We always hear about the importance of a morning routine, but rarely do people talk about the significance of a nighttime routine. I believe both of these are equally important for both our productivity as well as our physical and mental health!
I’ve talked before about my healthy and productive morning habits! But if I’m being honest, I actually think my nighttime habits have a largest effect on my life.
Remember, these are just suggestions that I hope will encourage and inspire you! If adding more steps to your nighttime routine sounds overwhelming, don’t do it! Choose the habits that make sense for your lifestyle.
Spending 10 minutes at the end of each day to put away kid/pet toys, straighten cushions, and return items to their home will make such a big difference in the cleanliness of your home.
I love to set a physical timer for 10-15 minutes and do a speed clean-up of the house!
I find that if I spend 10 minutes a day tidying up, it is so much easier to stay on top of my house. When I let go of this habit, the mess becomes uncontrollable so quickly!
RESET THE KITCHEN
You may choose to include your kitchen in your general tidy up time but I tend to do them separately. After dinner I like to immediately do all the dishes, put everything away and “put my kitchen to bed”.
This might be when you load and run the dishwasher (we don’t have a dishwasher!), deal with leftovers, empty the sink, wipe the counters, etc.
I know that waking up in the morning to a clean kitchen always makes my day, so I prioritize this habit! It’s like a little gift I give to myself!
PREPARE FOR TOMORROW
Preparing the things you need for tomorrow is a great nighttime habit to help you prepare for a productive day!
Especially if you are not a morning person like me, taking a few minutes in the evening will reduce so much stress and panic in the mornings!
Some ideas of things to prepare:
- Your workout clothes
- Your lunch / workbag
- Your kid’s lunches / water bottles
- Your kid’s backpacks
- Plug in your laptop/phone so they are fully charged
- Clear your workspace
- Items needed for extra-curricular (Soccer practice right after school, Bible Study, Piano Lessons, etc)
If you’re already running late in the morning, small tasks feel like a big deal! Think about when you can’t find your keys as you’re leaving the house late for a meeting…2 minutes of searching feels like an eternity. But if you do these things the night before with no time restraint, you’ll feel much less stressed!
CREATE A TO-DO LIST
If you’re someone who struggles to sleep at night because you’re thinking about all the things you need to do tomorrow, try making a to-do list the night before!
Sometimes we constantly run through our to-do list in our mind because we fear we’ll forget something otherwise!
But if you put that information on paper, you give your brain permission to stop thinking about it as you sleep!
DO A BRAIN DUMP
To take this a step further, I really love the concept of a “brain dump”. This is when you set a 2-3 minute timer and just write down EVERYTHING that comes to mind.
A brain dump doesn’t have to be organized, or even realistic. It’s different than a to-do list because it’s not a list of things for you to do in a specific time period.
Many people choose to make their to-do list from a few items that came out during the brain dump.
A brain dump can really help if you feel like you have information swirling around in your brain that you can’t control!
It helps to organize ideas, and work through your thought processes!
Relaxing is an important part of your nightly routine! I never advocate for a busy lifestyle. There is value in rest!
However, I think we find more value in our rest when we’ve completed the things we need to do!
I’d encourage you to do the productive part of your nightly routine before you rest – unless of course you just need a quick break after work!
I also don’t necessarily believe that watching TV or scrolling social media are a high-quality way to rest and relax!
TURN OFF ELECTRONICS
I am such a big fan of turning off your cellphone and disconnecting!
We live in a world where we are expected to be ON constantly! This isn’t good for our mental health or for our productivity!
I’d encourage you to choose a time of day when you turn your cellphone, laptop and even television OFF for a period of time! The best time to do this is 1-2 hours before going to bed.
Not only has the blue-light from our devices been shown to disrupt our circadian rhythm, but the constant pressure to be connected is very draining and has been shown to have negative impacts on our mental health!
ENJOY A NON-SCREEN HOBBY
When you first commit to disconnecting from electronics for 1-2 hours a day, it will likely feel very uncomfortable!
If you’re used to filling your evenings with TV shows, you might not know what to do with this time. Pick up a non-screen hobby that you’ve been wanting to do!
NON-SCREEN HOBBY IDEAS
- Painting, knitting, embroidery
- Reading (fiction novel, non-fiction, reference book)
- Journalling or meditation
- Learn an old fashioned cooking skill (sourdough, canning)
- Go for a Walk
- Join a sports team
- Learn an instrument
TALK TO YOUR SPOUSE
As part of your nighttime routine, actually take time to connect with and talk to your spouse (or roommate!).
I know, it’s a mind-blowing concept! But how many people just go through the motions and don’t truly take time to reconnect with their spouse daily?
After the house is tidied and you have your cellphones off, take some time to really connect with your spouse. And I don’t mean talking about what you need to do tomorrow, or how stressed you are at work. I mean real heart conversations.
I hope you found at least one new habit you can add to your nighttime routine!
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