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5 Tips for a Less Stressful Morning

I’m always late! Getting out the door is chaos! I can never seem to be on time.

Can you relate to this? No matter where you’re headed, Maybe to meet a friend, to work, book club, the struggle to get there on time is real. Well you are not alone!

90% of all problems, related to getting out the door in the morning, can be fixed with 5 things. Well, I actually made up that percentage, but I think if I could get an Ivy league school to do a research study for me, I think I’d be right. With that said, most of our morning issues I believe can be solved by doing 5 things. Are you ready?

1) Always plan a 15-minute buffer. Always.

Example: You need to be to the dog groomer’s at 9:00 am. It takes 15 minutes to get there. Typically, you would say, I’ll be out the door at 8:45. Nope! Plan your morning so you are ready to go at 8:30. How much time do you need to be dressed, have breakfast, and have the dog ready with leash. Listen, we all know things happen. You spill your coffee. You get a phone call that can’t wait. Things happen. That extra 15 minutes will assure you won’t be running late.

2) The essentials.

For most people, the three most important things are keys, wallet, and phone - and you should always keep them in the same place. A drawer, a hook, your purse (but not in the bottom of your purse mixed in with everything else. Digging for those keys takes time and is frustrating!). Your kids have essentials too, such as a water bottle, backpack, gym clothes, etc. Now is a great time to develop the habit of keeping essential items together.

3) What to wear?

What will you wear tomorrow? Now, all you perfectionists, don’t go crazy. Just think through what you plan to wear. Are your favorite yoga pants still in the dryer? Find them, and where are your tennis shoes? Locate both shoes so you are not frantically searching in the morning. This won’t take you more than 5 minutes and is guaranteed to lower your stress. For kids, I suggest that on Sunday evening, they pick out five outfits for the week. This will eliminate a LOT of aggravation for them and you. Or do you just really like those morning arguments over clothes? Your choice. 😉

4) Success is in the details.

Locate anything you will need SPECIFICALLY for the next day. If you are going to the dog groomers, you will need the leash. Even if you think you know where it is, find it the night before and put it by the front door. (You might also find the treats for FIDO, just in case he is reluctant.)

5) Eliminate items from your to-do list.

What can you do tonight (now) that you were going to do in the morning? Were you going to stop for fuel before the appointment? Take a quick evening drive (even with the kids) and fill up your tank. Think you might want to take a mug of coffee with you? Pre-set your coffee maker or at least have your mug washed and ready to be filled. If not, you’ll be digging in the dirty dishwasher and cleaning your mug. You won’t have time for that!

The bottom line is this. You can eliminate morning stress if you give yourself a time buffer (every time – it’s okay to be the first one there, really, it is.), make sure you always keep your essentials in the same place (be consistent!), and take a few minutes to plan and get stuff done the day before. However, if you love stress, aggravation, frustration and don’t mind showing up late and frazzled, then by all means, carry on.

YOUR TURN: What is your best tip for getting out the door like a pro? Tell me one thing you do and how it has helped your morning routine. I’ll be looking for your post at


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