When I was a teenager, my best friend and I took turns driving to school to save money on our (overpriced) school parking spot.
She was always on time, ready at 7:10 on the dot to make it to class by 7:50. I liked to push the limits and wake up at 7:05. And that meant throwing on clothes that sometimes didn’t match, forgetting to put on deodorant, and forcing myself to wait until sixth period to eat my first meal of the day. My friend’s a gem, otherwise she’d have every right to hold it against me now how many times we showed up late to first period.
You see, I despise mornings—and I always have.
Actually, scratch that, I don’t hate mornings as much I just love sleeping. And I’m a night-owl who needs to get at least eight hours of rest to be somewhat functional (and by eight, I mean 10).
I need those eight hours so badly that I’ve kept up this routine into my working life. When my co-workers found out I only take 10 minutes to get ready, they needed more details because they didn’t understand how that was possible. (And yes, I’ll take that as a sign that my clothing matching skills have improved!)
Here’s a breakdown:
Minute One: Put in my contacts
Minute Two: Brush my teeth
Minute Three: Still brushin’
Minute Four: Wash my face
Minute Five: Run a comb through my hair and get dressed
Minute Six: Still getting dressed
Minute Seven: Make my bed (while also still getting dressed)
Minute Eight: Put on my shoes
Minute Nine: Grab my work bag and make sure my lunch is in there
Minute 10: Turn off all the lights, grab my keys, and leave
The reality of all this is that I’ve made a lot of compromises to satisfy my desire to both stay up late and sleep in. I don’t wear make-up or elaborate outfits (and I know that I’m fortunate to have a relaxed company dress code and good skin that makes that decision easier). I also don’t eat breakfast or check my phone.
But I also take advantage of my golden hours by planning ahead the night before. If I decide to pack food to eat at the office, I make it in the evening and throw it in the fridge. If I want to bring along a book for the subway, I pack my backpack before going to sleep. Sometimes, I even lay out my outfit to avoid making a tough decision when I’m half awake.
For a while I always felt weird springing out of bed so late in the day when my co-workers told me they’d been up for hours. Was I doing adulthood wrong?
But getting ready in 10 minutes didn’t make me any less productive or any less good at my job. On the contrary, because I got to sleep more I could be even more energetic and focused when I got to the office.
So, for everyone who wishes they could sleep in more, know that you can! You just might have to make some sacrifices along the way.
Photo of person getting ready for work courtesy of David Jakle/Getty Images.
Previously an editor for The Muse, Alyse is proud to prove that yes, English majors can change the world. She’s written almost 500 articles for The Muse on anything from productivity tips to cover letters to bad bosses to cool career changers, many of which have been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., CNBC's Make It, USA Today College, Lifehacker, Mashable, and more. She calls many places home, including Illinois where she grew up and the small town of Hamilton where she attended Colgate University, but she was born to be a New Yorker. In addition to being an avid writer and reader, Alyse loves to dance, both professionally and while waiting for the subway.More from this Author