more bearable once you get into the office.
16. Get disposable coffee cups for your commute You don’t have time to savor it while you’re scouring your apartment for your missing sock anyway, so get some paper to-go cups so you can drink on the way to work. They may be worse for the environment than a normal travel mug, but you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to take it home from the office.
17. Write your to-do list on the morning commute
Since you won’t have service underground anyway, open up the notepad on your phone and jot down any pressing jobs for the day so you can prioritize your efforts. When you get off the subway, you can email the list to yourself and check those items off throughout the day, like the task-crushing machine you are.