Even as a morning person myself, I have to say that early mornings – I’m talking really early mornings – absolutely suck. They never get easier. They never get more enjoyable. While I like getting up early to tackle my day, I have a super long commute to uni which inevitably means I need to be up and at ’em and ready to go by 5.30 most mornings.
So, over the past six months I have been developing a morning shortcut routine in an effort to get even a mere extra 15 minutes of sleep. Uni students alike will understand the importance of this extra sleeping time – it means you’ll be able to focus more in class, have more energy for assignments, and will generally be in a less shitty mood all day.
Obviously I incorporate the more traditional morning shortcuts, like laying your outfit out the night before and pre-packing your bag/s so you’re ready to go. These are my personal tricks to getting out the door super fast, but still feeling put together and ready to take on your busy day ahead.
Your alarm is where it all starts. I like to set my alarm roughly 45 minutes before I absolutely have to be out the door. I always found that an hour was slightly too much time, and I’d spend that time doing unnecessary things like checking Instagram, when I could have used that extra time sleeping. 45 minutes ensures that my routine is packed to the minute and it leaves no room for unnecessary time-wasters.
When creating my ultimate shortcut routine, I had to decide on what was necessary and what could go. Some might argue that coffee is not a priority, and if you’re one of those people, I won’t judge (maybe a little). But for me, coffee is a part of my routine that I am absolutely, under no circumstances willing to give up. My tip is to grind your coffee the night before. I like to have my coffee ground before I wake up for two reasons: it saves me time in the morning and it won’t wake anyone up. If you’re awake earlier than the people you’re living with, they definitely won’t appreciate being woken by your caffeine dependency. In saying this, if you really dislike your flatmate, feel free to grind your coffee as soon as you wake up (I’ve been there!) By grinding your coffee before you sleep and keep the grounds in an airtight container, you still get to have your quick caffeine fix without compromising freshness. I like to set up a little coffee station before I go to bed – I set out my grounds alongside my travel coffee cup, kettle and French Press so I can brew my coffee right before I leave the house and make a mad dash for the door. Alternatively, you could make cold brew the night before so it saves you even more time – you just pour it into your travel mug and there’s no faffing around with hot water and brewing time.
The way I deal with coffee is the same way I deal with breakfast: the night before is your best weapon. I don’t want to compromise my health by grabbing something when I’m at uni, because we all know those choices typically don’t tend to be the best health-wise, plus they can be a little hard on your wallet if you’re doing it every day. My fave quick, healthy breakfast is Bircher muesli (also known as overnight oats). You basically just soak oats, nuts, chia seeds, and pretty much whatever you have on hand in orange juice and almond milk. You can leave it plain or top it with fruit, and then you just pop it in the fridge overnight for it to work its magic. Everything kinda soaks up the liquid and breaks down, so in the morning it’s really easy for your body to digest. Plus, it’s super yummy and gives you heaps of energy. I like to put it in a mason jar (soooo hipster, I know) so it’s portable and I can eat it on my way to the train.
I once heard that Western gals spend more time on their make up than on their skincare, as opposed to our Asian counterparts who focus on their skincare so they don’t need as much make up. I like this philosophy when it comes to cutting down time in the morning. While some might skip the skincare in favour of make up time, I try to invest in minutes spent on my skincare so I don’t have to spend ages caking on products to make my skin look half-decent. My tip here is to do your full skincare routine, and really take the time to make sure the products are absorbed before you put a little touch of make up on top to help you feel your best. My basics for make up are BB cream (way more forgiving than foundation when you don’t have ages to blend), powder, blush, a tinted brow gel, and mascara. Sometimes I like a little concealer under my eyes if I’ve had a particularly late night. I leave my lips until I’m on the train, in which I’ll dab a little bit of tinted lip balm or a nudey lipstick. Less fuss = more time to SLEEP!
Hopefully these nifty little tricks will help make your early mornings less sucky. I find that these tips combined easily shave 15 minutes off my average morning routine, but I still don’t feel like I’ve left the house forgetting something or like I’m completely frazzled.
Go ahead, push that snooze button.