Look, we know you’re a grownup. You know it’s essential to eat breakfast, and to never be late to work. But that doesn’t make hearing that damn alarm go off any easier. So, no matter what time you have to wake up, here’s how to make that first hour of the day go smoother, mean more, and set yourself up for success.
1. Don’t hit the snooze button. Ever. It may make those initial five minutes feel better, but it’ll mess up the rest of your morning. It teaches your body that waking up doesn’t actually matter, and you end up even more groggy ten minutes later than if you just embraced the wakeup call in the beginning. Trust you’ll feel more alert in five, and welcome the morning.
Oh, and while you’re at it – open the shades and curtains. Even if its still dark outside when you rise, you’ll feel more connected to the outside world than if you just stayed in the dark, lamp-lit cocoon.
2. Make the bed. Does it matter if no one will ever see it? Yes. Google it – and you’ll find links to several studies that suggest bed makers are happier, more organized, and more productive. Be one of those guys.
No, you don’t have to start fluffing pillows the second you wake up, especially if there’s someone that sleeps beside you, but make it happen before you leave for the day. The key is to maintain a relatively easy bed to make, so keep things to just the essentials. If it takes more than a minute, you’re doing it wrong.
3. Don’t check your phone. You can worry about that stuff later. Wait until you’ve had something to eat before you start digging into your calendar. There’s more to think about in the shower than your to-do list.
And if you can manage, don’t go anywhere near your email during the first two hours of the day. Wake up, get ready, and work on something creative. Your response will be just as helpful at 9:30.
4. Shave in (or just after) the shower. The hot, steamy environment of the shower mimics the hot towel of a barbershop shave, opening your pores and minimizing irritation to your skin. So, if you don’t have one, invest in a fogless shower mirror, and knock both out at once. If you shave with a traditional safety razor and need a pool of water to clear the blade, take a cup into the shower with you, or throw on a towel and shave in the sink as soon as you step out.
5. Drink a big glass of water. It’s important throughout the day, but downing a tall, cool glass before you put anything else in your system starts your metabolism, helps to renew your cells, benefits your skin, and combats inflammation in your lymph and digestive system.
If you can – have two. One cool, and one warm. Drink a 16 oz glass before your shower, and a mug of hot water with a squeeze of lemon before breakfast or your morning coffee.
6. Make your own coffee. Or tea, or whatever you have in the morning. The coffee shop should be a treat, not a necessity. Sure, you’ll save time and money, but it also gives a sense of place and purpose to the morning. You can set a drip pot timer the night before, but we vote for a handmade route. ManMade publisher Bruno swears by the Aeropress, while Chris, our editor-in-chief, goes for the burr grinder and press pot or pourover.
If you’re not a coffee guy, consider the Earl Grey Foglifter. It’s got enough to get you going.
What are your tips for a successful morning? Post your thoughts in the comments below.