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In a perfect world, you’d get to work on time — or better yet, early — every morning. In reality? It’s much easier said than done.

Between trying to wake up the first (or even third) time your alarm goes off, picking out an outfit for the day that you feel confident in, and maybe managing to eat a somewhat balanced breakfast, getting ready each morning is a process — to put it kindly.

To help streamline your morning routine, the Insider Picks team is sharing our secret weapons for getting ready quickly and efficiently. Whether you hit the gym before heading into the office or hit the snooze button an absurd number of times before getting out of bed, there’s probably something on our list that’ll help you out in the morning. 

An electric toothbrush

I’ve been a big fan of the Sonicare toothbrush ever since I got one as a gift a couple years ago. I like that it forces me to take two minutes out of my morning to properly brush my teeth. Before I had it I was guilty of doing a quick brush on my way out the door, which wasn’t enough, especially since studies show the best time to brush your teeth is right when you wake up. — Breton Fischetti, senior director of commerce

Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite+ Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush, $82.02

A phone case with storage for cards

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten to my subway station only to realize I left my MetroCard on my dresser. So frustrating! 

Not only does this phone case from Incipio protect my phone, it houses convenient storage for up to three credit cards. I use it to stow my MetroCard for easy access on my commute to and from work. It’s one less thing I have to remember to bring with me — if I have my phone on me, I have my MetroCard, too. — Ellen Hoffman, commerce editor 

Incipio Stowaway Case for iPhone 7, $16.63

Incipio Stowaway Case for iPhone 7 Plus, $14.29

A health and sleep tracker

Not only is the Bellabeat Leaf Urban my favorite piece of smart jewelry, it’s also the device that wakes me up every morning. The Leaf has a silent alarm that vibrates gently to wake me up. It also tracks my sleep so I know how well and how long I rested each night. I hate waking up to loud alarms and this silent one lets me wake up more peacefully. — Malarie Gokey, guides editor

Bellabeat Leaf Urban Health Tracker and Smart Jewelry, $139

A powerful hair dryer

I’ve been using Dyson’s Supersonic hair dryer for a year, and I swear by it. It’s a lot lighter than other dryers and a lot more powerful, too, with a motor that can spin up to 110,000 times per minute. 

Heat damage can promote split ends and even hair loss, but Dyson’s smart heat control system measures air temperature 20 times a second, so you’re never exposed to too much heat. I have thick hair, but it only takes me 10 minutes to get it completely dry with this dryer — it’s a major time-saver in the morning. — Kelsey Mulvey, commerce reporter

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, $399

I blow dry my hair in the morning with Drybar’s Buttercup Blow Dryer. Drybar says it dries hair up to 20% faster than other professional dryers and that its’ ionic technology dramatically improves the condition of the hair by increasing shine and reducing frizz. Having used the blow dryer for more than a year now, I can say with surety that’s all true in my experience.  — Ellen Hoffman, commerce editor

Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer, $195

A virtual personal assistant

I never expected to love a smart home voice assistant, but the Google Home is a great addition to my morning.

The small speaker syncs up with my Google account, so I can ask it to tell me what my schedule is for the day and it can even play the morning news from NPR and other great stations. Since it acts as a smart home hub, too, I can ask the Google Home to turn off my Phillips Hue light bulbs when I leave my apartment.” — Malarie Gokey, guides editor

Google Home, $129

An espresso maker

Every morning, I make espresso with my Italian-made Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker. It makes amazing, strong coffee in about five minutes that’s perfect for a homemade cappuccino.

While the espresso heats up, I froth some milk in the Stainless Steel HIC Milk Frother and pop the frothy milk in the microwave for a minute until the foam is warm and thick. All in all, it takes less than 10 minutes to make a great cappuccino at home, which is a whole lot faster than waiting in line at Starbucks on my way to the office. It’s easier on the wallet, too. — Malarie Gokey, guides editor

Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker, $24.72

HIC Milk Creamer and Frother, $17.28

A reliable hair gel

This is the only product I use on my hair every day. It’s quick to apply, has a little bit of hold without feeling sticky, and lasts all day. — Breton Fischetti, senior director of commerce

Bumble and Bumble Bb. Texture Hair (Un)Dressing Creme, $31

A cup of hot tea

A cup of hot tea doesn’t speed up my morning routine so much as help me get each day started off on a calm note. The first thing I do in the morning is turn on my stove to boil water in my kettle. I’m very into loose leaf teas at the moment, and OXO Good Grip’s twisting tea ball is great at keeping the leaves out of my drink. 

In the grand scheme of things, my morning cup of tea goes a long way toward improving my mood, making me better able get through whatever edits, meetings, and other tasks I have on my plate for the day.” — Ellen Hoffman, commerce editor

OXO Good Grips Twisting Tea Ball, $9.95

You can read more about Insider Pick’s favorite electric tea kettles and tea infusers here.

Microwaveable lunch containers

The last thing I want to think about when I wake up in the morning is what should I make for lunch. Cooking and bringing your food is a way to save money and stay healthier, but it also requires more effort than I’m willing to put in on an average Wednesday morning.

Instead, I’m all about meal prep. I cook everything ahead of time and store my food in these containers. They’re slim enough to easily slip into a backpack, but big enough to hold more than enough food for a full lunch. — Brandt Ranj, associate commerce editor 

Evolutionize LIFT Certified BPA-Free Reusable Microwavable Meal Prep Containers (7-Pack), $10.01

A daily moisturizer and eye cream

I’ve always had a difficult time taking care of myself in the morning — I can roll out of bed, shower, brush my teeth, and dress myself, but for a long time that was as far as my morning ritual went.

I started using a daily facial moisturizer about six months ago, and the difference is noticeable. It keeps my face fresh and protected, and really helps me feel a little more awake early in the day. I really like Oars + Alps’ and Dollar Shave Club’s grooming products.” — Tyler Lauletta, commerce reporter

Oars + Alps Face and Eye Cream, $22

Dollar Shave Club Big Cloud Daily Defense Moisturizer with SPF, $9

A smart alarm clock

I’m guilty hitting the snooze button as many times as possible before I really need to wake up. I tried every trick to curb this bad habit, but nothing worked until I picked up Beddi’s smart alarm clock.

To make waking up a more natural process, the clock has a large light on its backside that slowly turns on before it starts making any noise. The light has woken me up before my alarm many times. 

When the alarm does sound it doesn’t make the loud, abrupt beeps you’re used to hearing — you can even set it to play your favorite Spotify playlist. — Kelsey Mulvey, commerce reporter

WITTI BEDDI Smart Radio Alarm Clock, $99.99

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