“Morning routine” has become a sort of a buzzword among CEOs, entrepreneurs, workers, freelancers and everyone else in between. You can find millions of articles online which claim they can help you improve your morning routine, which will ultimately turn you into a more productive person.
Of course, early-morning routines have undeniable benefits, but we rarely stop to think about evening routines, and how can a bit of preparation before bed help us start the next day more productively.
We believe that an evening routine is as equally important as the morning routine, because it turns out that your mornings will almost take care of themselves if you take good care of your evenings. So, to help you out, we’ve created an article based on the habits of some of the most successful people in the business world. Check them out, and see if they’ll do the trick for you.
Organize Your Thoughts
It’s not uncommon to think about the day that passed before you go to sleep. You usually focus on what you’ve done, what needs to be done tomorrow, and you keep writing these mental steps before you go to bed.
This is good, but you can take it a step further and write down a to-do list for tomorrow. That’s one of the ways to ensure you’ll be ready for action as soon as you get up. Another thing you can do is to journal about the day behind you. Write down your thoughts, observations, ideas, or anything you learned that day.
Such practice can help you process the day, and reflect on your behaviour. Think about it like it’s your time to get a clean sleight for tomorrow. Highlight the good and the bad, write down what you could have done better, and try to follow that the next time you find yourself in a similar situation.
This process can help you sleep better, but you also won’t wake up with messy thoughts in the morning.
If you’re using a time tracking software, you can review your day there. Check how much time you spent (un)productively. Is there anything that stands out particularly? Maybe you’ve spent much more time on unproductive activities than usual? Investigate this a bit further, and based on your findings, organize your next day.
Prepare for Tomorrow
You don’t need to focus on mental preparations only. You can also prepare the clothes you’ll wear tomorrow, cook the lunch, pack a bag you’ll be carrying with you, etc. Keep in mind that this tip might be more useful for the night owls, since mornings aren’t their favorite part of the day. Thinking about these actions in the morning creates a burden for them, which is why it’s better to finish everything when they’re most productive.
Additionally, there’s a higher chance you’ll forget something if you leave all your preparations for the morning.
Chances are that evenings are the only part of the day when you can find time to do some reading. So, instead of playing another episode of your favorite TV show, snuggle up with a book.
A study by the University of Sussex found that just six minutes of reading a day is enough to reduce stress by 68%! Grab a book, or a magazine you like, and focus on the reading. The good thing about reading is that it keeps you sharp focused on the story, while easing your thoughts and soothing you to sleep.
Relax and Forget About Your Devices
Relaxation is different for everyone. Some people prefer meditating or doing yoga, while others are looking for some “me-time” and a long bath. There are people who enjoy taking long walks in the evening, others prefer to spend some time with their family, friends or pets.
Whatever relaxation means to you - do it. Disconnect and take care of yourself. Once you’ve entered your bed, turn off all of your devices and let your eyes take a rest from the blue light. This can help your brain prepare for sleep mode.
None of us can say that the stress of everyday obligations keep bypassing us on a daily basis. Therefore, it’s necessary to give yourself some “me-time”. Isolate from the buzz, turn off the screens and notifications, take off your smart watch and spend some time with your thoughts. Not only that such practice is good to get you to sleep better, it has excellent long-term effects on your mind and body.
You’ll find tons of articles online giving you “successful people’s routines” for this and that, but what works for them might not work for you. The point of creating routines isn’t to turn yourself into a robot, the point it to help you practice self care and self improvement. Which is why you should focus on you, what works for you, what relaxes you, and don’t beat yourself up if one of the tips above isn’t showing results for you.
This article was originally written on August 31st, 2016 by Gina Ora. It was rewritten on November 13th, 2019 by Bojana Djordjevic.