Never Be Late to Work Again. How to Save Time During Your Morning Routine


By Janet Ashforth

Are you chronically late to work? Experts say there are two possible reasons behind your tardiness. If the amount of time you’re late tends to vary, then it’s a technical issue. Meaning you underestimate how much time you need for each task in your morning routine. If you’re always late the exact amount of time, it’s a psychological one. Somehow the negative consequences of being late have a benefit to you. Either way, there are tricks for an easy morning routine that will save you time in the mornings.

Make Promptness a Priority

The first step is to decide that being on time is important to you. Being chronically late is embarrassing. It lowers your self-esteem and makes you seem unreliable. It also causes a flood of cortisol, the stress hormone that puts you in fight-or-flight mode.

Ease Your Anxiety

The most common psychological reason behind tardiness is anxiety over arriving too early and having nothing to do. The fear of losing time waiting is pervasive, sSo you keep adding in just one more thing before you leave. Instead, leave on time and take something with you if you have to wait when you arrive.

Get a Shower Timer

That nice, warm shower in the morning is a difficult place to leave. Especially if you’ve just stumbled out of bed and aren’t quite awake yet. A shower timer will gently remind you that your time is up. Better yet, shower or bathe the night before.

Breakfast to Go

Do you find yourself skipping breakfast because you’re running late? Then you’re so hungry later in the morning that you grab something like a muffin from the break room. You need a good breakfast to be alert and ready for your day. Make something to eat the night before. If you opt for a cold breakfast, you’ll save even more time by not having to warm it up.

Lay Out Your Clothes

If your day demands that you look polished and put together, get your clothes ready the night before (hoes and underthings too). Choose every single item you plan on wearing the night before and have it all in one place ready to go.

Quick Hair

Super short hair is a huge timesaver no matter what gender you identify with. Some short hairstyles look great right out of bed. If you’re attached to having longer hair, skip washing, drying and styling your hair every morning. Learn to roll with that messy, tousled look or master some quick updos. Washing hair daily dries your hair out and reduces the shine anyway, so you’ll be doing your hair health a favor.

Skip Traffic

If you spend an hour or more stuck in traffic in the morning, leave 90 minutes early. Bring everything with you that you need to get ready and hop in the car in your workout clothes. Drive to work and get a great workout in for an hour. That leaves you 30 minutes to get ready and you won’t ever be late to work again.

Gather Your Stuff

Place a basket or bin by your front door and put everything in it you need to take with you in the morning. Your keys, technology, bag, lunch tote, coffee cup, wallet, gym bag and anything else you need. In the morning, you won’t lose precious minutes searching for your stuff. Just grab the bin and go.

Set a Timer

Time seems to fly in the morning. Sometimes you will be caught off guard and realize you should have left five minutes ago. Set a 30-minute warning timer. That way you’ll know 30 minutes before you need to leave. Also set a 15-minute warning timer. You’ll have a 15-minute warning to let you know to get your stuff together and be ready to head out.

Morning Beverage Do you drink coffee or tea in the morning? Save precious minutes and hard earned money and make your own at home. If you don’t have an automatic brewer that has a timer, get everything ready the night before and out on your counter. If you take sugar, put it in the cup the night before.

Do yourself a favor and commit to being on time. You can turn these tips into a morning routine checklist. Don’t expect an instant change. New habits take time to develop. But don’t let a temporary backslide cause you to give up.


Janet Ashforth is a certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage Therapist and Meditation Instructor. She has worked at several popular gyms and owned her own fitness company. Janet helped countless individuals maintain or regain their health and wellness. She also writes about food, nutrition, cooking and baking and is a “real food” advocate.