In the millennial-dominated world we now occupy, it seems that every working woman's main focus in life is squeezing the most efficiency out of every single minute. (It can't just be us.) It can be a tough ask, especially in the mornings when you're still groggy with sleepiness, not yet caffeinated, and feeling like you have a ton to do before you even get into the office.
As such, the Internet is overflowing with so-called hacks that promise to save you time each morning. They all seem like relatively good ideas on the surface, but what about in action? We decided to put a bunch of them to the test—and found that some are much more helpful than others.
Keep scrolling for 10 editor-tested time-saving hacks that we put to the test—and find out which ones really work!
If you're in the market for the best morning time-saving tool we've yet come across, it's time to start budgeting an extra 30 to 45 minutes in your nighttime routine for a shower. Nothing feels better than knowing you can get away with sleeping in just a little bit because you know you don't have to shower that morning—you're already clean!
To the contrary, that long-told trick of laying out your outfit the night before? Not as effective. (Sorry, Mom!) The stress of picking what you want to wear isn't a great tool for getting to sleep on time, and how are you supposed to know what you'll be in the mood to wear 12 hours before? We don't buy it. Spend that extra time at night showering and getting to bed at a reasonable time, and your morning will be more freed up to creatively choose the day's look.
As a working woman, you need to have your morning makeup routine down to a science. Keep it simple: Follow a streamlined morning makeup routine that will keep you looking fresh without requiring that you pour a ton of time into it.
That other method of saving time on your morning makeup—doing it on the train or in your car on the way to work—might seem faster, but it's mostly just a recipe for disaster. Doing your makeup while driving can be quite dangerous (and it can actually raise your insurance rates!), and doing it on the train might result in a sloppy job. Make yourself a solid routine, and do it every day in the comfort of your own bathroom or boudoir.
The goal here is to make your mornings as stress-free as possible. If you know you're hitting the gym, yoga, or cycling the next day (either before or after work), go ahead and pack everything you'll need the night before. Pants, top, water bottle, lock, towel—just toss it all in, then grab and go in the morning.
Oftentimes, and quite unfortunately, we think the best way to take advantage of our precious morning hours is to just not worry about exercising—either putting it off until the evening or not going at all. This is simply no good! Do your body (and mind) a favor, pack your bag the night before, and take a tip from Nike's playbook: Just do it.
We cannot sing the praises of dry shampoo enough. For the girl on the go who just needs to fit in a quick shower at night—or, occasionally, doesn't have time to shower at all—but doesn't want greasy hair the next morning, dry shampoo is the answer to all our prayers. No one will be the wiser.
If you don't have time to style your hair each morning, here's the best trick we've found: After your night shower, spray your wet hair with Surf Spray, run your fingers through it, and throw it up in a bun. Go to sleep. When you wake up, voilà! You have that undone look everyone is always clamoring after, and it literally took up none of your precious morning hours.
One of our favorite tricks is ditching our old morning playlist for a podcast—the soothing sounds of NPR's Serial or Invisibilia help keep our brains alert and focused on the task at hand: getting ready as fast as humanly possible. You might think a podcast would be more distracting than music, but we've not found that to be the case; hearing human chatter keeps our thoughts from wandering and potentially slowing us down.
There are those who believe that if you turn your phone into a no-touch zone in the mornings, you'll save yourself from time-sucking distractions like email, Instagram, and the like. We tried it, and we found it to be ineffective; if someone tells you not to think about an elephant, what do you immediately think of? The directive to not engage with our mobile devices just made us want to do it that much more, and it actually slowed us down because we couldn't stop worrying about the one important email we may have missed, or how many likes our Instagram post from last night received.
What are YOUR favorite time-saving morning tricks? Tell us below!