Fifteen Minutes

If you’re like us, your 15-minute shave is a time to unwind and relax. But it’s not the only way you can bring some calm to your morning.

Here are our top five screen-free ways to set yourself up for feeling relaxed and ready for the day ahead...

 

1. Read

 

More specifically, read something small enough to take with you and that can't run out of batteries. Looking brilliant and around 40 pages long, Penguin Little Black Classics celebrate 80 years of Penguin and are perfect for whipping out on a busy train, plane or Post Office queue (they're small enough to fit in your pocket). Some incredible titles are available, ranging from pioneering American poets to medieval Japanese monks who, it turns out, drank rather a lot and enjoyed casual flings (the monks I mean, but probably Mr Whitman too).

Because we think they're so brilliant we're giving one away to the first 80 people who buy a Thomas Clipper razor or shaving set - use coupon code 'penguin80' at checkout.

 

2. Run unplugged

 

Going for an unplugged run was the only kind of run you could go on a few years ago. Now it’s ear buds, heart monitors, calorie counting.

Try taking a key and a fiver and that’s it. The fiver is in case you need to stop for a drink. The key is because you’re not Forest Gump. And the sound of the park or woodland or even just the high street is probably more interesting than that podcast anyway…

 

3. Immerse yourself in a story


…that said, there are some amazing podcasts out there that can make you forget you’re plugged in at all. And we’re counting them because they don’t require looking at a screen.

Out of the US, Love + Radio brings amazing personal tales to the fore and 99% Invisible is a weekly dose of design (99% of design is invisible…). And if the stories themselves don't lull you into a relaxed state of mind, presenter Roman Mars' voice certainly will.

Here in the UK we’ve been getting into Sodajerker on Songwriting - we’ve even given their interview-a-musician format a go on our own podcast, Coming Clean.

 

4. Make better food


Finding a recipe, shopping for good food, bringing it all home and then cracking into the cooking can feel like a hassle. Take the pain out of the process and give yourself a home cookery course with raw-ingredients delivery startup Goustou. There are others, but we like these chaps because they use some organic ingredients. There's a lot of packaging mind... but for an alternative to a takeaway, we reckon this is a great call.

For £20 off your first order use offer code MATTH40131.

 

5. Enjoy proper Coffee


Waking up to a good coffee needn't involve a traipse to Shoreditch to find the trendiest barista in London and the freshest roast. Invest in a classic stovetop coffee maker and a manual bean grinder and you can create awesome Italian style espressos every morning. Of course, 15 minutes is longer than a Nescafe takes to brew, but the ritual is part of the pleasure. And the reward is exceptional coffee.

Of course, the brew is only as good as the beans - Cafédirect's KOPI coffee club and others like it deliver awesome beans every month.  Cafédirect's offering gets special mention as half the profits are shared with the growers, which is taking fair trade to the next level - and they give you half off your first bag at this link, which is very civilised. Full disclosure, I work with the KOPI team.

 

So there you have it – shaving might be the start of slowing down and appreciating things. But it needn’t be the end...

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