Establishing a good nightly routine can be key to a better night’s sleep and a successful next day. This post will walk you through a routine that is simple and effective. It will become your new favorite way to end your day!
It’s the end of the day and the kids are in bed. Now it’s “me” time. What will you do with this time? Sit immediately down and veg-out? (I’ve totally done that.)
Or use the little energy you have left to get caught up on just one thing…which leads to another…and while you’re up you might as well start the project you’ve been meaning to get to…which gets you thinking about how great alone time is…before you find yourself gawking at how late it is with no energy left to clean up the kitchen or even wash your face? (Yep, I’ve totally done that too.)
While there are definitely nights that these scenarios are unavoidable, what we should be aiming for is something a little more in the middle. This post will go through a nightly routine that is simple yet SO effective in setting yourself up for a successful next day.
The first step in this routine is optional. It can be a great boost forward when needed, but it might not be necessary every night.
If you have any important items left on your to-do list at the end of the day, use this time to get caught up. This can especially be helpful if this is the only time in your day to do a chore or a project or even exercise.
But set a timer. The length is totally up to you. Setting a timer will help you with two things:
1. You’ll work more quickly and efficiently knowing you’re held to a set amount of time.
That’s good! Now you won’t let your dwindling energy make you take too long leaving no time left to wind down. Or accidentally get too absorbed, working way past your bedtime.
2. You’ll be able to stay motivated.
Most people are tired by the end of the day. They don’t have the energy to stay productive for another couple of hours.
But 10-15 minutes? You might be surprised what squeezing in a little extra time can do.
And even though this time is great for catching up, don’t forget to occasionally give yourself grace.
There are only 24 hours in a day. You won’t always get to everything and that’s ok. Save it for another day.
At the end of the day, your comfy couch is calling your name. But don’t give in…yet.
Before you sit down, use the little energy you have left to pick up. Do a quick speed clean of the highest traffic areas in your home.
Quick is the key word here. You’re not out to do heavy chores here. If night is your time for that, it needs to be part of the “catch up” section above and should be accompanied by a timer.
If you get to only one thing, make it your kitchen. Starting the day with a clean kitchen makes it easier to maintain. And it will diminish the feeling of morning chaos.
So load the dishwasher, wipe the counters and clear off the floor. You’ll be so glad you did.
Before you go to bed, write out your to-do list for the next day.
This will save you from wasting time in the morning figuring it out. Time that could have been used DOING what needed to be done instead.
Part of my favorite morning routine is going over my to-do list for the day. And writing it out the night before makes this step even more effective. With my blueprint for the day already in place, it’s ready for me to glance at and put into action.
Another thing you’ll find helpful in your evening planning is to set aside a little extra time on Sundays. Use this time to write your goals and tasks for the week, plan out your meals and start a grocery list – regardless of what day you do your shopping.
Ok, you’ve been productive enough. Now you can finally sit down. And you’ll be able to enjoy it even more since you’ll have nothing hanging over your head.
If you needed to catch up, you gave yourself a reasonable amount of time. Your kitchen is clean and you’ve prepared for the next day. Good job.
Let the rest go.
Going to bed feeling guilty and anxious over uncompleted tasks isn’t going to help anyone. Tomorrow is another day…24 fresh new hours!
Use this time to do something that is completely relaxing to you. Turn on Netflix. Take a bath. Stretch. Read a book. Scroll through Instagram. Call a friend. Anything…this time is YOURS and you’ve earned it.
Setting aside a little time at the end of the day will do wonders for your stress and energy levels. It’ll help you sleep better too!
So make it a point to relax, even if it’s only for 15 minutes.
Set an alarm for 15-30 minutes before you plan on getting into bed.
You should plan on going to bed at the same time every night to help get your body into the right routine. So make that alarm go off at the same time every night too. (Weekends can be an exception.)
This is your time to tune out.
It’s time to be done with your phone. There have been many studies done on how using your phone before bed affects your sleep. It’s hard, but you need good sleep!
Turn off any other distractions as well, especially those with screens.
Use this time to get ready for bed. If you have a spouse or partner, try to get into the habit of getting ready for bed together. Even if you don’t go to bed at the same time.
Days can get pretty busy and this is a wonderful time to connect, distraction free, with your significant other.
Pick out your clothes for the next day. Especially if you plan on exercising in the morning. It’s much easier to drag yourself out of bed to exercise if your clothes already set out.
TO SUM IT ALL UP…
Establishing a good nighttime routine can be key to a better night’s sleep and a successful next day. To sum up, here is what you should try to work into your routine:
- CATCH UP – (optional)
- CLEAN UP – quick pickup…at least the kitchen
- MAP OUT – prepare for tomorrow
- CHILL OUT – carve out time to relax
- WIND DOWN – tune out…no more distractions
And remember to aim for the same bedtime most nights. Most adults need 7-9 hours so plan accordingly!
Want to guarantee time for this routine each day? Try adding these steps to the evening block of a block schedule! Learn all about block scheduling here!
What are some of your favorite ways to wind down for the night?
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