Today I want to talk about an important productivity tool: an evening routine that will help you plan your productive tomorrow.
I’ve been thinking a lot about productivity lately. Specifically how my habits, both good and bad, influence my productivity.
Productivity is important to me: there are so many things I want to do in my life and sometimes the only thing standing in my way is myself. I feel more accomplished and awake when I manage to be productive – I feel self confident and that gives results in all areas of my life.
I’m very much in favor of leaving time for downtime: enjoying time with your loved ones, sitting around dowing nothing or watching netflix makes us happier human beings. But I know I enjoy that downtime so much more if I’m productive around it.
On days that are unproductive I spend a lot of time feeling frustrated and thinking about how I can be better.
- What did I do wrong today?
- Can I put systems in place to get myself back on track?
- Why is some days less productive than others?
- And in my weaker moments I also ask the much less productive question: is something wrong with me?
Have you ever felt like this?
I don’t want to overstep, but my guess is that your answer is yes (if it’s not and you are productive all the time, please let me know your secret!)
When I pay attention to my behavior and see what days are getting derailed, I’ve noticed a pattern. My most productive days are the ones where I make a plan the night before. It doesn’t have to be detailed, but I have to at least have thought through enough to get a good start on my day. When I spend the extra ten minutes in the evening laying out my outfit, going through my schedule and making a prioritized to-do list everything just flows better.
So are you interested to read 8 things you can include in your own evening routine? Read on!
I created a daily schedule that you can download, fill out and start building your evening routine! Simply fill out your email here or at the end of the post and make it a reality.
8 things you can include in your own evening routine
Get everything you need set out for tomorrow
Get everything you need for your day ready. Don’t let your day get off on the wrong foot by running around looking for that one thing you can’t find. Making sure you have everything today, makes sure you don’t fall behind early tomorrow.
This includes choosing your outfit: don’t waste valuable time tomorrow morning staring into your closet feeling like you have nothing to wear. By choosing your outfit the day before, you set an intention for the day and you will start it with more focus and energy.
Do a 5 minute pick up
This is something I learned from the wonderful Nony (Dana) at A Slob Comes Clean. It’s simply using 5 minutes (you can even use a timer!) to pick up around the house. This isn’t a way to do a deep clean or huge tidy. But using just 5 minutes in the evening to pick up and put things where they belong makes everything easier tomorrow. I get energy from an uncluttered home and this method has helped me not feeling overwhelmed by the clutter.
This is a great activity to involve the whole family in as well, having all hands on deck for 5 minutes will give you great results!
- 4 easy things you can do today to stop clutter from happening
- Taking my home through the KonMari method
Go through the schedule for tomorrow
Go through what you are doing, when you are doing it and who you are doing it with. This way you know what you will be doing the next day, and don’t have to spend valuable time deciding before starting your day.
Having a clear picture of your day makes it easier to plan everything else you want to do. It also enables you to pick out pockets of time where you can schedule some self care or time to relax.
Declutter your mind
Getting a good nights sleep is difficult if you have too much clutter in your mind. Quieting down your mind before bed is essesial, but can be really challenging.
The first step is to get everything out of your head and down on paper. Treat it like a rapid log or brainstorm, a way to get things out of your head, not as a list of things you need to do. Sure, there will be items on that list that can be moved over to a to-do list, but it can also be things you are worried about, things to remember or just stuff that happened today.
Make a to-do list.
This one should be a shorter, focused list of things you need to get done tomorrow. If you are anything like me, things will be added to it tomorrow, so it’s important to keep it doable and not too daunting. Some of the things on this list will be the same as on the rapid log from earlier, but that’s okay!
Personally this is one of my biggest time-savers. I’m quite an indecisive person, and one of my biggest timewasters is not starting because I can’t decide what I should do first.
It’s all about intention: if you know what you want out of your day it’s a lot easier to achieve it.
Set a tech curfew
Plenty of studies show that staring at a screen right before you go to bed disturbs your sleep. Avoding the backlight of your phone, tablet or laptop right before bed is a great way to help quiet down your mind, and give your eyes a rest.
Make a gratitude log
Write down at least one thing you are grateful for today. It can be as simple as being grateful for it being sunny today so you could eat your lunch outside, to being grateful for a visit from a loved one. There are no limits! Being intentional about your gratitude makes you more appriciative of the world around you.
Set your inner focus
Now that you’ve set an intention for your outer world, take the time to sit down and set an inner intention for the next day. Think through your goal for the day, the mindset you want to be in and how you want to approach challenges that might come. It is proven that thinking positive will make you more successful, and taking the time to sit quietly and think about it will help you get the most out of your day.
Things to remember about your own evening routine
- Everyone is different! Pick and choose the things that work for you, that enables you to live the life you want.
- Confession time: I don’t do all of this every evening. It’s okay to have off days, you should do it differently the next day. Forming new habits is difficult, so it’s okay to start with just one thing and gradually build your own evening routine from there.
- Life and what you need is ever changing, it’s important to leave room for evaluating your evening routine and making the changes that are needed.
- I’ve created a daily schedule you can download, print and use. It has room to fill in your plans for the next day, and I hope it helps you get what you want out of your day! You can sign up to get the daily schedule below!
Leave a comment with your own evening routines, how do your plan your evenings and your days? And don’t forget to grab your free printable daily schedule below!