The Secret To Getting Out The Door Faster In The Morning

We could all use a few extra minutes in the morning, whether we'd use them for another lap around the track or just one more snooze.

But shortening your morning routine doesn't just mean packing your lunch ahead of time and laying out your clothes the night before. These simple life hacks, brought to you in partnership with Nature Valley Breakfast Biscuits, will help you get out the door in less time and with less stress.

Make a morning playlist
Flickr: kenjimori
Break down each task in your morning routine and determine how long you can spend on each. Find songs that are the approximate length of each task and order them according to your tasks. No more losing track of time—now you know that you've only got until "Firework" ends to finish that shower, and you have to be downstairs, keys in hand, before "Bye Bye Bye" comes to a close. Picking upbeat or fast paced music might even put some extra pep in your step.
Leave your devices off
As crazy as it might sound, leaving your device off in the morning could save you time by preventing you from getting caught up in emails, social media or games that might otherwise distract you and take away from valuable prep time in the morning.
Sleep in your workout gear
If working out is part of your morning routine, try sleeping in your workout clothes to save prep time in the morning. As an added bonus, it'll also save you some laundry.
Take outfit snapshots for inspiration
Create an album on your phone that contains pictures of you wearing various items from your closet, with various accessory combinations. Whenever you're find yourself wondering if that gold necklace is too short for that pink V-neck blouse or if that grey blazer is too snug for a sweater underneath, save yourself the try-on time and just pull up the photo as a reference.
Skip the elaborate makeup routine
Cut down on your time-consuming beauty routine with some sneaky short cuts. Choose a tinted moisturizer so you can skip the foundation and bronzer. Opt for a mascara that matches your hair color so you can quickly define your brows when you finish with your eyelashes. And, If you're really crunched for time, just throw on a bold lip color; it will make you look put together without costing you more than a few seconds.
Opt for a satin pillowcase
Satin is easier on your hair, so swapping out your cotton or jersey knit pillowcase can reduce the time you spend taming tangles or flattening frizz.
Dry your hair last
Drying your hair right after the shower means more time under the dryer. Let your hair air dry, or sit in a towel, while you do the rest of your morning routine. When you do finally take out the dryer, it'll take less time to finish styling.
Compartmentalize essentials
Store your basics in easy-to-transport pouches so you can easily grab and go without worrying you've forgotten something. This will come in particular handy if you're prone to bag switching (from backpack to purse to gym bag and back again!) but can also be useful if you decide to do your makeup on the go.
Eat and drink before you dress
This one is more of a potential time saver, but doing anything that has the potential to stain before you put your outfit on could save you form having to scramble and re-dress just as you're headed out the door.
Fill the gas tank up on your way home
Same goes for your metro card, city dwellers! By making sure you've got the gas or the credit to get yourself to work, you eliminate the need to wake up earlier to refill, which will upset your routine.
Use a combination shampoo/conditioner
While this simple change might not seem like much, only having to lather and rinse once in the shower could save you a few extra minutes every the morning.
Brush your teeth in the shower
Save time and water by brushing your teeth while you're in the shower. While it's probably not the most sanitary idea to store your toothbrush alongside your loofah and body wash, keeping it within reach will encourage you to use this time-saving trick each day.
Allow yourself two minutes in "Power Pose"
It turns out that spending just two minutes in this powerful stance (with your hands on your hips, your chest full and your head looking proudly ahead) can give you a legitimate boost! It causes a drop in the stress hormone and a increase in the hormone that makes you feel powerful and dominant. To get the benefits of a better start to your day without lengthening your routine, try doing this while you let your hair rinse in the shower or while you wait for the bus or subway.
Take advantage of timers
Take advantage of any of your devices that have self timers to keep your morning moving along. Set up your coffee maker the night before and programming it to brew while you get ready, or program lights to go on when you need to wake up and off by when you need to leave.
Have a designated spot for essentials
Even a great morning can be derailed by a lengthy search for keys, sunglasses, a wallet or other essentials. Designate a space to keep these things—whether it's a hook in the hallway, a basket by the door or a certain pocket in your bag—and commit to putting them there each time you get home so you'll never have to waste another minute digging through coat pockets and couch cushions.
Take breakfast to go
Nature Valley
Breakfast is an important part of the day, but if you don't have time to prepare a big meal, reach for something delicious and portable, like Nature Valley Blueberry Breakfast Biscuits, made with 26g of natural whole grain oats.

Before You Go