Often when we think of an evening routine, we think about preparing to go to sleep. This is not what I’m talking about today. The routine I’m talking about is the one you create to tidy up the loose ends of your day. When does your day end? For some of us, since we work at home, our day can go on well into the evening. We continue working, doing just one more thing, and then we wonder why our minds don’t settle and allow us to relax. One solution to this problem is to create an evening routine.
There are many reasons to create an evening routine.
Let’s talk through some of the most obvious ones before I share what I believe to be the best reason of all.
Know what you want to work on in the morning
Whenever it is that you decide to stop working take a few minutes to make some notes about where you left off and what you want to do next.
The reason is that you will not have to remember to remember. Making these notes takes it off your mind and either puts it on paper or in a digital note to yourself.
If possible, tidy your desk. Put any pens, pencils and papers away. Recycle any papers you no longer need and then walk away from your computer and work station.
Go for a walk
Consider incorporating a walk as you create an evening routine. If you have a dog, and even if you don’t, go for a walk in the evening. It’s great exercise and it helps to clear your head of cobwebs. You can practice some deep breathing (or not) as you walk along. Focus on the walk. Listen to your footsteps and notice your surroundings. What changed during the day? Which birds are calling to each other saying good night? What do you hear and smell?
Thinking about answering these questions takes your mind off business and tunes it into something unrelated to your work. Walking frees your mind and helps you relax. Plus, gentle exercise like this is a terrific stress-reliever. If you practice yoga, doing 20 – 30 minutes of yoga works also but you don’t get the outdoor experience.
Brew a cup of tea
When you get home brew yourself a cup of herbal non-caffeinated tea.
This will relax you even further.
Think about the day and plan tomorrow
Finally, think about what you did today. If you keep a journal, this is a great time to write down your wins from the day and to congratulate yourself. We often focus only on what went wrong. Turn your thoughts to what went right. Of course, if there is something you want to change or do better make a note of that, too. Then, think about what you want to do tomorrow. Review your appointments, make note of any errands you want to do, and write down anything you want to remember to take care of.
Just as when you tidied up loose ends before you left your computer or your work station, making your plan for tomorrow in the evening takes it off your mind. This lets your brain relax. It is not struggling to remember to remind you of all these little things. You are confident you have made your notes. There’s no need to stay alert.
The best reason to create an evening routine is to sleep better
Everyone knows that we all need to sleep. Did you know that there are many health benefits to getting a good night’s sleep?
Yes. It’s true that people who sleep well are generally healthier than people who don’t. A good night’s sleep can improve your mood and reduce your stress levels. Plus, it can improve your brain’s performance by increasing focus and productivity during the day.
When you create an evening routine which allows you to unwind and decompress from the day you are setting yourself up to sleep better.
Would you like to create an evening routine? If you would like my help, I’d be honored to work with you. There are many ways we can work together. Contact me to schedule a phone call to review your options.
Diane N. Quintana is an ICD® Master Trainer, Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Certified Professional Organizer®, owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release Repurpose Reorganize LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. An accomplished speaker and author of five books, she teaches people how to become organized and provides them with strategies and solutions for maintaining order in their busy lives. She specializes in residential and home-office organizing and in working with people challenged by ADHD, Hoarding and chronic disorganization.