Dear E. Jean: My morning routine: Wake up at 6 a.m. Fall back asleep. Wake up again at 7 a.m. Look at my phone. Start shouting at myself. Enter bathroom. Exit feeling calm and fresh. Look at my phone. Discover I’ve spent 40 minutes in there! At this point, I’m no longer calm. I start getting dressed and looking desperately for the top I could swear was on the drying rack. Now it’s 7:55. This leaves me five minutes to do my hair—and I never go a day without a compliment on my hair. It is 8:26 a.m. when I finish my hair. Feeling that I am forgetting something keeps me in the house until 8:40. I arrive at work at 9:25—late. This happens every day! I cannot get myself out of this rut! Can you help? —The Girl Who Runs Late
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My Girl: Begin your routine 15 minutes earlier, and you’ve got yourself the kind of gorgeously ambitious day that F. Scott Fitzgerald writes of in The Great Gatsby. To wit:
6:45: Open eyes.
6:45–6:46: Rise to sitting position. Raise glass from bedside table. Toast to “falling in love.” Drink 10 ounces of water. All sorts of sweet, exciting health benefits are ascribed to drinking water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (jolts metabolism, revs the digestive tract, thrills the brain, and so on), but these claims never mention the main thing: It wakes a betch up!
6:47: Enter bathroom.
7:30: Exit bathroom.
7:31: Get dressed. Now, Gatsby had a lot of shirts, yes. But if you pry open your closet the night before and use your imagination, you can style four or five profoundly interesting outfits straight from the castoffs in the back. (I can only imagine what you may find in the front. One need only strike envy in the hearts of two or three women on the walk to work to understand how really important clothes are.) Hang your day’s outfit on the closet door the night before.
7:45: Hair. (And may Auntie Eeee just say, Your hair looks stunning!)
8:15: Exit house. There’ll be no frenzied loping through the premises, muttering, “Where are my sunglasses? Where are my damn sunglasses?” Everything you need for the day will be neatly arranged and waiting by the front door. Why? Because you put it there the night before.
8:58: Arrive at work. You can’t change the world unless you get out of bed.