1. Establish an evening routine. Before you go to bed, check your schedule, plan outfits, and pack lunches for the next day. Make sure bags, purses, and backpacks are packed and next to the door (see tip number nine). That goes for you and your kids.
2. Create an “Out the Door” checklist. Make a list of all things you need before walking out the door: keys, wallet, sunglasses, cell phone, Blackberry, umbrella, kids’ homework, kids… We don’t want a Home Alone scenario here. If there are specific items for the day, make note on the checklist the night before. Make extra copies and replace the checklist once you’ve added notes to it. Put the checklist near the door and quickly review it before heading out.
4. Find your favorite, portable breakfast. Healthy options like granola bars, yogurt, fruit, and even toast are the best. You can eat them on the train or in the car.
5. Have the coffee ready to go. Set the timer the night before so your coffee is brewing by the time you wake up. Don’t have a timer on your coffee machine? Load the coffee the night before and turn on the machine before hopping in the shower.
6. Create a morning routine. If I’m blow drying my hair, I know I’ve got 15 minutes until I need to walk out the door. I don’t even have to check the clock. Figure out the order in which you and your family do things, set a schedule and stick to it.
7. Don’t respond to emails unless it’s urgent. There is a reason they call it a Crackberry. Ignore your Blackberry (or whatever device you use) and respond to emails on the train or once you get to your desk.
8. Simplify your primping time. Are you the type of person that can't select outfits the night before? If so, focus on your closet's organization. Make sure work clothes are grouped together and easily accessible so you can see what you have and select an outfit quickly. Separate the beauty products you use on a daily basis and keep them in trays or baskets for easy access. For the guys, shave in the shower.
9. Designate one area near the door for each family member. Give each person a bin and a hook so they can quickly grab coats, gloves, and bags. If you have limited entryway space, use your coat closet with stackable bins and extra storage on the back of the door like this for accessories and umbrellas. Don't forget to label bins and slots for each family member.
10. If all else fails, give yourself some time. If you try tips one through nine, and you’re still struggling, set your clock ten minutes fast. It might sound silly, but you won’t know if it works until you try it. This trick might not save you time in the morning, but at least you won't be late for work.