One of my favorite quotes is, “The end of one day is the start of another day.”
I love routine. Routine gives me structure, it allows me to be efficient and as productive as I possibly can. While routine is looked upon by some as rigid, no fun, and not living your life, I look at it as the opposite. Are there times when routine needs to be broken? Absolutely. With a solid routine though, I do not spend my day wasting time, aimlessly wandering through the day and then left wondering what did I do today and why do I have so much work left to do?
Routine all starts before you go to bed at night. Have you ever planned on going to work out after work but forgot your gym bag? Happens to everyone. If you had just packed your bag the night before and left it by the door. How about stopping through the drive-thru to get a fast-food breakfast sandwich because you didn’t have time for breakfast at home? Just check the drive-thru lines every day and you will see that is true.
These things can be avoided by simply implementing a nighttime routine.
My nighttime routine is going to be different than most and that’s okay. We are all different. I plan out my top things to do for the next day, read for at least 30 minutes, avoid electronics an hour before bed, set out my clothes for the next day, and even have my breakfast dishes ready to go for when the alarm goes off at 3:30 am. Ever been up at 3:30 am and tried getting a coffee cup and bowl out of the cupboard? I tend to make LOTS of noise when I do that while half asleep and someone else in the house does not appreciate it!
Here are four strategies to implement into your nighttime routine that will help make the next day as productive as possible:
Plan the following morning/day - You don’t have to plan every minute of the day. Writing down a list of 5-10 of your top priorities thought will definitely help. If you write it down, you won’t forget it and will be more apt to complete the tasks. At the end of the following day, you will be amazed at how much you accomplish with this small change.
No electronics - Blue light from our phones, computers, and electronics can affect our sleep greatly. Aim to put away the electronics at least 60 minutes before you go to sleep so you can have a good night’s rest.
Set a bedtime - Our bodies enjoy routine. It keeps our circadian rhythms in order. Just like it is important to wake up at the same time, it’s important to go to bed at the same time. Try setting an alarm so you go to bed at the right time instead of doing something and the next thing you know it’s two hours past your bedtime.
Something positive before bed - You shouldn’t be working right before bed. You need to do something that is relaxing and positive. Often, we think back on our day and most people’s days are filled with stress. If we think about work and stress before bed, our sleep is affected greatly. We won’t wake up feeling energized or positive. Instead, read something positive or listen to something positive. This changes our mindset before bed allowing us to relax and be in a good state of mind before we sleep.
It’s time to dominate your day and the best way to do that is preparing the night before. Craft your own nighttime routine and watch the major difference it can make in your life.