Need to get your day started earlier than usual? A few simple things can help that extra early morning go a lot smoother.

I am kind of an obsessive planner. I think of exactly what I want to do in certain situations before I do it, I make lots of lists to ensure I don't forget things and I mentally prepare myself for upcoming events days before they happen.

Sure, most of the time it's overkill...but sometimes this obsessive thinking comes in handy. And I'd like to think one of those situations is when you have to start your day super early.

Why? Because being tired makes you cranky and forgetful...a bad combo for actually getting yourself out of the house with everything you need in the wee hours of the morning.

So when I do something crazy, like fill in for Michael Rock for six days on the morning show...I make a game plan.

Here's what works for me when prepping for an early day.

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    Put the coffee together the night before and utilize the coffeemaker's timer setting.

    Coffee is a morning need in my world, so making sure it is hot and ready when I get up is a MUST.

    Putting it together the night before makes one less early morning step and the smell of the brewing coffee helps with getting out of bed to boot

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    Pick out your clothes the night before

    Much like you might do for your for yourself.

    Laying out what you want to wear the night before not only means less time the next also means clear headed clothes choices (cause you know sleepy you is grabbing anything in the dark!)

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    Pack everything you need for work in your car ahead of time

    I can't tell you how many times I've forgotten something at home because I was too tired to grab it first thing in the morning.

    If my routine means waking up even earlier, I typically pack the car the night before when I am thinking more clearly.

    Then I won't stress out when my lunch is sitting on the kitchen table and I am sitting at my desk!

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