How To Get Ready For Work In 15 Minutes

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Rolling out of bed, pulling on a sweater and (maybe) running a brush through our hair has become the extent of our pre-work rituals lately. If you’re still in the process of readjusting (same) and want to maximise your morning burst of energy—or just want to hit the snooze button a few more times—here are our tips for getting out the door in 15 minutes.

Abandon the morning scroll

Becoming a speed-prepper means learning to avoid getting trapped in a scroll spiral in the morning; it's become second nature to start the day checking emails, DMs and various apps from under the doona—but it's a huge time-suck, not to mention a pretty unhealthy habit. Leave your phone on charge in another room and invest in an old-school alarm clock (yes, they still exist). Remember, the quicker you get ready, the sooner you can check your notifications on your commute.  

Become a nighttime showerer 

Many dermatologists support evening showers as, during the day, your body and hair attract airborne dirt and grime from pollen, chemicals and sweat. If you go to bed without showering, these transfer to your sheets and can lead to irritated, dry skin as well as congestion and acne. An evening shower is also perfect for winding down and relaxing before bed, too. (If you're feeling luxurious—a bath with essential oils is even better.) But ultimately it's down to personal preference, so if you swear by morning showers, the 15-minute AM prep probably isn't for you.

Prep your breakfast and lunch

Overnight oats are a super easy breakfast-on-the-go: soak porridge and chia seeds in oat milk and top with raspberries, blueberries or strawberries (packed with antioxidants for glowy skin), chopped walnuts (full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, also great for glowy skin) and a drizzle of honey. Make a single serving the night before and, voilà—you can devour your breakfast in just a few minutes. The easiest way to ensure you have a nutritious pre-packed lunch is to cook an extra helping of dinner each night. Pack your leftovers in some Tupperware, ready to grab-and-go in the morning. 

Make your wardrobe decisions at night 

How many times have you gotten dressed in a flurry, forced to traipse through your day in an outfit in which you feel less-than-confident? Okay, that's a little dramatic, but it does feel good to wear a well-considered ensemble. Before bed, look at your calendar and the weather for the following day to determine how you'll need to dress for your schedule and the temperature. Lay out your shoes and outfit and you’re ready to go. 

Streamline your beauty ritual 

Save exfoliants and masks for the evening and keep it simple in the morning with a quick cleanse, nourishment from oils and/or moisturiser, and always SPF. For an everyday makeup look, a light, tinted moisturiser or foundation base, as well as concealer, a lick of tinted lip balm and some mascara can do the trick. Hot tip: do some stretches while brushing and flossing your teeth for ultimate multitasking productivity.

Do your hair in a hurry 

This will depend on your hair type and how you wear it, but for many, a five-minute zhuzh is totally doable. Research the best method to style your hair texture quickly. For example, if you have straight hair, french braid the night before and spritz with a salt spray or lightweight oil. In the morning, separate the braids and give your tresses a light misting with hairspray, shaking it out as you go. Some other rapid styles include a high puff ponytail, a headband, a low messy bun, or sealing your natural curls with a combo of leave-in conditioner and curl gel.

Avoid the last-minute scramble 

Lastly, save time running around the house looking for your strewn items by keeping your keys, wallet and daily essentials in a packed bag by the door, so all you have to do is grab-and-dash.

The Foreword is an online platform and weekly newsletter featuring career(ish) advice, recommendations and insights from people you admire, haven’t met yet or want to get to know. Each week, our guest wraps up a Q&A by nominating someone they admire; be it a friend, an acquaintance or a stranger. The next newsletter that lands in your inbox features this person, creating a global chain of fascinating people who offer practical pearls of wisdom. It's chain mail you'll actually want to receive, promise!

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