How To Kick Start Your Morning & Bathroom Routines

How To Kick Start Your Morning & Bathroom Routines

Jason Yang
Jun 20, 2011

Welcome to the second edition of a 3-part series in managing our Monday Morning Blues. Last week in part one we discussed sleep habits and Why We Can't Sleep At Night Or Wake Up In The Morning. This early Monday morning we work on managing our time in the morning and how we can improve upon our routines with and without tech to get off to a great start to the day.

The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (say that 10 times fast) collects and publishes an amazing amount of data. The American Time Use Survey provides some fascinating insight into how we spend our days. They found that 9.45 hours per day were spent on personal care activities, of which sleeping provided the bulk of it at 8.67. The numbers are fun to browse, showing women spent 2.24 hours and men spent 1.33 hours on average on household activities. To be fair, employed men spent 8.3 hours and women spent 7.9 hours on average work week. 1.22 hours per day are spent on eating and drinking, which actually sounds quite low considering breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacking, etc.

If 9 to 5 is the traditional sense of a workday - although as American University points out it seems more 24/7 - and the national commuting average is about 25 minutes, that doesn't leave a whole lot of time during the day to take care of all the things we either have to or want to do. So we either sacrifice our responsibilities and pleasures, or sacrifice sleep. Unfortunately, sleep often loses the battle for your precious time.

So how much time are we spending in the morning, and how well do we spend that time? Consider the activities we engage in throughout the morning - brushing our teeth, taking a shower, getting dressed, eating breakfast, taking medicine, and any other number of things to get the day started. How much time are we wasting just avoiding the inevitable as opposed to actual necessary tasks - but even then can we take the mundane and make it better?

Take the simple act of brushing your teeth. The University of Maryland Medical Center says that most people spend less than one minute brushing their teeth, while recommending that three to four minutes is the general recommendation. WebMD agrees, also offering 10 tooth brushing techniques, suggesting multitasking such as watching TV to make the time go faster. While watching TV might sound counter-productive to an efficient morning routine, consider our current habits. How much of our wasted time in the morning is simply lazing around as we wait for our systems to boot up? Spending otherwise wasted time while brushing teeth doing something enjoyable is a guilt free way to boost your morning. The visual and aural stimulation might help too, as University of Alberta researchers found morning people to have more excitable brains early on and fading throughout the day than night owls who experienced the opposite.

It's even been questioned whether we even really need a daily shower, with questions of acceptable (by you or those around you) levels of hygiene as well as health reasons. With a 10 minute average shower, it's a good chunk of time in the morning. Whether or not it's for sanitary reasons though, many of us use the shower as a way to wake us up. Many even suggest a James Bond Shower, turning the water to cold for a few moments as an invigorating way to add pep to your morning. Spending too much time in the shower and bathroom though can both be a logistical pain for those sharing a bathroom space as well as a time killer. Unplggd has previously suggested setting a timer in the bathroom to keep track of and properly manage your use of time.

While we're not suggesting becoming single-track machines, simplifying and streamlining your mornings can have a lot of benefits. Whether it's adding efficiency to your personal hygiene in the bathroom or modifying your behavior and methods, try improving your routines to maximize your mornings. Take advantage of technology in the bathroom and in your morning tasks, but don't let it overtake and control you. Plan ahead and make the best use of your time and start the day off fresher, one step closer to curing the dreadful Monday morning blues.

What's your morning routine? Share your thoughts and ideas, we'd love to hear 'em!

[ Continue reading part 1 - Why We Can't Sleep At Night Or Wake Up In The Morning and part 3 - Get Your Day Started Right With A Good Breakfast & Coffee ]

Morning Routines, Tech, Tips, and Techniques

Bathroom Tech:

Oral Hygiene


Hair Dryers


Monday Morning Blues Tech Cures

(Images: Flickr members eperales licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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