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Stress Less + Save Time

One of my major sources of stress is the work week morning. I never seem to be able to easily and calmly get out the door. Its a rare occasion I'm not rushing and feeling scattered.

The Clutter Princess had some great advice to set everything up in the P.M.
My favs from her list were:

  • Lay out your clothes – it may seem silly, but I waste a lot of time searching around for the right shirt that looks the best with a certain pair of pants.. and where is that one key piece of jewelry that would really make this outfit?
  • Make your lunch – those 10 extra minutes to put a lunch together are crucial in the morning, the night before you can do it during American Idol commercials.
  • Get your coffee ready – There's something magical about the coffee being set up when you are in need of it the most. (Janice, I need a programmable coffee pot too!)

So in the mighty year of 2010, I am going to proactively get it together in the mornings and achieve a calm sense of nirvana. I have heard that most people feel a higher sense of calm when they are not surrounded by clutter (which I'm still working on to achieve). Anyone else have any org tips they use to keep your blood pressure down?

(Btw, major shout-outs to Caty from Catalina Photography!
 She did the photo at the top to help illustrate the idea of laying out your clothes. Now doesn't that look calm, fashionable and inviting for something to see in the morning?)

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25 Responses to Stress Less + Save Time

  1. Sam Aron March 19, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    Queen of Snooze, I pay homage to you :). I love my snooze button too! But you’re right, if you can just do these few small things the night before (it really doesn’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes), you can set yourself up for success for the next day! Thanks again for the kickass pic, Caty!

  2. Sam Aron March 19, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    Yeah for egg sandwiches (and organization)! That’s a great idea about pre-prepping your breakfast. If you don’t want a fabulous smoothie, a quick omelet can help you start your day. Thanks for the comments, Ashley!

  3. Sam Aron March 19, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

    Chris, you’re so right! Being organized like this, really does affect your whole day and outlook! Great call on the hooks… I might do that too! (watch for a post if I do, I’ll give you big ups!)

  4. Sam Aron March 19, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    Thanks, Sara!

  5. Sam Aron March 19, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    I agree, Alexa, waking up to the smell of coffee in the morning is so amazing! Its like some magic coffee fairy flew in and brewed me a pot. When I can do that little bit of preplan the night before, always starts my day off right.

  6. Sam Aron March 19, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    Love the tip, Amy! (My husband is the SAME way 🙂

  7. Sam Aron March 19, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    Hahaha! I used to do that too! Its like, in the morning my sleepy fashion sense seems a bit off. Some days at work, around 10, I’d see my outfit choice in the mirror and think “What was I thinking??” Get an organized closet, and a good nighttime routine.. you will kick that crazy right outta there, Gina!

  8. Sam Aron March 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    No problem, Tim. I, too, just invested ina programmable coffeemaker… I love it!

  9. Sam Aron March 19, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    I love the toothpaste tip! It might seem small, but seconds DO count. The more organized you are.. the more you can hit that snooze button 🙂

  10. catalina March 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    oh and THANK HEAVENS for coffee pots with timers…nothing beats waking up to some freshly brewed coffee!!!

  11. catalina March 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    that’s such a hard habit to get into, but incredibly rewarding once you get your outfits ready the night before AND make your lunch for the next day.
    i love the suggestion of putting everything in the blender the night before and leaving it in the fridge to make a smoothie the next morning. yum!
    and as Jonathan wrote, I snooze too….i might just take the Queen of Snooze title, as i am known to sometimes snooze for an hour before actually getting out of bed….and i’m also known to set my alarm clock 15 minutes ahead to try not to be late….
    good stuff on this post!!!!

  12. Ashley March 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    Of course my comment will be about food. I find that eating a good breakfast in the morning sets the tone of the entire day, so I plan breakfasts ahead of time and make sure the items that can be prepped are. For example: omlettes on toast are easy if you have pre-chopped the onion, tomato, green pepper, etc and toss it into a small Rubbermaid storage container in the fridge. Just dump into the pan with some raw butter, sauteé and pour in the egg. Toast the bread, and voila.
    Sam makes some awesome egg sandwiches, BTW, so make sure you get her to bring them into work one day.
    This principle can be applied to a ton of things, chopped fruit:, oatmeal in the crock pot, etc. Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast with whole grains and organic produce and you’ll notice a huge difference in your day.

  13. Sam Aron March 18, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    No problem, Sam! Glad you liked them… hopefully this can help your mornings!

  14. Chris Albrecht March 18, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Sam, I couldn’t agree more with your advice of laying out clothes the night before. I started doing this and it has made such a difference in my life. My mornings are so much more enjoyable and my days are so much better. I get to work and have a better attitude, ready to start my day. And, no one gets threatened on my way to work when they cut me off because I am running late! I installed a couple of hooks right at the front of my closet where I can lay out my clothes, so I don’t even have to go into my closet in the morning. I also lay out my underthings, believe it or not – that saves me time too! No more fussing about which bra I “feel” like wearing on which day.

  15. March 18, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    in the haze of morning sleepiness, if i don’t set out my clothes in advance, i easily add 10 to 15 minutes to my morning routine…’oh wait, not that shirt, i hate that shirt’
    …this blog is full of sound advice!

  16. Alexa March 18, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    I don’t actually set out my clothes, but I have a definite plan in mind. I challenge myself to think of new outfits and combinations to not constantly rely and settle on my staples. Having something in mind usually helps save at least a little time.
    I’m a huuuge fan of packing my lunch and setting my coffee pot the night before. Waking up to the smell of fresh coffee makes getting out of bed a little easier. And I’m all for the commercial timing as well. I tell myself, ok, on the next commercial, if I go really fast, I can get it all done.
    I’m pretty sure procrastination, in any regard, causes stress and craziness. I try to remind myself of that daily.

  17. Amy March 18, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    I would add to that, if you are looking for an easy, make-ahead breakfast, put together the ingredients for a smoothie the night before. I put yogurt and some frozen fruit in the blender pitcher, and then stick it in the fridge right before I go to bed (while I’m getting the coffee ready). Then, while I’m fixing my coffee the blender can be doing its work for a healthy breakfast (plus it’s one of the only ways I can get my hubby to eat fruit…)

  18. Gina March 18, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    I felt like you were inside my head with this post! I am always running around like a maniac in the morning! The few rare times the night before I actually set out clothes, make my lunch and program the coffee pot it was smooth sailing. But I am so inconsistent!
    Getting dressed is my biggest problem, after 10 wardrobe changes, multiple quick iron jobs and 45 minutes I am running out the door not really knowing what I ended up with. Then once at work I see myself in the mirror…this blog post pretty much sums it up!
    I’m all for morning nirvana!

  19. Tim March 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Having recently made the jump to a programmable coffee maker I can definitely agree on it being a time saver. Anything to help keep my brain function to a minimum in the morning helps me get into the office at a reasonable time. I’ll have to work on making my lunch – many a frazzled morning has resulted in me spending money on lunch when I hadn’t planned on it. I’ve never tried implementing that as part of a night routine. Thanks for the tips!

  20. Jonathan Haywood March 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    You might try to put a little dab of toothpaste on your toothbrush the night before…seconds count people!!!
    On a serious note though, I set my alarm so that I can hit the snooze button at least three times and not have to panic because I’m running late.

  21. Sam March 18, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    True…very true…
    I just don’t function well in the mornings. And this is exactly always my problem it takes forever finding what to wear to work… thanks for the tip. And this and the pic makes me get inspired to be more disciplined. Thanks Sam & Caty!

  22. Sam Aron March 18, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    GREAT idea! (I currently have a bit of that pile you’re referring to :). Its my over the weekend, or when I have some time, I’ll hang all this up pile. Hmm… I’m def going to start doing that, Susy. Thanks!

  23. Sam Aron March 18, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    I hear you about changing your mind on your outfit :).. but if I have something to START with that seems to look fabulous the night before, I def save time in the morning. And lunch is such a big one… whenever I get ahead of it the night before, my morning is way smoother!

  24. Susy March 18, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    When you get home and change into your “at home short/jeans/t-shirt” if helps if what you just took off, goes to back to it’s place in the closet/hanger/drawer from where you took it out or goes into the laundry bin. This way it does not accumulate on the back of a chair or in a heap on the floor. I’ve done it and it works!!!

  25. Jocelyn March 18, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    Ah yes….a reminder to set out work clothes the night before. My friend swears by it. This would save so much time, but everytime I do, my mood changes in the morning and I want to wear something else (sigh).
    Making your lunch ahead of time is key. When I do it, I snack less and save money and my waistline. Way easier to be disciplined when you pack your lunch!

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