The night before I go on a trip, I check the weather for the destination’s forecast, and plan my outfits for the whole week. I narrow down my footwear to what I’m going to wear on the plane, a pair of sneakers, 1 pair of heels, and a 1 pair of black flats. I decide what size suitcase and what carry on to bring, and what will go into each. I stay up late planning, and prepping, and funneling various oils, creams and conditioners into travel-size containers with the precision of a chemist. I try to get cash and packets of oatmeal ahead of time, so I won’t have to deal with the high prices of food and $5 ATM fees at the terminal, and I reserve a parking space near the airport. This process usually works out pretty well, and I get to my destination ready to relax or work or whatever. Pretty savvy right?
For some reason, getting up, working out, and getting out of the house and to the office by 9am on a daily basis completely eludes me. I don’t hear the alarm, nothing that I want to wear (or can fit comfortably) is clean, I can never find at least one of my shoes, my phone isn’t charged, I forget to feed the cat, (who in protest, has thrown-up on my yoga mat). Sexy is ALWAYS telling me to slow down after hearing me yelp out in pain from accidentally slamming one of my appendages into a stationary object. I walked halfway to the subway once when I realized that I still had 3 twists in a roller in the back of my head, I forgot my earrings, and the alarm company was calling me because the alarm was going off because I’d left my keys in the door and it had swung open.
Then it dawned on me.
Why not approach every (week)day as if I had to be on a plane, leaving at 9am? Hmmm. With some modifications, this just might work.
So here’s my top 10 list of how to get through the week a bit smoother. I have tried this and it actually works!
1. Plan what to wear for the week – Plan your clothes for 7 days like you would if you were going on a 1 week vacation. Check the weather, and decide what to wear. Take into account all the things you need to do for the week: Meetings, going out with friends, yoga class, running gear, the kids soccer game, etc. It’s fine if you swap things around on your list as your week goes along, but a little planning goes along way.
2. Layout what to wear the night BEFORE – If you can’t bring yourself to plan for the week, at least do this step. If it’s not clean, wash it, if it’s a new outfit, try it on. Hang the outfit up on hangers and put your shoes below it. I even hang my earrings, necklaces, bracelets and scarf on the same hanger sometimes. It’s also a good idea to plan a backup shirt or blouse in case you spill something on yourself. SAVVY TIP: No matter what you feel like in the morning, or what you think you look like, do NOT change your outfit.
3. Rewear some items – Don’t freak out. I’m not asking you to turn your underwear inside out or anything. But think about it. Why is it ok to wear the same pair of jeans twice when you’re on vacation, but not at home? Wear those jeans or denim skirt twice and quit making more laundry for yourself. You’ll save time, water and money. (You may even realize that you can give some things away after all).
4. Plan what you’re going to eat for the week – Plan your meals as if you were taking a one week road trip. Meal planning is NOT just for moms anymore (but it helps). Think about it, some of the most successful diets out there (NutriSystem, The Zone, Jenny Craig) all deliver pre-planned meals to you for the whole week. Figure it out on Friday, go grocery shopping on Saturday and cook and plan on Sunday.
5. Organize your breakfast the night BEFORE – If you have to have your steel cut oats, then stick them in a pot to soak overnight so that they cook in 5 mins in the morning, and not the 30mins it usually takes. If you want fresh fruit, cut it up and put it in a container for the morning next to the yogurt. If you have to have your coffee, then invest in a programmable coffee maker so that it’s ready when you get up.
6. Make your lunch the night before – Do this while you’re readying your breakfast. It is definitely more cost-efficient to make your lunch, especially if you’re on a diet, but it’s time-efficient too. Put everything together in a recyclable bag or pouch like XXXXXX, or just a plain brown bag and leave it in the fridge or on the counter. Keep it simple. Pretend that you have to carry that food to the airport in a carryon.
7. Put your keys in the same place ALWAYS – We have a key rack by the door, and I always put my keys there….when they’re in my hand.When you get home take your keys from wherever they are and put them on a hook, or a dish or whatever’s convenient.
8. Put all electronics in one place -At night, I put my laptop and my phone in my laptop bag or purse with their chargers attached. I put the bag or purse on a chair near an outlet and then I plug them in. When it’s time to leave in the morning, I just unplug everything and drop the phone charger in the bag and go.
9. Give yourself REAL reminders – It doesn’t ,ake any sense to do all this work just to leave your laptop on the chair and your lunch in the fridge. I put a post-it on the last door I walk through to leave the house, at eye level, with “YOGA MAT, MAIL, LUNCH” on it in big black letters. Never fails.
10. Keep things simple – Do you really need every piece of makeup that you own just to go to work? I buy travel-sized containers and use them everyday. Makeup in one pouch, and contact lens solution and case in another. Put your sneakers in your gym bag and put one of those travel sized lint rollers in your purse or bag, in case your pet decides to shower you with affection right before you leave the house. I even keep an extra pair of hoop earrings in my purse just in case I walk out without earrings that day. (Nobody’s perfect)
A surprising side-effect of putting this into practice is that I’ve realized that I don’t use half of what’s in my fridge,my closet or my bathroom! This helps when you’re trying to downsize your life like I am.
- What are some of your tips and tricks for getting out the door in the morning?