8 Ways to Streamline Your Mornings ...

1. Lunch at Dinnertime

The first thing you can do towards the ways to streamline your mornings is pack your lunch the night before. I like to pack my lunch at dinnertime the previous night, when I already have food out or leftovers that I’m packing away. Think about snacks around the clock the next day as well, and you’ll be set! Pack everything non-perishable in your bag, and anything in the fridge together in the very front so that you can just grab it and go! (If you're helping a sweetie or kiddo pack their lunch, too, stash a surprise napkin note as well! Or even write yourself a favorite quote or mantra for an extra lunchtime smile.)

2. Breakfast at Nighttime

What are you going to eat for breakfast before you leave or on your way out? Plan it! Make a batch of your favorite oatmeal, fruit salad, scrambled eggs or hard-boiled eggs every couple of days that you can simply heat up in the morning and eat quickly. Or prep a carry-able breakfast or something to heat up at work! Whatever it is, you'll be a happier camper with a streamlined morning that includes some a.m. nosh.

3. Morning Outfit in the Evening

Check the weather, think about your day ahead and plan what you’ll wear. You can always change your mind in the morning, but planning your outfit the night before will relieve a ton of time and stress in the rush, not to mention in the state of half alertness, of the morning. Layout your next days’ outfit before getting ready for bed and relaxing for the night. This way you won’t be tempted to leave it for the morning! I like to hang my outfit on a rung bolted to my empty closet wall, and place my shoes, scarf or coat by the door.

4. Day Ahead before Bedtime

Right before bedtime, think about your day ahead. Are you heading straight to your Pilates class or friends’ house after work? Grab a change of clothes or whatever else you’ll need, and pack it early! You won’t be stressed in the morning or have to run back home from work. Leave the bag by the door along with anything else you usually take with you in the mornings, and you’ll feel oh-so prepped! Those birds chirping in the wee hours of the morning will suddenly sound hopeful, not mocking!

5. Attempt to Automate

If you’re anything like me, you absolutely need your coffee to feel alive in the mornings. If you are also a coffee or tea drinker, set your pot to begin filtering or heating hot water five or so minutes before you plan to get up. This way, once you’re up and out of bed, you can grab a cup of steamy whatever to help pop you out of sleep-mode. Sure, it only shaves about 2-3 minutes, but the pure goodness of waking up to an instant mug of "fill-in-the-blank" is fabulous, commercial-worthy stuff! (Promise, it’ll also increase your actual AM efficiency by at least 25%!)

6. Make Time with Your Makeup

Take a look at your makeup drawer/counter/shelf/case… which makeup do you tend to use the most often on a daily basis? Store your basics together and on-hand. Then, when you’re doing your makeup in the morning, you’ll have your basics right at your fingertips. From there, if you have time, you can try that new berry lipstick you just bought. My basics include everything skincare plus mascara, eyeliner, lip balm and blush. Eyeshadow and extra fun lipsticks are just extra! Narrow in on your basics and do your makeup like a pro. (Hint: This also works well for hair products and jewelry!)

7. Nightly Feeding

If you have pets and they can be fed at night, do it! As long as your pet isn’t one to overeat extremely (which most aren’t!) or on a special diet, fill up that big bowl the night before and they should be good ‘til you get home! It’ll be one less thing to worry about in the morning. This is especially morning-proof because you definitely don’t want to miss feeding your little furry friend!

8. A.M. Pump up

When you hear your alarm or music, get out of bed! If you know you're a dozer or a phone-scroller for the first ten minutes, set that alarm ten minutes earlier. Then, once you're out of bed, utilize what you can to streamline your time. I'm not talking slide down the staircase handrail (unless you want to!) but turning on some of your favorite music to quicken the pace, skipping to the shower or making your bed in under 30 seconds will help! Sounds silly, but pumping up your mornings will not only streamline your time, it'll also pump up your day! With these 8 great tips to streamline your mornings, you’ll be sure to have a bit more time for a more peaceful and energetic start to your day! Give them a try, and see if you walk out the door with a bit bigger of a smile. What do you like to make time for in your extra a.m. minutes?