We live for the magic of morning routines here at GATLUW, but you can't have a productive morning routine without first creating an evening routine!
Your evening routine is the foundation that will set you up for success the next day. If you spend the entire night stressed and wake up in a panic, your morning routine is probably less than ideal. Need some tips on how to craft a routine that actually benefits your mindset? Start these 7 habits ASAP!
7 Evening Habits to Start Tonight
1. Clock-out routine
Create a routine that separates your work brain from your home brain. Especially if you work from home! Before you roll into your evening routine, get rid of any traces of your work life that might start calling out for your attention. Got a work phone? Put it away in a drawer. Turn off notifications. Shut the computer down and set ‘Do Not Disturb'.
It's important to set boundaries between your work and home life so you can be 100% effective in both. If you're constantly letting the stress of the office bleed into your alone time, you're never actually having the alone time you need to reset. Work on setting those boundaries and defining the divide between work and home so you can live your most balanced life!
2. Daily reflection
Make time for reflection every single day. Instead of moving through your day worrying about the next task ahead, it's important to give your mind time to process the things you've just done. How else can we celebrate our wins? Learn from our losses? Grow?
A super-simple way to reflect on your day is by journaling. Sit down with a notebook and jot down how you felt, what you did, and anything that sticks out to you about your day. If writing isn't your forte, there are tons of apps built specifically to help you build the habit of reflection! Reflectly, for example, gives you the space to track your mood and make note of your daily actions so you can start to notice patterns. What are you doing during your day that contributes to or diminishes your mood? Make a habit of knowing yourself so you can leverage your habits for the better.
3. Self care
Reset your mind and take a load off! Self care is a crucial element in your evening routine. In fact, you could argue that creating and sticking to an evening routine is self care in itself.
Create time in your evening routine dedicated to you. This could be sitting down for your favorite show with a glass of wine, putting on a face mask, or even putting time into a passion project. If you notice yourself feeling particularly overwhelmed, attend to that. Do something that you know helps you feel relaxed. Effective self care acts as a response to what you're feeling — you're taking care of what needs to be cared for.
4. Read something you enjoy
Reading every day is a fabulous habit to build if you're trying to expand your worldview and engage with new perspectives. But forcing yourself to read just because you've heard the book you picked up is worth it isn't an effective way to build the habit.
Make reading a part of your evening routine — but read something you actually enjoy. So many people quit reading because they're reading what they've been told to read or think they ‘should' read. What are you really interested in? Are you a fiction person? Memoirs? Poetry? Get in touch with what you really want to learn more about, or what you simply desire to be entertained by. It doesn't matter what it is — just read!
5. Do not disturb/screen time limit
A must-have for a productive evening routine is some kind of limit on your device usage. Many phones and computers now include functions that can block your social media and other distracting apps within a set time period. For example, you can set your screen time limit to begin at 7pm. After 7pm, you will not be able to access your social media/other apps you choose. This feature can be overridden in emergencies of course, but it offers an external accountability if you need help limiting your device time.
6. Spend time with loved ones
Take advantage of the increase in time many are spending at home with family. Make time with your loved ones a part of your evening routine so you can step outside of yourself for a moment and let the stress of the day fall away. Play with your children, cook dinner with a partner, or set up a board game with some roommates!
Yes, furry friends count as loved ones — if connecting with other people isn't something you do in your home (maybe you live alone), spend time with a pet. Take the dog for a walk or unravel a ball of yarn with the cat. Directing your attention away from yourself and into another creature is a great way to reset your mindset and relax for a while.
7. Prepare for tomorrow
Be sure to prepare for the day ahead before your head hits the pillow each night. One of the best ways to do this is by using the Ivy Lee Method. This method works best directly after you've finished your work for the day so your need-to-do's are fresh in your mind, but try it out when you feel it fits with your schedule!
To practice the Ivy Lee Method, make a list of your 6 top priorities for the next day. Then analyze your list and rank the tasks in order of importance. The next day, you'll know exactly where to start and what you need to accomplish before the day is over.
Create a routine that sets you up for productivity success in the day ahead, instead of one that leaves you constantly stressed and wondering if you'll get it all done. Sometimes self care is as simple as preparing yourself.
QOTD: What habits make the biggest difference in your evening routine?