How To Speed Up Your Morning Routine

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

I recently finished reading "168 Hours" by Laura Vanderkam (you can find it here; it's just a great book and I highly recommend it; I'm not getting paid). In her book, she suggests that your morning routine (showering, getting dressed, makeup, hair, etc.) should take no longer than 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes! I don't even wear makeup half the time and I struggle to get my routine under 20 minutes.

So I started timing my morning routine, and recording all of the moments I wasted looking for things or going back and forth between rooms. I've figured to speed up your morning routine you have to do two main things: know what you're going to do and put things in the right places.

Know What You're Going to Do

What all do you do during your morning routine? Mine changes from day to day, which makes it hard for me to lock in a regular schedule. Take some time to write down what all you do (or should do) before starting your day. Here's a starting list to help guide you:


Wash Hair


Wash Face


Do Makeup

Style Hair

Shape Eyebrows

Face Mask

Hair Mask



Anti-Aging Regimen

Trim Nails

Paint Nails


Get Dressed


Glasses or Contacts

Wax Lip

Acne Treatment

Brush Teeth


Wow. We do a lot to our bodies as women.

So take this list (and any other list items you can think of) and ask yourself which ones you need to/should fit into your morning routine. For example, I never pluck my eyebrows in the morning because it leaves my face red and my pores exposed to all the makeup I'm about to put on. There are certain face masks I only do at night for the same reasons.

Put Things In The Right Places

Several months ago, my husband finally finished grouting our master bathroom shower, so we have direct access to and from our bathroom. This has caused some serious issues with my morning routine. When I started recording my morning routine, I found myself running aimlessly between the bathroom and bedroom, and it's a small bathroom, so if I leave the bathroom thinking I'm done and my husband claims it, I might have to wait to get what I need. Here are a couple changes I needed to make:

1. Where I keep my hair supplies and makeup.

Our bathroom fan takes awhile to remove steam, so doing my hair and makeup in the bathroom isn't practical. We have a mirror in our bedroom, so I moved my hair supplies to a basket under the mirror. It's perfect because there's an outlet right there for my hair dryer and straightener. I haven't found the perfect place for my makeup yet, but having it out of the bathroom has helped already.

Note: This is a process, and it requires you to become self-aware of how you spend your time in the morning. It may take a little while to really crunch down your morning routine time. But trust me, it's worth it.

2. Where I keep my shower stuff.

Our shower simply isn't big enough for my exfoliator, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream and clarifying shampoo all at once. Marie Kondo suggests you should keep your bottles out of the shower anyway, just in case you needed a better reason to not keep things in the shower.

So I'm moving my bottles (except my body wash, since I use that everyday) under the bathroom sink. I have room for this now since I moved my hair supplies. I have to dry them off first, but this way, I can grab what I need before I shower and then if I forget what I'm supposed to be doing while I'm in the shower, the decision has already been made, and I just have to look at what I brought in the shower with me.

3. When I wash my face and use deodorant.

It's seriously a waste of time not to wash your face when you're already in the shower. It's a habit I'm not used to, but I'm getting better at it.

I usually forget to use deodorant until I'm already dressed (don't worry, I always wear it; I feel naked without it). Unfortunately, this increases the chance of me getting deodorant on my clothes, and since I keep it in the bathroom, I might have to wait to put deodorant on. I'm training myself to put it on in the bathroom, which is easier now that my shelf isn't stuffed with hair products. I just have to look at what's there before I leave the bathroom.

This is how my morning routine looks now:

(Note-I rinse off my nightguard and brush my teeth as soon as I get up. I usually run or something so I don't shower right away. My morning routine starts with my shower.)

Shower - I switch between shaving my legs, exfoliating, and washing my hair everyday. I always do one, and I always scrub up and wash my face! That way, I don't have to do EVERYTHING in the shower everyday. I don't need to wash my hair everyday, and I have light leg hair (because I know you all cared to know that). I exfoliate my face, legs and armpits to unblock my pores, but I don't want to rub myself raw so I don't do that everyday.

In the bathroom things - Deodorant and lotion. That's pretty much the extent of my in-the-bathroom routine. This gives me some time to let the lotion dry a bit too (I hate when I put on my jeans and my lotion feels greasy - yuck!). I also decide if I'm wearing glasses or contacts that day, and if it's contacts, I put my eye-drops in and bring my contacts with me out of the bathroom. Otherwise, I just pick out which pair of glasses I'm wearing and I clean them.

The closet - I pick out my clothes, which takes about 30 seconds. I highly recommend building a capsule wardrobe to help you with this part of your morning. I explain how in this post.

By the mirror - I like to let my hair dry on its own for a bit before I attack it with heat so sometimes I break my morning routine into two parts. Regardless, once I'm ready I do my hair, if I'm wearing contacts I put those in, and then I do my makeup. This includes perfume. I suggest narrowing down how many different makeup items you have, especially if it's more of a chore to you than a hobby.

And that's it! It works for me, and it's so much faster because I'm not running between rooms and I don't have to try hard to remember everything.

What other things do you do as part of your morning routine? Do you have any tips or tricks to make your morning routine faster (especially in the makeup department because I could really use some help lol)!

With Love Always,