4 Ways To Make Your Showers More Productive

Your morning shower is about a lot more than just getting clean. Here's how to pack in a few more household chores and maybe even come up with your next brilliant idea.

We need to come clean about something: we've underestimated the shower. Yes, some very clever innovators have made showers themselves more awesome, like the showerhead that turns from green to red when you're lingering too long or this sleek contraption that lets you shower and does your laundry at the same time.

But there's more to the shower, like the power to free your clothes of wrinkles, fill your ears with knowledge, and open up the spout of your ideas. Here's how.

Get Smarter With Podcasts

If you want to soak your brain in knowledge while you shampoo your hair, a handful of podcasts can be the perfect shower companion. They're additionally great because a podcast provides some long(er)form content to begin your day, as oppossed to the tweets and texts that color the workday. And no, you don't necessarily need to invest in some wacky in-shower speaker system—just open up a podcast on smartphone and turn it up.

Our picks for in-shower listening:

  • Radiolab: hyper-innovative humanistic scientific storytelling? Yes please.
  • WTF: Marc Maron is comedian, interviewer, and Most Creative Person. Nice.
  • Lifehacker: what could be more shower-productive than a productivity podcast?

Steam your clothes.

This is perhaps the bacheloriest of bachelor hacks. Want to get your shirt marginally less wrinkled before you run out the door? You could try to hang it up beside your shower and the let steam release the wrinkles like you did in college. But Men's Health says that the water won't be hot enough to generate sufficient steam; instead, turn the hot water all the way up after you're out, distract yourself for a few minutes, and come back to a freshly steamed shirt.

Get extra hygiene in

Lifehacker writer Adam Dachis says to condense other parts of your morning routine into shower time. There's something satisfying about soaping with one hand with brushing your teeth with the other—call it hygienic multitasking. For dudes, you could get a fog-free mirror to get your shave done, too.

Give your mind a chance to wander

As author Scott Berkun has observed, creativity needs room to breathe. It's called incubation: "time away from the work itself where our subconscious minds are free to work on our behalf and deliver ideas back to our conscious minds." The shower, then, is one of the few parts of modern life where we're not being bombarded by stimuli (unless we're listening to a podcast), which allows our minds to wander. And if you learn to wander well, your time in the shower will not be lost.

Hat tip: Lifehacker

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11 Comments

  • Nicole

    Seriously -- now I have to be productive when I shower ? Can I PUH-Lease have a few minutes to myself to relax without having to worry about how I can wash my hair, brush my teeth and soap my body at the the same time. Have we come to this -- no down time ever ?

  • tom

    Let's just keep some things simple. Brushing your teeth while soaping yourself. Really? Come on guys.

  • James

    Steaming your clothes with the shower is a HUGE waste of water (wastes up to 20 litres per minute). Sacrifice 5 minutes of your precious time to iron your shirt instead.

  • Donald

    Somtimes I leave the shower on after I'm done just to heat and add moisture to my bedroom.

  • Billy Simpson

    I find my showers are most effective when I wash my body and shampoo my hair. For efficiency, I increase surface area by scrubbing with two hands. In order to multitask, I think of the day ahead or hum the song in my head.

  • John Ruzicka

    Sounds like a good waste of fresh water to me. If your shirt is wrinkled, try the dry cleaners.

  • cassy graikowski

    for a makeshift speaker in your bathroom while you shower you can dry out your sink and set your phone in it.

  • blake mendez

    good morning drake. glad you pointed out the shower's multi-functional uses.

    have you heard about the water crystals' research: http://www.masaru-emoto.net/en.... because of his documentation, clearly use the shower time as cleaning, meditative, and prayer time. the water resonates your thinking, and that key moment allows you to fill your mind with the richness and goodness of life.

    you can also use the time to switch from hot to cold bursts, taking your mind off stress and focusing on the extreme temperatures. do not use this one too much unless under serious mental stress.

    blake mendez

  • Melissa Lamson

    This is a great article, thanks! I just referred to lowering basic tension lines at work will create a "warm-shower effect" and stimulate innovation and creativity in my work-life balance webinar.