( Updated September 2019) For the last 6 months, I've been working on my evening routine. I've found that when I am able to wind down at the end of the day and follow this routine, I actually have a more productive morning and that my morning routine goes so much smoother!
Even though I work for myself now and have a lot of flexibility, I STILL wake up between 4:30 and 5 AM. Why?
Because I am one of those strange people who are more productive in the morning! By the time one pm rolls around, I'm DONE lol.
I decided around March while school was still in, that I needed an evening routine. I noticed that the few times that I went through an actual routine, the next morning was effortless, stress-free and that I was much more productive and successful.
So my evening routine was born.
So today, I'm going to share with you the 5 things that I do after 5 pm that helps me to have a more productive morning.
My Evening Routine:5 Things I Do After 5 PM
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Prepare for the next day:
Prepping is half the battle, so I make sure that I take the time to prep for the next morning. I have food that needs to be unthawed for dinner, I take it out of the fridge and put it in the refrigerator. I meal prep lunch for Pookah ( or lay out what's going in his lunch) and myself, and sometimes CDUb.
I clean the kitchen because the worst thing ever is to have to empty the sink and clean pots and pans at 5 AM before I can cook breakfast. I wash or iron Pookah's uniform for the morning, and make sure homework makes it off of the dining room table and into his bookbag.
That way, in the morning, I’m not rushing around forgetting stuff or running late.
I plan out the NEXT day
I used to wake up and do this. And I would feel all out of sorts when I did something that was not on my to-do list.
So I started planning at night. I work off of one main list that I make every Sunday. By the end of each day, I know what I have completed and what still needs to be done. I can look over my schedule and see what’s due tomorrow, what appointments we have and plan my day accordingly.
I then make sure everything is written down in my planner. It has saved my sanity.
Now its time to wind down!
I take a bath
Not a shower…a bath.
I usually listen to music, read a book or just sit in silence while in the tub with candles lit. It's like the signal that tells my body that it's time to rest.
I Journal my thoughts and gratitude
I used to do this in the morning, but I found that something about a brain dump in my journal at the end of the day works so much better for me. I write down my wins, my losses, what worked, and things I am grateful for.
I've found that especially when I've had a hard day, getting these things on paper and THEN making sure I note what I'm STILL grateful for, despite it all, it releases that last bit of tension to help me rest and start fresh the next day.
I Read…or watch Netflix
This is usually the last step in my evening routine.
Reading relaxes me and you know I always have something to read! I allow for 30 minutes to 1 hour of reading time in the evening( depending on when I started) just to completely relax me.
Don't get me wrong, this is not the only time of day I read, but this is the main block of time and it not only guarantees that I read something non-work related every day, it helps me to calm my mind. And Netflix..well..there is always SOMETHING to catch up on!
I know this looks long! But really, it is a gradual thing that starts around 5 and lasts until bedtime. I try to be in the bed, alarm set on my apple watch, by 10 pm at the latest.
So that's it! Hopefully, this gives you ideas for your own evening routine! Tell me, what do you do to wind down at night to help you be more productive in the morning?
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