By: Maurine Anderson
Getting out of bed, ready for the day, and out the door in time for work can be a major hassle during the week, but there is a lot that you can do to make things easier. Here is a look at some simple ways to make your mornings and your commutes to work more enjoyable.
Top off your gas
Is your gas running low? While you’re still running your after-work errands, be sure to top off your gas. Nothing’s worse then heading off for work, only to realize that you’ll need to waste valuable time putting more gas into your car.
Lay out your clothes the night before
Instead of wasting time in the morning deciding what you’re going to wear that day, go ahead and lay out what you’re going to wear the night before. Doing so will not only save you time but also preserve your decision making energy for the more important decisions you need to make later in the day.
Prepare your lunch the night before
The same goes for preparing your lunch. You’ll save time in the morning by putting it together the night before, and you won’t have to waste much-needed energy in the morning deciding what you’ll eat later that day. One easy way to always have a work lunch ready is to cook your dinners and bulk and then package single serving size portions in food containers for easy grabbing on the go.
Prepare your breakfast the night before
While you’re at it, don’t forget to prepare your breakfast the night before as well. This could be as simple as putting out a couple pieces of fruit or some granola for you to eat. Cold breakfasts tend to make mornings simpler, as you don’t have to go through the trouble of heating something up.
Set your coffee maker on a timer
If you drink coffee in the morning, consider setting your coffee maker on a timer so that you’ll have a cup of coffee ready to go as soon as you walk into the kitchen in the morning. (If you don’t have a coffee maker with a timer, you can buy one for $30 or less.) As an added bonus to automating your morning coffee, the smell of freshly brewed coffee emanating from your kitchen can be extra motivation for getting out of bed in the morning.
Leave yourself notes
Have to bring your personal computer into work? Did you sign up to bring a certain dish for the company party? Don’t assume that you’ll remember special to-dos upon waking up in the morning. Instead, leave yourself reminder notes in prominent places so that you won’t forget anything before leaving for work.
Park in the garage
The most effective way you can simplify your morning commute, particularly during the winter, is to park your car in the garage at night. Doing so will prevent you from having to scrape any ice off of your windshield at night, and you won’t have to do any driveway shoveling in the morning to get your car out—two major time drains in the morning. And if your garage happens to have insulated doors, your morning commute can be made even more simple, as your car will likely be a comfortable temperature the moment you slip into it.
Factor in enough time for clearing snow
That said, sometimes parking in the garage simply isn’t an option, or you still need to do some shoveling in the driveway in order to make it safe to drive on. Make sure you factor in enough time in the morning for any snow shoveling, ice scraping, or car warming that needs to be done. This article recommends setting your alarm 30 minutes early to give yourself enough time.
Don’t hit the snooze button
Speaking of setting your alarm, do you have a habit of hitting the snooze button? If so, make it a point to break this habit. Hitting the snooze button won’t give you that much more sleep, after all, and that’s valuable time you could be spending getting ready in the morning without having to rush. To break your snooze button habit, make it a point to get up as soon as your alarm goes off no matter what. And instead of thinking of it as getting up for the day, think of it just as getting up to brush your teeth or wash your face. Chances are that once you spend a few minutes out of bed, the temptation to go back to bed will be gone completely. And if that isn’t effective enough, try having a friend call you at your designated wake-up time to hold you accountable.