In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to go into work until noon. Now, don’t get me wrong. Start time at noon wouldn’t mean leaving at 5PM; that would just be the time I’d have a bite for lunch. I can easily burn the midnight oil; unfortunately, working in the professional world doesn’t allow for such an off-beat schedule. Waking up before the sun Monday through Friday is the greatest challenge I face. It’s likely because I loathe actually getting out of bed. I set my alarm early enough each morning to allow myself one solid hour of snooze time. Honestly, from 5AM until 6AM my iPhone blares “Blues” every nine minutes until the coffee begins to brew (automatic start, of course!). This hour of 9-minute interval sleep allows me a chance to actually start waking up. I won’t bore you with the rest of my morning routine, but getting to work by 8AM is by far, the most difficult responsibility of each day. Oddly enough, in my former professional life, I could make it to work by 7AM on tape days…the perk was the 10AM start on off days.
With seven years out in the “real” world, I’ve found a few ways to keep my eyes closed a little longer while getting out the door a little faster. If you’re a night owl like me, I hope these may help you meet your morning deadlines, too
1. Pre-pack: Pack your breakfast and/or lunch the night before. Every working girl needs fuel to start her day, so breakfast is essential. I keep my single cup Kuerig coffee maker in my office so I have something exciting waiting for me when I arrive. The night before, I prepare my yogurt, granola and fruit ahead of time in this. Mid-day, we all need an energy boost. Without being prepared, we’re tempted to have an impromptu date with the vending machine. Plan ahead by packaging your lunch in this.
2. Forget the shampoo: Don’t get grossed out just yet. Your hair will thank you later. Dry shampoo works wonders to absorb oil and add volume to your mane. I call this my Day Two Look…and it NEVER fails that this is when I get the most compliments on my hair. Wash your hair every other day. If you color your hair, this will help to extend your shine and keep your hair healthy. Before your morning shower, pull your hair up in a bun (it’s okay if it gets a little damp). Afterwards, pull your hair down, apply some dry shampoo, work through the strands, then style as usual. If you have thick hair like I do, this can save up to 45 minutes to your morning.
3. Go Natural…Sort of: We’re not talking ALL natural here, we’re professionals! Looking our best doesn’t mean we’re entering a Texas Beauty Pageant each morning. Find your daily foundation for your face that allows your to play up your look for after work drinks with that cutie you met last week or a benefit for your favorite cause. Tinted moisturizer with SPF combines three steps in one, then add a little powder to set your look…blush, mascara, lipstick…DUNZO! In less that 5 minutes your face will be perfect for the power day ahead of you.
4. Match Maker: I’m not talking about setting up your BFF with your guy’s buddy. This is MUCH more important. Quit allowing yourself to leave the house feeling frumpy. Match ALL of your outfits no later than the night before. If you’re me, you prep EVERY SINGLE DETAIL for the week on Sunday evening. I’m talking all the way down to undergarments and accessories. Every Sunday night, I block an hour of time to pull seven outfits for the week. With only five days of office work, I pull seven outfits to give myself two backup plans depending on my mood, a change in weather, a new agenda item, etc. On the outside of my closet door, I hang all seven outfits and accessories…with my shoes lining up beneath. After MANY years (I’m talking since kindergarten here, friends), I’ve found a system that eliminates my stress and worry of what to put on to give me more time in the mornings and more confidence throughout the day. P.S. I also keep a recipe box of outfits in my closet, but my organization addiction is severe.
5. Find a Home: Of course your have a roof over your head, but do you have a home for all of your stuff? Have designated spot for all of your daily must-haves: sunglasses, keys, phone, etc. Collect your belongings the night before and always put them in the same place. You’ll remember this the next time you’re half way to work and realize your phone is still at home.
I hope this morning tips help all you power girls out there climbing the ladder. We’ve got to support each other during these early years. What are some of your own helpful tips for getting ready?