If you’re looking to optimize anything that has a spatiotemporal relationship, it makes sense to map it out.  Here’s what my morning routine used to look like (follow the numbers):

before

See how much time I’m wasting?  It’s a mess.

I tweaked a few things, and here’s what it’s like now:

morning routine map

Rule #1: Keep it all centrally located

It seems silly now, but I used to keep my underthingies, socks, and jewelry in a dresser in my bedroom, while all other clothing and accessories were in my closet.  I moved it all to my closet and used these awesome drawers from Ikea.  Then I moved my jewelry to my bathroom counter.  And proving that I’m not a completely left-brained ogre, my jewelry tree is super pretty to look at.

jewelry organizer
See?  Pretty.

Rule #2: Minimize your steps. Visit each “station” once.

I used to get out of the shower, go to my toiletry drawer, and apply deodorant and lotions.  Then I’d go to my closet, get dressed, and go back to the toiletries to do hair and makeup.  I feel ridiculous even discussing the optimization of someting so minor, but you do your routine every day, so doesn’t it make sense to save 30 seconds where you can?  Especially if it becomes easier to do on autopilot?

So brace yourself: I moved my deodorant and lotions to the closet, near my underwear.  gasp  It just makes sense to me: apply all that stuff, get dressed, then go to the sink where my toiletries are.  Minimize the back-and-forth and only hit each “station” once.

If you’re wondering if it’s worth all this effort, keep in mind that I reduced my getting-ready time from 45 minutes to 30 minutes, by using those two rules above, in addition to other morning routine tweaks.  That adds up to an extra 105 minutes a week!

Do you have any tips for getting ready faster?  Let me know in the comments!