There are morning people, and then there’s everyone else. If you feel like stabbing your eyes out each time your alarm goes off in the morning and can’t even look your colleagues in the eye before you’ve had your morning coffee, you fall into the latter category.
But unless you strike Toto and get to retire tomorrow, you could be stuck rushing to work early in the morning every day for the rest of your foreseeable future. So how do you deal? Here are five survival tips.
1. Make your morning routine as bare bones as possible
You’re basically a vegetable in the morning, so keep your morning routine as bare bones and as streamlined as possible. This will not only enable you to get up later, but also save you from the stress of having to make decisions or do anything that requires more than two braincells when you’re basically dead inside.
This means choosing your clothes for the next day beforehand and preferably placing them in an accessible place such as a chair by your bed. If you have breakfast at home, prepare what you need beforehand, such as setting the table and putting your Milo powder or cereal within easy reach.
2. Outsource some of your morning activities to office hours
If you are not a morning person, it’s a mistake to have a long, complicated morning routine that takes hours, as it can turn your mornings into a struggle and eat into your sleep time.
Outsourcing some of your morning activities to office hours is a sneaky way to steal yourself a few more minutes of sleep. For instance, if you normally have coffee at home, wait till you get to the office to have your first coffee of the day. If you normally spend 20 minutes eating breakfast, take your food with you to work and have it at the office instead.
Some people who cycle to work even wait till they’re at the office to take a shower, but don’t try that if you commute by MRT unless you want to get death stares from your fellow commuters.
3. Arrive at work later to avoid the crowds
The crowds at Raffles Place MRT at 8:55 or 9am are so immense, they bring to mind some zombie apocalypse. But just half an hour before or after, you can actually take a breath of air without 99% of it being made up of some guy’s carbon dioxide. More importantly, you don’t have to wait for as many trains before you manage to squeeze into a carriage, which reduces your travelling time.
If your office offers staggered hours or your boss isn’t anal retentive about what time you arrive, show up at work as late as is reasonable, since the later you arrive, the less stressful and uncomfortable your commute becomes.
4. If you can’t walk to/from the MRT station, use a personal mobility device
According to this report, 71% of those living within 400 metres of an MRT station primarily use public transport to commute. However, only 55% those who live more than 2 kilometres away do the same. This is probably due to the fact that distance from the MRT station increases travelling time by so much.
But if you can’t afford a car, all that extra commuting time can really ruin your mornings—especially if you already hate them.
Taking a personal mobility device such as a kick scooter, folding bicycle or unicycle to and from the MRT station can not only save you some time, but also remove the feeling of helplessness and fatigue you get from waiting for buses that are inevitably overcrowded when they arrive. The extra exercise can also really wake you up.
5. Do something you enjoy on your morning commute
One of the biggest reasons mornings are so detestable is your commute. Ease the pain a little by doing something you enjoy on your morning commute, instead of feeling pissed all the way to work.
Get lost in a good book, knit or crochet, study a new language, listen to those new albums you found on Spotify, get started on that coding e-course. Whatever you do, make it something you actually look forward to, so that by the time you arrive at work you’re a little more awake and a little less miserable.
This article was first published on Moneysmart.