Evening routines play a pivotal role in setting you up for a better, healthier, more productive, stress free day. Did I include enough reasons to keep reading there? I hope so…
What sparked this post was all the articles I have read lately about having a morning routine often refereed to as rituals or habits, depending what you’re reading. Now, I am a firm believer that the more you plan your morning the better your day will be. However, before you can have a stress free morning, you need to do a little prep in the evening.
If you’re anything like me, mornings are tough. I’m either up at 4am to hit the gym or my wife and I are wrestling with our two little ones trying to get them ready for school and to eat up all their breakfast. After all, it is the most important meal of the day.
I need a full glass of water and at least one, and sometimes multiple, cups of coffee before I’m in any frame of mind to function in the morning, regardless of the tasks I’m doing. I have never been a morning person and I still struggle from time to time. (See Getting Your Mojo Back, for tips when you fall off the wagon)
So with that in mind here are a few things I do as part of my evening routine that significantly reduce the stress of each morning:
- Prepare tomorrow’s breakfast — I’m a huge fan of morning oats at the moment (my kids are jumping on the bandwagon now to which is a huge bonus) .
- Prepare lunches / snacks for the day.
- Prepare clothes / gym kit / school uniforms.
- Prepare a training plan — weights / cardio / intervals — this is driven by the events I have coming up.
- Check tasks for the next day to get a heads up — I have recently started weekly reviews and having a view of what commitments I have for the week, both personal and professional is beyond helpful.
- Know when it’s time to switch off — all my tech is switched off and away at least 30 mins before bed time; TV too.
So now you’re thinking, yeah I can do all these things, but what do I get out of it? How about:
- A better night’s sleep — you are perfectly prepared for the next day, which means limited number of surprises.
- When you wake up you go straight into autopilot. No more, remember this or that at the last minute.
- You are less stressed; everything is ready for you to hit your day on the best foot possible.
- You know where your focus needs to be and that’s where you aim it.
- Routines mean you can track your goals a lot easier.
It’s funny how your routines will also affect the rest of the house. I have started to get the kids involved in some of these things. Starting with simple tasks like:
- Getting their own school bag ready (PE Kits, homework bags).
- Getting their toys gathered that they want to take to their Nan’s after school.
- Getting their uniforms together so mum or I can have it ready for the morning.
We have seen a lot of benefits to this and it gets the kids thinking about what they have going on in school. They can think about whether it is PE day, or if it is a day they have to return their homework, etc …
Now it’s up to you. Try these tips and see the benefits for yourself. Keep your routine as short as possible. Short means doable and more importantly it won’t put you off. (Would you rather a 2 hr routine or 30 mins?)
Comment below and let me know how you get on…