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We never really got the whole “early bird gets the worm thing” thing. (Who wants a worm when you could be sleeping?) That is until we realized a little evening prep work could yield a pretty painless--even pleasant--morning. Read and learn, folks.

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Make overnight oats

Don’t settle for some rushed bowl of processed cereal that will cause you to crash at, like 10:30 a.m. Before you go to bed each evening, take five minutes to combine rolled oats, milk, fruit, nuts, honey and the like. Let it refrigerate overnight and you’ll wake up to a hearty, ready-to-eat breakfast.

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And pack lunch while you’re at it

Even if it’s just separating sandwich elements into little baggies (or segmented Tupperware) to assemble later at work, you’ll be glad to shave off those precious morning minutes.

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Have a glass of fresh water on your nightstand

Nutritionists often say that drinking water first thing kick-starts your metabolism for the day. If you wait to pour it in the morning, you’re almost guaranteed to skip it and go straight for the coffee.

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Set a timer on your coffeepot

But then, of course: coffee. We’re #blessed to live in a time when you can automate appliances and have the smell of a fresh brew rouse you from bed. Guarantee you won’t regret the investment.

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Open the curtains

Who says you have to draw the shades shut when it’s pitch black? Waking up to darkness is infinitely less pleasant than waking up to natural light. Sing it with us now: Let the sunshine in.

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Lay out your workout clothes next to the bed

Whether you’re a pre- or post-work exerciser (the debate never ends), at least your sneakers (or gym bag for later) are two less things you have to groggily search out.

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Have three potential outfits ironed and ready

A lot of people will tell you to always pick out what you’ll wear the next day. But who wakes up trusting yesterday’s mood? A compromise: Pick out a few ensembles that you could choose from. Whether it’s the night before or the Sunday before, spend a little time ironing or steaming some options. That way, you have easy access but with flexibility. Then anything you don't wear that day is in consideration for tomorrow.

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Tidy up

No one likes to start their day hurdling over piles of laundry. Take a few minutes to empty the sink, wipe down counters and clear your floor space before hitting the hay.

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