How to Get Ready for Work
Getting up for work in the morning can be difficult. You may not want to get out of bed or you may find yourself running around to get everything prepared on time. The key to getting ready for work is doing some stuff the night before, so you don't find yourself pressed for time before you have to head out the door.
Starting the Night Before
Take a shower.While a morning shower can help wake you up, it can also take valuable time out of your morning routine before work. To give yourself a little more leeway when you get out of bed, consider taking a shower before bed in the evening. Because you’ll just be sleeping afterward, you don’t have to worry about getting dirty before work. Evening showers can also help improve the quality of your sleep, so you’ll be well-rested for your job.
- If you’re worried about your hair looking flat or even greasy without a morning shower, dry shampoo is a lifesaver. It soaks up excess oil at your scalp and adds body without any suds or heavy duty styling.
Choose an outfit.Waiting until you get out of bed to find the right outfit to wear to work can make your morning more stressful than it needs to be. Instead, pick out your clothes the night before and lay them out so there’s easy to grab after you wake up. It’s also a good idea to try your outfit on to make sure that everything fits well and is ready to wear for work.
- Make sure that your clothing is appropriate for work. While you may need to wear a suit if you’re employed at an office, you should choose polished clothing even if your workplace is more casual so you project a professional image, especially if you meet with clients or customers. That means no ripped, torn, or stained clothing.
- For example, a man might wear an ironed button-down shirt, dress pants, and lace-up dress shoes in a more casual workplace. Any outfit chosen should be dressy but not too formal.
- Getting your clothes ready the night before also gives you time to figure out if anything needs to be ironed, so you don’t wind up at work in wrinkled clothing.
- You may want to consider installing wall-mounted racks on the wall of your bedroom or closet where you can hang a multiple days’ worth of outfits. That way, you can plan out your clothing for a week at a time and not have to worry about it each night.
Organize your work materials.You don't want to get to work and realize that you left something you need at home, so you may want to organize your work items the night before. Doing so will also save you from running around in the morning trying to track down what you need. Check that you have all of the documents, files, and other paperwork that you might need, as well as your laptop or tablet, ready to go. If you need any special tools or equipment for your job, make sure that they’re organized as well.
Set double alarms.There are few things worse than being late for work, but we’ve all had mornings where we oversleep. Ideally, you wouldn’t need an alarm clock to wake you in the morning because you’d be on such a regular schedule, but that’s not really practical. If you have trouble getting up in the morning, set a dedicated alarm clock before you go to sleep to wake with enough time to get ready in the morning -- and then set a backup alarm for a few minutes after the first just in case you sleep through the first or hit the snooze. You don’t have to purchase a second clock, though -- just use your smartphone.
- It's a good idea to place your alarm clock and phone out of reach from your bed, so you physically have to get up to turn it off.
- If you are in the habit of hitting the snooze button, you can find some alarm clock apps for your smartphone that actually require you to solve a puzzle or other challenge before the alarm turns off. That may help you wake enough to realize that snoozing is a bad idea.
Get a good night’s sleep.It’s tough to face the day if you aren’t well rested. Prepare for work by ensuring that you get enough sleep at night. Make sure to avoid caffeine approximately four to six hours before bedtime, and make your bedroom more conducive to sleep by covering the windows with heavy curtains or blackout shades to prevent light from creeping in. Keep your room between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 24 degrees Celsius) so it’s comfortable for sleeping, and rid your bedroom of any distractions, such as a TV, computer, or tablet.
- For young adults, ages 18 through 64, seven to nine hours of sleep is usually sufficient to prepare you for the day. If you’re over the age of 64, you can get by with seven to eight hours of sleep.
Don't worry about work again until the next morning.If you're distracted by problems at work or what you have to get done the next day, you'll likely have trouble sleeping. Try to relax by keeping your mind off work-related matters for the night so you can ensure a good night's sleep.
- If you have trouble shutting down your thoughts, consider using a sleep meditation when you get into bed to help calm and relax your mind. You can use various apps for your smartphone that guide you through meditations that help encourage sleep.
- Quietly reading a book in bed before you go to sleep can also help distract you from thoughts of work.
Taking Care of Your Appearance
Take care of hygiene basics.When you roll out of bed in the morning, you’ll want to make yourself feel as fresh as possible, especially if you’ve showered the night before. Make a trip to the bathroom to brush your teeth, wash your face, and put on some deodorant, so you feel ready to face the workday ahead.
- Using a peppermint or other mint flavored toothpaste when you brush can help wake you up in the morning.
- You don’t necessarily have to use soap or a facial cleanser to wash your face in the morning. Just splash some cold water on your face to help get you going.
Do your extra personal care tasks.Some people aren’t ready to head to work if they’ve only taken care of their basic hygiene. Men may also need to shave to achieve a polished look for work, while women may want to apply some makeup for the day. Take the time to handle whatever grooming tasks will make you feel more comfortable and confident at work.
- To save time, keep all of the toiletries, such as shaving supplies and cosmetics, that you use in the morning in one location in the bathroom so you don’t waste time looking for anything when you’re getting ready.
Get dressed.If you’ve set out your clothes the night before, getting dressed for work is pretty simple. However, you can still streamline the process. Keep your accessories to a minimum, so you don’t have too many pieces to add at the last minute. It’s also a good idea to separate your outerwear, such as your coat, scarf, and hat, from your regular clothing. Instead, try to keep them in a closet that’s close to the door so you can grab them on your way out.
- If you usually put on your jewelry as a final finishing touch to your outfit, make sure that it’s organized. You don’t want to have hunt down an earring or detangle a bunch of necklaces when you’re trying to get out the door for work.
- Get in the habit of checking the week’s weather forecast. That way, you can make sure that any extras you might need, such as an umbrella or rain boots, are accessible when you need them.
Fix your hair.It’s best to save elaborate hair styles for non-work days when you have more time. Instead, take a minimal approach. For men, that usually means combing it and putting some product, such as gel or pomade, in it. For women, a simple, go-to style such as a ponytail, bun, or braid, is a good option.
- If you haven’t washed your hair and it’s looking rough, try to just take care of the problem areas. For example, if your bangs are looking flat, wash them quickly with shampoo and give them a quick blow dry with a round brush.
Preparing for the Work Day
Squeeze in some exercise.Exercising before you head to work can be an effective way to energize your mind and body so you're ready to face the day. If you can fit in a run or class at your gym before your workday, go for it. However, even some light stretching can help release endorphins so you have more energy.
- A brisk walk through your neighborhood is another good way to get your blood flowing.
- Create your own quick morning workout by doing a series of crunches, push ups, and jumping jacks.
- Keep in mind that if you exercise before work, you may feel the need to shower in the morning, depending on how much of a sweat you work up. Allot some time for bathing in your routine if that's the case.
- While a workout can help get you going in the morning, you shouldn't sacrifice sleep for exercise. If you don't have time in your routine, you're better off skipping the workout.
Get in the right mindset.Just as meditating before bed can help keep you more calm and relaxed, morning meditation can help get you in the right frame of mind for work. Even five minutes of meditating can help you relax enough to be more focused and productive at work.
- To meditate, clear a spot on the floor where you can sit comfortably. Relax your body, close your eyes, and try to clear your mind. It usually helps to focus on your breathing.
- If you're having trouble clearing your mind, don't try to actively block out thoughts. Acknowledge those that pass through your mind, but let them pass until your mind goes blank.
- While you can meditate for as little as a several minutes, the longer that you do it the more relaxed that you'll feel.
Eat a healthy breakfast.If you’re going to have a successful day at work, you need the right fuel, which means you shouldn’t skip breakfast. It’s important to choose the right foods for the first meal of the day, though. That typically means a combination of healthy carbs, fiber, and protein. While you shouldn’t have too much caffeine, a cup of coffee or tea may help jumpstart your day too.
- Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast option. You can use the instant variety if you’re in a hurry, but make sure it’s unflavored so it doesn’t have too much sugar. The oats are rich in healthy carbs and fiber, but mix in some nuts for added protein.
- Greek yogurt is a no-cook breakfast that you can prepare quickly. Create a parfait by layering it with some of your favorite fruits, such as blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries.
- Eggs can be a good, protein-filled breakfast. Add some of your favorite vegetables and some low-fat cheese for a tasty omelet. If you’re worried about cholesterol, use only the egg whites.
- If you’re a fan of toast, use whole grain bread instead of white. Swap the usual butter or jelly for almond butter to get a little extra protein.
- If you oversleep and don’t have time for a proper breakfast, a protein bar can help keep you going until lunch.
Prioritize your tasks.While you're making breakfast, think about the things that you have to do at work that day. Don't let the list get too long or you may start to feel overwhelmed. Instead, focus on several of the most important tasks -- and then decide which are the most critical so you know what needs to get done right away.
- Be sure to focus only on what you need to do that day. Don't worry about all the things that you need to get done later in the week.
Plan your day.Once you know what your priorities are for the day, it's time to make a schedule. Take the time to jot down your plan for the day, including any meetings, training sessions, or appointments that you'll need to attend. When you get to work, you’ll be ready to start right away because you know what has to be done.
- It's a good idea to build some free time into your schedule. That way, if something comes up at the last minute, you won't fall too far behind on the things that you planned to do that day.
Pack your bag.In addition to work materials, you probably have other supplies that you need for your work day. Before you leave the house, load your purse, briefcase, or other bag with the basics, such as your phone, wallet, charger, and keys. You may also want to include a packed lunch or some snacks for later in the day.
- If you like to bring your lunch to work, it’s a good idea to make and pack it the night before.
- If you require medication, check that it’s in your bag before you head out the door.
- If you wear makeup, you may want to bring along some cosmetics for touch-ups throughout the day.
- It helps to have a positive attitude when you get to work. Tell yourself that you’re going to have a good, productive day to help make you more confident.
- Caffeine can help get you going in the morning, but don’t drink too much or you may wind up jittery at work. One cup is usually enough.
- If you don’t mind getting up a little earlier, a morning workout can be a great way to jumpstart your work day. Even some light stretching can help energize you.
Video: REALISTIC 1 HOUR MORNING ROUTINE FOR WORK 2018
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