I’m pretty sure if you did a random poll asking people what their least favorite day of the week was, it would be Monday. I am, without a doubt, one of those people. (I’m convinced that I may actually be allergic) Getting out of bed when my alarm goes off on a Monday is harder for me than any day of the week. To allow myself to stay in bed for as long as possible, I try to take some time on Sunday to ensure that my Monday (and the upcoming week) goes smoothly.
Here are some tips that have worked well for me that I thought I would share:
Pick out your clothes ahead of time. Anyone who already does this knows how much potential time is saved here. I used to have an idea of what I wanted to wear in the mornings and would run through outfits in my head while showering, but inevitably, I’d change my mind or realize the skirt I’d planned on wearing needed to be ironed (who on earth has time to iron in the morning) and I’d end up spending another precious 10 mins tearing through my closet. Why do this to yourself first thing in the morning? Take 15 mins on Sunday night and asess your closet; lay out complete outfits on hangers and hang them in a specific area in your closet. If you can’t come up with 5 (sometimes I just don’t know what I’m going to feel like wearing) then try to put together at least 2-3 outfits. This will be one less thing you have to figure out in morning before you’ve had your cup of joe. *If you pack a bag for the gym, put a couple of days worth of outfits in there. Most gym clothes don’t take up much room, so you can probably put in a few things. That way when you get home, you just need to pull the dirty stuff out.
Prep food ahead of time. Take time on the weekend to make several days’ worth of breakfast/lunch. I often make big pots of soup, bean & cheese burritos, and oatmeal bars during the weekend and freeze individual portions. Then all I have to do in the morning is reach into the freezer before running out of the door- by the time lunch rolls around, they are pretty much defrosted. Hard boiled eggs are also easy to make ahead of time and last several days. Not only does this save time in the morning, but allows you to make good, healthy food choices during the week. (as convenient as pre-prepped, frozen meals are, they are loaded with sodium) Pinterest has dozens of ideas for freezable, portable breakfast and lunches, and also menus out there for mass meal prep- if you need some inspiration, just go online. Some of these ladies can do a month’s worth of meals in 4 hours! One day I will take that on…I love the idea of coming home from work and having homemade meals ready to go, but that’s another post entirely…
Get familiar with double duty beauty products. Most women have their make-up routine down to a science, but why use 7 products if you can use 3? My suggestions: 1) BB creams- basically serum, sunscreen, concealer and foundation all in one. ‘Nuff said. 2) Cheek/Lip stains- easy to apply and give you coordinating color. 3) Dry shampoo. It gives texture, volume and lift to hair when you don’t have time to blow it out. Note- if you took my advice and picked out your outfit the night before, you’ll have an idea of how you’ll want to wear your hair and what make-up look you’re going for.
Additional ways to speed up hair time:
- If you can, shower and wash your hair at night
- Sleep in a bun or braid so your hair is full and wavy in the morning (check out this link)
- Master the air-dry. Not every girl has the type of hair that can do this, but if you are, there are sooo many good products out there to help make wearing your hair naturally doable. You just need to figure out what products work for you. Sea salt sprays are always good for air dried, natural waves. (find my favorite spray here)
- Rock the top knot. Fall asleep with damp hair or just don’t feel like washing it? Learn how to wear a top knot- they are cute & trendy yet professional enough for an office look (tips here)
If you have errands to do during the week, jot them down and make a plan of action. Think about the week ahead and what you need to get accomplished. If you need to drop off dry cleaning, go to the post office, or return a store purchase, load your car with all of these items ahead of time. You’ll be prepared throughout the week and won’t have to run around the house looking for things. I honestly find that I sleep better knowing that I have this stuff under control. I love this list by Knock Knock
Turn up the music. You’d be surprised how much good music can improve your mood in the morning and get you moving. I often jam out while getting ready and I swear it makes me feel more energetic. (this is especially important for me on Mondays) I am also a huge fan of audiobooks and often listen to my books while getting ready. (always, always multi-tasking!)
Buy a coffee maker with timer, pack your purse at night, and know where your keys are. No need to scramble for any of these things in the a.m. Leave them by the door so you can quickly find them on your way out. Bonus- the smell of fresh brewed coffee may even help you roll out of bed sooner… Check out this link for a coffee maker that brews right into your to-go cup! (and one for your spouse/roommate)
What kinds of things do YOU do to avoid a manic Monday? Share your tips!