I absolutely love having a morning routine, but do you know what makes my morning routine so effective – having an evening routine. You see, having a productive morning starts the night before.
My evening routine consists of 4 simple tasks I can do every night before bed that will ensure my morning goes smoothly. My evening routine helps me:
- Go to bed with less mental and physical stress
- Sleep better
- Have a smoother and more productive morning
- Look forward to waking up!
Here are the 4 ways I try to end the day well and prepare for the next. And to help me remember them, I’ve alliterated them 😉
1. Pick Up
No one wants to wake up to a messy house! If you want to wake up with peace of mind and a calm spirit, take 10 minutes to pick up around the house. Make sure dishes are in the dishwasher and run it. Put papers away. Have the kids put toys away. Clean up your office or workspace. Get the whole family involved. By taking just 10 minutes each night, you can wake up to a clutter-free home and feel prepared for the day. It truly is a wonderful feeling! And when the whole family works together, it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. That is definitely time well spent together!
After everything is put away and the clutter from the day is picked up, spend a few minutes prepping for the next day. Prep the kids’ lunches. Lay out your workout clothes and outfit you want to wear. Get all your quiet time materials prepped for the morning (Bible, journal, devotional materials, hymnal, diffuser, etc). Take a look at what is coming up the next day, and see what you and/or your family can prep the night before. By taking just a few minutes to prep things like food, clothes, Bible study material, etc., you are saving yourself a lot of time and energy the next morning!
Now that you have picked up the house, prepped food and clothes and other items, take a look at your schedule for the following day. What would you like to accomplish? What are the most important things you’d like to get done? I like to write out and plan my top 3 priorities for the following day. These are 3 things that, if nothing else gets accomplished, I will feel good knowing they got done. I also make sure these 3 priorities are connected to my long term goals. I would not include daily habits that I am already doing (i.e. making dinner, running errands, teaching, etc.). Instead, I make sure they are tasks that help me make progress on the bigger goals I have (i.e. writing 20 minutes in Ebook I’m working on, appointment with a client, date night with hubby). By taking the time to schedule my top 3 priorities each day the night before, I am making time for what is most important in my life. What gets scheduled gets done!
One of my favorite ways to drift off to sleep is praying to the Lord! This may sound like a bad thing (falling asleep in the middle of praying?!), but I’m talking to the One who created me and “gives to his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2). I think there’s no better way to end the day than by going over the days’ events with the Lord, thanking Him for His mercies and blessings, committing to Him my cares and concerns, and telling Him everything on my heart. When I fall asleep praying, my sleep truly is sweet! (Proverbs 3:24)
That’s it! 4 Simple P’s each night – Pick-up, Prep, Plan, and Pray. These 4 simple tips help me to go to bed feeling less stressed and excited to wake up the next morning to a clean, organized house and able to focus on my morning routine!
How about you? Do you have an evening routine? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!