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The Best Reason To Create An Evening Routine

By July 2, 2023October 4th, 20238 Comments

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.


  • Julie+Bestry says:

    Except for the tea, this covers my routine — you’ve hit all of the important aspects! I finish my work for the day, attack anything still in my inbox, set up my work bag (if it’s a client day) or my desk for the next day’s work, and list out all of the essential tasks and important tasks for the next day. I know that I’m useless in the morning, so the biggest part of my evening routine is doing everything a person would normally do in the morning, except for the non-negiable morning tasks (breakfast and grooming). This allows me to go to sleep at night knowing there’s nothing left undone or hanging over me.

    For non-work aspects of my routine, this mainly involves walking as you described (sans dog) to get my 10K steps (or, preferably, my 10.5K stretch goal) and practicing Italian. The walk gives me the chance to think through my day that’s ended and consider anything I want to accomplish that I’ve not yet thought of. If I’ve walked and done my lessons, and completed my work-prep for the next day, I’m ready to tidy up and ease my way toward bedtime doing whatever I want, stress-free.

  • I started my business when I still had a job, so evenings (and weekends) were all about working in my business. I continued to do that after I quit my job, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that it was neither necessary nor good for my well-being. Now I practice all the strategies you recommend. Even when I don’t feel like taking my dog for her evening walk, the only time I’m not glad I did is when the weather is really really bad.

  • It’s so important to create positive routines, especially for the evening. As you said, not only will it set you up for an essential’s night sleep, but it will also help you wrap up your current day and set a positive tone for the next one. My digital to-do or task list helps keep me on track during the day, helps me finish the day, and cues me to what’s coming the following day. Reviewing and adjusting it is a regular part of my evening routine. Walking is also something I love to do. Often I schedule a walk with a friend after my work day. This helps me transition from working to winding down, plus I enjoy being outside and socializing with friends. This time of the year, I rarely drink hot beverages at night. I just heard that eating dark cherries can make you sleepy. This is their season, and I often eat cherries for my evening snack. I can’t say whether or not they help me sleep, but they sure are delicious. 🙂

  • My evening routine usually means doing a final check on my schedule for tomorrow and moving anything that didn’t get completed. Then I walk out of my office and leave my phone behind. I can still hear it if it rings or beeps and I may go back to check it if it does but I am not looking at anything else.
    I prepare our supper and then head for the deck if the weather is permitting. If I am not able to get to the deck, I sit on the couch and often light a candle. My husband joins me and at 7:30 he will turn on the TV to watch his favorite show.

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