It happens to me almost every morning: I wake up, say a NSFW version of “oh gosh golly!” because I have 4 minutes to get to class, and start getting ready. And, ready for this? I make it to class. Almost on time.

I’m not going to tell you this is the best way to get out of bed in the morning and start your day, but I’ve figured out how to maximize my sleep, and avoid constantly being more than a few minutes late for class. Here’s a few tips:

Shower at night

You have to shower. So, do it before you go to bed. You won’t have wet hair in the morning, or have to wait for your roommate to get out of the bathroom. Personally, I like showering at night, but it’s not everyone’s favorite. If sleep is your favorite, however, consider switching your shower times.

Wake Up to Coffee

Waking up is not only easier, but more pleasant, when there’s coffee waiting for you. So get a coffee machine with a timer, and set it to start right before you need to wake up. You’ll have hot, delicious-smelling wake up juice ready for your run out the door, without having to wait. Because I know I need coffee.

Know Your Wardrobe

Right before I go to bed, I do two things: check the forecast for the next day, and figure out what I’m going to wear. That way, I can get appropriately ready in about three seconds. Also, I keep an umbrella right near the door, just in case there’s a freak rainstorm the weather didn’t predict. I learned that one the hard way…

Pack Light

Most days, the only thing that I take to class is my computer. That means, in a time-crunch, I can just grab it and run out the door. I know this isn’t feasible for everyone, but if you can bring down the number of things in your bag, you both reduce your packing time, and the weight on your back as you sprint to class.

Have a Landing Strip

This one goes with the “pack light” bit, and is part of any good organization system. When you walk into your apartment/house/dorm room/refrigerator box, where do you put the few things you always have with you? For me, it’s my keys, my iPod, my cell phone, and my wallet. Make sure you’ve got  a place for all those things, and you’ll be amazed how many “crap, I’m late, but I can’t find my keys!” moments you’ll spare. And you won’t miss them.

There are lots of ways to streamline getting ready in the morning – the teeth-brushing, deodorant-applying, hair-fixing simultaneous trifecta is one I’m particularly proud of. But if you can figure out how to get your time from in bed to out the door down as far as possible, you’ll be both sleep-filled and on time.

That’s the dream.